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Jun 8, 2010 11:15 AM

NOLA Trip Report

I have had another very entertaining and happy trip to NOLA.

We started out on the Royal Street Stroll. While the entertainment was far better than in years past I must say that the wine wasn't remarkable and the food- well all I can say is "What food?" We encountered mostly bowls of peanuts and crudite platters. There was a vendor making what appeared to be a pasta salad but the line was far too long. The best thing we ate at the stroll was the tiramisu from Rouses. It was crowded this year but we had a great time but it seemed a little off this year.

Mr.B's. Certainly the most solid meal we had while in NOLA. I had the gumbo ya-ya and BBQ shrimp with a blueberry mojito. My friend had the fried oysters and grilled amberjack. Everything was excellent from service , to quality of food, and the mojito was one of the best I have ever had.

Sucre on Magazine St I sampled the peach cobbler gelato, chocolate macaroons, and a strawberry cupcake. Everything was worth the splurge both calorically and financially. I especially loved the gelato but could have lived without the cupcake. Thank you Suzy Wong for the recc. (Take the bus! Don't try to walk there!)

Margaritaville: Didn't want to go there but some hounds reported that the food and beverages were actually very good. Sorry to report that both the food and beverage made my stomach turn. The service and entertainment were very good but I just sat there starring out the window at Coops wishing I was there instead. Wishing I was almost anywhere than the bar at Margaritaville - sad to say.

The best recc I received through Chowhound was for Croissant D'or Patisserie - 617 Ursulines Ave - in the French Quarter. We had croissants and cafe au lait - all for under seven bucks. It was delish - and the atmosphere was wonderful. I will return again and again.

Nola: This was the most expensive meal of the trip. Highlights were the Pimms Cup and the crispy duck liver with greens, caramelized onions and creole mustard aioli. Also sampled Miss Hay's stuffed chicken wings with homemade hoisin dipping sauce - think turducken. I am not a huge fan of turduckrn so I was not a huge fan of the chicken wings. Everything else was average. Service was fine though the bar tender was brisk and not interested in making any suggestions concerning drinks. The bathroom was dirty which is a red flag for me and my dinning companion. Some of things being prepared - but not available for consumption when we were there looked out of this world!

Cochon Butcher: A real standout was the duck pastrami appetizer. It was fantastic! Miss Piggy Goes Green cocktail was fabulous too. A very busy place with a great vibe. Take a cab if you are staying in the Quarter.

Cup Cake Cafe on Chartres Street was a nice little place for breakfast. The cupcake here was very good and it's the kind of place that I prefer for a simple and inexpensive breakfast. And yes - I paid the dollar for the cupcake dessert with breakfast!

Domenica: Sampled a pizza and a couple of small plates. The best thing I ate here was the cheesecake. The pizza was fine - we appreciated the small plates - squash blossoms were delish. Disappointment for me was that they were out of several of the cocktails and the hovering service by the managers.

I went to the gas station on Rampart Street for fried chicken I had read about in several posts. It was Keys fried chicken (if that means anything to anyone). It was fine but I certainly don't think it was a stand out. What was a stand out was the recently released inmate from Angola that we met. He was charming in that ex-con kind of way and suggested that we all party together in celebration of his release. Best of luck to him - but we had to take a pass on the celebration.

Tried in vain to locate the Maple Street bakery and was unable to do so. Went to Oak Alley Plantation which made for a wonderful Sunday afternoon. They serve excellent Mint Juleps too.

Cochon Butcher
930 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

Margaritaville Cafe
1104 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116

123 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 70112

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  1. Boy if I ever met the CHer that led you to waste a meal on Margarittaville I'd feed 'em a knuckle po boy!

    Other than that sounds like a varied and interesting food trip with some pretty out-of-the-way stops. Good job!

    6 Replies
    1. re: kukubura

      no joke. someone actually recommended margaritaville?

      1. re: N.O.Food

        I Know! In the old NO post "Resturants You Wouldn't Recommend": zydecoplayer, Bigrayok, Bill Hunt, Jazzy B, and HetenNola all ran to the defense of Margaritaville saying that it was quite good and "had the best Margarita's." I was with a huge Parrothead and she was dying to go. Trust me - I have passed on it in the past and will pass on it in the future. Lesson learned.

        Margaritaville Cafe
        1104 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116

        1. re: sunsuze

          for sure. its just bad. while i appreciate they have a 20% off locals card, ya just cant get around how awful it is. sysco slop worse than Chilli's. and even the cocktails arent that great, i think they use margarita mixes, Chevy's has better.

          shame, since Buffet loves new orleans and all. but its all style, zero substance.

          1. re: kibbles

            Ditto kibbles. I had the cheeseburger in paradise once. Yuck. I don't even know where my 20% off card is anymore.

          2. re: sunsuze

            Actually, my visit was in LV, and I had wine (not the finest list for that genre of restaurants), but the lunch was surprisingly good. I have no experience with the NOLA branch, so cannot directly comment.

            Still, if on that end of The Strip, and wanting lunch, I would definitely consider them - big screen and all.

            In NOLA, I'd be too tempted by other locations, but not in LV, as that is more of an evening, fine-dining city.



        2. re: kukubura

          Have never done the NOLA rendition of Margaritaville, but actually did a lunch at the LV version, and held my breath - it was much better, than I had anticipated. I was not a fan of the decor, or the big-screen with Key West footage being shown, but have to admit that it greatly exceeded my expectations.

          Now, in NOLA, I cannot imagine that I might dine there, but then in LV, we were doing Joël Robuchon and Guy Savoy on that trip, so we also had some fine-dining.

          Still, it exceeded all expectations for lunch.



          Margaritaville Cafe
          1104 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116

        3. Very good report!
          Whew, glad you enjoyed Sucre! I LOVE that place. It certainly is a stand out. I haven't tried the cupcakes, but the french macaroons are superb (as well as the chocolates and gelato)...

          I always suggest Croissant D'Or, one can't wrong here, have been going since they opened. (And it's the original locaton (structure) of Brocato's)

          And a mint julep at Oak Alley, love it.

          (I have never been to Margaritaville, figured that was for diehard Jimmy Buffet fans only)

          1. I agree margaritaville is horrible. And I AM a die-hard Parrothead. I LOL at the thought of you looking out the window longingly at Coop's. Yes, I agree. I'd have felt the same way.

            Surce is the best! Peach Cobbler Gelato is worth the calories. And the macarons are to die for, especially the Almond ones.

            The story about the recently released inmate from Angola is absolutely typical of NOLA - and hilarious. Only in NOLA !