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Oct 25, 2010 10:44 PM

Have Specific Ideas in Mind--Hoping for Matching Recs!

SO and I will be spending 1 and a half days in NO with his parents just prior to a cruise they are treating us to. We will have opportunities for 3 meals on Saturday and brunch on Sunday and would like to treat them to something special, but not extravagant, for either Saturday night dinner or Sunday brunch.

His folks are very casual, thrifty, and well-traveled. Dad is from France and they both love to try local cuisines, but dislike touristy places. We will probably be staying downtown, but we are all avid users of public transportation, so as long as the locations are accessible in that way, we are game for a bit of a trek via bus, etc. Also, we are going to be more interested in historic attractions than Bourbon Street.

What I'm hoping for is recs for the following:

Breakfast place with good beignets, coffee with chicory, etc., but nothing too touristy--where would locals get theirs?

Seafood or BBQ for lunch--something affordable($20 p/p) and the more atmosphere, the better. Authentic atmosphere, I mean, not just a plastic statue of an alligator and an owner with three first names, of which at least one is an know what I mean? Maybe they don't have those places there, hopefully...

Dinner or Brunch --again, something special, but not extravagant, maybe$50p/p without alcohol, where a skirt for ladies and slacks for men will suffice. Prefer a cuisine specific to New Orleans, but not necessarily from a famous TV chef :-)

Thanks, Hounds! All replies welcome!


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  1. Generally speaking, most full-service "breakfast" places don't serve beignets, and most "beignet" places don't serve breakfast. If beignets are a must, Cafe du Monde or Cafe Beignet in the Quarter.....though they'll both be thick with tourists. If you had your own wheels, I'd suggest Morning Call in Metairie.

    Seafood w/ "authentic" atmoshere? Take the streetcar Uptown and go to Casamento's on Magazine.

    Coquette for Sunday brunch. $25 three course brunch. Comfortable. Bright space. Casual. Great food & cocktails.

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

    2 Replies
    1. re: BayouTeche

      If you go to the brunch at Coquette, usually one of the dessert options is their beignets and chocolate pot du creme. Voila!

      1. re: noradeirdre

        Oooh...right you are. I forgot about that. Damn tasty, too.

    2. +1 Cafe du monde, we eat our beignets with the tourists. +1 Casamentos for authentic seafood lunch, most it is fried though. Lots of options for dinner, you should do some research on your own, but Cochon, Herbsaint, Bayonna, Patois, maybe Brightsens.

      Luke or Patois would also work for brunch.

      930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

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

      701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

      1. A trip to NOLA is not complete unless you dine at Galatoire's. Go to Parkway for Po Boy's Saturday for lunch. NOLA does not have outstanding BBQ. NOLA is known mostly for the cajun creole cuisine using fresh local ingredients. If you insist on BBQ go to The Joint. You will have to take a cab. Take the Canal Street streetcar to Jefferson Davis and walk 4 blocks to your right or E to Parkway. If you prefer dining in the FQ go to Johnny's for po boys. You could get po boys to go and eat on a bench in Jackson Square or in the park down by the river. You could get a muffaletta from Central Grocery and eat in Jackson Square also. If you would like to sample good local creole cuisine in a fun dive in the FQ go to Coop's for lunch. Napoleon House in FQ is fun also.

        Have dinner Saturday night at Galatoire's. They do not take reservations. Just check to see if there's a long line before you go. If there's a long line you may have to change your plans but you will be OK most likely if you check the line about an hour before you want to dine.

        Go to Commander's for Sunday Jazz Brunch. If you want to stay in the FQ go to Mr. B's, Antoine's or Arnaud's for Sunday brunch. The French 75 Bar at Arnaud's is very nice. Commander's is a legend in NOLA and worth the visit. It's in a beautiful old building with lots of dining rooms and outdoor dining as well.

        Parkway Bakery & Tavern @ 538 Hagan Ave., New Orleans, LA 504 - 482 - 3047.
        The Joint @ 801 Poland Ave., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 949 - 3232.
        Johnny's Po Boys @ 511 Saint Louis St., New Orleans, LA 504 - 524 - 8129.
        Central Grocery @ 923 Decatur St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 523 - 1620.
        Coops Place @ 1109 Decatur St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 525 - 9053.

        Galatoire's @ 209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 504 - 525 - 2021.

        Commander's Palace @ 1403 Washington Ave., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 899 - 8221.
        Mr. B's Bistro @ 201 Royal St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 523 - 2078.
        Antoine's @ 713 Saint Louis St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 581 - 4422.
        Arnaud's @ 813 Bienville Street, New Orleans, LA 504 - 523 - 5433.

        1. These were really good responses from everyone else.
          You mentioned beignets. There is really only one place to get them and it is Cafe Du Monde in the French Quarter. Is it touristy? Definitely. Do locals go? Hell yes!. I love the place and consider it a treat every time I am there. We all love Cafe Du Monde and it would be a shame to miss it. If you want a big creole breakfast, then go to Mother's on Poydras or Lil Dizzy's on Poydras St.
          LUNCH: Some of the famous places in the French Quarter are a mix of tourists and locals. For oysters and seafood, Acme Oyster House is great but it is heavily touristed. I would take the steetcar or the Magazine St bus and go to Joey Ks. I think that is the best place which fits your description. Prices are good, wait staff is the real thing, and the shrimp po-boy is one of the best in town. BBQ is not the greatest in New Orleans. Instead, go to "Butcher" which is next door to Cochon. You could also take the streetcar and stop off at the corner of St. Charles and 7th St. and eat at "The Grocery". You can grab a po-boy, sit outside on the avenue, and watch the world go by.
          DINNER: If you decide to stay downtown, I would recommend a small, intimate, locals type of place. Try either Herbsaint for really good local food, or Meaux Bar on Rampart St. for excellent food and a wonderful atmosphere with great locals always there. August and Emerils will be pricey and I don't think it is what you are after. If you want to get out of downtown, for a true local experience with a great atmosphere, try Upperline on the corner of Upperline St. and Prytania. You get true creole food, great people watching, wonderful ecclectic art, a charming owner/hostess who visits all patrons, and mouth watering fish, oysters, and shrimp. If not, someone recommended Coquette which is excellent but not highly local in cuisine. You also cannot go wrong with Vizard's which is on Magazine St. in the uptown area. Small plates are served here but with a bent toward local cuisine. Always good gumbo and don't miss the fried egglplant with crabmeat. Good luck!

          Lil Dizzy's Cafe
          1500 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116

          930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

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

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

          701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

          Joey K's Restaurant & Bar
          3001 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

          Upperline Restaurant
          1413 Upperline St, New Orleans, LA

          942 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116

          1 Reply
          1. re: mikey

            Lots of good recommendations here, but CDM is not the only coffee stand with beignets: per BayouTeche's reply above, there is also Morning Call in Metairie. I inhabit the CBD but stop in whenever I can. And re. Mother's, to which I live next door, v. L'il Dizzy's - much prefer the latter. Only 1 block but in other ways worlds apart.

          2. Hey, thanks, everyone for such a great list of recommendations! I will do my research and try to pick the few we have time for...I wish we were eating more meals in NOLA! Thank you again,