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Dec 31, 2011 04:10 PM

Taxi worthy restaurants? Help with trip planning!

Hi all,
We are heading back to New Orleans later this month, and I need your help!
I think we should take a taxi outside of the quarter for dinner one night, but I can't decide which place we should go to. I'm thinking either Dante's Kitchen, Brigtsen's or Upperline. Which would be best? Or something else?

Also, my husband is obsessed with finally trying Willie Mae's. In your opinions, is it worth it to go there? We'd have to take a taxi. I've heard mixed reviews. Either people love it, it's the best chicken EVER, or they think it's just totally overrated.

And...should we also take a taxi to Angelo Brocato's? I know it's winter, but I keep hearing how awesome they are.

And how is Green Goddess? I've been wanting to try it. And Bayona? And what do you think for breakfast our last day? We thought we'd give Johnny's Po Boys a shot.

Here is our plan for restaurants so far-
Dinner at K-Pauls
Galatoire's for lunch (how early do we have to get there again? 10:30 or 11?)
No set dinner plans. Probably hit Three Graces and Hermes bar for apps and drinks!
Casamento's just for oysters!
Commander's Palace for lunch
Dinner- ? We were thinking of just going to Verti Marte
Brunch at Mr. B's bistro
Dinner- either Remoulade or Green Goddess
Breakfast at Johnny's Po Boys?

For breakfast most days, we'll just get coffee and a croissant at Croissant d'or. Has that really gone downhill? It was fabulous last time we went.

Lots of questions! Thanks for your help!

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  1. I'm in the I think willie mae's is overrated crowd. I have now been three times and my wife once. All three times I was underwhelmed by the chicken. THe butter beans were wonderful.
    Brocato's is good, an institution in New Orleans but I don't go out of my way to go there when in town and I rarely went there when I lived there and that was for 40 years.

    1. We had a wonderful dinner at Cafe Atchafalya right before Christmas. Can't wait to try it again. The best thing was this rice side dish with crawfish, spinach and bacon in it. YUM Make a reservation because on a Monday night they were pretty crowded. We lucked out but I wouldn't chance it next time.

      I love Angelo Brocato's. I had some great gelato at Sucre in Metairie so I skipped AB's this trip and wish I hadn't. They have great pastries too.

      To get a first seating on a Friday lunch at Galatoire's is probably not worth the trouble. I'd go at 1:00 or so. The party goes on until after 4:00. This was the first year we had to wait for a table for 2 after a 1:00 arrival. We had gone the day before at 11:10 and they didn't have a table until after 1:00 so we went back the next day for a late lunch.

      Croissant d'or is not the same anymore. I've heard good things about Cafe Beignet.

      1. I'm in the "think Willie Mae's is worth a cross country trip" group. I've only been there once, but I've pretty much given up eating fried chicken any where else. We've already decided to make it a must-stop, and we visit twice a year. I adore Green Goddess and have had some of my all-time favorite meals there, but you need to know what to expect. It's outdoors, so except for about 4 weeks a year, it's either too hot or too cold. You could possibly have dirty glasswear (I actually had to send a glass back due to excess lipstick, and I'm not picky), mis-matched silverwear and a rickety table. Plus some of the best food anywhere, served by an incredibly charming chef (he is not of the pretty-boy John Besch variety - not to insult John Besh who I love) who is crazy about good food and really knows wine. I think it's a charming little heaven on earth. I was set to eat there on my 40th birthday, but they were closed. See, the chef got Saints tickets. And since that since of spontenity and love of football are two of the things I adore about the city, I just had to laugh and let it go. It seems to be a place that polarizes people, though, at least if you judge by the Yelp reviews (and I generally try not to).

        Galatoire's is very traditional and lovely. Just know that going in. I've only eaten dinner there, so I can't say about when to get there for lunch.

        I think Commander's, also traditional, is excellent. If you can get a seat in the Garden Room, try to do that. It's beautiful. It is also fantastic for Sunday brunch. I'd probably eat brunch instead of lunch, but that's just me.

        I haven't eaten at any of your other choices, but I've had great po-boys at Parkway, and fabulous meals at Coquette and MiLa.

        Have a great trip!

        1. Choosing between Remoulade and Green Goddess is no choice: The Green Goddess is a real-deal special restaurant that is capable of blowing you away. Remoulade is a better-than-expected tourist outpost of Arnaud's. Stopping in to Remoulade for a snack of Shrimp Arnaud isn't a bad idea but I wouldn't miss GG for it.

          Also, consider Mr B's for a lunch and someplace else for brunch. I'm a big proponent of Lil Dizzy's in Treme since it's so local and the food is amazing, especially for the price. Plus it's byob so you can bring a bottle of champy for mimosas (check that they aren't out of OJ first) -- and then get cocktails elsewhere!

          13 Replies
          1. re: kukubura

            I can't find a website for Lil Dizzy's. I did find a lot of amazing reviews. It appears they have several locations too.

            1. re: texasredtop

              They have a location in a hotel on Poydras but it's overly formal in my opinion. We went there last time, took one look around the room, and hopped in a cab for Treme and never looked back. The one on Esplanade is the one I'd choose every time. It's such a friendly and inviting place. And the fried chicken is stupendous.

              1. re: kukubura

                We stay at Harrah's so the Poydras location would probably be walking distance for us but we drive to NO and get around all over town so driving to another location is no problem, especially that close. If we walk anywhere it's usually because parking is so crazy around the Quarter or it's just so close like Emeril's, Bon Ton and August. I think I'll put them on my list for next trip.

                1. re: texasredtop

                  I don't know how much you like to walk but we strolled from the Sheraton on Canal through the Quarter (grabbed coffees to go at CDM) and then up Esplanade to Lil Dizzy's Harrah's would be a few blocks further. On a beautiful Sunday morning you could definitely do worse! But we love to walk.

                  1. re: kukubura

                    Weather was crap while we were there. When we go in late spring, we walk a lot. Some December trips have been wonderful weather and we'll walk then. But the last two years have been wet. We plan walking distance meals on good weather days (if there are any) so we can walk.

            2. re: kukubura

              I realize the vast difference between the restaurants...for budget's sake, we are considering just playing it low key at Remoulade on Sunday- BUT I'm really, really tempted to try Green Goddess anyways, and say to hell with the budget, LOL. =) I've been wanting to try it since last time we went. The thing is, I see reviews online and there are a lot of negative reviews, mostly about the space/service. I'm really not picky about that sort of thing, and if the food is truly as amazing and inventive as it sounds, I'd be willing to forgive a lot. So do you think we should just say to heck with it, and give Green Goddess a shot for Sunday dinner?

              Have you been to Bayona?

              Lil' Dizzy's sounds great, but due to time constraints (just 3 days! boo!) I don't think we can manage lunch at Mr. B's. And I have got to have their barbeque shrimp, I freaking love that stuff! Mmmm. I wish we could hit Lil Dizzy's, but I have no idea how to fit it in and keep my shrimp at Mr. B's. What are Lil Dizzy's days open/hours?

              1. re: beck123

                It looks like Lil Dizzy's serves breakfast too.

                1. re: beck123

                  I think you should 100% make it to Green Goddess. If you're a food person, I really think you'll love it. I haven't been to Bayona in several years, but I really liked it (just so many places to go), and haven't really heard anyone who's had a bad experience there.

                  1. re: beck123

                    I would say go for dinner at GG. I can't speak for your budget but Remoulade just isn't the same thing at all. Again, I like it, but it's not destination dining. Plus it's depressing to see tourists ordering hot dogs or whatever there. The Green Goddess is one of a kind. We found service to be fantastic, if quirky. Our server was extremely enthusiastic about the food, made great drink recs and was all-around entertaining. And Chef Chris is DEFINITELY one of a kind. You won't find anyone like him at Remoulade. If you really want to have a trip that you'll remember, go there.

                    As for Lil Dizzy's, give them a call for their hours. I know they started brunch at 9am the day we were there (we got there at 10 and beat the rush.) It's another memorable experience. Mr. B's can easily b a snack at the bar in between other things. (or at least that's my thinking!) Or fold it in to your Hermes bar app dinner.

                    1. re: kukubura

                      Something else we do is split dishes. If we had a big lunch and aren't very hungry, we'll go and split something so as not to miss anything.

                      1. re: texasredtop

                        Splitting dishes is a brilliant idea! Thanks.

                      2. re: kukubura

                        I'm really tempted by Green Goddess. The food sounds so inventive and fun! We may have to try that. Although now I'm still debating whether or not to take a taxi somewhere one night. I'm thinking Upperline for Saturday. Upperline, Brigtstens or Dante's Kitchen, what is your opinion? I've heard great things on all of them. Someone may have answered that already...I have gotten so much info from this post! =) I'll have to go over everything again. I did this last year and got great tips. I'm a little bummed I haven't heard from Bill Hunt! He gave us excellent tips last year too.

                  2. Taxi worthy restaurants (in no particular order):

                    Dante's Kitchen,
                    Clancy's, and

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: FoodChic

                      ...although one of the special pleasures with lunch at Commander's Palace is getting all dressed up, riding the streetcar, and strolling around the Garden District and Lafayette Cemetery on the way.

                      1. re: kukubura

                        That and the 25ยข martinis! :-)

                        1. re: FoodChic

                          Do they have 25 cent martinis on Saturdays too? We are doing Friday lunch at Galatoire's, so I sure hope they have the 25 cent martinis on Saturdays. We will still go even if they don't though! I love Commander's. We have been there two times before this. Their bread pudding souffle is my favorite dessert in the city (so far!).

                          1. re: beck123

                            I don't think so. Either way, you win because their specialty cocktails are knockouts. We always get other cocktails in addition to the 25c martinis anyway. The more the merrier!