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Food Itinerary thoughts please

Okay, I've gotta do it. A friend and I are heading to NOLA over Thanksgiving and are planning on eating our way through town. We're semi-budget conscious, but willing to splurge for a good meal or two. Here's our itinerary so far, thoughts please??

Thursday: Dinner at Mr. B's (I probably would have made this more of a "snack" spot but we don't wanna do prix fixe on TG and she's never been to NOLA before, so I thought shrimp and gumbo might be a good way to start the trip)

Friday: a.m. beignets
lunch: August
happy hour at Luke, then snacking around the quarter, maybe chargrilled oysters and another bar snack or two. Suggestions?

light breakfast somewhere?
Lunch: Bayona
Dinner: Cochon

Brunch somewhere, right now I'm thinking Green Goddess or EAT? I think we want somewhere more wallet-friendly than Commander's
Dinner: casual at Coop's

Lunch: ??

Then we're headed out of town. Thanks hounds!

We were thinking of trying to fit in muffalettas from Central Grocery somewhere, but I the lunch deals several places sound so good I'd hate to skip them for that. And, they're closed on Monday, correct?

930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

Green Goddess
307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130

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  1. Go to Domenica Friday for happy hour and half price drinks and pizza from 3/6 PM if you don't plan having dinner that night. Go to Elizabeth's for Sunday brunch. You will need a car or take a cab. Get po boys at Parkway Tavern for lunch on Monday then head out of town. Go to Surrey's in LGD for a light breakfast Saturday. Croissant D'Or might be the lightest breakfast option. It's in the FQ.

    Domenica @ 123 Baronne St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 648 - 6020.
    Elizabeth's @ 601 Gallier St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 944 - 9272.
    Parkway Bakery & Tavern @ 538 Hagan Ave., New Orleans, LA 504 - 482 - 3047.
    Surrey's Cafe & Juice Bar @ 1418 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 524 - 3828.
    Croissant D'Or @ 617 Ursulines Ave., New Orleans, LA 504 - 524 - 4663. ***

    1. French 75 Bar at Arnaud's has some outstanding snacks including oysters en brochette, stuffed shrimp and spring rolls. Go there Friday night for your bar snacks. You can also get a light breakfast Saturday at Cake Cafe and Bakery in Marigny which is not far from FQ.

      French 75 Bar @ 813 Rue Bienville, New Orleans, LA. 504 - 523 - 5433.
      Cake Cafe and Bakery @ 2440 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 504 - 943 - 0010.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Littleman

        Cake Cafe sounds really good. Love the web site!

      2. Friday happy hour - Domenica.
        Chargrilled oysters - Acme.
        Saturday breakfast - Stanley.
        Monday lunch - Herbsaint.

        2 Replies
        1. re: FoodChic

          I was thinking about Herbsaint for Monday. It's different enough from Cochon, right?

          930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

          701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

          1. re: princsoreo

            Yes, it is different. Personally, I prefer Herbsaint to Cochon.

            930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

            701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

        2. looks like a great itinerary!

          good brunch can be difficult because the few places that are noteworthy get pretty slammed. i personally cant stand waiting an hour for a table for breakfast. the last place we did brunch was Restaurant Atchafalaya, which was fun and good -- most generous crab than ive ever seen!

          i really like Green Goddess, but note that it has practically no seating, and can get pretty expensive.

          commander's has a brunch special 3-course of signature dishes plus a bloody mary for about $39. (think they must have gone up a bit on that one)

          as for wandering the quarter for fri dinner -- perfect idea. charbroiled oysters at Drago's are a must. then there are the backed oyster trio at Bourbon House, as well as the BBQ Oysters at Red Fish Grill, and many other small plates popping up all over town. Slyvain has craft cocktails and small plates, the fried eggplant is good.

          Red Fish Grill
          115 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70130

          Green Goddess
          307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130

          Bourbon House
          144 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70130

          1. forgot to attach pics from our recent breakfast (and for some reason you cant add them after the fact?)

            7 Replies
            1. re: kibbles

              kibbles, I've had both of those dishes at Atchafalaya....very nice. Their Grits & Grillades are as good as any I've had in town, too. Definitely an underrated brunch. I need to try for dinner sometime.

              1. re: BayouTeche

                Glad to know about the grillades...it has been hard to find any good grillades outside private homes or clubs --at least for me--recently. It ain't rocket science.

                1. re: BayouTeche

                  Thanks for the tip. I was looking for a place to take some guests for brunch and the menu at Atchafalaya looks perfect for them (and me). We've had dinner there and had a very good meal and particulalry good service, even though it was a 10 top.

                  I've got reservation for Sunday, a week, after Friday at Cuvee and Saturday at MiLa after this group convinced me to give it a try instead of returning to a tried and true place.

                  Cuvee Restaurant
                  322 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

                  1. re: collardman

                    Just made a reservation at Atchafalaya. Sounds like fun. Am I correct in thinking we can take the streetcar there? We are staying at the Hilton near the convention center.

                    1. re: princsoreo

                      You would have to walk about 6 blocks up Poydras to St. Charles to catch the streetcar. You would get off at Louisiana and then you would have to walk 7 blocks to Cafe Atchafalaya.

                      Cafe Atchafalaya
                      901 Louisiana Ave, New Orleans, LA 70115

                      1. re: Littleman

                        So, if we're in good shape and okay with walking it would be okay? We're late 20's and fine with walking a few blocks as long as we plan to wear flats!!

              2. Thanks! We are actually staying in the HIlton Riverside and Drago's was on my must-try list! I didn't realize it was in our hotel. Fantastic!

                We will be taxi-ing to the airport around 3 on Monday. Didn't think about Commander's, but that might be a good option!

                I'm open to other TG suggestions, but I chose Mr. B's because 1. I'd rather have some of their menu options than a Thanksgiving-themed meal elsewhere and 2. My friend has never had BBQ shrimp. Originally I thought we'd just get them when we went app-hopping, but then when I wasn't over the moon on any other TG places, I thought we might as well do it.

                9 Replies
                1. re: princsoreo

                  princsoreo, if your friend has never had gumbo... then that would NOT be a great place to start. I, personally, never order gumbo unless I 'know' it is good, because it varies so much from recipe to recipe and place to place. Some use an extremely dark roux and some is lighter, most skip the okra, I prefer duck & seafood... as the duck gives it the best flavor. I would suggest, maybe K-Pauls for true gumbo & Jambalaya (which has some kick to it - hot). Paul Prudhomme makes some of the best Jambalaya because it is true "Cajun" and contains what all Cajun's put in their's. Starting with the "Cajun Trilogy" (mire poix) - onions, celery & bell pepper (instead of carrots) - tasso, Andouille & everything left over in the fridge!

                  As far as Barbeque Shrimp, you are NOT going to find that, "app-hoping" because there is an art form to cooking, great BBQ shrimp (& requires tons of Clarified butter). The best in town, where always at Pascal's Manale on Napoleon Ave... but I haven't eaten there in years. I heard that they are good at Acme's Oyster Bar but I can't recommend... having never tasting them myself. Ask around, the "absolute BEST thing" about a trip to NOLA is talking to the locals, who are notoriously friendly & engaging - think Dublin!

                  Remember, after Beignets @ Café Du Monde... continue walking down Rue Decatur toward the Market and you will see Aunt Sally's. Stop and sample (& sample, some more) the free Pralines (Praw-leens)!! Almost directly across Decatur from there is Central Grocery. Don't hesitate to just buy the Muffuletta to keep as a hangover remedy... late at night. It will not go to waste, trust me on this one. Also, don't leave w/o drinking Hurricanes(s) & Hand Grenade(s) it's a New Orleans tradition. This will also aid w/Muffuletta disposal.

                  I hope you and your companion really enjoy your trip... I have some of my "funniest" stories, that I can't tell co-workers, that are from the Big Easy!!!

                  1. re: mla0100

                    Thanks for your thoughts! I think my friend has had gumbo before, but never in NOLA. I wish K-Paul's was open on Thanksgiving, as that was our number one choice!

                    1. re: princsoreo

                      FWIW, this local thinks the gumbo at Mr. B's is fine and enjoys their BBQ shrimp too. K-Paul's has a casual lunch Thursday through Saturday that you might be able to drop into for a cup of gumbo. The Thanksgiving weekend hours might be different, but it's worth checking into if you really want to try their gumbo.

                    2. re: mla0100

                      (psst... it's the Cajun "Trinity")

                      Also, when I see "Hand Grenade" and "Muffeletta disposal" near each other, I think of something completely different. (like not being able to keep it down.) Heh. Hand Grenades are more Bourbon Street tradition than a New Orleans one, IMO.

                    3. re: princsoreo

                      The charbroiled oysters at Drago's are a signature dish, but you might also or instead try the charbroiled mussels. They are something of a "cutty" (in Cali youthspeak) local fave.

                      Steps away from your hotel is the Southern Food and Beverage Museum at 1 Poydras Street.
                      Worth a stop.

                      1. re: erikschwarz

                        ooh sounds great! We both <3 mussels (and oysters too!)

                        1. re: princsoreo

                          Go to the WWII DDay Museum in CBD to remember the fine men and women who defended our great nation in that war. It is a great tribute to those who gave their service and their lives for our country. It is about 10 blocks from The Hilton. John Besh's American Sector in the museum offers good food for lunch.

                          American Sector @ 945 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 504 - 528 - 1940.

                          1. re: Littleman

                            A friend said she scored a three-bagger of Besh's places last weekend.started with Domenica and loved it. American Sector was not her favorite. She said she ordered crab stew and declared "It wasn't crab stew>" And she knows from crab stew. Forst off-remark I've heard about teh joint---er, place.

                            123 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 70112

                          2. re: princsoreo

                            One caveat: charbroiled mussels are not on Drago's menu. They have always seemed happy to serve them though.

                      2. Place to get your Thanksgiving on would be the Poboy at Parkway, on the menu every year about this time...... What better way to say you've been to New Orleans than a Parkway Turkey Day Poboy?!?!?!

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: tbiven78

                          OMG! Turkey Day Po'boy? From Parkway? I AM THERE! Does it have like stuffing and gravy and stuff?

                          1. re: noradeirdre

                            Yeah, and cranberries too. I'm not positive but I think it's a frequent (possibly every Thursday?) special rather than a seasonal thing.

                            1. re: uptownlibrarian

                              I haven't been yet this year but I don't recall seeing it on the regular menu. That doesn't mean it's not there..... let me know when you head that way. I've got a hankering for an early Turkey Day!

                          2. re: tbiven78

                            While I'm not sure how appetizing this picture will look, it was absolutely delicious. I'm a big fella, but would still recommend splitting as they only make the large size. I also recommend if you have nothing else to do for the rest of the afternoon as I desperately need a nap. Enjoy!!!!

                          3. I love NOLA (visit frequently) and always head to the airport with my green Central Grocery bag full of muffalettas for home. Like you, I just never seem to have time to fit it in and it is a wonderful treat to look forward to as I leave the big easy.

                            1. Okay, after everyone's input (thank you all!) here is our final itinerary:

                              Thursday (Thanksgiving):
                              arrive around 4.
                              Dinner at Mr. B's

                              Beignets, or if we are hungrier, breakfast at The Old Coffee Pot, it sounds tasty and is nicely aligned with our meetup for a cemetery tour later.

                              Lunch: August, reservations made

                              Dinner: hop around CBD and FQ at happy hour and snacks:

                              Clearly we won't hit all these places, but here's what's on the maybe list. I'm thinking Luke and Drago's are a must, any others that should be? We are up for good snacks or good drink specials or a mix of the two!

                              Hermes Bar
                              Napoleon House
                              Chartres House
                              Lucy's Retired Surfer Bar
                              Cajun Mike's Pub n' Grub

                              Breakfast at Croissant D'Or, Cake Cafe, Stanley or Mother's depending on when we wake up, how far we feel like walking and how hungry we are.

                              Lunch: Bayona
                              Snack (if we aren't stuffed!): muffaletta, we are having a late dinner
                              Dinner: Cochon

                              Sunday: Brunch Atchafalaya
                              Dinner: Coop's
                              Has anyone been to Bacchanal on a Sunday? Is it worth a taxi trip?

                              Monday: Lunch at Herbsaint or Oceana Grill depending on the mood.
                              Leave around 4, sadly!

                              Any big misses? Thanks all!

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

                              930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                              Coffee Pot Restaurant
                              714 Saint Peter St, New Orleans, LA 70116

                              430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

                              701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

                              Chartres House Cafe
                              601 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                              Oceana Grill
                              739 Conti St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: princsoreo

                                Looks good, except definitely skip Oceana Grill for lunch on Monday and do Mena's Palace or Johnny's Poboys (both cash only, FYI) instead, if you want something casual. Herbsaint would be great though if you decide to go in that direction. And don't bother with Chartres House during your Friday bar crawl.

                                1. re: uptownlibrarian

                                  thanks for the tips! What's the must-order at Mena's?

                                  1. re: princsoreo

                                    My favorites are the fried catfish or shrimp plate, or the red beans with fried chicken or sausage. I also like their chili mac but you probably didn't come to New Orleans for chili mac.

                                    1. re: uptownlibrarian

                                      Mmmmm...Chili Mac. Now, who in their right mind wouldn't want that?!?

                              2. Also, I've got Meltdown Popsicles on my list for a sweet treat and Southern Candymakers and Aunt Sally's to check out for pralines. Any other places in CBD or FQ we should add to the list for this type of thing?

                                1. Gotta try Vincent's Uptown. Take a little streetcar ride down St. Charles & have some of the best Italian food there is. Then, stroll down a little further & hit Cooter Browns for great oysters & beer. The atmosphere at both places is great & a lot of fun.

                                  1. Great list! I wanna echo the Commander's for Monday lunch suggeston, although it doesn't strike me as a rolling-out-of-town sort of meal, more like mid-trip-and-I'm-just-hitting-my-stride sort of experience. Still, if you can work it in, it's probably the best deal in town.

                                    And if you're looking for an inexpensive Sunday brunch that just might knock your socks off consider Lil Dizzys in Treme. Very neighborhood and very, very good (BYOB, so bring a bottle of champagne for mimosas)

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