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Feb 5, 2012 06:53 AM

Restaurants to AVOID

I feel like a list of places that no one should set foot in would be helpful to visitors. I don't mean a place with a good reputation where you happen to have had a singular bad experience: Every decent or even excellent restaurant can have an off night and frankly, sometimes a bad experience is as much the diner's fault as the business. I'm talking about places that straight up don't give a sh*t about their food, their customers and, frankly, their hygiene.

My top pick it PERE ANTOINE'S (not to be confused with the classic Antoine's, although P.A. would certainly like you to!) On an earlier trip we were exhausted and dazed after a swamp tour and just wandered in there for dinner based on the lovely facade. What we discovered was a disgusting pit of improperly cooked food and dirty tableware. Granted, the Keno machine in the front room should have been a sign to leave immediately but we were exhausted. Since the outside has a nice architecture it's a magnet for tourists who haven't done their homework. Also, I think ghost tours and stuff stop there for drinks. I'll actually steer people away if I see them standing outside looking at the menu. Just awful. I wish Gordon Ramsey would set that place straight but I doubt the owners would care.

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  1. not including chains and fast food?

    6 Replies
    1. re: edible complex

      I'm not making hard rules here (I just didn't want to muddy it up with people saying "I went to August and it was TERRIBLE!!" since that's not relly helpful advice.)

      Yeah, if there are chains that visitors to NOLA get steered towards then might as well shout them out. I just think it's good for visitors to be able to be spontaneous and not follow a hard itinerary but still be able to recognize traps. Pere Antoine's is treacherous because the outside and the location scream "local classic restaurant" but what's inside couldn't be more wrong. I've never been to Mother's or Mulate's but to hear people in here tell it those aren't places to go. But I can't say that they're on this level. Someone recently told us that Court of Two Sisters is one of the best restaurants you could ever eat at anywhere and we were like "uhhh...."

      1. re: kukubura

        That's a tough call. A place to avoid. There are places that are way way down on my list but if others wanted to go to them i would probably hang in and do it. Most of those fit under "fast food". They aren't bad but it's edible. And yes there are better choices for quality and price.

        Mulate's is a great example. As are the places in the Riverwalk. I've eaten at those places when working a convention and time is short or others want to go to them. But I wouldn't urge someone to go there. Court of Two Sisters has an entertaining brunch with an acceptable buffet. If you want an outing it will fit. If you are after good food there are better choices.

        I think CH agree that you do have to look askance at any place with a barker or one that hands out coupons when you pass by.

        1. re: collardman

          2nd on Mulate's for a waste of time and money. One of my worst dining experiences ever. I'm also not a fan of Arnaud's... totally overpriced tourist trap. Fine dining on wooden ice cream parlor chairs? Pass...

          1. re: kukubura

            I've only eaten at Mulate's in Breaux Bridge and it was really good (this was about 10 years ago). I've never had a desire to try the one in NO knowing it probably wouldn't be the same. And August is the only restaurant I've eaten at in NO in the last 20 years that I wouldn't return to. Or at least the only one I can remember at the moment. There are places I didn't care for but wouldn't have a problem returning and trying something else. August is not on that list.

            1. re: kukubura

              If it is going to include chains I would say avoid House of Blues, at least as far as a meal. What a mistake, what was I thinking. Still, it was better than Mother's lol.

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. haha that's unbelievable

            2. Mothers. Tourist trap. When we went the garbage was overflowing the buckets onto the floor and the tables were covered with garbage. The food tasted rancid, and it was like 20 bucks for that rancid sandwich. Top that off with incredibly rude staff and a long line and you have Mothers.

              So many better places in New Orleans to get a Po Boy.

              2 Replies
              1. re: PenskeFan

                I wish I could tell every tourist in the world not to go to Mother's!!!!! So agree.

                1. How did they not just turn around and leave? Friday's bloggle:

                  4 Replies
                    1. re: JazzyB

                      I can’t believe this. Are you sure there wasn’t a hidden camera? This place was so good a few years ago. Glad I read your review.

                        1. re: shanefink

                          I can completely believe it. The last time I was there, it was on the cusp of their transition, and it was weird. Nowhere near that weird, but very weird. I wish we know how much they'd paid.

                      1. Probably 50% of the restaurants in the French Quarter are tourist traps and to be avoided. If the restaurant has a barker, avoid. If it has the word "Nawlins" in it or has jambalaya for more than $10, avoid.

                        I live here and think Mother's is OK. Not great, but not the worst.