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Aug 23, 2011 08:33 AM

I'm coming "home"

As a surprise for our wedding anniversary, my husband is taking me back to New Orleans! I left in 2001, and haven't had a chance to go back since! We only have a weekend, but I'm so excited!

We'll be arriving around 9 pm Friday night (labor day weekend), and he booked a room at the French Quarter Marriott. The plan is to cab it from the airport and just take the streetcar or cabs anywhere we want to go. We leave late afternoon on Monday.

I've already made a reservation for Sunday brunch at Commander's Palace (requested the garden room of course).

I know I want to take him to Camelia Grill, either Pascal Manale's or Mr. B's for bbq shrimp, cafe du monde for beignets (we won't have a car, so we won't schlep all the way out to morning call). Croissant D'or for croissants. I'd love to go back to Jamila's. Moncef never approved of any of my dates, and I'd like him to meet my husband. I'm thinking of taking him for Monday lunch to FrostStop (is it even still around) for red beans and rice.

What am I missing? And what kind of touristy things would you suggest? He's never been to New Orleans and is not much of a drinker. We'll do the "walk down Bourbon" because he's never seen it, but I've just been dreaming about the restaurants and have given no thought to other activities! A voodoo / ghost tour might be fun. I love just wandering around, but I want him to love the city as much as I do, so I want to do this up "right". Audubon park and the French Market are high on my lists, but any other suggestions are much appreciated.

In other words, HELP? ;)

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

Pascal Manale's Restaurant
1838 Napoleon Ave, New Orleans, LA 70115

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  1. A Camellia Grill opened in the French Quarter recently, and it's exactly the same as the original, including many staff members. I prefer Mr. B's over Manale's, but both are the same as they've even been. Croissant D'or has been through several owners since 2001, and isn't as good as it used to be. Jamila's is the same, still excellent. FrostStop is still around, and if you're thinking of the one on Claiborne at Calhoun, it's recently undergone some management changes and is in the process of overhauling the menu, getting better quality ingredients, ect. There probably aren't many super visible improvements yet, but you might notice some small changes.

    What are you missing...You might enjoy visiting one of the newer bistros, like Coquette or Patois, or revisiting Lilette (which I think was open in 2001, so you may have been there previously). If you're into cocktails, try Cure, Bar Tonique, 12 Mile Limit, Bouligny Tavern, Sylvain...there have been many good cocktail places opened in the past few years. All these places have interesting nonalcoholic things to drink if your husband is really not a drinker, and great special cocktails that are nice for sipping if he'd enjoy just one or two really well made drinks. Oh, and you should walk down Frenchmen as well as Bourbon, to give him an idea of another side of the nightlife here.

    1. Just so you're aware, the Labor Day weekend is also when New Orleans hosts the Southern Decadence festival so the French Quarter will be very, very crowded. Estimates are that 125,000 visitors will be in town for this annual event. I hope you're comfortable around gay people because you'll run into a lot of them that weekend.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Big Easy

        LOL. Not such a big fan of crowds, so that will be fun, but no problems with Southern Decadence itself. :) Thanks for the warning though. I'm just looking forward to a weekend without the kids. I was really planning on spending more time uptown anyway.

      2. Get on the streetcar and take a long ride through the Garden District. We drive to NO and I make hubby go down St. Charles and weave through the Garden District even when we are heading to Metairie :-) I adore the old homes in that area. I NEVER get tired of seeing them.

        Mr. B's over Pascal's for me. But either are good, I just like B's better. And Galatoire's - you should go there. I quit going to the French Market a long time ago. I do like walking through the River Walk Mall and going out on one of the balconies, taking pictures of cruise ships, paddle boats and the bridge. I never buy a lot there but I just like to wander around, especially on weekdays early in the afternoon when no one is there :-)

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

        1. City Park has become gem since Katrina. The canal streetcar will drop you directly in front. Grab your favorite libation or a bottle of champagne and take a private carriage ride. Dinner at Coquette. Request the two top by the window upstairs.

          1. restaurant august

            nuff said