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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-
Thursday-
Dinner at K-Pauls
Friday-
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!
Saturday-
Casamento's just for oysters!
Commander's Palace for lunch
Dinner- ? We were thinking of just going to Verti Marte
Sunday-
Brunch at Mr. B's bistro
Dinner- either Remoulade or Green Goddess
Monday-
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):

                    Brigtsen's,
                    Dante's Kitchen,
                    Commander's,
                    Lilette,
                    Coquette,
                    Clancy's, and
                    Patois.

                    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!

                    2. You could take a taxi to Willie Mae's, then taxi over to Angelo's for dessert, then the Streecar back to the Quarter.Get the cannoli.

                      1. also, you are aware that Verti Marte is just a small store with take-out only?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: califkatie

                          Yes, but we heard the food is really great! Maybe that would be good to do on Monday am when we leave. Then we could eat it in the airport! Do they let you bring sandwiches through security?

                          1. re: beck123

                            yes, we always pick up our food before we leave for the airport.

                        2. OK, so I think my husband is dead set on Willie Mae's.
                          I'm a little unsure of the neighborhood. Will it be safe to take a taxi up there in the evening and taxi back?

                          If we tried to pick up takeout at 11 am on Monday, how long would we have to wait?

                          Do you think we should change Galatoire's to dinner and then do a different place for lunch on Friday?

                          Should we take a taxi to Upperline or Brigtsen's one night? Or just try Bayona?

                          Thanks for all the great replies so far!
                          I am driving my husband insane with all my planning. =/
                          There are too many places we want to go and not enough time!

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: beck123

                            Do you know the whole deal with Galatoire's friday lunch? It's pretty crazy. Unless you are in for the whole experience another option is to do Commander's friday lunch (our tradition) and Galatoire's for a late lunch some other day. We moseyed into Galatoire's a little after 2pm on a recent Thursday and still caught the tail end of the lunch show while also getting to enjoy the quiet time between lunch and dinner, which was really relaxing and enjoyable.

                            As for your other question, haven't been to Upperline or Brigsten's but Dante's Kitchen is really terrific.

                            1. re: beck123

                              I'm a planner too, so I'm sure my husband can relate to your husband! The neighborhood Willie Mae's is in isn't good, but I felt plenty safe. There are lots of other tourists and locals coming there to eat, so you'll be in good company. I'm not sure how long it will take you to get take out. Are you sure they do it? You might call to double check. I'd eat there if I could, mainly because fried chicken is better when it's hot. I'd hate for you to miss out on decliciousness because it got cold. The staff is very friendly and welcoming, and it's a fun place to be. If you get there at a11, you won't have to wait too long at all. I'd probably go during the day if I had a choice. Plus if you get there a little early, you won't have to wait.

                              1. re: beck123

                                check the times for Willie Mae's. may only be open for lunch.

                                1. re: califkatie

                                  checked it out. they are open till 7 p.m.. I would feel safe taking a taxi, and i am sure they are used to calling one for people when they are finished eating as it is not transit friendly where they are.

                                  1. re: califkatie

                                    Well, you better call, because i looked at 4 sources and they were all different.

                                2. re: beck123

                                  Willie Mae's closes at 3. Don't bother with takeout, the crust gets ruined. BTW, read the sticky.

                                3. My husband also wants to try Cochon butcher. Anyone try that?

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: beck123

                                    only been to Cochon, but the Butcher gets good reviews. I am going to Upperline for my "uptown dinner" this trip. the owner is so friendly, but i want to check out her new chef.

                                    1. re: beck123

                                      We tried Butcher, for the first time, as our first meal of our trip last week.

                                      It was wonderful. I had the duck pastrami sliders and a side of boudin. My wife had their muffaletta.

                                      The carnivores should make a point of hitting Chef Link's deli!

                                      We loved everything, but I'm still thinking about the boudin.

                                    2. Definitely, go to Angelo Brocato's. You can take the Canal Street car up and walk a block over. I highly recommend going. It is the best. We usually eat a treat that we can't take with us and then take box of goodies with us. While you are up there, I recommend Parkway Bakery for poboys.

                                      Yes, go to cochon butcher. We love the cochon butcher but not cochon. It is busy at lunch but well worth it.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: asuzc

                                        +1 on the Canal Street car up to Parkway and Angelo Brocato's. Another cab ride worthy restaurant is Boucherie.

                                      2. Looks like a great plan... will be interested should you post a report re: Casamento's as I was pretty underwhelmed with my visits.

                                        Along those lines, the only change I would make is drop K-Paul's and add Brigtsen's. The student has far surpassed the master IMNSHO. You'll get better food and warmer service at a significantly lower price point.

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: GroovinGourmet

                                          We have a K-Paul's cookbook, and that is one of the places my husband MUST go. Poor guy doesn't ask for much, so I'd feel bad dropping it. We could do Brigtsten's as our taxi night. Debating Brigtsten's vs. Dante's vs. Upperline. I will definitely post a report! We loved Casamento's last time. The raw oysters were great. Aside from wanting more of their oysters, my husband left his baseball hat there last time, and we thought it would be really hilarious if it was still in their lost and found. Also we really want to check out the bar next door! It looks fun.

                                          1. re: beck123

                                            Well, the bar next door is my husbands favorite bar( ms. maes club house), they just had a change of some sort (owner? not sure) so we were shocked, i mean, shocked when they doubled their prices. Instead of $1.00, the drinks are now $2.00!!!! No, really we love this dive bar, but never go there at night when it is frat city. Stoly rocks only $3.00, got to love it.

                                            1. re: califkatie

                                              Ms. Mae sold the bar last year, and that's when the prices increased. The bar has been through several ownership changes and at least one location change in its lurid history. Call it The Club, Ms. Mae's, or The Club Ms. Mae's, but it's not Ms. Mae's club house.

                                              1. re: uptownlibrarian

                                                Thanks for the clarification. Will be there this month, can't wait!

                                                1. re: califkatie

                                                  I only step foot in the new place once after it moved from the old location on Magazine by the bus barn (now Whole Foods). That was one of the best bars around and it wasn't the same once it moved. Many a nights spent there afeter driving in from BR once we finished bartending there at 2am. Drive to Ms. Mae's, see the sun come up and drive back to BR.