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New Orleans specialties near Intercontinental (St. Charles & Poydras)

  • joshua Aug 29, 2011 07:49 PM
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I'll be down your way for a conference Sept 14-18, staying at the Intercontinental at 444 St Charles Ave, at Poydras.

I want to eat food that I can only get in New Orleans. I can get good Italian, sushi, etc. out here - I'm looking for your specialties. In general, I like food that is challenging, exciting, and unusual, though I am also mindful that food that is not unusual to someone who lives in NO may be brand new to a west coaster like me. I've not been to New Orleans since 1989, and I remember the music and a po boy, but nothing else.

I'll be alone (unless one of you hounds wants to join me), and I won't have a car.

I'll have a jacket with me, and I can wear it if I need to. As a general rule, I prefer not to, but for the right place, I'll make the sacrifice!

I'd like a good mix of fancy mindblowing and cheap down-home places.

Thanks for your help!

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  1. OK, and only a couple blocks' walk, here are some of my recs.:

    Old-line NOLA - Galatoire's in the FQ (several blocks, but easy walk)
    NOLA seafood - G W Fins in the FQ (again, several easy blocks, but local seafood, done with local recipes).
    Oyster bar - Felix's, in the FQ, though some will recommend ACME Oyster House (just a few easy blocks)
    New wave NOLA, and closer to you - New Orleans Grille, Windsor Court Hotel - high-end, and closer to you.
    Interesting combo - MiLa, a combo of Mississippi & Louisiana cuisine, (close by)
    Interesting take on NOLA cuisine - Emeril's (close by)
    Slight counter-point to above - Emeril's NOLA - (short walk to FQ, and different enough to make it worth while)
    Not quite "old school," but nearly so - K-Paul's (short walk to FQ)

    Those are starters, and by no means a full list of possibilities. With but a streetcar ride to River Bend, you have Brigtsen's and Dante's.

    Also, that is not even close to covering all "great food" within a few miles of you - just trying to keep it focused on NOLA cuisine - old and new.

    Enjoy,

    Hunt

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

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

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

    Windsor Court Hotel
    300 Gravier Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

    3 Replies
    1. re: Bill Hunt

      I will be in NoLA in a few weeks and these recs are what I was looking for as well. Between Emeril's and NOLA, what is the difference and what do you like at NOLA (I have a res)? I also have noticed that many restaurants are closed Sundays, particularly out in the Garden District. I will be at W near the river and at the Ritz. How is restaurant at latter. Also, where to drink that is not a cliche?

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

      1. re: nickdanger

        At NOLA, I had the Crab Cakes, the Fried Green Tomatoes Salad, and the Apple Cider Pork Shank. Wife had the BBQ Shrimp, the Caesar, and the Shrimp & Grits. All were quite good. She liked Emeril's BBQ Shrimp better than most. Jury is still out (after all this time) whether Ralph's on the Park has better Shrimp & Grits. Maybe in a year, or two, she will be able to decide. Personally, I give a slight nod to Ralph's, but wife is torn, and after all, she IS the New Orleans Native - I am from Mississippi, so what do I know?

        Enjoy,

        Hunt

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

        1. re: nickdanger

          Drinking: Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone, Bar Tonique, Swizzle Stick Bar at the Cafe Adelaide (which is right across the street from your hotel.)

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          Cafe Adelaide
          300 Poydras St, New Orleans, LA 70130

          Tonique
          820 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116

      2. I think Bon Ton Cafe for lunch (very close by) is a uniquely New Orleans experience.

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        Bon Ton Cafe
        401 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

        1 Reply
        1. re: ClevelandRandy

          Two choices very close would be Bon Ton and, across the street from you, Luke. Next would be MiLa and Dominica, except the latter is Italian, but possibly different enough from what you are used to so that it may be enticing for lunch.

          -----
          Bon Ton Cafe
          401 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

        2. Some other recommendations:

          Dragos, at Hilton where Poydras meets the river. They serve char grilled oysters that are arguably best in the city. I cannot recommend anything else there. Acme has a similar product, but not as good.

          Lil Dizzy's, in the Whitney Hotel at Poydras and Camp. Very good New Orleans down home cuisine, also quite reasonable. They also have good breakfasts.

          Cochon, at Tchoupitoulas and Andrew Higgins. It is about the same as a walk to Galatoire's. Cochon is like nouveau Southern, but very creative and the ingredients are very South Louisiana.

          -----
          Lil Dizzy's Cafe
          1500 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116

          Cochon
          930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

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

          1 Reply
          1. re: sirvelvet

            "Dragos, at Hilton where Poydras meets the river. They serve char grilled oysters that are arguably best in the city." Here, I cannot agree, but then have to admit that I am not an expert on Char-grilled Oysters. Maybe the OP would like to see this thread for more background, and a review: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/796771

            Hunt

          2. I second Bon Ton. I would also suggest Herbsaint - right across Poydras on St. Charles.

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

            Bon Ton Cafe
            401 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

            1. Thanks for the recommendations. Any thoughts about breakfast/brunch?

              7 Replies
              1. re: joshua

                Around the corner from you about 3 blocks away at 814 Gravier is the Store. I've passed it many times and wanted to stop in but always too much in a hurry. It gets some good reviews on different sites.

                1. re: lglenn5858

                  The Store is a great lunch spot. We go there often.

                2. re: joshua

                  Luke for breakfast....right across the street.

                  1. re: BayouTeche

                    I'll second Luke for breakfast, even though I'm not usually a John Besh fan. If I knew how to link to my own old posts, I'd give you a great review.

                    I also love anything Wayne Bacquet does, so high marks for Lil' Dizzy's.

                  2. re: joshua

                    Try Commanders for brunch. Take the streetcar uptown and get off at Wahington Ave. Walk a couple blocks toward the river. You'll run right into the huge turquoise mansion. Walk just a couple blockes further and you will be on Magazine. Lots of rest. and shops. Ride the streetcar further uptown to the riverbend. More restaurants. Brigtsen'sis here and will give you a good sampling of local flavor (especially if you have an all app meal).

                    Casamentos has terrific oyster loaves. Take streetcar to Napoleon, walk toward the river to Magazine. It is a couple doors down to your L. If you walk a few blocks down to the R, you can have breakfast at La Boulangerie (bright blue awning), a lovely French bakery.

                    The Canal Streetcar will take you to City Park which is home to NOMA, a scupture and botanical garden. This line will enable you to dine at Mandinas, Parkway Bakery or grab a gelato at Brocato.

                    http://www.nomenu.com/joomla1/. for a list of restaurants

                    -----
                    La Boulangerie
                    4526 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

                    Casamento's Restaurant
                    4330 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

                    1. re: JazzyB

                      Oh, NO! You've opened up a whole new can of worms with the streetcar recommendations. Reminds me of a thread that destroyed all hope of my doing anything besides eating in Los Angeles: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/436632

                      Now I'm going to have to create a "walking itinerary" and a "streetcar itinerary."

                      Oh, I'm getting excited about this trip!

                      1. re: joshua

                        Definitely agree on the Bon Ton Cafe, Herbsaint and Dragos. All are easy walking distance and delicious!!!

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

                        Bon Ton Cafe
                        401 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                  3. I'd also endorse The Bon Ton Cafe. It's most definitely a New Orleans experience. They are only open week days though (luncn and dinner) so you'd want to hit them early in your trip.

                    -----
                    Bon Ton Cafe
                    401 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130