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NOLA Review 7/16 - 7/23

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Hockey19 Jul 25, 2010 03:44 PM

Quick notes and thoughts from a wonderful (can it be anything else) week in NOLA. We have been here quite a few times so we hit some favorites and some new ones. We stayed on the edge of the Quarter on Esplanade so we hit Frenchman Street upon arrival. Instead of day of arrival favorite Acme Oyster House, we had a huge lunch portion of good fried chicken and gumbo at Cafe Marigny. Very quiet on a Friday afternoon and the Abita's cooled what was going to be a non stop hot week. The day's travel and a late start into the Quarter brought us to Felipe's for a late night guilty pleasure meal. Saturday was spa day for my wife so we went to Cochon Butcher for an early lunch. She had the best BLT ever with bacon from heaven and I add a light lunch of duck pastrami sliders. Wonderful soft cheese but not enough duck. I went to the WW ll museum while my wife was at the spa and discovered one hell of a deal. From 3-6 at the John Besh run American Sector restaurant, BBQ brisket sliders were 75 cents. I ordered two and had an Abita (what else) while waiting. The bartender then said the drink was on the house as the pretty woman at the corner bar stool was an Abita rep and all Abita orders were on her. I love NOLA!! Took home the perfectly smoked sliders and had them as a late afternoon snack back at the balcony of our place. Dinner that night was back to Frenchman at the Praline Connection. Small place with more servers per square inch than I have ever seen. Black fedora's top all the waitstaff's heads and they served pretty good southern cuisine-loved the sides including mac and cheese and cabbage. Next day traveled on the Algier's Point Ferry to see the other side of the river for the first time. Friendly folks everywhere and ate at the Dockside Cafe where they served decent local bar food. Had the Roast Beef Po Boy. After a pleasant walk around the town we found out the ferry had broken down. Shared a $25 cab (so much for a free ferry) back across the river. Dinner that night was at Bacco. Had their Ciao Summer special which might be the best $25 dinner around. A beautiful restaurant with attentive service and a great meal. We y enjoyed a huge salad with large chucks of Parmesan everywhere. BBQ shrimp was outstanding as was the signature Lobster Ravioli. Dessert of Lemon pie (Key lime but with lemons) and sorbet topped it all off. Added two glasses of wine as part of the special for an additional 13 bucks. Next day we headed 2 ½ hours to Lafayette for a day and night out of town. Stayed at a great B and B (T'feres-look up the Frommer review or check out AAA naming it this month the best B and B in the South). Greeted with Tea Juleps and were served a magnificent breakfast. Fun trip to the Tabasco Factory on Avery Island and had had really decent food off the trailer cart. Oddest was the Frito’s chili. Cut open a vending size bag of Frito’s dump in chili and Tabaco and you’ve got a hit. Well flavored shrimp etouffe as well as red beans and sausage rounded out a perfect all fresco meal at the factory. If you go, do not miss the Jungle Gardens across from the factory. It is a beautiful reserve chock full of wildlife and great fauna. Our dinner that night was at a local Cajun dance hall called Randol's. Live Zydeco, low key service, fun food. Steak, alligator, and you get the picture. Not gourmet but a great night. We closed the place down after meeting and talking into the night with a couple from Holland at the table next to us. We agreed to meet for dinner the next night back in Nola and went to a favorite, Muriel’s on Jackson Square. We enjoyed their $30 dinner special with salads, goat cheese and shrimp crepes, and soup for appetizers. Huge perfectly prepared double pork chops, Jambalaya pasta and Drum were consumed followed by Crème Brulee and Bread Pudding. Another guilty pleasure as we headed to Dueling Piano’s at Pat O’Briens with our new friends to show them a bit of tourist NOLA. We all sang, downed Hurricane’s and had a blast that went well into the night. Wednesday was Commander’s Palace for Lunch. Our favorite employee Argyle was not there but everyone and I mean everyone stopped by to wish me a Happy Birthday. The 25 cent martinis were great as always, the garlic bread used to slop up my lamb was divine and my wife’s fish was perfect. There is no better place to spend an afternoon. Lazy day was finished with my wife’s late night craving for a hamburger. We each had the 8 oz. monster that they served at Yo-Mama’s. First time there and will definitely be back. Great dive bar that is devoted to sloppy juicy hamburgers. Last full day began at Cochon’s for lunch. I had the ham hock which was incredibly smoky and delicious but I felt smallish in size and my wife had killer oysters (yes available) and a well prepared eggplant/tomato dish. Final night was at the New Orleans Cooking Experience well up Esplande. This was to be a trip highlight as Frank Brigtsen was to be our personal chef for a private dinner for 10. We were told on arrival that he had hurt himself which was a great disappointment but we were well guided and entertained by Gerard who was the exec chef at Mr. B’s for many years. The evening was fun (but VERY pricey) but not having Frank was offset by having a great meal with 8 perfect strangers around a lovely table in a historic home .. Alas all good things must come to an end so I picked up Muffaleta’s from Central Grocery for our quick 2.5 hr. flight home. That turned into a 9 hour US Air trip from hell but that is a story for another day.

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Praline Connection
542 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116

Cochon
930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

Acme Oyster House
724 Iberville St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Brigtsen's Restaurant
723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118

Cochon Butcher
930 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

Bacco Restaurant
310 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

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    JazzyB RE: Hockey19 Jul 25, 2010 04:19 PM

    Sounds great! Next time try POC instead of Yo Mamas.

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