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Dragos and other suggestions needed

I have read many people more enjoy Dragos in Metairie - we are 6 people without a car - staying near FQ - where is Metairie in relation - and how would we get there? I am contemplating it for our first meal after landing in NOLA - so lunch or a bit later would be the timing.

This is our itinerary at this moment - I am sure it will have many revisions between now and our departure - in March!

Sat - Dragos for charbroiled oysters lunch
Sun - Commanders Palace for jazz brunch
Emerils for dinner
Mon - August for lunch prix fixe
Galatoires for dinner
Tues - pick up Mufalettas for plane ride home
Cafe Du Monde if we haven't hit it earlier in the trip

What do you think? Suggestions greatly appreciated!

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  1. While I eat teh Drago (Metairie) grilled oysters when the raw are questionable--and even sometimes when they are not---it is usually a matter of being "in the neighborhood". Usually I am heading west and waiting out traffic. But it is fun and you get to see the Wasteland of Fat City to the "east." which is a fun example of 1960's/1970's "development come a-cropper.

    Galatoire's is closed on MOnday.

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: hazelhurst

      omg - thank you so much for pointing that out - about Galatoire's being closed on Monday! geesh!

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

    2. Forgot to mention,..Met'ry is between the airport and The City so it is a cab ride out & back to Drago's

      1. It's a shame you don't have longer. All your choices are excellent. But Commander's and Emeril's in one day is a stretch. Go to CP for early brunch at 12 Noon and go to Emeril's for dinner around 8 PM. Galatoire's is closed on Monday. Go there for dinner Sunday night late at 8 PM and have dinner at Emeril's Monday night.

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

        1 Reply
        1. re: Littleman

          Don't go all the way to Metairie for Drago's. Yes, the oysters are quite good, but past that?...it's a one-trick pony.

        2. Don't go to Metairie just for Drago's on your very short trip. Try the chargrilled oysters at Felix's for a snack and see how you like them. Go to Metairie when your return and have more time.

          Felix's Oyster Bar @ 739 Iberville St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 522 - 4440. *

          1. Drago's has an in-town location close to the Quarter: 2 Poydras Street at the Riverside Hilton. The Metairie location is preferable, but as others have indicated in this thread, it probably ain't worth the schlep. Go enjoy the charbroiled oysters at 2 Poydras. With respect to sanglier's comment, the pony does have a second trick: charbroiled mussels. They are delicious, and they are off-menu, but Drago's should be happy to serve them to you.

            Drago's Seafood Restaurant
            2 Poydras St, New Orleans, LA 70130

            1. So - switching Galatoire's for Sat. night - now leaving a Monday dinner spot open - after our August lunch that afternoon - what are your suggestions? I think I am including high recs on our list - but also don't want to miss out on something! And should Dragos in Riverwalk get the lunch spot on Sat?

              13 Replies
              1. re: smilingal

                Whatever you do, DON'T substitute Felix's, Acme, or any other purveyor's version. They simply do not compare, and Drago's does them far better. Btw, you could always stop in Metairie on your way from the airport to the hotel in the quarter

                1. re: paz5559

                  I agree, Drago's in Metairie is a must stop for me from now on. Maybe two stops next year, those oysters are that good. The crab salad looked delicious and I will try it with my oysters next trip. The crab cake was good and very filling but after the oysters, it was just so rich I had a hard time finishing it. I could just eat the oysters and be very very happy. We always make a trip to the mall and Drago's is just a block or two away so that makes it extra easy for me to hit it more than once.

                  1. re: paz5559

                    I would do a lot - and go out of my way - for a good foodie experience - but what are six of us to do with all our luggage if we stop on the way from the airport to the hotel?

                    1. re: smilingal

                      Go to the hotel straight from the airport. If you want chargrilled oysters go to Hilton. If you are not extremely particular go to Felix's. Or just do without. Have a nice trip.

                      1. re: smilingal

                        I have no clue. Call Drago's and see if they can accommodate that. If not, just take a cab out there during your stay. Maybe rent a car for a day and take in some other sights?

                        I can't speak for any of the other similar oysters around town, I can only go by what I've heard and I will always go to Drago's, the Metairie location for mine.

                        1. re: texasredtop

                          what else besides Drago's is there to do/see in Metarie? How far of a car ride (time wise) is it from french quarter?

                          1. re: smilingal

                            If traffic is not too bad it is about 15 or 20 minutes. Except for Old Metairie, it is just suburban sprawl, really.

                            1. re: smilingal

                              We always wander through the mall. There's a Cafe du Monde in there, a huge Dillard's and lots of other stores. It's just something we do in New Orleans every year, it might not be anything you'd want to do. You can walk from the mall to Drago's. I think it's about 2 blocks from the northwest side of the mall. Also, we got to Drago's around 1:30 and they still had a big lunch crowd. We didn't have to wait but I imagine around noon they are smokin'. So take a cab to the mall in the morning, have some begniets and coffee, shop the mall and work up an appetite for lunch. The mall is pretty big, we easily spend 3 hours in there and I don't go in the Macy's, Pottery Barn, Penny's or some of the other big stores. I mainly go to the Dillard's and some of the other smaller shops.

                              Having just discovered these oysters a few weeks ago, I will not ever miss them again. They are that good.

                              1. re: smilingal

                                What to do in Metaire is a challenge but not a CH topic. There are a number of good restaurants in Metry but not much for a tourist that doesn't involve a knife and fork.

                                But the drive out of the CBD to Drago's can be worth it

                                Lafreniere Park and it's history, the Saints field, and a drive through West End and Lakeview and the remnants and reminders of Katrina. Add on driving through City Park and a stop at the art museum or sculpture garden.

                                Metry Cafe & Bar
                                601 Metairie Rd, Metairie, LA 70005

                                1. re: smilingal

                                  Metairie will be difficult for 6 people sans car to negotiate. My advice is to focus on the many attractions of the city proper. If, however, you cannot resist the siren call of Jefferson Parish, here are a few to-do's:

                                  1. Lakeside Mall, as described above by texasredtop. I sometimes shop there, and it is adequate but hardly extraordinary.

                                  2. Morning Call: "the other coffee stand," directly behind Lakeside, was the longtime competitor to Cafe du Monde in the French Market until moving to Metairie. Morning Call has preserved the original interior (see photo below) and is a true local haunt, so I advise stopping there and giving the mall version of CDM a pass.

                                  3. Longue Vue House and Gardens, on Bamboo Road in Old Metairie. Lovely gardens and a good collection of decorative and fine arts. Do not be misled into antebellum reveries by the Classical Revival style: Long Vue was built in the 1940's by a Jewish businessman. IMHO that makes it all the more authentically New Orleanian.

                                  4. Drago's is not the only worthy restaurant in Metairie. Check out Chateau du Lac, Vega Tapas Cafe and the Seafood Galley - all on Metairie Road and reasonably convenient to Longue Vue. If you are at Lakeside Mall/Morning Call, some good offbeat options nearby include Casablanca, a Kosher Moroccan restaurant on Severn Ave, and Frosty's, a delicious Vietnamese hole-in-the-wall on Cleary Ave just off Veterans Hwy.

                          2. re: smilingal

                            My two suggestions would be (1) have dinner the last night at Bayona. That way you walk the last night and don't take a cab. Everyone can head back to the hotel when ready for bed to pack and get prepared for the trip home the next day.

                            And (2) don't worry about Drago's chargrilled oysters. If you want them bad go to the Hilton location which is not as good as Metairie. Or take a cab to Metairie. Or just skip chargrilled oysters all together. There's not a dramatic difference in Metairie, Hilton or Felix's. At least not enough to take a cab to Metairie.

                            Bayona @ 430 Dauphine St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 525 - 4455.

                            1. re: Littleman

                              Littleman's advice could not be more wrong. Drago's chargrilled oysters are one of the great New Orleans dishes, and should not be missed. They are heads and shoulders better than the poor imitations made at other establishments.

                              The Metairie vs the Hilton discussion is fraught with tangential issues, best left aside here. Suffice it to say, both are spectacular, and the differences, while nuanced, are less important than that you make certain to enjoy the dish at one of the locations.

                              I, personally, would have a dozen or two as an app, or a snack, and then move on to somewhere else for the main course.

                              1. re: paz5559

                                I agree. My wife and I went to the Metairie location twice when we were in town for 4 days earlier this month. Had 2 dozen each time as an afternoon app, then enjoyed local bars Uptown prior to our dinners.