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The Infamous Line at Galatoires

It is our first trip to Galatoires, so we have been advised that we must do the line and eat downstairs at Galatoires. We only have about three days in NOLA and have quite the packed itinerary. Just how serious is this line business? If we show up at 11AM on a Saturday (30 mins before opening), how long will we have to wait for a lunch table? Or what about showing up at 11:30am sun? How early do you have to turn up to get seated upon opening for Sat or Sun lunch? Just want to have an idea about what we are dealing with in advance!

thanks!

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  1. Unless there is an "Event" in town...say, Easter Sunday...weekends are not bad. Friday is the bugaboo. If you are on line just prior to opening either Sat or Sun you should have no problem getting in right away. Or just go at 2:30 or 3:00.

    Other than Mardi Gras or other holidays, the only times I recall big lines on the weekends is when there is a cardiologist 's convention in town. Many of them don't practice what they preach since everything in Galatoires comes with butter.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hazelhurst

      I agree that getting there at 11:00 on a Saturday shouldn't be a problem. Friday is definitely a diffferent story.

    2. Why are the lines different on Fridays? And how long can one anticipate being in line?

      9 Replies
      1. re: cloey

        Forty years ago, Friday lunch was a jump-start to the weekend and was a lively, fun time. About twenty-five years ago, it became a see-and-be-seen event and, while it still has what we call "legitimate regulars" it has a lot of wanna-be sorts. It can be like a frat house...or it can be perfectly pleasant although this last is less likely. I just don't go on Friday unless it is late in the afternoon. Other find it amusing and riotous fun.

        1. re: hazelhurst

          That about sums it up. Friday lunches are best avoided.

          1. re: N.O.Food

            I don't know, I really like the show. If you wait until about 1:00 to go, you can be seated in 30-45 minutes usually and by then, the show is in full gear. You don't waste time watching it sprouting. My favorite lunch there was the Thursday before Christmas last year, it was a riot.

            1. re: texasredtop

              Suppose you go even later. How late can you go and still get the real deal Friday lunch show?

              1. re: johnb

                Well, they are wound up tight by 1:30 or 2. We usually leave about 3:30 - 4 and it's still going strong with only a few dropouts. Fridays or pre-holidays are the most festive days there that I have seen.

                1. re: texasredtop

                  Our notorious Friday DINNER a few years back was utter chaos due to the folks who had been there drinking since lunch. We forgot our umbrella and went back during Saturday lunch to pick it up and you could have told me that we were in the wrong restaurant and I would have believed you for how different it was.

                  1. re: kukubura

                    Now, did you use that umbrella to "second line" around the dining room?

                    Hunt

                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                      Alas no, but it did second line with the New Era brass band at the creole tomato and LA seafood festival.