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1st trip to New Orleans

lancenevins Sep 21, 2010 10:14 PM

I am going to New Orleans and staying at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, 500 Canal Street in the French Quarter. My wife and I are celebrating our 16th anniversary. (1st time away with-out kids since our honeymoon) The dates of our travel are 10/20/10 (by Wed. dinner) to 10/23/10 (Sat. lunch, leaving late afternoon). I am looking for guidance on resturants and some tours and must places to see. We have 5 kids and got great deals on flights and the hotel deal through priceline. I want to surprise my wife with a well planned trip that is somewhat budget orriented with at least one or two great meals, and the rest more value oriented. We both love all kinds of food and would like to have more of the local food we can't get here in Appleton, WI. Thank you for any input you can provide.

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  1. l
    Littleman RE: lancenevins Sep 22, 2010 07:09 AM

    You mention it's the first time away without kids and then later you mention you have 5 kids. Will it just be the two of you or will some of the kids join you.

    Will you have a car. If not are you willing to take the streetcar or a cab Uptown or to other areas of NOLA to dine. One place you should go and you can walk is the WWII D Day Museum. John Besh of August fame owns American Sector in the Museum. You should visit there for sure. Bon Ton Cafe is an excellent choice serving classic cajun cuisine in CBD very near your hotel. Domenica in The Roosevelt Hotel is excellent for outstanding Italian pizza and pasta. For budget you may want to consider lunch at Mr. B's and order their famous BBQ Shrimp. Tommy's Cuisine is a nice restaurant near your hotel for dinner only serving fresh seafood and steaks. Acme Oyster Bar is fun for lunch and cold drinks. Napoleon House has good food and cold drinks in a historic atmosphere.

    If you are looking for diner food Mena's Palace is a FQ local's favorite. If you can take a cab or the streetcar you should consider Parkway Tavern for po boy's in Mid City. Uptown favorites are Coquette, Patois, Clancy's, Lilette and Brigtsen's.

    Let us know about the car and we will give you more help.

    American Sector @ 945 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 504 - 528 - 1940.
    Bon Ton Cafe @ 401 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 524 - 3386.
    Domenica @ 123 Baronne St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 648 - 6020.
    Mr. B's Bistro @ 201 Royal St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 523 - 2078.
    Tommy's Cuisine @ 746 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 581 - 1103.
    Napoleon House Bar & Cafe @ 500 Chartres St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 524 - 9752.

    1. c
      CharlieH RE: lancenevins Sep 22, 2010 07:13 AM

      Lets start with the anniversary dinner itself. What are your thoughts? Elegant, over the top? Let us know. Stella, Restaurant August, Galatoires, Commanders Palace, are widely considered some our finest restaurants. And there are a weath of restaurants that are likely as good or nearly as good, which aren't trying to be the City's best restaurant.

      I hate to say it, but your post if so open ended that I don't know how much real help you are going to get, other than a long list of names, which does you little good, a phone book will provide that. There is a wealth of information on the board already. Why not get a feel for the top restaurants, take a look at their websites review their menus and ask some specific questions. Of course, New Orleans isn't only about fine dining, its about po-boys, raw oysters, cocktails, and more, and there is a great deal of information on that as well. .

      Restaurant August
      301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

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

      11 Replies
      1. re: CharlieH
        deepsouth RE: CharlieH Sep 22, 2010 08:00 AM

        i highly recommend stein's deli. they have great sandwiches and a killer beer selection.

        1. re: deepsouth
          lancenevins RE: deepsouth Sep 22, 2010 04:02 PM

          Thank you for your replies so far. We are traveling with out the kids. We are planning on using cabs, walking, or using the trolley. We arrive late Wed. afternoon, and after checking in I was thinking of going to Bourbon St. and have a fun casual dinner and take in the atmosphere. Thurs. I was hoping to do a nice lunch around a site, maybe the WWII museum. Thurs. night I was looking to have a nice dinner in the boardwalk area or somewhere other than Bourbon St. I was looking for another idea on Friday for a must see tour or attraction with a lunch around it as well. Then back to the hotel area for our Anniversary dinner at a very nice restaurant. I was going to leave Sat. open for now (our flight is 6pm) and fill it in with ideas I receive. Thank you all for your help. I am continuing to read older posts and have learned a lot already.

          1. re: lancenevins
            roro1831 RE: lancenevins Sep 22, 2010 04:09 PM

            The WWII museum is great, Besh has a restaurant in there as well, not fancy, but good food.

            FYI, they aren't trolleys, it's a streetcar. lol

            1. re: lancenevins
              Littleman RE: lancenevins Sep 22, 2010 07:16 PM

              Wednesday night for a casual dinner in the FQ I would go to Acme or Felix's. You may want to just walk around the FQ and walk in different places for a cold drink. If you like it order dinner. Thursday you sould consider lunch at Mr. B's and get the BBQ shrimp and walk around the FQ some more. Or go to WWII Museum and then have lunch at American Sector. Thursday night you should go to Mila, Emeril's or Galatoire's for dinner. Galatoire's is close to your hotel. Emeril's you can walk in 15 minutes Mila also.

              You should take the trolley Uptown Friday for lunch at Coquette, Lilette, po boys at Mahoney's and walk some on Magazine Street. There are great shops there. Have your anniversary dinner at Galatoire's or Emeril's. You can walk to both. Bon Appetit.

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

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

              3637 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70115

              1. re: Littleman
                kibbles RE: Littleman Sep 24, 2010 08:30 AM

                whats a trolley? smirk..

                1. re: kibbles
                  Littleman RE: kibbles Sep 24, 2010 09:11 AM

                  One of these...............Smirk........................

                  1. re: kibbles
                    Bill Hunt RE: kibbles Sep 24, 2010 06:45 PM

                    In NOLA, Littleman meant "streetcar," which translates to "trolley" in almost all of the rest of the world.


                    BTW - nice shots, Littleman!

                    1. re: Bill Hunt
                      Littleman RE: Bill Hunt Sep 24, 2010 07:53 PM

                      Thanks Hunt. The only reason I called it a trolley was I had the OP's message right above my reply and I was rereading it to make sure I was posting correct information and saw he called it a trolley. I did the same. I have done it quite often just not thinking. The cable car runs on cables underground with the vehicle on a track. A street car runs on a track also but has overhead electric wireing to make it go. A trolley runs on similar equipment. You can have a streetcar and you can have a cable car. A trolley is in the same category as a streetcar. I think.

                      1. re: Littleman
                        hazelhurst RE: Littleman Sep 25, 2010 08:25 AM

                        Unless you are the indefatigable Jack Stewart, founder (in 1963) of "Streetcars Desired", a vain effort to prevent removal of the Canal Line. Jack insists that the "trolley" is the little wheel that connect the pole to the overhead line.

                        1. re: hazelhurst
                          Littleman RE: hazelhurst Sep 28, 2010 08:52 AM

                          Hazelhurst..........I love your description.

                          1. re: Littleman
                            SFVIS RE: Littleman Sep 28, 2010 02:51 PM

                            I love this trolly streetcar cable car discussion.

          2. Bill Hunt RE: lancenevins Sep 22, 2010 06:28 PM

            I have the same question on exactly who will be on the trip. Let's go with just you and your wife.

            For the anniversary dinner, these would be my recs., though not really in any order:

            Brigtsen's (streetcar ride)
            Restaurant August
            The Grill Room at the Windsor Court Hotel

            Most of all, enjoy!


            Restaurant August
            301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

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

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

            Windsor Court Hotel
            300 Gravier Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

            1. j
              jenn2083 RE: lancenevins Sep 22, 2010 08:26 PM

              I think August and Stella are the most romantic for an anniversary- they are quite the splurge though.

              I also think American Sector and Domenica are good- not traditional New Orleans- but that's more than okay. Both places have happy hour specials that are great- hopefully they will still be around in October.

              You might want to give Cochon Butcher a try for sandwiches and small (really small) plates that are budget friendly, but still good.

              Try Stanley for breakfast- it might seem on the pricey side for the type of food, but it will stick to your ribs all day. The Breaux Bridge Benedict is delicious. Plus, it's in Jackson Square so it's great for people watching.

              Cochon Butcher
              930 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

              123 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 70112

              1 Reply
              1. re: jenn2083
                lillidalla RE: jenn2083 Sep 22, 2010 09:52 PM

                Since you mentioned budget-oriented, I recommend Johnny's Po-Boys for lunch (extremely casual and not romantic) and perhaps Muriels's (romantic and special) for a splurge. K-Paul's has a lunch operation going on from Thurs.-Sun., I believe, and it's also a bargain with great food (order at the counter..no frills). I also recommend The Red Fish Grill....I've always been pleased with their entrees (usually order blackened or grilled fish) and their Double Chocolate Bread Pudding is divine. And by all means, if you go to the W.W. II Museum, eat at The American Sector. Have a house made soda (to share with your wife...it comes in a seltzer type carafe) along with your food. The cherry version is the bomb! While I do not recommend their gumbo (I usually try gumbo at every N.O. establishment's doorstep I darken), my husband had their specialty sandwich and it was divine.
                Many of the aforementioned places by others are higher dollar, but I just wanted to provide some less expensive options. And, if you are looking for a dive with great food as one of your possibilities, try Coop's on Decatur. I love their grilled pork chops and salad with Green Goddess Dressing. Since it's your first visit, have fun exploring and perhaps you will find a place that experienced others have overlooked. Since you'll be on Canal St. and only about three blocks away on Chartres, Cafe Fleur de Lis is a good place for breakfast. Order at the counter and then find a table (it gets crowded during peak hours). Another stable breakfast place (mentioned by another poster) is Mena's Palace. Also, there's a 24-hour diner down on Bourbon, The Clover Grill, which has great omellettes and super burgers cooked under a hubcap. I know the last statement will cause some of the CH regulars to coil into the fetal position, but I'm just sharing information :). One more bit of advice...take a horse cart ride (they are available on Decatur St./Jackson Square). When riding with a group, the price is @ $12./person and you will glean some valubale information about the Quarter and get some hints from the driver about good local places. Most of all, have a Happy Anniversary and enjoy your moments with each other in a very special city!

                Clover Grill
                900 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70116

                Johnny's Po-Boys
                511 Saint Louis St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                Green Goddess
                307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130

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

              2. kukubura RE: lancenevins Sep 24, 2010 03:12 AM

                Highly highly highly recommend Commander's Palace for an anniversary lunch. It's the epitome of old NOLA elegance but at lunch if you're budget conscious you can find amazing deals. It's a great opportunity to get all dressed up, ride the streetcar out in style, be treated like royalty, and not break the bank. But remember to tip like you did!

                Oh, and anyplace where you book reservations make sure to tell them it's your anniversary. New Orleans restaurants know how to treat you right!

                Commander's Palace Restaurant
                1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

                2 Replies
                1. re: kukubura
                  JazzyB RE: kukubura Sep 24, 2010 04:55 AM

                  Re: Commander's anniversry lunch... great idea! Reserve the garden room. 25 cent martinis .

                  Coquette would be lovely for an anniversary dinner. 1/2 price specialty cocktails all day Thur.

                  go to " restaurant.com " to purchase $25 restaurant gift cert. They run 80% off specials so you can purchase a $25 gc for $2.(sign up and they'll e-mail you specials).

                  BTW, we have a "moon walk" along the river, but not a conventional boardwalk one would find at a shore destination. No restaurants or shops. Bourbon St. has strip clubs, bars, some restaurants and souvenir shops (purchase these for much less at the French Market).

                  Some of our better rest. have great lunch deals. August/Emeril's/MiLa: 3 courses around $20
                  Antoine's Herme's Bar (FQ) opens to the street, has good cocktails and offers a nice sampler plate(bar menu). You can order from the rest. menu as well.

                  1. re: JazzyB
                    kibbles RE: JazzyB Sep 24, 2010 08:33 AM

                    actually there are a couple restaurants on the moonwalk. one is a steamed seafood place w/ outdoor seating; ive never tried it but ive been meaning to one of these summer nites.

                2. m
                  montuori RE: lancenevins Sep 24, 2010 09:52 AM

                  Boucherie should not be overlooked. The food's great but extremely reasonable (nothing rings in at more than $15), the staff is personable, and the wine list is well chosen (I had a red TxacolĂ­ for $30-something ... didn't even know there was such a thing as a red Txacoli but boy was it good with the thai chili chess pie).

                  They take reservations too, which is handy.

                  Although I know that it's not a classic place, this is the sort of establishment that I think best characterizes contemporary New Orleans restaurants: a neighborhood-y, reasonable, well considered menu run by people who obviously love food.

                  8115 Jeannette St, New Orleans, LA 70118

                  1. nomadchowwoman RE: lancenevins Sep 25, 2010 03:12 PM

                    Since you are budget-oriented, but presumably want a romantic-ish dinner for your anniversary, I'd recommend Coquette (streetcar plus a coupleblocks of walking) or Herbsaint; neither is cheap but they're a lot less expensive than Restaurant August or Stella!,and the food is wonderful.
                    Domenica is Italian, but it is very good with reasonable prices, and the atmosphere is very upscale. You can have a delicious full meal for not a whole lot of money, but the happy hour (3-6 p.m., 7 days a week) is a phenomenal deal: all pizzas, wine, and specialty cocktails are half-price. Recently, I sat at a table next to two young women who ordered one pizza and one glass of wine each. They left $20 on the table with their ticket; that presumably covered everything, incl. tax and tip. At my table, we ordered two pizzas, three glasses of wine and one cocktail. Our pre-tip total was around $33. (And the pizza, IMHO, is the best in town.)
                    And I agree with other posters here that American Sector (at WWII museum) is another very good--and budget-friendly--option.
                    So is Cochon Butcher, for lunch or a super casual dinner.
                    Finally, many New Orleans restaurants have fantastic lunch specials (typically about $20/3-course prix fixe)--so you can sample the more expensive places like August or Emeril's or MiLa without breaking the bank.
                    If you want a taste of down-home New Orleans cooking, try something under the typical tourist radar, Cafe Reconcile (weekday lunch only); the food is hearty and delicious and inexpensive, and the story behind the restaurant is truly heartwarming (training ground for an at-risk or formerly-troubled population).
                    Do your research, and be on the look-out for specials. There's no reason that all your meals can't be great and your trip still affordable. Really.
                    P.S. Walking around, in the FQ or along the Moonwalk, under the stars, or in City Park, or taking a ride on a streetcar along St. Charles Avenue, in October, when the weather is likely to be perfect, is free, romantic, and sure to supply you with lots of wonderful stories--the best souvenirs--to take home.

                    Restaurant August
                    301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

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

                    701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

                    Cochon Butcher
                    930 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

                    Cafe Reconcile
                    1712 Oretha C Haley Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70113

                    123 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 70112

                    1. d
                      dawnmeteye RE: lancenevins Sep 28, 2010 08:28 AM

                      If you are planning on visiting the zoo by any chance, there is a great restaurant nearby called Jacques Imo's on Oak St. It is nothing fancy, but it has a great New Orleans flare. The prices are not on the cheap side either. Dinner for two would probably cost you somewhere in the $50 to $60.00 price range. The wait is very long, so it is best to get there when the place opens. Try the alligator cheese cake! I think it is a place that every one should experience when coming to New Orleans. However, if you are a stuck up, snobby type of person, I would definitely would go elsewhere. Enjoy your trip.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: dawnmeteye
                        kibbles RE: dawnmeteye Sep 28, 2010 08:44 AM

                        dinner for two for $50-60 is actually pretty cheap. not fast food prices, but certainly not expensive for sit-down dining.

                        i also love the alligator cheesecake, as well as the fried chicken, its pretty much what i go there for. the shrimp & beef stuffed pork chops were good too (had last time). deep fried roastbeef poboy is a fun app. but havent tried much of the rest -- way too many things on the menu and the one time i tried something "out there" they didnt have the ability to pull it off. so stick to the basics.

                        does get busy, so either go early or late. ive walked right in at 9pm on a Tuesday, waiting to see Rebirth next door.

                      2. GroovinGourmet RE: lancenevins Sep 28, 2010 09:15 AM

                        Been mentioned once, I'll mention it again.


                        Best modern Louisiana cuisine anywhere, IMNSHO.

                        Charming setting, great service, reasonably priced compared to other fine dining establishments in town.

                        Cannot imagine a trip to NO and not visiting...

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

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: GroovinGourmet
                          kibbles RE: GroovinGourmet Sep 28, 2010 11:53 AM

                          while there are some things i like about Brightsen's (dirty rice is the best), im not sure "modern cuisine" describes them. MiLa for sure, Stella, etc.. but Brightsen's has been serving the same dishes, w/ the same sides on most dishes, for decades.

                          id say its more "solid LA comfort cuisine".

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