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Holiday visit with foodie teenagers???

s
sw2000 Dec 4, 2010 09:45 AM

We have decided on a rather spur-of-the-minute visit to NO over New Year's. My husband and I will be traveling with our two teenage kids, a 17-year-old foodie, and his slightly less obsessed but interested 15-year-old sister (who is mostly vegetarian but eats fish and says she's willing to try most anything during the trip).

We will have a car (we're driving from Austin) and are staying on St. Charles a few blocks uptown of Lee Circle. My husband and I have visited NO several times but the kids have never been.

We're looking for tips on places to eat that will give them, and us, a sense of the city and its food culture. So not just great food but specifically New Orleans food. We'd love suggestions for po boys, gumbo, great seafood, etc. And we'd love suggestions that won't break the bank since we're paying for four. We're less interested in the extravagant splurge than in more day-to-day local places. The kinds of places we might eat every week if we lived in NO rather than the place we'd go for a celebration.

That said, we will be in the city on NYE and would love thoughts about that, both food-wise (although admittedly it's short notice) and in terms of what else we might do to celebrate with two fairly worldly teenagers.

We will only be in NO for three days so we need to focus our eating efforts (although my son envisions us feasting non-stop!!). Some thoughts so far based on reading the board and talking to friends:

Parkway Bakery
Lil Dizzy's (Esplanade)
Casamento's
Cochon (and maybe Cochon Butcher)
Dante's Kitchen (maybe for NYE?)
Liuzza's by the Track
Mandina's
Galatoire's (maybe??)
of course, Central Bakery and Cafe Du Monde

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

-----
Liuzza's Restaurant & Bar
3636 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA 70119

Mandina's Restaurant
3800 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119

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

Cochon
930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

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

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

Dante's Kitchen
736 Dante Street, New Orleans, LA 70118

Cochon Butcher
930 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

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  1. TaTee Dec 4, 2010 10:35 AM

    You and your children might enjoy a trip to Jacque-imos http://www.jacquesimoscafe.com/
    uptown on Oak Street. It is a fun place and the food is good. It won't break the bank if you take them to lunch at Galatoire's, Antoine's (during the week 3 courses for $20.10), or Commander's Palace (during the week $0.25 martinis for the adults) http://www.commanderspalace.com/. I would suggest that you make your NYE reservations as soon as possible.

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

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

    1. l
      Littleman Dec 4, 2010 03:19 PM

      Go to Surrey's for breakfast. It's very NOLA and close to your hotel. Casamento's is in your neighborhood just W of Lee Circle not too far. Go for fresh seafood. I'm not a fan of Cochon and Dante's Kitchen. I don't think their food is NOLA creole cuisine. Good but not what I like. I go to NOLA for it's fresh seafood prepared in many ways. Galatoire's is my favorite. Don't miss it. Go for lunch. The children will enjoy it. Mandina's and Liuzza's should fit in your schedule very well. Central Grocery for muffaleta's and Johnyy's for po boys in the FQ. Go to Luke and Domenica from 3/6 for half price drinks and appetizers. Parkway's is best for po boys but Johnny's is good too. Bon Ton is near your hotel and a great creole NOLA restaurant. It's not open on weekends. Also go to the WWII DDay Museum. Your childrent will enjoy that. You can have lunch there at American Sector.

      Surrey's Cafe & Juice Bar @ 1418 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 524 - 3828.
      http://www.surreyscafeandjuicebar.com/

      Bon Ton Cafe @ 401 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 524 - 3386.
      http://www.thebontoncafe.com/

      American Sector @ 945 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 504 - 528 - 1940.
      http://www.nationalww2museum.org/amer...

      1. mrsfury Dec 4, 2010 03:56 PM

        Lil Dizzy's - yes indeed.
        Casamento's - eh ok.
        Cochon - pretty good
        Cochon Butcher - not to my taste when I can get better & cheaper elsewhere.
        Dante's - love the chicken (I never say that about restaurants)
        LBTT - love it but heard it was going downhill, good gumbo but not so good crab cakes.
        Mandina's - yes!
        Galatoire's - have not been but want to go and have the crabmeat under broiler dish (forgot what it's called).

        -----
        Mandina's Restaurant
        3800 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119

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

        Cochon
        930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

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

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

        Cochon Butcher
        930 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

        1. c
          CharlieH Dec 6, 2010 06:21 AM

          It would be just as easy to say, You and you're children might not enjoy at trip Jacque-Imos. If you are thinking of going do some research. As far as food culture goes, I like the Bon Ton, if you are looking for red fish butter and crabmeat, that's the spot. The only thing about sticking to older neighborhood type places that are New Orleans centric is that it gets somewhat repetitive, and can get heavy on the fried food. That said, K-Pauls should interest you. They do a deli style lunch that is light on the pocket book. You can always do Galatoire's as a mid-afternoon snack, get two orders of the gaute platter and bowl of of coffee brulo. Galatoire's is unique in that it stays reasonably busy all day. I would add one or more of our newer bistros. Most are in re purposed spaces and are decidedly "neighborhood restaurant's" who make their bread serving locals, they are the heart of our contemporary dining scene, not the places doing 100 covers a night. From a foodie perspective, its about the new as much as the old. I am talking about, Patois, Lillette, Croquette, Martinique, Cuvee, Petite Grocery, Dominique's, Herbsaint, Iris, and I am sure I have omitted more than one. Places like Mandina's are great, because they have been around forever, but their food shows it. Enjoy you're trip.

          -----
          Mandina's Restaurant
          3800 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119

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

          Cuvee Restaurant
          322 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

          Herbsaint
          701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

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

          1. mamachef Dec 6, 2010 06:34 AM

            I would head straight to Liuzza'a and Mandina's and save one splurge-y meal for Galatoire's. At the latter, it does help you reserve if you can invoke the name of a waiter; two that I can give you are Chris Carter and Tony Bentley. There's an off-the-menu deep fried eggplant app. there that comes w/ a mix-your-own sauce that your kids might enjoy (you too of course, but I was speaking of the mystique of going off-menu.)

            -----
            Mandina's Restaurant
            3800 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119

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

            8 Replies
            1. re: mamachef
              c
              CharlieH Dec 6, 2010 07:31 AM

              Galatoire's only accepts reservations for the upstairs area, downstairs is first come first serve as always. And there is no need to mention anyone's name, it is an extremely egalitarian restaurant, which is one of the reason's why it is so successful.

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

              1. re: CharlieH
                h
                hazelhurst Dec 6, 2010 10:18 AM

                I think Galatoire's would a be a perfect "splurge" place for New Year's & it is especially good for introducing people to the culture because it is a time machine. We think of it as "only in New Orleans" but there are similar Institutions in other cities. The fact that it is not "Cutting Edge" is irrelevant to its virtues. It is heavy on sauces and the Good Ole Way of cooking. No eye-popping reductions of olives to the Very Essence around here. It is the best encapsulation of the City's style.

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

                1. re: hazelhurst
                  c
                  CharlieH Dec 6, 2010 11:15 AM

                  I agree completely. If I suggested otherwise, didn't mean too. Curious, is there a recommended procedure for eating downstairs on New Year's Eve.

                  1. re: CharlieH
                    h
                    hazelhurst Dec 6, 2010 11:26 AM

                    Not s'far as I know but it has been a very long time since I passed a New Year's Eve in there..back in the 1970's and 80's I'd do it every few years but I usually have an Xmas bash so I hold off until after the year turns and things calm down a bit.

                    1. re: hazelhurst
                      s
                      sw2000 Dec 6, 2010 01:09 PM

                      Thanks so much for all the information and advice. I'm mulling over all the suggestions and plan to come back in a bit with a few follow-up questions.

                      But first I'm trying to figure out New Year's Eve.

                      I definitely want us to go to Galatoire's. I was thinking Thursday after we arrive, for a late lunch, but New Year's Eve is intriguing. I'm just afraid it would be a zoo. What's your opinion on that? Too much or worth waiting in what might be an extreme line?

                      Also, I know Galatoire's requires coats for men after 5 (or 5:30??). Would that include our 17-year-old son? And what kind of dress would be preferred for us girls? We're not that much of a dressing-up kind of family (Austin is not that dressy a town, in any case).

                      Thanks again. We're all getting excited -- and hungry!!

                      1. re: sw2000
                        h
                        hazelhurst Dec 6, 2010 01:21 PM

                        New Years' has not taken on the cachet of the Friday before MArdi Gras or the Christmas show...a couple of years ago I stuck my head in about 3:00 to visit some friends and it was busy but not maddening. Later at night it may have been wild but I suspect they try to run things as close to normal as they can. People sometimes linger at night to brag about "closing the restaurant" but this is simply rude and I suspect that on NYE such people would be prodded into moving along before it got too late. As to dress, I think 17 falls into the coat category...they have a large selection of jackets just inside the door. Huge line? Well, it is a Friday and that has become A Big Do..you might just call them 504-525-2021 and ask what last year's NYE was like and if they think the Friday date will affect it. The time around teh holidays has, for me, been hit-and-miss as to crowded. Sometimes people are celebrating int here and other times they are shopping or recovering. December 27 or 28 is usually pretty reasonable in my experience. But anytime is a good time to go there. Ladies attire is always described as "something appropriate" and excluded jeans. Pants suits are frowned on.

                        1. re: sw2000
                          c
                          CharlieH Dec 6, 2010 02:07 PM

                          FYI, you are going to want to dress up for New Years Eve where ever you go, not just Galatoire's.

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

                          1. re: CharlieH
                            h
                            hazelhurst Dec 7, 2010 04:52 AM

                            Good point

              2. erikschwarz Dec 6, 2010 01:32 PM

                You seem set on Galatoire's - a choice I firmly endorse. There are older restaurants but none more quintessentially New Orleanian. Let me focus on poor boys, which is first on your list of "specifically New Orleans food." You are quite right about poor boys, though gumbo, the second listed entry, is not particular to the city. Parkway, which tops your roster of restaurants, is a fave of many locals. For oyster poor boys, I myself prefer Domilise's, and for shrimp, Guy's. Both are uptown and reasonably convenient to your hotel. At the bottom of your roster is Central Bakery: I think you mean Central Grocery, across from the French Market. They originated the muffuletta, a sandwich just as specifically New Orleanian as the poor boy. Your daughter can get a vegetarian version. Poor boys and muffulettas are filling but not budget-busting: the latter are quite large and can be shared. Both sandwiches have an interesting past (the poor boy ties in to the labor movement and the muffuletta to immigration) that might engage your kids in ingesting some history!

                -----
                Domilise's Sandwich Shop & Bar
                5240 Annunciation St, New Orleans, LA 70115

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

                1. s
                  sw2000 Dec 10, 2010 07:16 AM

                  Thanks everyone for all the wonderful information and suggestions.

                  A couple of additional questions:

                  I definitely want to take the family to Galatoire's. I'm wondering about a couple of things.

                  First, we're not a dressy family. That said, we're also not going to go out to a nice dinner in faded t-shirts and jeans and sneakers. We just don't do suits or even jackets and dresses much at all, if ever. We clean up well, I think, but I'm afraid of either feeling out of place at Galatoire's or of offending those who are more spiffed up. I want to respect the place and the situation but I don't want to feel ill at ease because we're not dressed appropriately.

                  So I'm thinking we should skip dinner and stick to lunch. The question is: Thursday the 30th late-ish, probably 2 or 3 p.m. or Saturday the 1st, also midday sometime?

                  Any thoughts?

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: sw2000
                    h
                    hazelhurst Dec 10, 2010 07:21 AM

                    Sunday you are more likely to be up against the after-church gang...you can imagine what that is like. Thursday is a better bet but many people feelout-of-place even in a clean button-down shirt and khakis.

                    1. re: hazelhurst
                      s
                      sw2000 Dec 10, 2010 07:30 AM

                      It would be Saturday rather than Sunday, if that makes a difference.

                      So would you say the dress issue is more about us being able to feel okay about not being as dressed up as others than it is about somehow disrespecting the place? I don't want to do that.

                      One of the things my kids always ask when we're talking about trying some new restaurant is: "Is it a real place?" They mean, not a chain, not something that could be anywhere. When they ask that question I always think I must have done something right raising them and Galatoire's sounds, from your and others descriptions, like the most real place possible. And so I want them -- and me -- to experience it.

                      Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions.

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

                      1. re: sw2000
                        h
                        hazelhurst Dec 10, 2010 08:19 AM

                        Saturday is going to be more relaxed...and you'd be fine in the "neat look" described above but you are likely to see men in suits..if I am in there I will be in a suit for sure, no matter the time of day. I remember some years ago, on a quiet weekday afternoon, a man who was born in CUba and visiting from (of course) FLorida came in with his family. He had that Cuban guayabera on and dark trousers, wife was in a sun-dress sort of thing, kids were neat. He was delighted to find a restaurant open at 2:30. He ordered a cup of coffee immediately. IT was so to his likeing that he expressed surprise and told the waiter that he wanted "respresentative food" of the restaurant. He made an immediate friend of the waiter and those of us around him. He "got it" right away and later on told me he wished he'd found the place on his first day--he was leaving the next evening and said he'd be back for lunch before that. He was comfortable as attired but said he would bring a jacket tomorrow.

                        I do hear waiters complain occasionally about someone's clothing...they, after all, have to bother with tuxedos (some of which are delightfully ill-fitting..we had a busboy once who wore his black tie around his neck with the collar below. It was lotsa fun.)

                        So, you'll be OK on Saturday...I'd go middle of the afternoon when it probably will be kinda quiet and then you can see how the joint operates.

                        1. re: hazelhurst
                          s
                          sw2000 Dec 10, 2010 11:32 AM

                          Thanks so very much. Again.

                          Your description of what we might find on Saturday sounds exactly perfect. I'll pass along your thoughts about jackets to my husband (who can occasionally be cajoled into wearing such and looks smashing when he does). My son recently took it upon himself to acquire a bow tie and learn to tie it for a school event (clip-ons just wouldn't cut it, he told me) so maybe he'll wear that and set the tone for the rest of us!

                          Thanks again. If you see a bunch of curly haired Texans on the first day of 2011 looking a bit underdressed but loving every bite of our food and soaking up the atmosphere, say hi, won't you?

                          1. re: sw2000
                            h
                            hazelhurst Dec 10, 2010 11:41 AM

                            I'd be delighted to but I think I will be in Lake Charles. Your bow-tie tying son gives us all hope..he's doin' the Lord's work. Bill Hunt will be pleased.

                            1. re: hazelhurst
                              Suzy Wong Dec 11, 2010 05:35 AM

                              hazelhurst, I think you talk up Galatoire's more than Brobson Lutz, and that's saying something! My son is now 12, and couldn't tie his shoes for years but has been able to do a tie himself since he was 5. He loves ties. HA

                  2. s
                    shanefink Dec 10, 2010 04:15 PM

                    Jacques Imos was mentioned, but can get pricey for 4. Try their lunch spot on Jefferson Hwy called Crabbby Jack's. It's the perfect place for a bit of foodie-ness, New Orleans cultcha and good prices. You can get po boys there, but I recommend the stuffed mirliton. One thing about all the places you mention, other than maybe Cochon, they aren't very cutting edge. So if your son is looking to be blown away, I don't think you are choosing the right places. Galatoire's is fun, but the food's been the same for 100 years. Maybe for the splurge meal, you should try Coquette, Brigsten's or Dick and Jenny's. They won't break the bank, but you are more likely to get dishes that will knock your socks off.

                    -----
                    Cochon
                    930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

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

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