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New Orleans with 10 foodies, HELP!

Hello! I'm traveling to New Orleans this weekend with 10 of my friends. We're all grad students, and all foodies, so we are looking for some great food without breaking the bank. I have a few gaps in my itinerary and I'm hoping for a few suggestions...

Here's our plan so far:

THRUSDAY
Arrive late at night, check out Bourbon St.

FRIDAY
Breakfast - Cafe du Monde
Lunch - Central Grocery
**Dinner - ??
Drinks - dba, frenchman st.

SATURDAY
Brunch - EAT
Happy hour - The Bulldog
**Dinner - crawfish boil from Big Fisherman (but where to eat??)
**Drinks - ??

So, my questions are:
1. Where is a fun place that we get dinner with 10 people on Friday?
2. When picking up a crawfish boil from Big Fisherman in the garden district, where can you take them to eat? (and maybe have a beer or two?)
3. After an afternoon and dinner around the Garden District, where is a fun place to listen to music and have a few drinks?

Thanks!!

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    1. It has been said recently that the Bulldog no longer allows crawfish in from Big Fisherman, but I don't have any firsthand experience. Someone else should be able to confirm.

      1. re: uptownlibrarian

        It was that very point that made me hesitate to say Bulldog. I was thinking that it would be best to pick up some beer and just go to the bandstand in Audubon Park. Nice time of year for it...

        1. re: hazelhurst

          That's what I'd do too, but if they don't have a car it might be complicated. Big Fisherman does sell beer, or there's the Breaux Mart right next door.

          1. re: uptownlibrarian

            Yeah, no shortage of beer outlets. I did not think about the vehicle issue. Maybe the Magazine Street bus driver would let them do it? I've seen worse on NOPSI (OK, so its not NOPSI anymore but old habits, you know...)

    2. I think because I put a link in my reply it got deleted so I'll repost without...

      You cab eat Big fisherman crawfish at the Bulldog so I would combine your happy hour with your crawfish boil.

      Instead of Central Grocery I would try Verti Marte, Central is a bit touristy and Verti is where locals and Brad Pitt go.

      Try Benachin for dinner Friday nite - small African place that's byob but I would call ahead to see if they can accomodate a party of 10.

      For drinks in the Garden District, try Parasols, Tipitinas or Le Bon Temps Roule.

      Good luck and have fun!

      -----
      Tipitina's
      501 Napoleon Ave, New Orleans, LA 70115

      Verti Marte
      1201 Royal St, New Orleans, LA

      2 Replies
      1. re: Gastro Travels

        Well then, if Brad goes there it must be good. Verti Marte gets it's share of tourists, you went there, right? FWIW, I'm local, don't go to Veri Marte, but do pick up a muff from CG to bring home whenever I'm in the quarter.

        Check Lucy's. I think they are boiling crawfish for Fri. happy hour. Cheapest drinks in town, Ms Mae's. Open 24/7, corner Magazine and Napoleon. $2 well drinks.

        -----
        Verti Marte
        1201 Royal St, New Orleans, LA

        1. re: Gastro Travels

          wanted to update/correct my post...

          the Bulldog NO LONGER allows customers to bring in outside food/drink such as crawfish from the Big Fisherman. The bartender explained that the owners believe that it's causing them to lose sales from their menu but that the bartenders there DO NOT agree with this. I agree with the bartenders - people who feel like a burger will order one - people who want crawfish will buy BEER. People like myself who visit the Bulldog ONLY to drink their beer while eating crawfish will GO SOMEWHERE ELSE.

          Sorry for the rant...

        2. Consider that Big Fisherman closes at 6 pm. If you get them at 6, by the time you get somewhere to eat them, it might be getting dark. Audubon Park has no lit spaces, as far as I know. It's getting dark pretty late, but you should probably have transportation and everything lined up in order to use natural light. I would get them fairly early, around 530 or so, and head to The Fly behind the zoo. A cab driver will know where that is. You should probably pick up some bug spray, if you're going to eat outside. The mosquitos were pretty bad last night.

          1. Try Herbsaint or Couchon for dinner on Friday, both are fit for foodies with an energetic atmosphere

            -----
            Herbsaint
            701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

            1. The last time I tried to get crawfish from Big Fisherman, I went at 5 p.m. on a Saturday and they were sold out for the day. Definitely go early or call ahead to make sure you're not wasting your time going all the way there for nothing!

              1 Reply
              1. re: hamsandwich

                Or, pick some up from KJean's on Carrollton and eat them in City Park.