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Sep 12, 2010 01:14 PM

Ponderosa Stomp Weekend is Coming [ Sept. 24th & 25th ]

I know I'm not the only one using Ponderosa as an excuse to spend a long weekend in New Orleans.

This will be my third visit to town this year and I can't wait to do some serious eating.

Casamento's, the 1919 era oyster house is reopening just in time [ Tuesday Sept.14th ] and I'm wondering where they'll be sourcing? Did P&J get back up and running? Are y'all getting any out of Apalachicola?

Joe Sepie's: This place has been on my radar for a little while and I'm curious. Is it worth the trip out from the Marigny where I'll be staying?

Tag's Meat Market and Deli: Reading online about the history of hog's head cheese in New Orleans piqued my interest in this old school [ 1948 ] joint. Any hounds out there recollect Taaffe's and Treitler's? How're the sausages at Tag's?

Hated to hear about Minnie's Catfish Corner closing. Where are y'all getting your catfish these days? Last visit we couldn't believe how good the catfish was at Mr. B's of all places . The waitress told us the owner has a secret source.

Chicken Sue's: Been hearing that this is a good spot to get big plates of soul food. How's the fried chicken?

I'll be doing the lion's share of my drinking at Tonique on Rampart and Evelyn's Place on Chartre but am curious about Sweet Lorraine's. Is there live music there? How're the drinks?

What's the skinny on The King Pin bar at 1307 Lyon's street?

I love Kermit Ruffins and can't wait to visit his bar Sydney's Saloon at 1200 St. Bernard Avenue. Who's been? What's the scene like there?

Thanks y'all

Casamento's Restaurant
4330 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

Chicken Sue's
203 W Harrison Ave, New Orleans, LA 70124

Joe Sepie's
4402 Jefferson Hwy, New Orleans, LA 70121

820 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116

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  1. There's another catfish place in the same location as Minnie's, or at least there was last time I checked. I've had breakfast there a few times - for some reason I love fried catfish poboys (not dressed, just buttered bread and catfish) for breakfast but they have regular breakfast stuff too. It's not great overall but the catfish is good. I also like the catfish at Joey K's. But if you're serious about fried catfish, check out Charlie's Seafood on Jefferson Highway. It's a casual spot run by Frank Brigtsen and crew. Really outstanding and worth the trip. Everything else on the menu is awesome too. You won't regret it.

    The King Pin is fun, it's one of my two or three regular spots but I wouldn't say it's worth a trip from the Quarter, necessarily. It's just a good bar. Check out happy hour; avoid Friday and Saturday nights when it becomes a hangout for Tulane students who think they're slumming it.

    3 Replies
    1. re: uptownlibrarian

      "for some reason I love fried catfish poboys (not dressed, just buttered bread and catfish) for breakfast"

      Another reason to love uptownlibrarian.

      And a belated thank you on your tip from days of yore on Lillete. We did a double supper of Coquette and Lilette awhile back.

      Further thanks for the tip on Charlies Seafood. If it's half as good as Brigtsens I'm sold.

      I read that Casamento's is going to have soft shells upon reopening too. I don't doubt they can beat the price on the $27 poboy version I had at R&O's back in the spring.

      Who's had the soft shells at Casamento's?

      Also, is Coquette still firing on all cylinders? I could sit at their bar and eat bread [ best baker in town ] and drink cocktails from the bartender who looks like Clark Kent all day long.

      Thanks for the tip on the Chart Room, Mr. Caballero. I've never been there and figured I'd be taking a good beating on prices from HOB.

      Any other good spots I can dash out to between sets at the Stomp?

      Casamento's Restaurant
      4330 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

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

      Chart Room
      300 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

      1. re: scrumptiouschef

        the bread at Coquette is very good. we took a guest there last Wednesday and had a wonderful meal, and very reasonable at 4 courses for $60 - the portions were full and it was even too much food. wine pairings were $20.

        1. re: scrumptiouschef

          Funny, I thought of you the other day when I noticed Galatoires has them for $28, and you get two.

          Galatoire's Restaurant
          209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

      2. Bode's catfish shack is in the same location that Minnie's was. It is a real hole in the wall, but the prices are right.

        Last year the stomp allowed people to leave the HOB and come back during the show (HOB usually does not allow this), I became fond of running around the corner to the Chart Room, where drinks cost about half the price of HOB, and are twice as strong. Also if you get hungry at the shows, pizza by the slice at Club Decatur on the corner is not bad.

        we just got a new record store in town, Euclid, out in the Bywater on Chartres St, which is a block from Elizabeth's (good brunch). you might make a food and record scoring trip out of that.

        Chart Room
        300 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

        5 Replies
        1. re: Guy Caballero

          Mr. Caballero
          You're right on Chart Room. $2.50 bourbons on my breaks from Ponderosa all night long. Cheap and strong. Good ambience too. They had LSU on but kept the volume off and were playing some decent aor on the hi fi.

          Hit Rampart Food Store for lunch. The catfish po boy was huge, under 6 bucks tax incl. and was the sweet meat style that I love. No gray stripe at all.

          I was pleasantly surprised by House of Blues. $5 Abitas, mammoth air conditioners, friendly bartenders.

          Much more than I expected given the general dislike the place engenders.

          Off to One Eyed Jacks tonight for a quasi Flaming Groovies reunion.

          Any spots nearby that I need to be made aware of? Eats, drinks, what have you?

          Chart Room
          300 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

          One Eyed Jacks
          615 Toulouse St, New Orleans, LA 70130

          House of Blues
          225 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70130

          1. re: scrumptiouschef

            Cafe Amelie:

            Well done sunny side eggs served in lieu of eggs ordered fried over medium.

            I’m amazed at how many “chefs” don’t know how to cook an egg.

            The glories of properly cooked fried eggs are manifold.

            I daydream about puncturing the lush yolks down into the creamy grits and then reveling in this classic flavor of the Deep South.

            A dream that sadly goes unfulfilled at Amelie.

            Good service though. The waitress didn't ask me if I needed any change when she took my check! Sadly, this is now notable.

            Buffa's Lounge:

            I'm a mark for old restaurants. Buffa's has been in operation since 1939. Much better burgers here than Port of Call or Yo Mama's.

            Three Muses:

            Good service but lousy food. To be fair I only had one small plate; crab and artichoke ravioli in a pesto cream sauce. The ravioli was tough and tasted like it had went through a few freeze/thaw cycles before being served. The pesto cream was a well executed sauce but the pasta itself was d.o.a

            Cafe Amelie
            912 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116

            Port of Call
            838 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116

            1. re: scrumptiouschef

              wow, i really enjoy the food at Three Muses, especially the crab raviloi. have had many of the dishes and id have a hard time saying its lousy -- and i dont think their small plates are ever frozen. the rabbit empanadas are choice, and the lamb sliders w/ tomato confit is a crowd pleaser.

              what do you like better about the burgers are Buffa's? i had one once, but all i can remember is a stale bun. will have to try again. one of the things i like about POC is due to their immense business all ingredients are delievered fresh daily.

              abitas are also $2.50 at Chart Room :). for a local beer i find that more appealing than an import price, which is crazy if you think about it -- a beer from 30 miles away priced the same as a beer that was brewed in england and shipped across the ocean to our continent...

              1. re: kibbles

                Buffa burger: Lightly handled beef with a good, salty, crusty char and a griddled bun. Nice and bloody too.

                I like Port of Call too but I don't crave their burger the way I crave Buffa's. I can eat good burgers all day long out here in Austin but can't get one the quality of Buffa's.

                The ravioli at Three Muses was so tough I thought I was going to spiderweb the plate it came on I was bearing down so hard. The sauce however, was delicious.

                Loved the space and the bartenders were really hospitable.

                After hearing horror stories about HOB from the locals I expected $12 cocktails and $8 beers. So $5 for an Abita from a place with a dreadful reputation on overpricing seemed reasonable.

                Chart Room was a godsend. Potent, cheap drinks and amiable staff. Loved that they kept the volume on the LSU game off so the patrons could rock out on Molly Hatchet and Lee Hazlewood.

                Frank, over at Evelyn's place was his normal, talkative self. I can't get enough of his tales of the quarter, years ago, when going to Bourbon Street meant putting on your finery for a night of eating and drinking

                As an aside, the food at Domenica is beyond belief. Chef Shaya is up in the clouds. It's the best Italian food I've ever eaten.

                Oxtail and Fried Chicken Livers!

                Last but not least: Bar Tonique. This is where I found myself hotfooting it to a couple times a day for their Dark and Stormy. I probably drank a few gallons of this nectar on my visit.

                It's astonishingly good. Great music [bartender's choice] but Ed's not making his Sunday gumbo anymore.

                If the whole bar owner thing doesn't work out he has a very bright future as a gumbo cook.

                Port of Call
                838 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116

                Chart Room
                300 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                1. re: scrumptiouschef

                  if you like Domenica you should check out Del Porto in downtown covington. similar fare, but completely amazing when we were there. nothing disappointed. the husband & wife team were nominated for a james beard.

                  Del Porto Restaurant
                  501 E Boston St, Covington, LA 70433

          2. Several weeks ago I had Apalach oysters at Mortons in Madisonville and they were not good. Two weeks ago I had lunch in Apalach with a good grilled grouper sandwich, the best fries I've had in years (including Nova Scotia, France and Holland where I love the street fries) but only mediocre raw oysters for dessert. But they were much better than the Mortons version, which probably tells you that the fishermen in Apalach are not going to send their best product to temporary customers. Later that evening I had more raw oysters at a hole-in-the-wall in Panama City and they were incredible. I couldn't believe they were off season.

            So during this period of upheaval you never know what you may be getting in shellfish.

            6 Replies
            1. re: collardman

              Roadfood reports that Casamentos will be sourcing them however they can get them and if it means using Sysco then so be it.


              Who's heading to Casamentos today for the re-opening?

              Casamento's Restaurant
              4330 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

              1. re: scrumptiouschef

                Finally on the ground.

                This is what was waiting with me at 11 am when Casamentos was scheduled to open their doors.

                A local seafood purveyor with a batch of soft shells he'd just scooped out of the Lake.

                They ate real good. His next stop was Galatoires and then I believe he was off to Broussards.

                Casamentos also has lovely Louisiana oysters on the half shell, under a buck apiece.

                A soft shell will run you 15 dollars and is worth every penny.

                Casamento's Restaurant
                4330 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

                Galatoire's Restaurant
                209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                1. re: scrumptiouschef

                  I knew I had to dig deep if I was going to have a supper that was anything like as good as lunch at Casamento's.

                  Mission accomplished.

                  Domenica is still my favorite out of the Besh restaurants. I'm not sure who the chef is but he's a bull.

                  I wanted to branch out but under the sway of oxtail I surrendered and ordered the stracci.

                  The small is a medium sized portion of brilliant green sheets of handmade pasta tossed with strings of braised oxtail then garnished with fried chicken livers.

                  It is divine. One of the single best dishes I've ever had in the city.

                  A small order of meatballs provides a trio of finely ground meat [ pork and beef ] globes in an insanely delicious red gravy.

                  The whole affair is seated on a bed of slow cooked polenta then showered in fresh grated white cheese.

                  Under 20 bucks spent and I waddled out the door.

                  The Sazerac bar was mysteriously empty til I walked outside where the 30 or so drinkers had all busted out of squaresville so they could have a smoke with their cocktails.

                  Casamento's Restaurant
                  4330 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

                  123 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 70112

                  1. re: scrumptiouschef

                    Is there a better lunch bargain in New Orleans than Mila?

                    3 courses for 20 bucks.

                    Course one a salad of tiny fresh greens tossed in a lemony dressing with lots of Louisiana feta

                    Course two a couple hunks of sauteed triggerfish on a pure' of turnips doused in lobster sauce.

                    Course three a bowl of homemade banana ice cream

                    I'd really love to see this restaurant open in a more comfortable setting. The dining room is archly formal and beyond bland.

                    I do love the bar though. It's lighted from within and casts a warm glow about whilst you feed.

                    1. re: scrumptiouschef

                      I love the MiLa 3 course lunch special!

                      1. re: scrumptiouschef

                        Its funny, but their first venture, Longbranch, was aching formal as well, but in a different sort of way. More of Flowers in the Attic meets high tea at the antebellum bed and breakfast kind of way.