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Holiday visit with foodie teenagers???

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.

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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. 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. 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. 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).

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        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. 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.

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          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. 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.)

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            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

              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.

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

              1. re: CharlieH

                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.

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

                1. re: hazelhurst

                  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

                    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

                      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

                        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

                          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