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Please help me choose between these restaurants for dinner

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We've only got two dinners in NO--our breakfasts and lunches are planned (i.e. Cafe du Monde, Central Grocery, Acme...) but I just can't decide where to go.

We've been to NO a few times--hated Brennan's (pretentous and food was only so-so); loved K-Pauls, and have been to several fine but not memorable other places. We don't care about atmosphere, cocktails, fine wines or even average service; we are looking for the best meal for the money.

I'm considering:
--Brigtsen's
--Elizabeth's (duck waffle, praline bacon)
--Cochon (small plates)
--Mr. B's (but my husband makes killer BBQ shrimp so I'm afraid I might be disappointed or make him feel bad if Mr. B's is better)

Which two would you choose or would you pick something else?

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  1. Are you from CA? If so you most likely will not have a car. Are you staying in the FQ. It sounds like you may be with Acme, CDM and Central. I like Brennan's. Galatoire's is one of the top restaurants in the U. S. All may not agree. If you are in the FQ and don't have a car you don't need to go to Brigtsen's. It's too far Uptown. Elizabeth's is fine but it's more famous for breakfast/brunch. And it's too far to walk from FQ for a lady. Cochon is great but it's not traditional NOLA creole cusine.

    Have you looked at Bon Ton. It's a few blocks from FQ but it's not open on WE's. It is cajun cuisine. Mr. B's is outstanding. If you are there Mon/Friday I would go to Bon Ton. I would also go to Galatoire's. I would also recommend Emeril's in CBD.

    Good luck. Bon Appetit.

    1. Galatoires without a doubt. everyone should eat there once before they die.

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

      2 Replies
      1. re: srqmike

        I would also recommend Bon Ton. And specifically the Crawfish Etouffe. If you like getting off the beaten path, Elizabeths would be a good choice.

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        Bon Ton Cafe
        401 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

        1. re: jimmymack99

          The crawfish wil be frozen this time of year--they have gotten a lot better about that product over the years but just a warning if you care about such things.

      2. You have some vastly different selections there. Brightsens and Cochon would be the top two. Look at their menus and choose whih one suits you better.

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        Cochon
        930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

        1. We're from the Los Angeles area. We are staying just outside the French Quarter without a car but not afraid to hike around town for the best food. We will be in NO during the week.

          I checked out the menu at Galatoire's and the prices are pretty reasonable, especially if the food is that fantastic. Would my husband feel out of place without a jacket?

          Bon Ton also seems reasonable but the last thing I would order would be a steak or broiled fish and they seem to have quite a few on the menu. Although, someone suggested the crawfish etouffe.

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

          Bon Ton Cafe
          401 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

          7 Replies
          1. re: bohemiana

            I'm pretty sure Galatoire's has a dress code requiring a jacket. It is known for Friday lunch. You have to wait on line outside to get a table downstairs. Others may have advice about what time you need to arrive. I've only been for dinner--went on Christmas Eve a couple years ago--and had a blast. It is as much about the atmosphere as the food, but the food is very good and classic New Orleans old-world Creole. You MUST sit downstairs, though. Upstairs is for tourists who made reservations.

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

            1. re: bohemiana

              Get the redfsh bonton, or a softshell. Jambalaya is also very good. If your husband isn't comfortable dressing up, don't go to Galatoires, its a dressy restaurant.

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

              1. re: CharlieH

                CharlieH--are these your meal recommendations for Galatoires or Bonton?

                Everyone--we are only considering options for dinner, not lunch. Thanks for the tip on jackets available at Galatoires (with carry-on luggage only, it's a paint to lug along a jacket for one dinner)

                I think we are kind of set on Galatoires and Bonton, thanks to all your recommendations.

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

                1. re: bohemiana

                  Those are Bonton recs...although soft shell at Galatoire's is also a good idea. You might see if Billy is in at Galatoire's..but he is quite popular and may be loaded up. TOny is good, too. Lots of others.

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

              2. re: bohemiana

                re Bon Ton menu You can't go wrong with Crabmeat au gratin (decadent) or crabmeat Imperial. They do that best in my opinion...Salad Bon Ton and bread pudding...Classic/old school in a good way...

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                Bon Ton Cafe
                401 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                1. re: bohemiana

                  Galatoire's requires a jacket. If you don't have one they will loan you one at the front door. They do not take reservations downstairs. They open at 11:30 AM. Go around 10:30. There should not be a line if nothing is going on around town that week. If you go during the week for lunch you should be fine. There could be a line. If it's too long go to Mr. B's or Felix's and come back the next day. If NOLA is busy for conventions or other events there might be a line. I don't go to NOLA when big events are schedule. And I have never had to wait. Good luck.

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

                  1. re: Littleman

                    Well, as you know, the jacket is not compulsory until after 5:00 but I always advise people to wear one so as to avoid the "feeling out of place" issue. Sure, I;ve been in there when things have been lax, but especially on a big Locals Day, I'd even go so far as to strongly recommend a tie. All men at my table and those of my friends always wear a tie.

                    The "fantastic" issue hereinbove referenced is where some people have diffrences. I think the place is a True New Orleans restaurant and I have said before that if you like quality fish and good sauces, accompanied by a good time you'll be in hog heaven. It is a question of expectations. One review I read fairly bellowed about the remoulade being served on iceberg lettuce as though the writer were expecting romaine. Well, it's New Orleans..that's the way we've done it for years. Besides, the lettuce with remoulade is less than secondary--but I sometimes eat it. Ask for it on watercress or something else if you care to but the point to remember is that the places is an old bistro. It is not pretending to be the "cutting edge"

                2. Your husband can make Mr' B's shrimp (recipe is on their website) so I'd go elsewhere. Consider Coquette, Patois or Emeril's.

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                  Emeril's Restaurant
                  800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

                  1. Skip Mr. B's and consider adding Restaurant August to your list. It's in the WH district an easy walk from the FQ and it is fantastic. Great for lunch or dinner, awesome food. Cochon is really good as well, we went on our last trip and went back to their butchershop/winebar/deli called interestingly enough Butcher for some take home meats and sandwiches for the trip, all excellent. If you take the St. Charles street car, look up the creole creamery for an ice cream treat (4924 Prytania Street)

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                    Restaurant August
                    301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

                    Cochon
                    930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                    1. I've been eating at Galatoire's whenever I'm in NOLA for 50 years. The food is perfection. I simply can't imagine being in town and not eating dinner there.

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

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: pikawicca

                        Does anyone have recommendations regarding specific wait staff to request when dining at Galatoires?

                        1. re: paz5559

                          All of the waitstaff at Galatoire's are extremely professional. To me, it only makes sense to request a specific individual if you plan on dining there regularly and want to be waited on by the same person each time.

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

                          1. re: pikawicca

                            The only time I had dinner at Galatoire's, I didn't know our server--just got who they gave us. So I made a point of introducing myself and everyone at the table and shook hands with our server--I think his name was Bob. Well, that seemed to break the ice nicely and we had a great time. I don't know if it improved the friendliness of the service, but it certainly didn't hurt. At least it made me feel as though I'd made an effort.

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

                      2. Here's where we ended up going...

                        First night--went to NOLA. We sat upstairs, thankfully because downstairs was really noisy. I had the BBQ shrimp & cheese grits and my husband had the smoke duck. I've never had shrimp & grits before so I can't compare it to another but I enjoyed it. Did it knock my socks off? No. Would I get it again. No. Overall, I felt the flavors went well together but I would have liked an extra shrimp or two. My husband loved the duck. His only negative comment was the dressing was bland and dry. Wait staff was attentive. The manager came over when he saw me gnawing on my husband's duck bones and joked about it.

                        Second Night--K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen. I was there about 20 years ago and it's changed. We sat downstairs and it was incredibly loud--there was a table of obnoxious convention-goers next to us who fortunately left before our food came. The bread basket was a nice touch--something Emeril's could add as their two tiny rolls weren't much to write home about. My husband had one of the the 3-course specials, which was a great deal. He chose the blackened ribeye and it was done nicely. For an appetizer he had a spicy cheese-stuffed sausage, that was REALLY spicy. Dessert was breadpudding which was fine but my sister makes better. Actually, my husband makes a great steak so he wasn't as impressed as he thought he would be. I had the blackened drum. It was very good but it was exactly how I remembered the REAL blackened to be, which knocked my socks off the first time I had it. I really enjoyed it but probably should have tried something different this time.

                        Overall, I thought K-Pauls was a better value for the money, especially the fall specials. Taste and inventiveness were about equal for all dishes sampled. Both were lacking in atmopshere as they were just too noisy (I think restaurant designers think if it's noisy and people are shouting it makes it more festive.)

                        For lunch one day we went to Grand Isle and had their alligator sausage po-boy--interesting and I would recommend it. The pickeled onions were a nice taste addition to the spicy sausage. Their fries and onion rings were really greasy--skip those.

                        Also had the muffalata at Central Grocery, which was not quite as amazing as I remembered but still really good.

                        P.S. Visiting on a Sunday and Monday was a real bummer because so many things are closed.

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                        Emeril's Restaurant
                        800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

                        Grand Isle Restaurant
                        575 Convention Center Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70130