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Feb 27, 2012 12:09 PM

86 year old father needs bland food in NO. Is it possible?

My 86 year old father is coming for a one week vacation in March to NO. His wife eats some fish (not seafood) and mostly vegetarian. My father needs a bland diet, senior citizen specials kind of restaurant. do these kind of places exist near the french quarter where they will be staying? any suggestions would be hugely appreciated.

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  1. Galatoire's has some great fish dishes and they will prepare them anyway you wish. I don't find any of their food spicy except for the shrimp remoulade. You could ask the waiter for suggestions and they will be happy to accommodate you. In fact, that is true about almost any of the best places like Commander's Palace, Brigsten's, Cafe Atchafalaya etc. Call in advance and verify though.

    4 Replies
    1. re: texasredtop

      Hello Texasredtop. That is a good suggestion. they can enjoy the ambience while still eating food that won't upset their stomach. The only thing is that 7 days eating 3 meals a day at these fancy places will break the bank. it would be nice to have a couple casual places to go for an easy meal as well. so if you can think of anything else.............

      1. re: munchetta

        Maybe others would have some suggestions. I love the spicy hot and we usually spend a lot on our meals in NO. Maybe some poboys? We liked Mahony's on our last trip. I think they have a fried green tomato poboy for a vegetarian. They have so many choices that I'm sure you could find something not spicy. They aren't cheap though. Johnny's was good too and I don't remember it being spicy.

        Also, Bon Ton's food was bland to me but it might have been just the items I ordered. I don't think they are as expensive as Gal's.

        1. re: munchetta

          I'll second the point of good restaurants cooking something "to order" for your father and I think you may be able to find apps or side dishes to fit his diet. After all I would guess he's past eating 4 courses (like me!) That would keep the cost down.Then there are places that will probably whip up a tasty but blandish egg dish. Maybe Camilla Grill will fit.

          Also, the better po-boy places do a decent real ham ham & cheese po-boy while you can dive into the fried seafood or roast beef types.

      2. Now, while I am confused by the line:

        "His wife eats some fish (not seafood) and mostly vegetarian... "

        Well, fish are usually referred to AS "seafood."

        Now, G W Fins has local seafood, and many fish, in local preps. If you contact them, there should be some prep, that works, and is bland.

        For my late M-I-L, we did both Stella! and Dominica, and each made up a menu, just for the 90 year old, who ONLY eats chicken. Heck, Dominica's Chef offered to send a runner to the Popoeye's Fried Chicken outlet, some blocks away, just for her.

        The chef called my wife, to identify exactly what her mother enjoyed, and could eat. Pretty nice!

        Good luck, and enjoy!


        13 Replies
        1. re: Bill Hunt

          I forget how amazing the service is in NO. I am from Venice where we are famous for restaurants that NEVER do any adjustments ( ). Thank you for reminding me that asking for a special meal is possible. and there is always Popeye's chix. so funny!

          1. re: munchetta

            We have been fortunate to have dined around the globe, and with but a bit of notice, have had few issues, regardless of the number of stars shown in the entryway.

            Having top chef's, or their appointed executive chefs, offer "anything," to please, is a wonderful feeling. Such an attitude, towards comfort and enjoyment, goes a very, very long way.

            Once, in Denver at a wonderful French restaurant, we had M-I-L in tow for a great Chardonnay tasting dinner, though she did not drink any alcohol. Well, on that tasting menu, there were no chicken dishes, which usually appeared. Oops. I pulled the server aside, and explained my problem. In a few moments, the sommelier (a good friend), appeared with a chicken dish, just for her. He had gone across the street to a Church's Fried Chicken shop, and then the kitchen had re-plated it, with all sorts of little extras. Just for her! Gosh, I miss Tante Louise, as it was at the top of MY list, even over many Michelin starred restaurants in the UK, France, and elsewhere. Service, and accommodation can go a very long way towards ultimate satisfaction. I have had Gordon Ramsay, Guy Savoy, Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, Joël Robuchon, John Besh, Alan Wong, Frank Brigtsen, George Mavrothalassitis , Ives Granier, and many more, accommodate my wife's food issues, and none has ever complained, when given a few days to prepare for her. Pretty much the same for M-I-L, and her "needs" were far, far greater.

            I read the thread, linked above, and found it to be odd, at best. I have never encountered anything like that, but then it might depend on where I have dined?

            Most of all, enjoy!


            1. re: Bill Hunt

              Hi Bill.
              this is a difficult task since my father is difficult! I will not be with him so that makes it more difficult. I suggested he go to NO for vacation absent mindedly and then realized he won't be able to eat any of the food down there. He doesn't want to plan a day in advance either. While I like to go to many of the restaurants of the chef's you listed above, my sweet father is on a tight budget. But in the end New Orleans restaurants typically have great service and even the budget restaurants will probably cater to his needs. thank you for your reply.

              1. re: munchetta

                Although what I have to say regards regular cusromers at the Big places, I cannot imagine that any restaurant would not adjust. I have, in my lifetime, seen literally scores of superannuated people still going to Commander's, Galatoire's, Antoines etc and having adjustments made.

                The old Boston Ritz-Carlton used to have a slew of gentle stuff for their eldery residents.

                1. re: hazelhurst

                  I am going to send an email or call Commander's Palace and Galatoire's right now to see what they can do. thanks for the encouragement.

                  1. re: munchetta

                    That will really help.

                    When John Besh calls my wife, for dietary considerations for her mom, I know that there are many, who care, and care deeply.

                    We had similar issues in Denver, and the sommelier had a runner cross the street for a Church's fried chicken meal (IIRC), and the chef plated it, with some veggies, just for M-I-L. Nice touch, and not lost on me. Same with several restaurants in NOLA - they want to please, but might need a bit of time, to accommodate a particular diner.

                    Good luck,


                2. re: munchetta

                  I understand. My M-I-L (may she rest in peace), while a native New Orleanian, could not have survived on her own, unless she was near a Popeye's, or KFC. It just would not have happened. We called the chefs, and explained things, well before our visits, and were also at her side. By your description, things would have been a tragedy, in most aspects.

                  Now, if YOU call ahead, and can explain the needs, things might be different. Otherwise, I do not have any recs. Sorry.

                  Good luck,


                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                    Hello all. IT seems that fried chicken is quite popular as alternative for those needing special meals. I asked my father and he says deep fried chicken is too rich for him and also upsets his stomach. Turns out , we are really talking BLAND! broiled chicken and overcooked veggies and rice. yuch.

                    1. re: munchetta

                      New Orleans doesn't really have a lot of bland food of that nature on that level.

                      1. re: munchetta

                        Still, make reservations, and talk to one of the chefs. With a bit of time, you might be surprised at what they can offer. Most chefs, worth their toque, will be happy to please the diner. Those, who will not, just avoid.



                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                          I will advise my father that he will need to give chefs maybe a day in advance at least for special bland meal requests. Their hotel concierge probably can help. I will report back after his trip. thank you everyone for you comments.

                          1. re: munchetta

                            I don't think it would be hard to get a piece of fresh steamed or baked fish with no seasoning. The sides are likely prepared in bulk so that might be an issue. I hope all goes well for him but it seems like his money is wasted eating almost anywhere in NO.

                        2. re: munchetta

                          Fried chicken is very indigestible stuff! Any restaurant will prepare fish or chicken very simply, I really do not see any problem at all.

              2. My father also needs a bland diet and always finds something at Mandina's to satisfy.

                3 Replies
                1. re: edible complex

                  Thank you edible complex. Mandina's says right ont their website that they don't mind substitutions and special requests . great suggestion. thank you!

                  1. re: edible complex

                    I second Mandina's. Also Fury's and Peppermill have clientele that are primarily 60+.

                    1. re: fat harry

                      HI fat Harry
                      A second on Mandina's? great news. my dad leaves in a week and I will print out the info for Mandina's which will get a star on it and Fury's and Peppermill as well. thank you thank you.

                  2. The American Sector, a John Besh restaurant in the WW2 museum, seems tailor made for the needs of the older gentleman. Unfortunately, most dishes are fairly bland for my personal taste.


                    3 Replies
                    1. re: stephanb

                      a giant THANK YOU to all for your generous relies. My father loved the WW2 museum and it's food. He was bold in asking different restaurants for his special needs which they all gladly carried out. He had an amazing vacation. And no upset stomach. yay! New Orleans is truly magical. Can't wait to get back there myself.

                      1. re: munchetta

                        It's great to hear that it worked out for him and was a special trip.

                        1. re: munchetta

                          That's great! I'm glad he had wonderful time.

                      2. Bland food is available at just about any hospital cafeteria within the area and if you pick out the foods for him, Picadilly and Golden Corral. Of course, pepper is actually good for you. This is why Cajuns, Mexicans, and Indians(dot not feather) all have less health problems than do western europeans. Good luck or pack him a lunch, a few places don't really care if a member of the party packs in their own food, just buy your drink and dessert there as a kick back and the rest of the party buys off the menu or eats off the buffet which ever.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: hunkahunka

                          a hospital is the last place an 86 year old wants to visit on vacation! He already went on the trip and had a great time. and no stomach problems!