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Nov 8, 2011 07:12 AM

Thank you Hounds! My first 3 days in Nola

I've been lurking for years, but this is my first post. I couldn't go another day without saying THANK YOU to all the true food lovers here who take the time to share their experiences and (often strong) opinions. Thanks to all of you, I'm having the food-vacation of my life here in New Orleans right now. My bride to be and I are here 6 more days, so there is much more to come, but already we've had some amazing food:

Day one:
Breakfast at the Camellia Grill-- good honest food, tons of fun atmosphere.

Dinner at Nola--I know it's let others down, but I loved everything except my Sazurac (too much simple syrup). My black drum (one of the specials) was divine, and so was her steak.

We also stopped for oysters at Royal House (not a CH recommendation) and were pleasantly surprised. They were delicious and fairly priced.

Day two:
Breakfast at Atchafalaya-- Wow! This was the best breakfast of my entire life. Seriously. I loved the Bloody Mary bar, and the menu was amazing. I got the Treme: poached eggs over crab with hollandaise and popcorn crayfish, plus spicy potatoes. She got the eggs Atchafalaya, which was similar, with fried green tomatoes in the mix. Both plates were wonderful, as was the atmosphere with the live jazz band playing downstairs. I highly recommend this place for Saturday/Sunday breakfast.

Dinner was at Galitorie's-- Here I have to share a little disappointment (I know it won't do much to damage this place's storied reputation). Everything I ordered was great (though I wish I had made more adventurous choices). My Black Drum with crab Yvonne was perfectly cooked, fresh, and delicious. But... my fiance had to send back her steak. She asked for the Filet medium rare, and it was definitely medium. Maybe a tad passed medium, even. The second one was perfect, but not huge on flavor. We both agreed that she needs to stop ordering steak in NOLA, and get on the seafood bandwagon. I closed with a great cocktail here: the Vieux Carré. It was like a better Sazurac than the Sazurac. Delicious, and warming.

Breakfast at the Old Coffee Pot-- fun, and tasty. I got the Rockefeller Omelet, which I'll admit was a bit weird. Oysters in an omelet? But it was very good. So were the Callas Cakes, which li liked a lot more than I expected, given that I'm not a french toast fan.

For Lunch we split a fried shrimp Po-boy at Tracey's, down on Magazine-- without wading into the intense Po-Boy battle too far, I'll just say THANK YOU again to the Hounds who recommended this place. It was great.

Dinner at Herbsaint-- this was another major WOW. We covered the table with small plates and shared everything and it was such a great meal. Braised short rib (with a little fried potato cake I'll be dreaming of for the rest of my life), dirty rice, collard greens, a Lump crab and turnip salad, butter-poached tuna with salsa verde, and red fish with cornmeal breading and yukon gold mashed potatoes. Every bite was better than the last. The deserts we tried were unbelievably good too. If you haven't tried this little gem, add it to your list for your next visit.

Now it's the morning of day four, three days from our wedding day. We have many more great meals ahead of us (La Petit Grocery tonight!) thanks to the reviews and tips here. Thank you again, and stay tuned!

Camellia Grill
626 S Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118

Coffee Pot Restaurant
714 Saint Peter St, New Orleans, LA 70116

701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

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  1. Here's a hint on Sazeracs: I always tell an unknown bartender to make it less sweet than usual. You can always add some sweetness later. It was a neglected drink for many years and few of the new mixers really knew what it used to be like (although the ones 100 years ago were almost certainly sweeter than I like them....ame is true of Old Fashioneds).

    4 Replies
    1. re: hazelhurst

      Good tip. I love the way they do them at Tujaques: crisp, dry, and just a hint of sugar. The whiskey should be the star, always.

      1. re: Grimsby53

        thanks for the Tujaques sazerac tip. have to try one there. Too bad about the steak at Galatoires, as i have only ordered seafood there. Have heard La Boca in the warehouse district has good steak if your girlfriend gets another hankering.

        La Boca Restaurant
        857 Fulton St., New Orleans, LA 70130

        1. re: califkatie

          The one time that I ordered something other than seafood at Galatoire's I had the best lamb chops of my entire life. I'm going back next week and can't wait.

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

          1. re: Ross B

            Their lamb chops bernaise are legendary.

    2. If you can fit it in, try to get to Coquette on Magazine. They do an amazing $20 three course lunch (but only on Wed/Thurs/Fri I believe.) I haven't been there for dinner, but I'm sure that would also be incredible. We always go there on Wed. or Thurs for the lunch; they also have 1/2 price wine on Wednesdays and discounted cocktails on Thursdays. It's a great bargain and the food is so, so good. Congratulations and enjoy the rest of your trip!

      2 Replies
      1. re: piglet3000

        Love Coquette. Open for lunch on Sat. as well.

        1. re: piglet3000

          We're planning on Coquette for lunch today. Thanks for the tip!

        2. Take her to La Boca for steak. It's a beef adventure. Steak everywhere else is boring.

          La Boca Restaurant
          857 Fulton St., New Orleans, LA 70130

          1. Thank you for taking the time to report.

            Have yet to make it to Cafe Atchafalaya, but you have enticed me to do so.

            Sorry about Galatoire's, but do have to admit that in four decades, I cannot recall ordering beef. Had someone asked me, I would have had to post a bunch of - ??????'s. Still, when dining at a restaurant, unknown to me, I always give exact descriptions of what I want in my beef. Some kitchens call a cold, red center "medium rare," and I like a warm red center, so let them translate the exact term, to match the kitchen. Over the years, when things have been "off," they have not been off by much. As one, who grills a bunch (maybe 200 days per year?), if one is really close, then things are usually good. With a good, to great cut, I would normally rather have slightly "under," than "over," but then a cold, red center is not my idea of fun.

            Have not been to Herbsaint in too long, so greatly appreciated that review.

            As I am an avowed "wino," I cannot offer much on the Sazerac cocktail. For historical purposes, I do order them in NOLA, but am anything but an expert.

            Glad that most went well for you!



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

            701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

            Cafe Atchafalaya
            901 Louisiana Ave, New Orleans, LA 70115

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bill Hunt

              Hey Bill

              Yes you do need to get to Atchafalaya great stuff best mashed potatoes this side of Paris! I did email a Fried Chicken recipe to you did u get it?

              Don Campbell