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Foodie's first trip to New Orleans and needs advice!!

Hey All!

I am a foodie (based in NY) and planning my very first trip to your lovely city of New Orleans in March. I was hoping to get some advice so that every meal counts. Please let me know what you think of my suggested food itinerary -- I have also included some questions below. Also, please keep in mind that my bf is vegetarian, so we can only go places where are are at least a few veg options (I really wanted to go to Willy Mae's but it doesn't look like they have any veg dishes).

Here is the food itinerary I am thinking of so far:

Three Dinners:
1. August
2. Dante's Kitchen
3. Couchon or Brigtsens - Which would you pick? Is there a place I am over looking? Is Couchon the best place to try Cajun food? Does Brigtsens have veg food?

Three lunches:
1. What is the best Po'boy place to go? It seems like Liuzza's by the track, Domilise's and Parkways are some of the top places? I'd like to go to one of them. What is the best?
2. Galatoires -Is this better for lunch or dinner? If dinner, which one of my dinner options should I substitute out or switch to lunch/brunch to include Galatoires?
3. Lil'Dizzys: I've heard this is a great place to go for Sunday Brunch?! Do they have veg options?

And of course, I also plan on going to Cafe Du Monde for Breakfast and to Angelo Brocato's for gelato.

Let me know what you think! Thanks in advance!

Lis

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  1. Brigtsen's and Cochon are completely different places. I loved Brigtsen's, Cochon not too much. You might want to check out Cafe Atchafalaya for something in between those two. More cajun than Brigsten's, more fancy than Cochon. We had a great meal there in December.

    Poboys - we had really good ones at Mahoney's last trip. They aren't cheap though. Don't miss the onion rings. We also like Johnny's in the Quarter. The shrimp poboy at Johnny's is delicious. I didn't love my oyster poboy. I had a great oyster loaf at Casamento's. So I think it depends on what kind of poboy you're looking for.

    Gal's - never been to dinner but the lunch crowd is a riot!! They have the best shrimp remoulade in town. The food isn't the best you can get but the overall experience is special.

    Cafe du Monde has good frozen coffee. Angelo Brocato's has good everything.

    1. Sounds like you have some solid suggestions there, just remember to stay as far away from Mother's as possible.

      1. Most good N.O. restaurants have some veggie dishes or will probably make something up for BF. Probably the least veggie restaurant in town is Cuchon, hence its name.

        I'm one who feels there is no best place for po-boys, just a good dozen that do them well, some better with seafood than others. Liuzzas (both of them) Parkway, Johnny's and Guys are favorites. Casamentos and Felix/Acme for oysters. Mandinas for creole/cajun and a touch of local "charm". Bon Ton for Creole.

        These are all local places and not really in the fine dining category. You've got that covered with August and Galatoires, Brightsen and Dantes. All good choices.

        1. Thanks for all the feedback! Where is the best place to try Cajun food? Can anyone recommend a fun place for Sunday brunch? Thanks!

          3 Replies
          1. re: Lisabethm

            What specific cajun dishes are you wanting to try? I don't know of any one place that serves great gumbo, jambalaya, etouffee, red beans and rice, AND courtbouillon, etc. I like the etouffee at Galatoire's, hubby loves the jambalaya at Bon Ton (I don't), and I rarely eat gumbo in NO because I cook my own and that is my favorite. I had a really good gumbo at Dick and Jenny's many years ago. I saw a recommendation for the duck gumbo at Gal's on CH the other day so I may try that next trip. So let us know what you want to try and you'll get the names of some restaurants that prepare those specific dishes very well.

            1. re: texasredtop

              Good point. Not sure if I could come up with one place, for all of those dishes. What I find is that one gets a great version of X, a good version of Y & Z, but sort of weak on V & W. That alternates around the restaurants. Still, if I did not have my favorite versions, then would possible say that Bon Ton covered most bases, or fill in your favorite Cajun/Creole/NOLA cuisine restaurant.

              Hunt

            2. re: Lisabethm

              For Sunday Brunch, though NOT Cajun, I like either Brennan's in the FQ, or Ralph's on the Park. Same family, but with some distance between the two. Different, though at about the same price-points, and about 5 miles apart. Both nice, and both good representations of NOLA cuisine for brunch. Note: many on this board HATE Brennan's, and at one time, I was probably in their number, but after about 20 years returned, and was greatly impressed, several times. Still, Ralph's is our Sunday Brunch choice, as we most often fly out on Sunday afternoon, and they are a tad closer to MSY, than Brennan's.

              Enjoy,

              Hunt

            3. The gumbo ya ya is really good at Mr. B's in the Quarter. Brigtsens definitely over Cochon!!! You must do either lunch or brunch at Commander's Palace. Ask to be seating in the upper room looking out over the treetops. I also love Coquette on Magazine either for lunch or dinner.
              I'm a little concerned about August. The last 2 meals I had there were just meh. The other NO experience is to take the streetcar up to Camilla Grill on Carrollton for a yummy burger followed by hot pie with ice cream.

              1 Reply
              1. re: topeater

                OK, I need to get back to Restaurant August, as there are too many polarized reviews. It has been too long ago, to base my feelings today, on what was "then". Will have to sample for myself.

                Hunt

              2. First, in New Orleans, you cannot go too far wrong.

                I like your dinners, but, while I like Couchon, would opt for Brigtsen's.

                As far a the po-boys, I am a fan of Parkway Bakery and Tavern, but that is just me. Po-boys become VERY personal, with NOLA folk.

                As for Galatoire's, I am rather "old school," and have done most of the variants on dining there. Having said that, I am mostly a fan of doing dinner, and with our normal guests, choose to make reservations, and dine upstairs for dinner. There IS a "show" downstairs, and especially on Fridays for lunch, but once one has been there, and done that, the "tableau" is not THAT interesting anymore. Still, if one has NEVER been to Galatoire's, then downstairs, the line, et al, is worth the effort. Lunch vs dinner? Well, I like dinner, but Friday lunch can be kicks. It just depends.

                Most of all, enjoy!

                Hunt

                PS - remember, Cafe Du Monde is not really "breakfast," as the menu is very limited, but many do not want a "real" breakfast, and CDM is great fun. I almost always go at very "off hours," as the lines can be off-putting, at least to me. Love it. It's part of my heritage, but the lines... well, post dinner, when the tourists head elsewhere, I am happier, especially if there is fog on the River - man, I miss the old Jax Brewery, but did not like their beer.

                13 Replies
                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  So would you not recommend doing galatoires for lunch on a day aside for Friday? How long is the line usually? I want to be prepared!

                  If August has such mixes review, would people on this site recommend Bayona over August? I definitely want to go to one of the two so please let me know what you think is best!

                  Finally, we are also really excited to check out live music while in NOLA, are there any good places in the area near brigtsens and dante's? What time do most places with live music start up (asking so I can schedule reservations at good times to be able to also see live music)

                  Thanks!!

                  1. re: Lisabethm

                    I remember there being something pretty lively going on near Brigsten's. I don't remember what that was though. You WILL need reservations at Brigsten's and make them early because they book up fast.

                    My personal preference is anything over August. We spent $250 on a meal for two that was not worth eating except for one soup dish. It was about 2 years ago I think, maybe 3. But I hear other rave reviews and I know others have had fabulous meals there. I think it's hit and miss there and that's okay but not for a $250 meal. I think August is a meal that you could get anywhere in the US, not something that says New Orleans. I wouldn't go to another city to try the same things I can get at home.

                    There isn't a lot of great cajun food around NO under one roof, you have to travel outside the city to get the best cajun food. You can find it in NO but you will be one or two dishes at each restaurant, not a grand sampling of everything under one roof.

                    1. re: texasredtop

                      Now, here is an opposing view on Restaurant August, but then different nights, and different palates make the restaurant world go around.

                      Need to get back, as some more recent reviews have not been flattering. Will not be on my next trip, as it is going to be far, far too short, and will involve a family event.

                      Hunt

                      1. re: texasredtop

                        i would say there are some signature dishes at August that you cannot get elsewhere. the lake pontchartrain trout w/ airated hollandaise and covered in jumbo lumb crab, and the gnocchi w/ lake lump crab are two of my favorite dishes; it's always difficult not to order them when visiting August. that being said, we've had some "misses" as well with dishes that just werent very good.

                        a great way to test the waters w/ August is to go for lunch -- $20 for 3.5 courses from the prix fixe menu.

                        1. re: kibbles

                          I had that gnocchi and it had absolutely no taste whatsoever. Like eating bland mush. The crab (the one tiny piece that was on there) was tasteless. Don't know what happened. That was the one dish I was really looking forward to and it was a huge disappointment. There was some kind of bisque that was good and out of the 6 dishes we ordered, it was one of the two things worth eating. The other was the elk steak my husband had. It wasn't great but it was decent. Had I paid $50 for the meal for 2, it might not sting so bad. But it was 5 times that and one of the worst meals I've had in NO ever. Timing is everything I guess. For me, there are just too many other places to try to return there.

                          1. re: texasredtop

                            Best gnocchi: Patois, Herbsaint. Re: August, try their lunch, 3courses $20.12, or stop at the bar for dessert...good offerings. Better yet, stop at the bar at Le Foret for some cocktails while they bake your dessert souffle.

                            1. re: texasredtop

                              thats surprising; ive had the gnocchi 5 or 6 times and its always both flavorful (i like black truffle) and loaded w/ jumbo lump crab. perplexing.

                              1. re: kibbles

                                I know, right? And everything that night seemed to go the way of the gnocchi. :-(

                        2. re: Lisabethm

                          August over Bayona. Go for lunch m-f, 3 courses $20.12. Maple Leaf for uptown music near Brigtsens. Tips is uptown corner of Napoleon/Tchoup.

                          1. re: Lisabethm

                            There is no difference in lunch and dinner at Galatoire's and you can go at anytime. It may be packed or it may be quiet. Dress up or don't go.

                            1. re: Lisabethm

                              There are some uptown music places. Check Gambit (alternative newspaper) or listen to WWOZ announcements on the odd hour for who's playing where. Dos Jeffes, Carrollton Station and Rock n Bowl are all uptown (sorta). Ye Olde College Inn has good though not outstanding food, and adjoins Rock n Bowl

                              1. re: Lisabethm

                                Galatoire's is a New Orleans institution, and not just for the food.

                                Lunch should be fairly easy to score, except for Friday. However, I now dine there, for the food, the history and the service, so if I need to dine upstairs, that is not a negative for me. That said, if one has never dined there, then standing in line is worth the effort, and the time.

                                Over the years, Bayona has provided me with very good, to great dining, and has always been fun, though in a more subdued way, than Friday lunch at Galatoire's.

                                Though I enjoy NO jazz, I have to admit that I am not one, who can direct you there, but many others can, and hopefully will do so.

                                Most of all, enjoy your trip, the wonderful food, and Southern hospitality - travel safely,

                                Hunt

                                1. re: Lisabethm

                                  Just got back and found I vastly preferred the music scene on Frenchmen Street (in Marigny) to what is in the French Quarter. The clubs seem to be concentrated on the river side of Washington Square Park.

                              2. Cochon would be no fun for a vegetarian, that's for sure. We didn't think it was too much fun for omnivores either, but that's a different problem. I think Dante's would be able to make something lovely for a vegetarian since there's real cooking going on in there. I could see them doing something off-menu. Green Goddess would be another place that would probably be able to do something vegetarian friendly.

                                Galatoire's... I dunno. I'm imagining having broccoli with hollandaise for dinner.

                                Lil Dizzy's would work for brunch since they make omelets and french toast to order plus there are good veggie options on the buffet like mac n cheese and veggies. And bread pudding for dessert.

                                1 Reply
                                1. Hey everyone. Thanks so much for all the wonderful responses! This has been so helpful!

                                  A few more questions: Since we aren't going to be in NOLA on a friday and can't experience the friday lunch scene at Galatoires, is it better to go for lunch on a weekend or a Monday? What is the next best option.

                                  What would you choose between Lil Dizzies or Willie Mae's Scotch house?

                                  12 Replies
                                  1. re: Lisabethm

                                    You likely wouldn't get a downstair table at Gal's on a Friday until around 2:00 PM anyway. The best time I had there was on a Thursday but it was the week prior to Christmas so there was a lot of celebrating going on every day at lunch. The weekdays are filled with the work crowd having a long lunch and drinks. I don't know about the weekend. Haven't been in NO on a weekend in years. We try to go Sunday night and leave Friday afternoon to avoid the weekend crowds.

                                    1. re: texasredtop

                                      i wouldnt assume this (not getting into Gal's until 2pm). it's really just luck of the draw. ive taken a friend and waltzed right in at 12:30pm for friday lunch. several times in fact -- once was the fri of 4th of the july weekend. theres really no way of knowing.

                                      1. re: kibbles

                                        You're right, I've gone straight to a table at noon on a Friday and had to wait two hours on a Thursday at noon so go figure.

                                    2. re: Lisabethm

                                      Galatoire's is closed on Monday. I advise against the Friday show....it has become tiresome to the regulars. Tuesday-to-Thursday is consistent. I like to go at about 3:00 on any of those days. Saturday afternoon is a nice way to spend a few hours.

                                      1. re: hazelhurst

                                        We were there on Thursday afternoon in December and it was lovely.

                                        1. re: hazelhurst

                                          tho if the OP is not a regular, then i would advise going on friday. my guests always have a hoot.

                                        2. re: Lisabethm

                                          Well, considering the "closed days," I would definitely work Galatoire's into my itinerary, regardless of whether it was lunch (maybe not this trip), or dinner. Reservations will be upstairs, and that is not bad, at least not in my book. It IS different, but the food, the service, an actually much of the ambiance, will be in effect. For me, it would be a "must-do," regardless of whether it was lunch, or dinner.

                                          Galatoire's will give you a great taste of New Orleans, "grand dame" dining, and should not be missed, whether upstairs, or downstairs.

                                          Look for the white-bearded gentleman in the Brooks Bros double-breasted blazer, upstairs, and that will be me. Look for the gentleman holding "court" with a 3-button suit, downstairs, and that will be Hazelhurst. He will have the mayor, the Governor and some state Senators in tow, and I will have my lovely, young wife with me.

                                          Most of all, enjoy!

                                          Hunt

                                          1. re: Lisabethm

                                            I like both Lil Dizzies and Willie Mae's, but you probably wouldn't need to wait as long at Lil Dizzy's. It's a buffet and pretty damn good. I also recommend Dookie Chase.

                                            1. re: noradeirdre

                                              I haven't been to Dookie Chase but I am one of the big Lil Dizzy's promoters (Treme location only) and I think a vegetarian would enjoy it a good deal.

                                              Another thing: Gumbo Z'herbes is SOMETIMES a vegetarian dish but also it's sometimes cooked with a ham hock! So watch out. Also, some drinks aren't vegetarian. The bloody mary at Mr. B's has beef broth in it (it should be called a bloody bull, don't know why it's not.)

                                              1. re: noradeirdre

                                                Dooky's lunch buffet offers a variety of well prepared southern comfort food (including fried chicken). IMO, a giant step up from Lil Dizzy's. They are only open m- f for lunch. $18pp and well worth it. Ala carte menu available.

                                                1. re: JazzyB

                                                  I agree. The buffet also includes a cup of seafood gumbo to start and peach cobbler to end. Order the lemonade, it is delicious. Mmm, maybe I go to Dooky Chase tomorrow. They've had some oyster pasta dish on their buffet that I am addicted to.

                                                  1. re: noradeirdre

                                                    Their gumbo is ok. I have a sweet tooth so the peach cobbler was a welcome ending albeit canned peaches.

                                            2. I like Croissant D'or for breakfast, usually get a couple of croissants and a coffee (it's vacation so calories don't count).

                                              1. People seem to give Cochon grades in the good to meh range. I am a big Brigtsen's fan and would always recommend it, esp. for the seafood dishes.

                                                But, if you want a taste of Donald Link's food, go to Cochon Butcher next door to Cochon. It is a butcher shop but also has some pretty incredible prepared foods. They usually have three special sandwiches every day. I am facebook friends with Cochon Butcher just so I can see each day's specials and drool. NB: Go either early or late, the place is always packed at lunch from what I've heard. We walked in around 2 PM one day last year and got one of the few high-tops and our food right away. Also, one of the specials is always vegetarian; when we went it was an eggplant reuben. Dear lord, was that freaking good. Everything was just so flavorful. Even the tuna salad was spicy (too much so for my kids, so I had to eat it. awwww, poor me.)

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: Bob W

                                                  Co-signed! Cochon Butcher is some of the best casual food in the city.

                                                  1. re: Bob W

                                                    Not loving Cochon, I had not considered trying Cochon Butcher but your post has changed my mind. Just checked the menu and Marinated Brussels Sprouts and Mini King Cakes??? oh yum!!

                                                    1. re: texasredtop

                                                      I have given up on Cochon. Same as it ever was, and never "all that".

                                                      1. re: JazzyB

                                                        We ordered 3 apps, 2 entrees and a dessert and nothing was memorable. But Cochon Butcher looks pretty interesting. It's an easy meal to bring back to the room and eat if necessary. It's an easy walk from Harrah's too.

                                                  2. I am glad I'm not the only one who was disappointed with Cochon. My meal was borderline inedible despite all the potential pork goodness. I'd say probably best to pass on that. Jacques-Imo's was a fabulous meal - great service, fun/ky atmosphere, delicious no frills food. Recommend =] And of course many many beignets.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: humblenommer

                                                      Now, I really enjoyed Cochon, though hated the chairs. The wine list, while a bit limited, had some good offerings, based on the menu, and our server was familiar with everything that I ordered. Some have stated that the markup was too high, but I was rather impressed by the prices - maybe I am too used to buying those same wines in NYC, SF, or LV?

                                                      The food, and the service were really, really good, though did top out, below "great."

                                                      Hunt

                                                    2. One more note: While no one would think of a po-boy shop as a very welcoming place for vegetarians, Parkway has a Caprese po-boy (fresh mozz and tomatoes). It served as a nice counterpoint to the roast beef and fried shrimp po-boys that probably took six months off my life.

                                                      PS fried shrimp is the way to go at Parkway! I'm guessing there was a pound of perfectly fried shrimp on that bad (po-) boy. The roast beef is very tasty, but the sandwich disintegrates into a soggy mess well before you can finish it.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. Lis,

                                                        Having (sadly) only been to NOLA just the once I can only offer the one foodie to another advice as opposed to the local expertise, having said that if you want to read of my experiences while I was there 2 years ago get out my posts "A Canucknucklehead In NOLA" .

                                                        I hope they help!

                                                        1. Thank you so much for all the wonderful advice everyone! A few additional questions:
                                                          - How early should we show up at Galatoires if we don't book the upstairs? We want to eat lunch as early as possible on Sat so we can go on a tour at 1:15. How early would we have to arrive to get seated by 11:45?
                                                          - Similar question regarding Willie Mae's Scotch house. How long is the wait to get seated there?

                                                          Finally, I know this is a food site, but everyone has been so helpful that I was hoping you could give me a few tips regarding hotels. We have a room reserved at Le Pavilion, but I am starting to have second thoughts and wanting to change to somewhere in the French Quarter (most french quarter places are booked up, but there are a few nice looking places left). We only have three days in NOLA so perhaps its easiest to be right on top of it all? What do you guys think? Better to stay in the French Quarter or just outside? Have people heard good things about Pavilion? What about Le Marais or Dauphine Orleans Hotel in the french quarter?

                                                          THANKS AGAIN FOR ALL THE FABULOUS ADVICE!!

                                                          Lis

                                                          15 Replies
                                                          1. re: Lisabethm

                                                            Lunch at Gal's is a long slow process. Even if you were seated at 11:30, it would be hard to be out of there by 1:00. You might want to move Gal's to another day when you don't have an early afternoon appt.

                                                            1. re: Lisabethm

                                                              In my world, Galatoire's is not an eat-and-run place. Eating on-the-clock is a poor idea there. You could go after your 1:15 tour with ease. In the texasredtop scenario of being seated at 11:30, I wouldn't be out of there until 3:00 at the earliest. Order an appetizer...have another drink..maybe order another appetizer...you might not even get to a main course. Your hotel (the REAL name of which is the "DeSoto"---I won't recognize anything else) is perfectly fine. It is not a long walk to the French Quarter and, as a plus, you could swing by the Sazerac Bar in The Roosevelt (I won that name fight after 35 years) for a cocktail. Fun room.

                                                              1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                oddly, on my last lunch at Galatoire's, my usual waiter (hes been there for 25+, tho he likely doesnt recognize me), tried rushing us -- wanted to take the whole order, and kept dropping off the check despite us not being ready.

                                                                it was really weird.

                                                                1. re: kibbles

                                                                  I cannot teach you how to play diplomacy...and I am sure you need no lessons from me...but there is an art to reintroducing yourself. I've done it in foreign cities at places I lolve but had not been to in years. A sense of a suggestion that "I did not just walk in off the street" sort of thing. My advice is give your waiter some hints---and the must be genuine--that you know Where You Are. [In fairness to the waiters, SO many people think the waiter remebers them...and the waiter has 200 regulars dealt with each month.]

                                                                  1. re: kibbles

                                                                    First, I would greet my server, and reintroduce myself, with name, a few quick references to great service in previous visits - that sort of thing. Ask about the kids, or grand-kids, and really mean it.

                                                                    I do the same thing, with folk, who I only see at events. I might have met them years ago, and might have seen them 8 - 12x per year, at the various events, but I still identify myself, mention the last time that we saw one another, even if they were our guests at an event table. One meets so very many folk, that it can be tough, for all but the very best, to keep them apart. Just think of the number of people, that your server meets, between your visits.

                                                                    Unless someone has served my family, and then me (gosh, they would be old, wouldn't they?), I never assume that they will recall that I am "Master Hunt," from back in the '50s. That is just not fair to them. Besides, when I was 12, I did not have a white beard... ! [Grin]

                                                                    Just extend your hand, identify yourself, and ask about the family, with a few quick tid-bits on the great service from previous visits.

                                                                    Enjoy,

                                                                    Hunt

                                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                      Having only been there once we didn't have any way of "re-introducing" ourselves last time, but we did have a very laid back, relaxed vibe, and told him that we were in no rush and were left to enjoy ourselves for a good while, with just the occasional respectful check-ins to see if we needed sazerac refills (which we of course did). We put it out there and he "got" it.

                                                                      1. re: kukubura

                                                                        If you expressed a "not in a rush" timeline to the server, he/she should have heard you, and honored your request. The servers at Galatoire's have always impressed me, at listening to the diners, and structuring things to suit them.

                                                                        Sorry that your sever did not pick up, as they should have.

                                                                        Hunt

                                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                          Hunt, are you talking to me? We had as much time as we wanted to sip and snack. Kibbles was rushed.

                                                                          1. re: kukubura

                                                                            Yes. You are 100% correct. I apologize, and just hit the Reply button for the wrong poster. Thank you for that correction. Heck, I had not even declared "Wine-Thirty" yet.

                                                                            Sort of like when I am driving, and my wife is navigation, around Honolulu. "Well, it's a street that begins with K... " [Grin]

                                                                            Sorry,

                                                                            Hunt

                                                                      2. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                        sounds like a great way to handle it -- will re-introduce with our waiter next time.

                                                                    2. re: hazelhurst

                                                                      I will gladly second both TexaxTearDrop's, and Hazlehurst's comments. Galatoire's is not "rush before the show" sort of place, and is much better experienced, with time on one's hands. It is anything BUT "fast food." It is to be enjoyed, at all levels, over a leisurely meal.

                                                                      Enjoy!

                                                                      Hunt

                                                                    3. re: Lisabethm

                                                                      No way I would try to do Galatoire's in an hour and a half. Also, although a few disagree, I would not eat upstairs. (Also, there is NO WAY I am gonna refer to Galatoire's as "Gals", even to save a few strokes on the keyboard!)

                                                                      1. re: bhoward

                                                                        I mostly agree, but if one has dined downstairs in the past, has "played the game," and has "seen the tableau," then upstairs is not such a bad deal. Some typify it to being exiled on Elba, or Devil's Island, but I have never felt that way, and it serves a purpose - if one does have a schedule, reservations are secured, the food and service are great, and if one really wants "to be seen," that can easily happen, as they walk through the lower level to go upstairs.

                                                                        What particular problems do you find with upstairs? Just curious.

                                                                        Hunt

                                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                          I don't think there is any particular "problem" with upstairs. For the OP, however, or for someone such as myself who only gets to Galatoire's every couple of years or so I would highly recommend downstairs. The "tableau" (I think tumult or bustle are better descriptions but I won't quibble) downstairs is an important part of the Galatoire's experience for me but I will confess that if I ate there often I would probably enjoy a quiet or quieter lunch or dinner upstairs from time to time. And, finally, I am there to see the commotion, not to be seen, and I don't dine there often enough for it to get old. To summarize: I agree with everything you write about Galatoire's in your posts on this thread!

                                                                          1. re: bhoward

                                                                            I will not argue that the two venues in Galatoire's are different. They certainly are.

                                                                            Though it depends a bit, on what one wants, or expects, if one has not, say done Friday lunch, downstairs at Galatoire's, or has not stood in line to dine there, they must do that, at least one time.

                                                                            It is sort of how I explain Mardi Gras, to people, who have no clue. Everyone MUST do Mardi Gras. Then, they need to attend a second time, so that they will know that what they thought they saw, was in fact what they saw. Then, they must go back one more time, so that they will not pine to return again.

                                                                            Hunt

                                                                    4. Is Wille Maes' open on Saturdays? Finding mixed information on the net.

                                                                      1. nobody is mentioning GAUTREAU'S an unusual place to overlook as it is perhaps nola's finest restaurant.

                                                                        brigtsen's is great.
                                                                        upperline, clancy's, irene's.atchafalaya...all excellent

                                                                        galatoire's is galatoires, suis generis...the heart of new orleans.

                                                                        jaques imo's, crabby jack's, liuzas at the track, drago's.. parasol ...all wonderful downhome ( i only wish downhome were this good)

                                                                        nola is so good even the name restaurants are great--k-paul,nola,arnaud's,cochon,august...all wonderful

                                                                        1. I'd skip Dantes and go to Patois

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: alex70

                                                                            I think Dantes would have better vegetarian options than Patois (and many other restaurants in New Orleans)

                                                                          2. This thread has been very helpful
                                                                            I plan on visiting:
                                                                            cochon butcher
                                                                            parkway
                                                                            green goddess
                                                                            angelo brocato
                                                                            casamento
                                                                            maybe jacque-imo's

                                                                            thoughts?

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: benila

                                                                              If you will note from another thread it states Casamentos has already closed for the summer. Maybe someone else can confirm that.

                                                                            2. Hi All,

                                                                              I posted in February 2012 asking for restaurant advice for my first trip to New Orleans and got such wonderful responses. I ate incredibly well on that trip. I am now planning my second trip to New Orleans the week of Christmas and am wondering what has changed (am sure quite a bit!) Are there are any new must-try places and have any previously recommended places fallen from grace?

                                                                              Also, we'll be strays over Christmas. Does anyone know where we can go/what will be open to get a New Orleans-style christmas meal?

                                                                              Finally, best place for Vietnamese food in the city?