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Eating my way through New Orleans: A Newbie Guide for Visitors

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smellymay Apr 30, 2011 04:31 PM

Not sure where to post this, but I just wanted to thank New Orleans (and chowhound recommendations) for a great food journey in the city. Despite only being in town for three days, myself and my partner are pretty proud of what we managed to hit - I hope it might help visitors like me, and convince them that yes, they CAN eat (almost) everything they want in only three and a half days!

Tuesday - Prix Fixe lunch at August - outstanding. Actually, the amuse bouche might have been my favourite, but then it was a custard with both truffles and caviar, so it probably blew my rube palate. I had the beat and ricotta salad for a starter, the brandade de morue for a main, and the pannacotta for the desert (the panna cotta itself was sublime, the strawberry sauce that accompanied it a tad sweet).
That evening, we weren't too hungry, and had just coffee and beignets at Cafe du Monde. Both outstanding and cheap, but the place is dingy and people-watching is limited to tourists and carriages. Get your things to go and watch the river instead.

Wednesday: our B&B was in the faubourg Marigny, and we started with breakfast at Cake Bakery (http://www.nolacakes.com/), sharing a plate of eggs, boudin, grits, and biscuit. We also had their homemade bagels there for breakfast the next morning, which were quite nice. Ask for the homemade jam!
Lunch was main courses at Bayona (www.bayona.com) - very reasonably priced, wonderful food. Disappointed that we couldn't sit in the courtyard owing to the threat of rain. My partner had the mixed grill ($15), I had the duck "PB&J" sandwich ($12), both excellent, though my sandwich became a little too much by the end.

Thursday: Breakfast at Cake Bakery again, great start to the morning. Lunch was a muffelatta sandwich from Central Grocery - the line took about 15 minutes, but who would have thought a simple sandwich could (a) live up to such hype, and (b) give such joy? Get the full thing and share it on the riverbank.
Dinner was at Boucherie (www.boucherie-nola.com) - they were extremely accommodating to us as walk-ins (we got there right when it opened, as we had called ahead and knew they were full), and we got to eat on the porch - which was perfect as the day was not too warm. I was introduced to the Sazerac, which was outstanding (though it was my first!), and we had their appetizer specials (a flaming concoction of cheese and seasonal vegetables for one, a tuna tartare for the other), entrees were the pulled pork cake (a tad dry, though considerably moistened with their housemade spicy vinegar) and applewood smoked scallops (perfectly cooked, and divine with the pickled vegetables that accompanied them), followed by the bacon brownie and Krispy Kreme bread pudding. I couldn't have been happier with this dinner, and for all the tourists, the St.Charles streetcar will take you right from the French Quarter to its front door, making for an enjoyable (if long!) trip.

Friday: Breakfast at Elizabeth's in Bywater (www.elizabeths-restaurant.com), where I was introduced to fried chicken livers and pepper jelly (delicious but HUGE - you may want to share this breakfast order), fluffy biscuits, and praline bacon (amazingly, not as filling as the chicken livers, and super tasty - it was fun to compare it to the bacon brownie). This is a cute place that was worth it for us, since we were in the Marigny already. If coming here is the only way you get to leave the French Quarter and see Marigny/Bywater, definitely do it.
If you can believe it, we then forced ourselves to eat another huge meal, since we were leaving that evening, and had lunch at Cochon (http://www.cochonrestaurant.com). No reservations again, but seated immediately, with wonderful service - this time we were three, and enjoyed cocktails (Boucherie's were better!), as well as Boudin balls (one of the best things we ate on the trip), crawfish pie (which I would not order again - the pastry was too heavy), and alligator (served with mint, which was super enjoyable) for starters, followed by ribs with watermelon pickle, catfish courtbouillon (very tasty, but a bit muddled), pork loin with peas and herbs (delicious and light tasting), and chicken and deviled egg gumbo (the egg really added a creaminess that was extremely pleasant). As you might imagine, we had no room for dessert. Thankfully, there was a long (and rushed) walk to the Marigny before heading to the airport.

So, I hope this helps other visitors navigate and eat their way through New Orleans. Boucherie is a must, as is August. Cochon was good but not outstanding (though I suspect we were simply burned out by that point), Elizabeth's is a lovely way to see more of the city, and please don't skip the muffaletta at Central Grocery.

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Cochon
930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

Bayona
430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

Boucherie
8115 Jeannette St, New Orleans, LA 70118

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    SusanB RE: smellymay Apr 30, 2011 09:31 PM

    I posted the other day about our trip - we had 4 days and also managed to go to Boucherie, Cochon and Bayona - all very good :) Also the muffaletta at Central Grocery, although the lineup was much smaller when we were there. If you go back sometime, I'd recommend Coquette - that was our 4th reservation. Too much choice and too little time!

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    Cochon
    930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

    Bayona
    430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

    Boucherie
    8115 Jeannette St, New Orleans, LA 70118

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