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Our Itinerary for 1st weekend of JazzFest

I, like many others currently reading/posting on these forums, will be visiting NOLA for the first time to attend JazzFest and being a food blogger and such I've devoted a lot of time and effort into researching our itinerary. Here's what I have so far, you're more than welcome to comment/criticize. Actually, I would encourage it. Thank you!

Thursday (flight arrives midday, staying in CBD)

7pm Dinner at August

Friday

11:30 Lunch at Mr B's
12:30 Plantation Tour
8pm Dinner at either Emeril's or Brigtsen's (I'm honestly not sure if we'll feel like travelling all the way out to Brigtsen's after a 4 hour plantation tour)

Saturday

Attending JazzFest and will most certainly gorge oursevles on all of the Fest eats. No meals planned. Geeking out about seeing Bon Jovi.

Sunday

Jazz Brunch at Commander's Palace
(Not really sure how to spend the non-food portion of this day, it being our last full day in NOLA. Might check out some bars...)
Dinner will probably be po boys at Parkway (is it worth the taxi ride all the way out there or is there an easier way to get out there late on a Sunday?)
Dessert at Brocato Angelo if we have the stomach space for it.

Monday

Early breakfast at Stanley (might skip this depending on how hungry we are)
Lunch at Emeril's (if we went to Brigtsen's Friday) or Cochon/Cochon Butcher.
Flight departure late afternoon.

Soo... what do you think?

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

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

Brigtsen's Restaurant
723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118

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  1. Highly, highly recommend Brigtsen's over Emeril's.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Blumie

      The funny thing is, the dish I was most looking forward to trying at Emeril's was the Abita braised bacon "salad" and that appears to no longer be on the menu. Can anyone confirm/deny this?

      That banana creme pie, though... It stole my heart when I first laid my eyes upon it.

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

      1. re: Blumie

        2nd that emotion! Cannot imagine a trip to NO without a visit to Brigtsen's.

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        Brigtsen's Restaurant
        723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118

      2. Brigtsen's is not "all the way out there". About 10 min. ride from FQ. You will need to make resv. soon, where ever you plan to dine. Normally you could take the Canal streetcar, get off at Orleans, then walk a few blocks to Parkway. This might be a problem (depending on the time) since many take the streetcar (getting off at City Park) then walk to JF. Skip Stanley and make it an early lunch at Emeril's. There will be traffic getting to MSY late afternoon.

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

        Brigtsen's Restaurant
        723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118

        2 Replies
        1. re: JazzyB

          Thanks for the tips/suggestions. All of these reservations have already been made.

          1. re: JazzyB

            Jazzy...........Do you get off Canal steetcar at Orleans to get to Parkway. I thought you got off at Jefferson Parkway and walked 4 blocks to PB. Orleans is on the E side of PB.

          2. No dinner Saturday, Sunday dinner is Parkway? No Sunday dinner. Are you fasting? One day at the fest? Why are you coming.

            11 Replies
            1. re: CharlieH

              Yea, you right, lol. Still, I'd hate to be a visitor doing a whole day at JF, then needing to clean up and fit in a fine dining meal. About all we manage is a walk across the street to Lolas. One day at JF, still lol.

              1. re: JazzyB

                We make 9pm dinner reservations on JazzFest nights. Gives us time to get home, clean up, rest for five minues, then head back out!

                1. re: Blumie

                  I can dine out here anytime. After a day in the blazing sun, with too much to eat and too many cocktails, I do the close and easy thing...walk over to Lola's or grab a pizza at Venezia, then head home and do it all over again the next day.

                  1. re: JazzyB

                    What are you doing at night? Sleeping? The best part of Fest is going to the clubs at night!

              2. re: CharlieH

                No dinner Saturday should be obvious. Have you been to JF? I'm going there to eat, the music is just bonus.

                How is a gargantuan po boy and ice cream not considered dinner on Sunday?

                I'm only going to JF one day because I've never been to the city and want to spend the other days exploring what NOLA has to offer. I'd actually prefer to visit the city on a non-jazz fest weekend, but the trip is with a big group my mother is organizing.

                1. re: sixteenbiticon

                  I say go to dick and Jenny's one night since it's quirky and casual. I'm a huge fan of the tasso savory cheese cake. It's one of my favorite dishes in new orleans. I too would go to brightsens.

                  1. re: starfruit

                    It's been trying to find a decent place to go Sunday. I wanted to check out Dick & Jenny's as well, but it won't be open.

                    Thank you to everyone who've given their support in recommending Brigtsen's. We're definitely going there on Friday night. Aside from the tasting menu at August, it's probably the meal I am most looking forward to!

                    As for what we plan on doing after JF, I just didn't want to set anything in stone since I have no idea how we'll be feeling after spending all day at the Fest. If we're still in the mood to go out I think I'd like to hit up Bar Uncommon since it's walking distance from our hotel, and I've read nothing but great things about Chris McMillian.

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                    Brigtsen's Restaurant
                    723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118

                    Dick & Jenny's
                    4501 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70115

                    1. re: sixteenbiticon

                      re: Brigsten's, rkmla posted a review (3/5/11) http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/761591

                      I prefer Emeril's. They consistently deliver excellent food and service. Each entree is a well composed plate, accompanied by sides chosen to complement. Brigsten's tends to use the same mashed potatoes/sauteed veggies on most plates. Should you choose Emeril's, first timers should not miss the "Emeril's Originals." They are dishes that are simply to good to take off the menu.

                      FWIW, Emeril's is lively and fun. I find Brigsten's somewhat depressing.

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

                      1. re: JazzyB

                        Chances are we'll be doing Emeril's for lunch Monday before we leave. I must have that Banana Creme Pie... http://www.flickr.com/photos/sazerac/...

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

                        1. re: sixteenbiticon

                          Portions at Emeril's are huge. There have been times when we had to order the banana cream pie "to go" b/c we were too full for dessert. Darian's chicken and waffles are one of my favorites on the lunch menu.

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

                        2. re: JazzyB

                          I so prefer Brigtsen's over Emeril's. In addition to much preferring the food at Brigtsen's, I find Emeril's to be a too large, too polished, too un-New Orleans kinda place, while Brigtsen's is, IMHO, as local as one can get; I love the atmosphere there.

                          Mind you, I won't turn down a meal at Emeril's -- I like it just fine -- but given the choice I'd go to Brigtsen's every time.

                          Of course there is no right answer here. The differences between JazzyB and me are, I believe, a function of how very different these two restaurants are, and we clearly have different desires in what we're looking for in a restaurant. If the OP can go to both, that would be great!

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

                          Brigtsen's Restaurant
                          723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118

                2. Your itinerary sounds an awful lot like mine, also for the 1st week at Jazz Fest, down to the 7 pm reservations on Thursday at August.

                  I went to Brightsen's last time I was in town so will be doing Emeril's this time. I'm not sure which I would recommend over the other. My overall best meal was at Brightsen's, but sometimes I think the kitchen gets a little overwhelmed which can be reflected in the food. Emeril's has always been very consistent. But of course at Brightsen's, you can always walk over to Maple Leaf after.

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

                  1. is this your first time to new orleans? or your first time to jazz fest? i am a little confused. i wonder because why are you using one of only three days to go on a plantation tour? is it something everyone has always wanted to do?

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: califkatie

                      I said in my original post that it was my first time visiting New Orleans. The plantation tour seemed like an interesting thing to do, I don't really have any specific reason other than wanting to experience some of the New Orlean culture...

                      1. re: sixteenbiticon

                        You'll experience considerably more culture at JF, a night on Frenchmen ,or an afternoon on Magazine St. IMO, plantation tours are for when you have too much time on your hands. Nothing to do, go to City Park http://neworleanscitypark.com/. I'm betting you'll go back for another day of JF. Be sure to bring a chair, sunscreen, comfortable shoes/flip flops and a hat.

                        Be sure to ride the streetcar up St. Charles.

                        A private carriage ride through the quarter (bring your favorite libation, driver will stop for refills) is also enjoyable.

                        1. re: JazzyB

                          based on my last jazz fest experience, also bring an umbrella, rain hat, poncho, and shoes you could wear "river rafting".

                          1. re: JazzyB

                            Plantation tours can be interesting and I know out-of-towners that take a plantaion tour and do Frenchmen Street. Jazz Fest time is also a good time to take a swamp tour. So many things are in bloom, the critters are coming out, and you don't get baked and bolied like an August tour.

                            Other than watching people, the sculpture garden ans City Park is the best free show in town, and there are some good restaurants in the area. You can catch the sculpture garden, lunch on Esplanade, and hit JF all withing a few blocks.

                            1. re: collardman

                              You are quite right although as Jazzy suggests it is a question of profitability of time spent. Your swamp tour idea is an excellent suggestion and, speaking (foodwise) as one who has been the subject of many an insect banquet, I remark that one should be sure to (as Jazzy recommends) bring SUNSCREEN, preferably the kind with bug repellent in it. I was at the Lao New Year show last week and while the bugs were not bad, it was getting pretty damn hot out there so I had my SPF 100 and felt might righteous about defeating Ol' Sol while chowing on grilled pork and other Lao goodies.