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3 Specific Questions from DC Chowhound

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  • Pappy Oct 11, 2011 07:07 AM

My wife, son and I are heading down next month for our first trip to New Orleans. I have made almost all of my reservations for lunch and dinner each day, including Cochon, Commander's, August, Antoine's and NOLA.

First question: We arrive about 12 Noon on Saturday. We are staying at the Ritz Carlton. Where should we go (walking) for a casual Po' Boy and a beer? I want a place where I can sit down and have waiter service.

Second question: Our last night (Monday) I reserved at NOLA. Should I change this to Emeril's?

Third question: Other than 3 meals a day, ...and staying pretty much within the city, what are your 2 or 3 favorite tourist spots to visit? Especially as I will have a 10 year old boy with me. (Btw, his favorite food is raw oysters on the half shell!) Any great food/cooking related shops or markets we shouldn't miss?

930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

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

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  1. 1) Casual Po'Boy and a beer are typically not synonymous with waiter service. Most places you order at the counter, and when your po-boy is ready you pick it up and if the place has tables then eat it there. Walking distance, Johnny's comes to mind - they may serve po-boy's at Stanley and Mena's Palace and there is table service at both places, but not sure of the quality compared to typical po-boy shops.




    2) I would change the reservation to Emeril's - its more expensive than NOLA but worth it

    3) This is still not peak season for oysters - they may be on the small side - oysters are best after the weather cools off significantly, usually mid-November. Don't expect perfect oysters this time of year. You could try Drago's in the Hilton for grilled oysters too.

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

    Mena's Palace
    200 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

    1. Yeah, Mena's is the best place I can think of that is casual and has poboys and table service (waitresses, not waiters though). Their fried shrimp is especially good.

      I prefer Emeril's to NOLA.

      Good oyster bars are Casamento's and Pascale Manales, both Uptown and withing walking distance from the St. Charles streetcar line getting off at Napoleon (although in opposite directions). I would think your son would get a kick out of either place.

      I had a couple dozen decent oysters last week at Arnaud's Remoulade, which is running a weekday happy hour special of $0.75 oysters. They varied in size but tasted swell. This special also includes High Lifes for $0.75, just in case you and your wife get thirsty.

      1. 1. Napoleon House. Can't vouch for their poboys, but they have 'em. And if this is your first time to NOLA, this would be a must stop.

        2. Emeril's....definitely.

        3. WWII Museum

        For oysters, sidle up to the bar at Felix's...your kid'll get a kick out of watching them shucking & jiving (literally) front of him.

        Napoleon House Bar & Cafe
        500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

        1. Oh! and as for cooking-related shops: I can't recommend Kitchen Witch highly enough. It's a cookbook store with an amazing selection of new and used books.

          Kitchen Witch
          631 Toulouse St, New Orleans, LA 70130

          1. Pappy, as one, who dines at Michel Richard's Citronelle and Marcel's about every two months, I think that I have a handle on what you are asking for.

            For you po-boys (big movement afoot to have that name banished, in favor of poor-boy), I would head to Felix's, if you desire either oyster, or shrimp po-boys. They are very casual, but have table-service. Their oyster bar (raw bar), is quite good too. They are also right out your backdoor at the Ritz.

            As for NOLA, or Emeril's, we have had great meals at both, unlike some here. I would probably give the nod to Emeril's, but have not been disappointed at NOLA either. It's a win-win for me.

            There are two more places, that might deserve consideration:

            Stella!, which, in some ways, reminds me of a cross between Michel Richard's Citronelle and Vidalia, and in good ways with each. It is not unique, but the do a great take on haute cuisine, New Orleans style. Price points similar.

            The second is MiLa, which is a combo of Mississippi & Louisiana cuisine, in the CBD (Central Business District). Their food is a wonderful blend, and while you might pick up familiar elements, it will be unique.

            Now, I am trying to refrain from the mention of Galatorie's and Brigtsen's, as you already have a full dance card. You just need to return, and that is all there is to that!

            Travel safely, and enjoy,


            PS - I'm in your town next week, so hope to dine well there too. Different venue, and different lodge, so who knows. I am used to the Hay-Adams, but we're at Reagan National, for this trip.

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

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

            5 Replies
            1. re: Bill Hunt

              Great replies! Thank you all! Sounds like Napolean House or Mena's Palace are great options for lunch. And Felix is a must for oysters in the afternoon. And I alreaddy have switched Monday dinner from NOLA to Emerils. And the WWII Museum and Kitchen Witch are two definite stops.

              Last NOLA question....I know great boudin sausage is probably found outside the city. But is there anyplace in town that we could get a taste of a reasonably authentic version? Is it usually served plain in link form? Or is it incorporated into other dishes?

              And an final, out-of-town question....we are then heaading over to Point Clear AL to spend a few days at the Grand Hotel (Marriott). We've never seen the Gulf Coast, and want to take a peak. We'll relax, play golf, and I've chartered a fishing boat for a day. Any must stops on the way east over to AL? And when we get there, any good eats (should probably post on another board)? Ever heard of Wintzell's Oyster House? Best dish?

              And Bill Hunt et al: I look forward to more trips to New Orleans! But I wanted to mention I am very well practiced in some of the same DC haunts as you. Feel free to ask away. FYI: I've pretty much moved on from Citronelle and Marcel's. My new favorites are Adour (16th & K St) for high-end French/American, Tosca for Italian (14th & F St), Eola (22nd & P Sts) for pushing the boundries, and Le Chaumiere (29th & M Sts) for old, old, old school French. Give them a try next time you are up our way.

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

              Gulf Coast Restaurants
              1200 S Clearview Pkwy, New Orleans, LA 70123

              Mena's Palace
              200 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

              Kitchen Witch
              631 Toulouse St, New Orleans, LA 70130

              1. re: Pappy

                Cochon Butcher. In link form. It is sometimes used as a stuffing or made into patty's and fried.


                Cochon Butcher
                930 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

                1. re: Pappy

                  In NO, fun for a 10 year old: river cruise to Audubon Zoo, in the FQ, Insectarium, the Aquarium, Cabildo exhibits. On your way to Alabama, take the scenic route (Hwy 90) through Mississippi. In Pass Christian, you will see our collection of beautiful antebellum homes along Scenic Drive. Stop at Shaggy's in Pass Christian for lunch...very casual or at Vrazel's in Gulfport. In Alabama, have dined at the aforementioned Wintzel's and also had a wonderful dinner at the Wash House.

                  1. re: Pappy

                    Our next DC trip is very brief, and located in Arlington, VA, unlike most.

                    Next "real trip" to DC, I will drop by that board, and update my choices.

                    Thank you, and please enjoy New Orleans. It is unique, and that's why we love it so very much.


                    1. re: Pappy

                      The Marriott is a great place. On that end at the Spanish Fort exit there are several good seafood places on hwy 90 alongside I-10. Most are good but I like Ed's Seafood Shed. The drought has produced some really salty oysters over that way.

                      There are a few ok places between N.O. and Mobile but nothing to go out of the way to see, except,maybe the Walter Anderson Museum in Ocean Springs. But I'm a Walter Anderson fan. http://walterandersonmuseum.org/

                  2. Had some of the best food in the world at Emeril's...don't miss it!

                    1. I'll only answer the last question. If your son is anything like I was at a couple years older than he is I'd say Preservation Hall (although obviously the generation of players who were there then is gone) and a voodoo museum. Those experiences definitely left a deep impression and in 25 years or so he might be planning yet another return trip!

                      Preservation Hall
                      726 St Peter St, New Orleans, LA

                      1. Felix? not Acme? granted Acme has always been more boisterous. but yeah I'd skip the table service for raw oysters, and belly up to the bar as the high volume shucking is part of the show! kiddo might like the Carousel bar at the Monteleone - yeah it's a gimmick but sorta cool if it's working.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: hill food

                          Seriously? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a kid at the Carousel Bar. Are kids even allowed in there? I’m very rarely negative on this board, but I brough a group of people to Mena’s during Running of the Bulls and it was pretty bad. I don’t think I’d recommend it to a tourist anymore. It was ok before the fire, but not so much anymore. Felix’s has also seen better days.

                          1. re: shanefink

                            that was my impression of Felix, good oysters, but something felt lacking about the room (and hard to see the shucking), bad lighting, frayed fabric but this was maybe a year after Katrina. no kids in the Carousel? dang my ex's Mom was the one that turned her kids on to the place, granted Shirley Temples or virgin hurricanes or whatever at the time but it is NOLA after all.

                        2. When you get in, you can take a cab or streetcar ride to Magazine street and have several poboy options. The only one with waitservice that jumps out at me is Joey K's. You'll probably be hungry, so I would take a cab straight there, then walk Magazine afterwards. Hit La Divina or Sucre for dessert.

                          I'd go with Emeril's.

                          Butcher has decent boudin. Crescent Pie and Sausage has the best I've had in town.

                          Hit the WW2 museum. Go on a swamp tour. Go on a ghost tour. Go to the Zoo. Go to the insectarium. Go to the Aquarium. Walk around audubon park. Take a ride on the ferry across the river to Algiers, it's free to walk on and ride. Ride the streetcar (1.25 per person, exact change, takes dollar bills). There's also the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. I've never been but hear it's good.

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

                          Joey K's Restaurant & Bar
                          3001 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

                          1. right by your hotel is one of my favorites. The Red Fish Grill. they have alot of poor boys and other treats. maybe a bit pricey. Acme Oyster House is fun. go to the website nomenu.com. it has the restaurants divided by neighborhood and cuisine. also, urbanspoon.com for restaurant ideas.

                            Red Fish Grill
                            115 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70130