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Cheap eats - two nights - 5 guys on a road trip

Hello NOLA hounds,

I'll be in town with four friends on Aug 14-15 (Saturday and Sunday). We will be in the first week of a three-week long road trip. We are looking for some good local specialties at very affordable prices. We'll be eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We are staying in the FQ (Canal St. side) but can drive for lunch, in particular, if it's worth it. We are also willing to walk long distances for good value eats.

I've spent a few days looking through this board and am starting to get a sense of what is recommended. But I don't feel like I've found very many places where meals can come in under $10. Maybe that's because there aren't very many - but if there are, I'm sure you guys can tell me!

The places I've flagged so far as potentially worth checking out are:
-Cafe du Monde
-Central Grocery
-Coop's Place (there seems to be some controversy about this place - I think it's worth trying the jambalaya?)
-Napoleon House
-Mahony's Po Boys and/or Jonny's Po Boys (thoughts?)

I've also heard great things about the Green Goddess, but it's a bit above our ideal price range.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated by this first time visitor from Toronto. Thanks!

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Green Goddess
307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130

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  1. All of the choices mentioned above are excellent for guys on a budget. Coops is very polarizing, but put me in the category of a 20 something male that is firmly in their corner. They have excellent pasta dishes, seafood gumbo, fried chicken & jambalaya. Other delicious items are the smoked duck quesadillas & crab stuffed jalepenos. Their menu has enough delcious, budget friendly items that its worth a couple of trips. While you are at Coop's, be sure to stop by Molly's at the Market next door for the most delicious bloody mary. Napoleon House is a good stop for a Pimms Cup, but I'm not a big fan of the food (very cool atmosphere & building though). They have a warmed muffuletta that is tasty, but I prefer the cold verson @ Central. For the po boys, Johnny's is certainly more convenient, but I would suggest Mahoneys - just a short jaunt up Magazine. The best po boys there are meatball, chicken livers & slaw, fried green tomatos & shrimp remouade and the peacemaker (oysters, bacon & cheese). Maspero's on Decatur also has good food with local flavor at a reasonable price. One final suggestion for guys on a budget would be Mena's Palace - right off Canal on the quarter side. They have excellent lunchs that are extremely tasty and satisfying for the price. Enjoy your trip!

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    Napoleon House Bar & Cafe
    500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

    Mena's Palace
    200 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

    Maspero's
    601 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70130

    4 Replies
    1. re: GDPhalp

      If you're going all the way to Magazine Street for a poboy & price is important, go to Guy's. Classic NOLA poboy shop, but a bit cheaper than Mahony's. My last shrimp poboy at Mahony's had five shrimp on it for $6.95.

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      Mahony's
      3454 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA

      1. re: Hungry Celeste

        From my experience, when looking for a more traditional po boy, the best values are at Johnny's, Parkway, Parasols & Magazine St. With so many non-traditional choices at Mahoneys, I have never tried the alternatives.

        1. re: Hungry Celeste

          Yup, don't get me started on Mahony's. The last time we went to Mahony's, there were 4 shrimp on the shrimp poboy. Apart from the meatball poboy, I've concluded it's the worst over-all poboy shop in town. For poboy's, I'd probably say Parkway is the best all-around. There's something for everybody. They might not have the best of a particular sandwich, but they're consistently very good across the board. For roast beef, though, I'd go to Parasol's. It's a little easier to find a good fried poboy. In addition to the aforementioned places, most other joints do a respectable job, e.g., Guy's, Domilise's, & Johnny's.

          Y'all might go eat (or split) a burger at Port o Call. Not really New Orleans food, but it's getting close to the price range, and it's an institution. Stanley is another cheapish option, as far as quarter prices go at least. FYI, there are a lot more ethnic options in your price range, e.g., Salt n Pepper, Bennachin, and El Gato Negro, all of which are in the quarter.

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          Mahony's
          3454 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA

          Bennachin Restaurant
          1212 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116

          1. re: Hungry Celeste

            Order the grilled shrimp poboy at guys the best of this type in the city. all of his grilled poboys are great.

        2. Since you have a car head to R&O's in Bucktown, best roast beef poboy IMO and lots of other options

          1. Domenica has half priced pizza at happy hour, ends at 6. Best deal in town right now.

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            Domenica
            123 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 70112

            1 Reply
            1. re: CharlieH

              They also have half price beers, cocktails, and glasses of wine. You could easily get a pizza ($6.50) and a glass of wine for $10.

            2. I immediately thought of Mena's Palace, too, since it's close to your area. It certainly isn't fancy, but you can get a very good, solid breakfast at a very reasonable price. I haven't tried their lunches yet, but I plan on doing so during the next trip. I recommend Johnny's for Po Boys. I especially like the shrimp ones and my husband likes their crab cake version, too. The price of a whole one is @ 8-10 dollars, and they have a lunch special of half a Shrimp Po Boy and a cup of gumbo. The latter is one of my favorite lunches in The Quarter and if you can get by with water, you can do it under $10. And definitely try Coop's Place ....like said, they have a large selection at good prices....it's a dive with good food. Another suggestion is K-Paul's on Chartres....I believe they have a lunch deli operation from Thurs. through the weekend....if so, you can get a good deal. Their dinner menu is quite expensive, though. I hope you guys have a great trip!

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              Coop's Place
              1109 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116

              Mena's Palace
              200 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

              1. Thanks everyone for these great suggestions. Sounds like we will definitely try Coop's and Johnny's, in addition to Cafe du Monde and Central Grocery. We will probably also try Mena's Palace and for breakfast and may try Maspero's as well. I'll be sure to report back on these and any others we check out.

                Thanks again for all your help.

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                Mena's Palace
                200 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                Maspero's
                601 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                2 Replies
                1. re: markdsgraham

                  skip johnny's and go to parasol's for the roast beef. awesome.

                  1. re: mcegielski

                    Try old coffee pot on st. louis for breakfast.