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Nawlins Trip Advice

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Howdy,

I am planning a trip to the Crescent City in early June. I would love feedback from all you knowledgeable folks on the following itinerary (tentatively scheduled for 5 nights) as well as any specific menu recommendations. I have only been to your amazing city once before and will note what items on my plan are repeats with an *. I'm breaking it down into breakfast, lunch and dinner options plus places I wanted to grab a drink (or 4).

Other specs: I'll be a solo dinner almost exclusively, I'd rather not spend more than $20 for any one lunch and no more than $45 for any one dinner (with the exception of my lunch at Commander's Palace and a dinner at Galatoire's/Antoine's), and dinner places that take reservations are preferred (I am not a patient man when hungry).

Breakfast Choices (probably won't be daily since I won't always be up that early)

- *Cafe du Monde: for a Vieux Carre commencement to my trip and charge of cafe au lait/beignets
- Surrey's: it's near where I plan on staying, is it worth a stop?
- Refuel Cafe or Camelia Grill: which one would be better before a stroll through Audubon Park?
- Stanley: for a possible brunch
- *Ruby Slipper Cafe: don't remember it being so great, any contrary opinions?

Lunch Choices

- *Commander's Palace: I'm a sucker for two-bits martinis...and amazing food
- Muffaleta: went to *Central Grocery last time, but it seems many on this board prefer Frank's, or even Napoleon House for a non-traditional warm version
- Po Boys: leaning towards either Parkway (don't they close some random weekday like Wednesday?) or Domilise's (or both!), unless someone persuades me otherwise
- Dunbar's Creole Cooking: they are only open during school hours correct?
- Cafe Reconcile: love the purpose and the prices
- Willie Mae's: the sine qua non of fried chicken, right?

Dinner

- *Mr. B's: Does any other place compete for BBQ Shrimp?
- Galatoire's: Is this a must for a classic NOLA Friday night? or would I be better off at...
- Antoine's: for even more history?
- *Brigtsen's: Loved the duck last time, but some people seem to prefer...
- Upperline: even more. Thoughts?
- Cocquette or Herbsaint?: for more modern-influenced fare
- Jacques-Imo's or Atchafalya: for one more casual dinner

Drinks

-Tujagues: supposedly the best Sazerac around
- Bar Tonique: quality cocktails
- Bar unCommon: same
- Carousel Bar: unique atmosphere
- French 75: is the bartender really the star?
- Mid-City Yacht Club: worth the trek?
- One night pounding shots/beers at Spotted Cat or Snug Harbor

Lastly, is there anything you find missing from my above lists that is a "cant-miss" in your opinion?

Much thanks in advance for all your input.

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  1. I think Surrey's is well worth it. If you want roast beef poboy I would avoid Domilise's.

    As far as Mid City Yacht club, I only know it from my days of playing softball at St Patricks playground across the street before it was turned into the current bar. At the time it was a dump and all I know about it now is it is a good little neighborhood bar.

    23 Replies
    1. re: roro1831

      Is there any other po boy you would recommend at Domilise? For example, I understand that the shrimp po boy is highly rated at Parkway.

      Where would you go for a roast beef po boy?

      1. re: ndukka562

        I don't like seafood poboys as I prefer my seafood either raw or boiled as opposed to fried. I am not a fan of the bbq shrimp poboy at Liuzza's By the Track. I have only ever had the roast beef at Domilise's.

        I typically am a roast beef poboy person only, and my favorites are the roast beef poboy at R&O's in Bucktown, or the R&O Special. I also like Parkway. Guy's poboys on Magazine has, or used to have a realaly good pork chop poboy.

        1. re: ndukka562

          I would go to Parkway for the roast beef. Shrimp's good too. Or you can do the surf & turf, fried shrimp and RB with gravy.

          1. re: noradeirdre

            Surf and turf sounds amazing!

            1. re: ndukka562

              Far from amazing unless you like soggy fried shrimp.

              1. re: JazzyB

                I think you may be right. More likely to do the roast beef at Parkway and the shrimp at Johnny's.

                1. re: ndukka562

                  I think I would so the other way around.

                  1. re: expatorleanian

                    Really? The consensus seems to be that Parkway has the best roast beef and Johnny's the best shrimp. Is that way off?

                    1. re: expatorleanian

                      .

                      1. re: expatorleanian

                        I was thinking the same thing.

                        1. re: expatorleanian

                          johnnys is not know for its RB, while parkway is. I really like the shrimp at both.

                          1. re: kibbles

                            What difference does it make if they are "known for it "or not, if it's good. Just my 2 cents, but Parkways RB is not very good.

                            1. re: JazzyB

                              because what I'm getting at is i don't think Johnny's RB is all that, where's Parkway's is. imo they're known for it because it's very good. I wouldn't "use up" a roast beef slot on Johnny's... far better options out there when it comes to roast beef.

                              1. re: kibbles

                                Really, I can't figure out the attraction to Parkways's RB. Not much flavor and a soggy mess. I've had better elsewhere. OTOH, their shrimp is my favorite (since the demise of Brunings). On another noter note; can't wait for Chef Duke to open his seafood resto on the lake. Hopefully he will serve oyster poboys, which are consistently the best at the world's longest oyster poboy fest.

                                1. re: JazzyB

                                  So if you could only get one RB po boy in the central New Orleans area (i.e. not R&O since you need a car to get out to Bucktown) where would folks go? At this point, based on feedback and geographical concerns I'm thinking about dropping Parkway for a sampler/taste-off between Tracey's and Parasol's.

                                  1. re: ndukka562

                                    I don't EVER want a roast beef poboy while in NO. Gimme the oyster loaf at Casamento's and a shrimp at Johnny's or Mahony's and all is right with the world.

                                    1. re: texasredtop

                                      And for me the RB poboy is the measuring stick between all poboy places. Maybe that is because I don't like fried seafood on a sandwich, not much fried seafood at all as I would prefer it raw (oysters), boiled (shrimp etc) or chargrilled (oysters)

                                      1. re: roro1831

                                        Well, as Bunny Matthews charater Vic said: "It ain't da seafood makes ya fat...it's da battah!"

                                  2. re: JazzyB

                                    Now, I have only had, maybe a half-dozen Parkway RB's, and do admit that I "mess mine up," but thought that they were very good.

                                    Heck, I used to mess up my Acy's, and also my Frank's Deli (back when Frank's M-I-L did the RB) versions, as I would go with Swiss, gravy, toasted sandwich and then, some spicy mustard. Back in the time, I had my own bottle of Gulden's, or similar, waiting.

                                    Was Parkway's version the "best ever?" No, but they have been good for me.

                                    Have I tried every RB po-boy (apologies to New Orleans Magazine) in New Orleans? No. Not even close.

                                    Are there better versions in New Orleans? There probably are.

                                    Hunt

                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                      exactly, bill. Parkway is not the best in the world, but it's consistently pretty good (personally i would use less filling as they can get a bit soggy). i contrast this w/ Johnny's where ive received watery sliced rb not unlike Mother's.

                                      1. re: kibbles

                                        With a RB po-boy, I want a certain level of "sogginess." However, it needs to be right, and the RB needs to have some tasty elements - the more, the better.

                                        Hunt

                                  3. re: kibbles

                                    RB poboy search
                                    http://topics.nola.com/tag/best%20roa...

                    2. re: ndukka562

                      I have enjoyed Parkway Bakery and Tavern's shrimp po-boys, plus their RB po-boys.

                      I also like the shrimp po-boys at Felix's in the FQ.

                      We probably do too much fine-dining, to be of much use, but DO enjoy our po-boys.

                      Enjoy,

                      Hunt

                  2. Parkway is closed on Tuesdays. Excellent RB there. I actually just had their corned beef poboy today, it was goood. I like Central Grocery for muffelettas. For your dinners, I recommend going to Coquette, Herbsaint, and Atchafalaya for sure.

                    For drinks, check out Twelve Mile Limit, Cure, and Belloq.

                    Surrey's is totally worth it.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: noradeirdre

                      So are you recommending Atchafalaya over Jacques-Imo's? I am leaning that way now that I see Jacques-Imo's has an NYC outpost.

                      And do you think both Herbsaint and Cocquette are worth taking up 2 out of 5 dinners?

                      Loving the bar recommendations!

                      1. re: ndukka562

                        Jacques-Imo's had a NYC outpost at one time. Last time we were in the NO location ('09)we asked the man himself about the NY location as it would be super convenient for us to get our fix of NOLA fare being from the NY Metro area. While he did not say when it closed he noted the need to stay focused on the NO location. This may be true - he may have been tipsy - it was Cinco de Mayo. If you decide to dine there shoot for Tuesday if possible and hit the Maple Leaf next door to see Rebirth and have some drinks - good times.

                        Regarding your po-boy question: I love the shrimp po-boy at Johnny's on St. Louis St in the FQ.

                        1. re: j.ho

                          I second the shrimp poboy at Johnny's. Delicious and my favorite poboy in NO. I didn't care for the oyster poboy there though and that is usually my favorite everywhere.

                          The shrimp poboy at Mahony's was also good but the large poboy with the large shrimp was quite expensive. My husband had the shrimp and I had the small chicken liver which was huge and stuffed full of fresh fried chicken livers. If you go to Mahony's don't miss the onion rings or onion strings or whatever they call them. Delicious.

                        2. re: ndukka562

                          Yep, and yep. In spades!

                          1. re: ndukka562

                            Jacques for funky ambience, mediocre food. Hell yes, to Herbsaint and Coquette! Add Tonique on Rampart for cocktails.

                            1. re: JazzyB

                              Thanks. Tonique is on my list.

                        3. Sounds like you've received good advice. One little thing -- no one here says "Nawlins" -- that is strictly Hollywood hoohah. You've done your homework diligently enough to consider yourself an honorary local.

                          Since others have addressed the food, your drink choices are spot on as well. Tujague's, absolutely the best, most balanced Sazerac. Carousel Bar was recently renovated and expanded and now boasts live music and a (pricey) bar menu. French 75's bartender Chris Hannah is a star but by no stretch a prima donna. The bar has wonderful ambience unless you have a serious aversion to cigars to which it is friendly. Order the souffle potatoes with your drinks.

                          Enjoy!

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: rouxdauphine

                            The Nawlins thing was my first thought as well but didn't want to point it out right out the gate.Lol

                            1. re: roro1831

                              Thanks for sparing my blushes.

                              1. re: ndukka562

                                Do not feel bad. When I talk of my heritage, unless the listener is from the New Orleans environs, they almost always pipe up with a comment along the lines of "Oh, you mean Naw-w-lins?" or some variation. Then, they usually ask why neither my wife (the NOLA native), nor I, say it like they think it should be said. Obviously, Hollywood has corrupted many, many people.

                                As roro stated, I hung on that for a bit, but let it pass.

                                Most often, and with slightly different inflections, you will most often hear, "Neworlins," without much of a break, if any, between the words. I do pause a bit more between "New" and "Orlins," but remember, I am not the authentic "native" in the family, so just plead that I am from Mississippi, and we ALL know how those people are... Another pronunciation that you will likely not hear from a local is "New OR-leans," outside of song, or film.

                                Most important, however, is that you get to some of the finest dining in the US, and possibly most of the world. It is tough to hit ALL of the high-spots, as there are just so very many. However, the folk here, know their stuff. Oh, I might disagree with a restaurant here, or there, but they will never steer you too far wrong.

                                Enjoy, and travel safely,

                                Hunt

                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                  Thank you for this very detailed explanation! I may never sound like a local, but at least I won't sound clueless.

                                  And totally agreed on New Orleans having some of the finest dining in the world. In fact per capita, it HAS to be the best city for food. Juggernauts like NYC and Paris hit the highs but have so many lows. I feel like you really have to try to find bad food in New Orleans.

                            2. re: rouxdauphine

                              Regarding the term "Nawlins": I had a friend who took the train from Chicago to New Orleans (the famed "City of New Orleans") and he said that is how the conductor announced the arrival. I suppose that could have been to appease the tourists as well.

                              Having only visited once - and absolutely loved the town - I consider it a great achievement to be considered an honorary anything having to do with N.O.

                              I have no aversion to cigars and since N.O. is one of the few cities in America left where you can drink and smoke at the same time, I definitely plan on partaking at French 75.

                            3. So is the consensus that for po boys Domilise's is not up to par? How about Casamento's for a different uptown option?

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: ndukka562

                                Casamentos for raw oysters and fried crab claws. The oyster loaf (fried oysters on white bread) is also great. They fry in lard, mmmmm!

                                1. re: ndukka562

                                  Casamento's is fantastic.

                                  1. re: noradeirdre

                                    And only uses cornmeal.

                                2. OK thanks to some fabulous feedback here is my updated Neworlins plan:

                                  Breakfasts

                                  - Cafe du Monde
                                  - Surrey's
                                  - Stanley: would it be worth the extra cost and the hassle of heading to the FQ for a breakfast here or am I better off just sticking to Surrey's as my go-to in the morning?

                                  Casual Lunches/Quick Bites

                                  - Parkway: roast beef
                                  - Johnny's: shrimp
                                  - Casamento's: when is the best time to avoid the lines?
                                  - Napoleon House
                                  - Dunbar's or Cafe Reconcile: these seem too similar to justify both, if I can only do one which would you recommend?

                                  Less Casual Lunches

                                  - Commander's Palace
                                  - Mr. B's

                                  Linch/Dinner Combo

                                  - Galatoire's: seems like I ought to try the Friday afternoon experience at least once, but would it be awkward as a single?

                                  Dinners

                                  - Atchafalaya: any specific dishes not to miss?
                                  - Herbsaint: same question
                                  - Cocquette: how do people feel about the tasting menu v. a la carte?
                                  - Upperline/Brigten's/Dante's: which would you pick?
                                  - Mandina's/Green Goddess: I realize these are two VERY different places, but all things considered (value, food, atmosphere) which would you go to with one meal left in NOLA?

                                  18 Replies
                                  1. re: ndukka562

                                    Ar Herbsaint there's this housemade spaghetti/ guincale/fried poached egg thing that's awesome. The gumbo is awesome too- as is everything else. Coquette- both the a la carte and the chef's tasting menu is great, so go with your instincts. I'd chose Brigtsens and Green Goddess. (Green Goddess by MILES)

                                    1. re: noradeirdre

                                      I believe there is a "small plates" option at Herbsaint so you can try a few things. I second the gumbo - it is awesome. I would highly recommend the frog's legs app/small plate. I also had the shrimp and fried grits which was fantastic. They make a killer Sazerac too if you're up for it.

                                      And I have to agree again with the call on Brigsten's - go with the duck you won't regret it.

                                      1. re: j.ho

                                        I actually went to Brigtsen's on my last trip. Don't recall if I had the duck or not but the food was fantastic.

                                        My only problem with Brigtsen's is that I am going to be solo and the atmosphere of the place just seems more conducive to being in a small group. Does everyone thnk that Brigtsen's is head and shoulders above Dante's and Upperline? I seem to have read a review on this board preferring the Upperline duck to the one at Brigtsen's.

                                    2. re: ndukka562

                                      I think Casamentos opens at 11:00 or 11:30, and shortly thereafter is a good time to avoid lines. One strategy is to stip in Ms Mae's (the bar next door to Casamentos); get your drink in a go cup and you can check out the line and time it as you'd like.

                                      1. re: Niki in Dayton

                                        Thank for this advice. Another thing New Orleans has that nowhere else in the country seems to: on-the-go drinking. Although I heard that this was only explicitly legal in the FQ.

                                        1. re: ndukka562

                                          It's legal anywhere in the city, just don't carry glass bottels. That's why the bars have go cups at the exits.

                                          1. re: ndukka562

                                            It covers the entire state as far as I know. There are several drive-through places in Lake Charles to pick up an adult beverage while out and about. They don't serve anything else. I grew up with it being that way there.

                                            1. re: texasredtop

                                              The city of New Orleans, Louisiana allows the possession and consumption on the street of any alcoholic beverage in an open plastic container (not in glass bottles or containers). Throughout the rest of Louisiana, however, open containers are still prohibited.

                                              I think the drive through daquiri places sell them to go, but they will put tape over the hole for the straw and if you are caught in the car with the tape off you can get a ticket. But I could be mistaken about that. I know when I was in college in Baton Rouge I recall drinking on the streets but that was during fairs or a festival or parade in Spanish Town. I honestly don't recall walking between bars with drinks but that was a while back.

                                              Beale Street and a few other places around the country also allow open containers.

                                              1. re: roro1831

                                                There wasn't tape over the straw hole. It's been some years since I've been there. I wanted to wait and get a real drink but my sister insisted on driving through for a koolaid drink. I knew it would be a waste of money but went along with it. We also had some "to go" drinks from a drive-through out on old Airline Hwy when we were evacuating for Katrina that Saturday before. The traffic was insane and we needed something to get through the madness. Luckily just a few miles up the road, it cleared out and we saw no more traffic until we got to Plaquemine.

                                            2. re: ndukka562

                                              Some years back, we picked up a 5 gal. container of daiquiri's from one of the local daiquiri stores for an event. They wanted to know if we wanted two long straws, so that the container could fit between us, as we drove! Do not know if that policy has changed.

                                              Hunt

                                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                In high school there was a bar we would go to with empty gallon jugs and they would fill them with beer for us. We'd ride around in the back of the pickup drinking from them. lol Good times!!!

                                                1. re: texasredtop

                                                  Well, when I was in high school, pickup trucks had not been invented, though we would do similar with our buggies... [Gin]

                                                  Hunt

                                                2. re: Bill Hunt

                                                  My (limited) understanding of recent open container law changes is that drivers should not have access to booze while they're driving or they can be ticketed. Drive up daiquiri shops should put a plastic film over the top of the container (similar to how bubble tea is often packaged) to ensure drivers can't get at the sickly sweet "goodness" within. Experience has shown that this law is ignored by citizens and police alike (though not by me, I ride a motorcycle and these roads are brutal).

                                                  Also, your presumed typo "[Gin]" was awfully apropos ... good one.

                                                  1. re: montuori

                                                    Ah, about time that things changed. Guess that MADD made an impression?

                                                    Hunt

                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                      Bill,
                                                      I grew up in NJ so have a bit twisted sense of humor, I took a picture about 5 years ago on Airline Highway. There a small sign for Franks Bloody Mary's 2.5 miles. The sign was right next to a cross where someone had died only in New Orleans..... dc

                                                      1. re: don515

                                                        Well, I can see the irony of such a juxtaposition.

                                                        NOLA has been known as a city, where almost everything goes. In most ways, I am glad that some aspects of the alcohol "open society" has been reeled in.

                                                        Hunt

                                            3. re: ndukka562

                                              I prefer the tasting menu at Coquette. Even when the plating combos sound odd, they work. One of my favorites in town. Sort of a less polished, more casual August.

                                              1. re: ndukka562

                                                I really enjoyed Herbsaint. I recommend the duck confit, but I don't recall disliking anything I had that night. Herbsaint's sister restaurant, Cochon, was also very, very good, and cheaper. Consider it for lunch.

                                              2. If you're into heavy reading ndukka562 check out my thread from two years ago "A Canucknucklehead In NOLA Day 1 - 8.5"

                                                As for what I can add from personal experience:
                                                Cafe du Monde ++
                                                Stanley ++ Eggs Benedict Poboy!
                                                Central Grocery muff was good, service in Napoleon House was lethargic at best we decided to leave after drinks because the waiters seemed more interested in cramming in other tables.
                                                Poboys I'm not an expert or a local but found Johnny's in the FQ and Mahoney's on Magazine to be equally good. Having said that it's like the difference to some people like Burger King and Macdonalds, you like what you like and don't like the rest.
                                                Only had the shrimp @ Mr. B's. I really didn't need to look for better so I stopped with theirs!
                                                Pravda's not a bad spot in the FQ to sink a few.

                                                My 2 cents....

                                                Whoops missed you're revised list!
                                                Green Goddess ++

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: bourbonstjoe

                                                  I may just do that. Although at that moment I seem to have too many options and too much information and don't want to get overwhelmed.

                                                  1. re: bourbonstjoe

                                                    Regarding Napoleon House, were you sitting at the bar or at a table? I had a great experience with just a drink at the bar last time. Maybe as a single I would have better service getting food there?

                                                    1. re: ndukka562

                                                      You might want to Search this board on solo dining recs. There are a few fairly recent threads on many NOLA restaurants, for both guys and gals doing solo.

                                                      Good luck, and can well understand the "overload."

                                                      Hunt

                                                      1. re: ndukka562

                                                        The GF and I were seated at a table near the door by a waiter and given menues, he looked extremely bored but kept waving in people to be seated in the restaurant. We'd managed to get our Pimm's Cup delivered but after 15-20 minutes we decided that the lack of service to us was unacceptable. The better half had to flag down another waiter and pay the bill through him as our original still had not returned. Maybe it was just our experience, but in my opinion it wasn't a good experience.

                                                        Sorry if you're overloaded, I'd advise you read my threads and just take 'em with a grain of salt, it's just my opinion and I've come to realise that it never amounts to much sometimes. NOLA will be an amazing experience the second time, as it was the first, I still envy the Chow regulars that are from there and get to talk so intimately about day-to-day, I just got the privilege once so far in my life and I'm so willing to return! :)

                                                    2. Did you already see the thread about all the $20 lunch deals (prix fixe/limited menu) at fancy places all over town? August for $20.12, L√ľke for $15 (express lunch), Iris, etc? And Domenica has happy hour from 3-6pm (half price gourmet pizzas, drinks).

                                                      7 Replies
                                                      1. re: fiorbhlasta

                                                        Yes I have. I'm planning on hitting Commander's Palace, Mr. B's, and Luke for oyster happy hour.

                                                        1. re: ndukka562

                                                          Awesome! May the Force be with you!

                                                          1. re: ndukka562

                                                            Don't miss lunch at August. Brigtsen's hands down over Dante's. Solo dining, request the front porch.

                                                            1. re: JazzyB

                                                              In addition to Commander's and Mr. B's, I plan on a couple of po boys and a muffaleta for lunch. So I'm not sure I'll be able to fit an August lunch into this trip. Plus Coquette will be enough "modern" for me. I kinda feel like New Orleans is a place to embrace tradition and history as much as possible.

                                                              I ate at Brigtsen's last time I was in Neworlins, and although the food was lovely, I feel like it is a bit awkward as a single. It is such an intimate, homey atmosphere and you sort of feel out of place eating alone there as opposed to say a place with a bar or more of a crowd. That being said, I don't remember any porch dining. Would that be full-on al fresco?

                                                              1. re: ndukka562

                                                                Enclosed with 2 or 3 tables. Try the bar at Herbsaint, food bar at Emeril's or Cochon (all apps are the way to go),Cochon Butcher.
                                                                Have your poboy for dinner. Serious mistake missing a 3 course $20.12 lunch at August. Arguably the best restaurant in
                                                                town. There's a small 2 top against the wall or sit at the bar. Folks were surprisingly casual during lunch last week. (polos, even surgical scrubs).

                                                                Central Grocery's muff travels well and seems to taste better after a day or so. Take one home, bring to room temp before eating for full flavor.

                                                                1. re: ndukka562

                                                                  Feed free to type New Orleans or NO for short. If we typed everything like it sounded, we wouldn't know what the heck anyone was talking about - lol neauxwhadimeen

                                                                  Just be yourself when you are there. They will recognize someone trying to mimic them and that won't go over too well so don't try too hard, you'll be better accepted for being yourself :-)

                                                            2. re: fiorbhlasta

                                                              Thanks for the prix fixe info, fiorbhlasta. Do you know of a central place or a website that lists all of the cheap deals at fancy joints? I'd love to make plans using a fairly comprehensive list.

                                                            3. OK, here is my last go at an itinerary. It's a revised structure since it now looks like I'll have only 4 nights (5 days) in town...

                                                              Po Boys: Will seek to hit up 2 or 3 of the following

                                                              - Parkway: roast beef (but latest responses seem to suggest shrimp!! what do folks think?!?!)
                                                              - Parasol's: roast beef
                                                              - Johnny's: shrimp
                                                              - Casamento's: oyster loaf

                                                              Quick Bites With Drinks

                                                              - Napoleon House: warm muffaleta and a Pimm's Cup
                                                              - Luke: oyster happy hour

                                                              Breakfast: not a real emphasis this trip (have to save calories somewhere!)

                                                              - Surrey's
                                                              - Stanley: possible brunch

                                                              Old Guard

                                                              - Galatoire's: based on input from many on here (especially hazelhurst) I think I'm going to eschew the Friday scene on my first take and do a different leisurely afternoon (Thurs/Sat)
                                                              - Commander's Palace: Can you reserve the garden room as a single? Would it be uncomfortable in early June?

                                                              Relatively Old Guard

                                                              Mr. B's: bbq shrimp lunch

                                                              Relative Newcomers

                                                              Green Goddess: reading great things
                                                              Coquette: my choice for modern New Orleans (sorry August, not this trip)
                                                              Herbsaint: will stick to the apps (gumbo, guanciale pasta, etc.)
                                                              Atchafalaya: one more casual option, any dish recommendations?

                                                              Drinking Musts

                                                              - Tujague's: sazerac
                                                              - Belloq: drinks from the late 19th century? thank you very much (indebted to noradeirdre)
                                                              - French 75
                                                              - Carousel Bar

                                                              Other Drink Possibles

                                                              Bar Tonique: hear great things about the Ramos Gin Fizz
                                                              Cure: looks good, but a little out of the way, and strikes me as a very New York-ish place
                                                              12 Mile Limit: also out of the way but strikes me as a very New Orleans-ish place
                                                              Bar unCommon/Sazerac Bar: which is best CBD option?

                                                              And as has become tradition, a muffaletta from Central Grocery for home

                                                              45 Replies
                                                              1. re: ndukka562

                                                                You'll be fine in the Garden Room as a single although the restaurant might want more revenue and shunt you off to a side room or maybe downstairs by the staircase. That's a hit-or-miss but if you strike now you probably will be alright.

                                                                Try Tracey's for Roast Beef. I've been fairly happy with them. Parasol's is not bad..it is just that (as with Mandina's) I have very happy memories of the place as it used to be and there have been changes that make me heartsick.

                                                                If you do Galatoire's Thurs/Sat, I strongly advise dressing up even if not required. It is part of the sense of "place". Children of my contemporaries will wear jackets but not ties and it distresses my gang. We are on the way out but we played by the rules in the Old Days and wonder why people cannot do it today. It ain't hard. Remember to take your time..relax. It's a neighborhood joint.

                                                                1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                  I sat downstairs last time I went to CP so I would really love to sit in the Garden Room this time. Perhaps they wouldn't mind the lost revenue of a single on an early reservation in the middle of the week in June.

                                                                  I completely appreciate and am in accord with your suggestion regarding attire at Galatoire's. I usually love any excuse I can find to wear a tie. Would a sportscoat with slacks and a tie be sufficient? Or do I have to go the full suit route to really fit in?

                                                                  1. re: ndukka562

                                                                    I'm sure you'll be OK with the Garden Room, especially as you describe the timing.

                                                                    Sportscoat should be fine. Suit on Sunday. I almiost always am in a suit but occasionally (say, Xmas) I break out a LOUD plaid for the helluvit. But, if not in a suit, I'm in blazer and khakis.

                                                                    1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                      Since we're on that topic - can I ask for you to opine on a fashion related question? Is a Seersucker jacket appropriate for weekday dinner at Galatoire's? As we are from the North I typically only get to wear this on Easter or our annual Sunday brunch in New Orleans. I was hoping to pack light and just take one jacket. I look forward to your feedback.

                                                                      - Jay

                                                                      1. re: j.ho

                                                                        Recent article in New Orleans Magazine was pushing for an extension on both ends of the "seersucker and white linen suit season." Not sure how much traction that might get?

                                                                        I push the traditional timings, but then live in the High Sonoran Desert, where it gets hot, and stays hot. Also, most folk here know that I am from the Deep South, so they let me get away with things, that others might get nailed for.

                                                                        Enjoy,

                                                                        Hunt

                                                                        1. re: j.ho

                                                                          Even by Newport arriviste, nouveau riche standards, June is fine for seersucker. We are on the same latitude as Cairo so those Northeastern rules just don't apply. When the Royal Navy is in town for Carnival, they are often seen in tropical whites and if it is good enough for Her Majesty then who is Miss Manners to quibble?

                                                                          A friend wore a seersucker suit and straw boater to Galatoires the day after the Harlequins ball (December 28) back in the 1980's..it was 92 degrees that day. He said it was an active protest.

                                                                          1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                            I was on the fence about wearing seersucker to dinner in early May. Apparently Easter to Labor day is the season. Interseting story here:

                                                                            http://www.nola.com/nolavie/index.ssf...

                                                                            1. re: j.ho

                                                                              My 20 something son bought a seersucker suit and immediately had the pants hemmed to bermuda shorts length. Next he decided the clean hemmed look wasn't working and tore down the hems. He wears his "suit" sans socks with bone Cole Haan oxfords. I guess when you are young and slim you can get away with anything. lol

                                                                              1. re: JazzyB

                                                                                Yes, "young and slim" CAN get away with much.

                                                                                That is why I lean towards a two-button look - I am neither young, nor slim.

                                                                                Way, way back, I had a matching madras jacket and shorts, and at the yacht club, got away with that look. I would never, never try that at Galatoire's, Antoine's, Arnaud's, or similar.

                                                                                What is deemed "appropriate" nowadays, has changed. Whether there is a written, published RULE, I dress for the location, and to fit in with the majority of the patrons. I want to be comfortable, when I dine, and there are a few extra considerations in New Orleans.

                                                                                Enjoy,

                                                                                Hunt

                                                                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                  Wish I'd seen the madras suit. Was out at the yacht club last weekend. Turtle soup is still fabulous.

                                                                                  1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                                    Have not been, post-K. Gotta' get by. I do recall the turtle soup fondly. Glad that it has not lost its luster, as has CP's, at least IMHO, based on three, fairly recent trips.

                                                                                    Thanks for the update.

                                                                                    Hunt

                                                                              2. re: j.ho

                                                                                As Hazelhurst mentions, the "old standards" are being pushed.

                                                                                In New Orleans, not THAT far north of Havana, one can dress for the weather, and no one will notice, or should notice. You will be just fine at any of the Grand Dames.

                                                                                Sat for cafe-au-lait with Tennessee Williams, many years ago at CDM. He was wearing seersucker, and it was November, and even with a chill in the air. I inquired, and he stated, "We are in New Orleans. It is not like any other city in the US."

                                                                                Enjoy the cuisine, and do not worry about the attire, so long as you do a jacket, where required.

                                                                                Hunt

                                                                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                  You had coffee with Tennessee Williams?!?! You must be a big deal!

                                                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                    Uh, yeah, we're gonna need a little more detail on this...

                                                                                    1. re: kukubura

                                                                                      After two months, is it still considered a pregnant pause?

                                                                                      1. re: kukubura

                                                                                        OK, this has fallen into "threaded hell." What exactly are you talking about, and I will do my best to answer?

                                                                                        Thank you,

                                                                                        Hunt

                                                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                          Mr. Hunt, I believe kukubura was requesting an elaboration on how you came to have coffee with Tennessee Williams.

                                                                                          1. re: ndukka562

                                                                                            Thank you for the clarification.

                                                                                            That is simple. I began dating my wife in the early 60's, and we' do ften head to CDM, for a "Midnight snack." Often, we would head to CDM, though that did depend on the night of the week, and the next day's schedules. It was probably 1962, when we were here.

                                                                                            One night, I picked her up, per usual, and we headed to the FQ, for late-night coffee. We arrived about Midnight, and took a able at the railing, as per our norm. Before we could order, a gentleman approached, and stated that we were sitting at "his table," but then asked, "can I join you?" though most tables were empty, at that time of the night. We quickly agreed, and introduced ourselves, then the waiter arrived. We all ordered, and sat, sipping, when everything arrived.

                                                                                            I did not recognize "Thomas Williams," from his introduction, but others might have.

                                                                                            We discussed many things, as the fog rolled in, as I like it, and the Jax Brewery was churning out great aromas.

                                                                                            We spoke of many things, as we were enveloped in the fog, and the aromas of the Jax Brewery, offering various observations.

                                                                                            Mr. Williams offered some comments, but mostly asked questions of us. At some point in the late evening, he allowed as how he had written some plays, but probably not ones, that we would be familiar with. It was about that time, that I began trying to put things together - playwrite, Williams, New Orleans, and then things began to gel a bit. I crafted the conversation to some of this gentleman's plays, and it suddenly became very obvious to both of us, with whom we were seated, and having idle chatter. We sort of steered the conversation to the gentleman, and to his works. He was very hesitant to to go into things too much, but then warmed to us, at least a bit.

                                                                                            We discussed New Orleans, at that time, and he offered a few insights, into what he had known, well before me, though my wife was able to keep up, for much of the conversation, as she was a local. Let's just say that for many decades, she matched "Mr. William,s" but then he went back to before her time. Fortunately, he shared with us. We both learned a lot that night.

                                                                                            When that evening was done, I think that we left for home, about 3:00AM, though the fog was still there, and Jax was still brewing. I flipped on the fog lamps on the XKE, and headed up river, to River Ridge. Later, we would marry and live up River, in the same area, but not yet.

                                                                                            Over the decades, I have met some very interesting people at CDM, though usually at really "off hours."

                                                                                            Several years before, I was with a wonderful young lady, whom I was dating at the time, when she interviewed William Faulkner. I wish that had been at CDM, on a foggy night, when Jax Brewery was active, but it was not to be -Oxford,MS was the venue. OTOH, some years later, I was hired to reproduce one of Mr. Faulkner's manuscripts, that had never been published before. He was gone by then, but the project held a special place in my heart, based on the day, that I sat, in total silence, as that young lady asked many questions for her thesis.

                                                                                            Sometimes, I feel like the Forrest Gump character, but removed by several degrees. I have been in the company of greatness, but only as a "bit player." Not even as a footnote in history.

                                                                                            Had Mr.Williams imagined who my wife would become, one day, he would never have bothered with me, and only discussed things with her.

                                                                                            Every time that I dine at CDM, I look back over history, and imagine the fog rolling in from the River, with the Jax Brewery churning out that hoppy aroma, that permeated the FQ, back in the days. Great memories, but not quite the same, nowadays. That is why I often recommend going to CDM, "after dinner,"as you never know, with whom you might share a table.

                                                                                            Hunt

                                                                                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                              How very pleasant. Thanks for recalling that era. You are a bit ahead of me but I remember much of the same stuff.

                                                                                              1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                                                Yes, advanced old age has a few benefits, and many extend beyond a Sr. discount... [Grin]

                                                                                                Heck, much of what I have lived, is not even mentioned in History classes today. Maybe in The Ancient History of the United States? While I do not remember Woodrow Wilson, it was not THAT long afterward, that I came into being.

                                                                                                That is one reason that many of my New Orleans culinary memories touch on restaurants that were gone by the late 50's.

                                                                                                Now, if I could only remember why I came into this room...

                                                                                                Hunt

                                                                                              2. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                What a great story. Thanks for sharing!

                                                                                                1. re: kukubura

                                                                                                  X2 to that.

                                                                                                  1. re: kukubura

                                                                                                    You are most welcome. Other than the actual meeting, I probably have embellished things a bit, but I do recall the fog, and Jax Brewery. Though I hated their beer, so many of my FQ memories feature the aromas, and especially in the evening - like the Folgers Coffee plant, out around Gentilly, east of the Industrial Canal.

                                                                                                    Maybe it was my readings of Faulkner, or that brief meeting, but aromas have always played a major role in my memories, and when the phase of the Moon is correct, I can conjure up many, and be transported to another time, and another place.

                                                                                                    That might explain why I get aromas in a wine, that most others do not, even very experienced tasters - I have a great aroma/taste memory.

                                                                                                    Hope that I did not get too far OT here, as that was never my intent - just wanted to talk about CDM, which holds many, many memories for me.

                                                                                                    Hunt

                                                                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                      Off topic, shmoff shmopic. New Orleans is about EXPERIENCES and CHARACTERS. Maybe we can have a thread in the OT forum where we just tell great NOLA stories, food-related or not.

                                                                                                      1. re: kukubura

                                                                                                        Hey, count me in on that one. While I do not have many more, if I can jar my feeble memory a bit, I might have at least one more to add.

                                                                                                        Now, would we do that in Not About Food, or elsewhere? I often get confused on the various boards, but that comes with old age.

                                                                                                        Hunt

                                                                                                        PS - Ready when you are.

                                                                              3. re: hazelhurst

                                                                                What are the "changes" that you refer to at Parasol's and Mandina's? Do they have to do with the food?

                                                                                1. re: ndukka562

                                                                                  Parasol's was unchanged from the 1960's until the family sold it (to the "Tulane kids from New Jersey." That may not be right but people are always blaming things on the Tulane kids from New Jersey). the new owners took out the old slide-top coolers behind the bar and replaced them with garish Coca-Cola coolers, probably with a payment from Coke. That seemed ominous. Then several of the regular neighborhood barflies disappeared. The roast beef, I thought, held up most times but sometimes it had not been allowed to sit around forever and get really tender the way it is supposed to. Anyway, the whole tenor of the place changed and it distressed me.

                                                                                  Mandina's food has held up, although it isn't what it was when Miss Hilda was alive (30 years ago). My problem there is that the rebuilt post-Katrina building isn't like the old dump was and I miss it and am often on the verge of tears. But none of the foregoing should have any effect on your enjoyment of both of them.

                                                                                  1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                                    Understood. I always appreciate places that hang-on to tradition and sympathize with your feeling that two places that are a part of the history of your city have been really lost. Even though your thoughts aren't specifically about food, I am much less likely to eat at Parasol's now.

                                                                                    Regarding Parasol's, it looks like some of the people at Tracey's used to be at Parasol's (at least according to Tracey's website). Are they descendents of the original owners? Or just offshoots of the Tulane/Jersey tree?

                                                                                    1. re: ndukka562

                                                                                      I'm sure someone else will recall the whole story but there was some sort of landlord fight at Parasol's. I don't recall who the Tracey's people are...never talked to them, really. They went the Sports Bar route which is guaranteed to run me off quick. Grab it and go is my rule these days. (Although I did go to the Guiness operation, Irish House, on St Charles and Melpomene last week and was pleased to find no basketball. Soccer was on but no one was yelling so I had a second beer.) You probaly ought to give Parasol's a shot, though. My laments need not affect anyone else.

                                                                                      1. re: ndukka562

                                                                                        the owner of the Parasol's building decided to sell. after first offering it to his long-time leasee (the operators of Parasol's), he decided to sell it to a FL couple who was willing to pay more. a shame. so the Paraol's operator moved down the street and opened Tracey's, which was actually the name of Paraol's before it was Parasol's. he has the recipes and staff, and it has increased capacity and does much better business. this is how you make lemonade.

                                                                                        true, Tracey's is a sports bar now. which always sucks. but the food is the same and kitchen is more efficient and there's rarely a problem finding a place to be. but definitely not the same homey vibe as it used to be at Parasol's.

                                                                                        1. re: kibbles

                                                                                          "not the same homey vibe." You can say that again. I agree that the food is decent but part of teh fun was The Joint. We've lost a lot of that. Colelge Inn isn;t the same, Pat Gillan's is gone, Markey's was discovered and Clem Hurstel's is history. Oh, and the Bright Star. I think someone could make a Norby's/Clancy's(the old one) out of that old Tyler's Beer Garden on magazine and I wish they'd do it.

                                                                                      2. re: hazelhurst

                                                                                        I had read the people that bought the building and parasols were from Florida. The guy that ran things at the old parasols opened traceys

                                                                                  2. re: ndukka562

                                                                                    Quick bites with drinks: Three Muses

                                                                                    1. re: JazzyB

                                                                                      That looks like a perfect place to get a night started on Frenchmen!

                                                                                    2. re: ndukka562

                                                                                      Any opinions on Bar Tonique v. Bar unCommon v. Cure v. Sazerac Bar?

                                                                                      1. re: ndukka562

                                                                                        it's not so much a vs thing. all of the above.

                                                                                        1. re: kibbles

                                                                                          I understand that. It's just that I'm pretty much locked in on having drinks at Tujague's, Carousel Bar, French 75, and Bellocq. I am likely only to have space for one more cocktail bar on this trip and those are the contenders.

                                                                                          I'm leaning towards Tonique since it seems to have the most casual atmosphere (Sazerac and unCommon being hotel bars, Cure reminding me of the faux-speakeasy vibe common in NYC) but just thought I'd throw it out there in case someone had a strong opinion.

                                                                                          1. re: ndukka562

                                                                                            Tonique is a good choice. Cure isn't faux anything and a great choice but admittedly harder to get to for most. I understand that Paul has left Tujague's and Chris has left UnCommon ... I don't fully know the details of their respective departures but certainly there's nothing left at UnCommon to warrant a visit. Tujague's ... maybe.

                                                                                            On the other hand, Victory on Baronne is worth the visit. Bellocq ... eh? Okay but not first rank. Stick to the cheaper libations and perhaps appreciate the atmosphere.

                                                                                            French 75 ... lovely. Well mixed drinks and worthy nosh. The Carousel Bar has jacked their prices on "martinis" (most aren't) though their Sazaracs are still fine.

                                                                                            1. re: montuori

                                                                                              Thanks for this info. unCommon is off my list now.

                                                                                              Still going to Tujague's because of the history/tradition and I'm sure whoever is left still makes a good Sazerac.

                                                                                              Bellocq intrigues me because they specialize in sherry cobblers, which are both very traditional (popular in the late 19th Century) and refreshing (I'm going to be there in June after all).

                                                                                              Tonique continues to be the front-runner for my last special libation in N.O. But will look into Victory.

                                                                                              1. re: ndukka562

                                                                                                victory bar's best magic happens when Sam's behind the bar and you let him get creative. I know he works Friday nights but I'm not sure about when else.

                                                                                                1. re: kibbles

                                                                                                  Thanks!

                                                                                              2. re: montuori

                                                                                                Also, does anyone have any info on when the bar at Tujague's is open? Their website says ther are open for dinner during the week (5-10) and lunch in weekends (11-3). Are those the hours for the bar as well?

                                                                                                1. re: montuori

                                                                                                  Does anyone know if Chris went to another bar from unCommon?

                                                                                                  1. re: montuori

                                                                                                    Did Paul just leave? He made me several rounds of very fine drinks just a few weeks ago.

                                                                                                    1. re: Spelunker

                                                                                                      Yes, recently. So far as I've heard he's not bartending anywhere else at the moment. Fabulous bartender (and a great guy), I hope he lands somewhere soon.

                                                                                          2. Ok, so I've received word (via this board) that Green Goddess is set to lose it's dinner chef before I come to town. Given this new development I'd like to slide in one possible substitute meal and am considering either 1) Cafe Atchafalaya or 2) Dante's Kitchen.

                                                                                            Thoughts?

                                                                                            13 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: ndukka562

                                                                                              Also please note whether either is more conducive to solo dining (i.e. has a bar or counter seating).

                                                                                              1. re: ndukka562

                                                                                                Dante's is better in my opinion. I really like it and it's been great lately. They don't have bar seating but it's cozy and fine for a solo diner. I wouldn't feel uncomfortable eating there alone at all.

                                                                                                1. re: uptownlibrarian

                                                                                                  Love Dante's, although have only been there for brunch. And am checking out Aftchafalaya this visit. My sense is that Dante's is cozier than Aftch, but that is just from photos. Thoughts?

                                                                                                  For what it is worth (as a visitor) I am not a fan of Tonique. Bad attitude, IMHO.

                                                                                                  1. re: karendor

                                                                                                    Re: Tonique, I had read it's like a dive bar with great cocktails. I just care way more about the latter quality than the former.

                                                                                                    1. re: ndukka562

                                                                                                      My take on Tonique is that it is more of a "manufactured" dive bar, but I do not know the history. I went with a group of local teachers and we/they were treated pretty badly. My feeling is Tonique tries way to hard to be cool.

                                                                                                      NOLA hounders, better choices for a real "dive bar" with great cocktails? I tend to go to places with friendly bartenders (or at least not arrogant bartenders). I have had great signature cocktails @ Three Muses, The Pelican Club, Domenica (not dives but great cocktails IMHO).

                                                                                                      1. re: karendor

                                                                                                        Twelve Mile Limit in Mid City is what you're looking for. It's not even really a dive but it's a place that serves reasonably priced cocktails in a non-pretentious atmosphere.

                                                                                                        Tonique is not a dive bar by any stretch. It's a fairly upscale cocktail bar. People are starting to have funny definitions of dive bar: any place that serves beer in a can and is dark and smoky is automatically a "total dive" these days. Snake & Jake's is a dive bar. Tonique? Please.

                                                                                                        1. re: uptownlibrarian

                                                                                                          Thanks, Uptown. I, too, felt OP had an incorrect "classification" for Tonique. [I am not a fan, but some are. My daughter's friend was there when Brad Pitt came in.]

                                                                                                          OP here is a NOLA.com summary of Twelve Mile Limit
                                                                                                          http://www.nola.com/bar-guide/index.s...

                                                                                                          P.S. I am coming for visit #6 next week and can't wait. Will post posthaste!

                                                                                                          1. re: karendor

                                                                                                            Thanks! Looking forward to any additional info you can provide.

                                                                                                            P.S. In my defense I referred to what I had read about Tonique, not how I had actually classified it. [end of super defensive reflex...]

                                                                                                          2. re: uptownlibrarian

                                                                                                            Would "no nonsense" bar with great cocktails be a better definition for Tonique? (at least the prices appear to be in the dive bar range at $7 to $8 per drink)

                                                                                                            I had considered 12 Mile Limit in an earlier planning phase but I am scrapping all Mid City options for geographic purposes and due to time constraints.

                                                                                                            1. re: ndukka562

                                                                                                              ??? $8 per drink is a dive bar price? I guess different strokes, but no drink in a real dive bar should cost more than $4.

                                                                                                              I definitely wouldn't describe Tonique as no-nonsense either. It's pretty much full to brimming with nonsense, and I say that as someone who actually enjoys the place.

                                                                                                              Finally, I wasn't referring to you in particular as someone erroneously classifying bars as "dive." It's just been something I've been noticing much more frequently lately. Bars that aren't dives but I have heard described that way: Coop's, the Maple Leaf, Cooter Browns, Jean Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, Fat Harry's, Henry's, etc. etc.

                                                                                                              1. re: uptownlibrarian

                                                                                                                OP: If you feel like sweet rum drinks there is always Port of Call on Esplanade which is no nonsense bar/diner and pretty good "bang for the buck" drinkwise. Has the dark woodsy atmosphere, too. Tropical Cocktails, great burgers, and close to Frenchman Street stuff. Better to walk to/around Esplanade than than N. Rampart St. especially if it is hot IMHO.

                                                                                                                1. re: karendor

                                                                                                                  Thanks for the tip, but I don't like most sweet drinks (except maybe very high quality mai tais or sidecars). However, I do appreciate the advice of hovering around Esplanade during the heat (I'll be there early next month). I assume it is more tree-lined than Rampart?

                                                                                                                2. re: uptownlibrarian

                                                                                                                  Re: pricing, I live in NYC.

                                                                                                                  Point taken regarding dive classification. I support your stance since I too am a stickler for accurate terminology.

                                                                                                2. Surrey's is worth it, especially the babana's foster french toast, which put me in a food coma. I also ate at both Upperline and Brigtsen's and both were great and pretty similar. If you put a gun to my head, I'd probably choose Brightsen's. Jaques-Imos is funky and fun, reasonable and has large portions, but either go around 5:30 when it opens, or expect to wait. If you go there late, you may want to try The Maple Leaf afterward, a grungy but great bar/concert venue. There is very little seating there, but the music is wonderful, especially on Tuesdays, when the Rebirth Brass band plays!
                                                                                                  Last, if you are in the uptown/Riverbend area in early dinnertime, the restaurant One has a fantastic happy hour deal, with all apps and some drinks at half price. Not only a great deal, but the food is really good and the decor nice!

                                                                                                  Good eating!

                                                                                                  1. I'm not sure if anyone's mentioned this, but Casamento's will be closed when you're here.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: N.O.Food

                                                                                                      Yes I was informed on another post. I won't starve.

                                                                                                    2. OK so I'm only a few days from the most anticipated vacation of my life, and I am quivering with excitement. I now seek some specific dessert-related feedback from my NOLA and NOLA-informed chowhound brethren.

                                                                                                      I have narrowed down the 4 major meals of my trip to Herbsaint, Coquette, Galatoire's, and Dante's Kitchen. (Also eating at Commander's but will likely get the Creole luncheon so no decisions to be made). My question is: At which of these I should plan on saving room for dessert?

                                                                                                      In other words, if - given hypothetical digestive limits - I could only finish an app and an entree or an entree and dessert at each of the above restaurants which path would you advise? I don't seem to remember any dessert at Galatoire's being very hyped on this board but I could be mistaken. Is there any dessert that I absolutely shouldn't miss at any/all of these establishments? Or would I be better off with a less-filling after-dinner drink?

                                                                                                      Just for context, I'm not a sweet-tooth per se, but if desserts are something a place excels at then I'd like to explore those. Extra points go to places who achieve sweet deliciousness without heaviness, since I'm not going to have much of an appetite at the end of these meals.

                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: ndukka562

                                                                                                        I now see your original post that you will generally be solo, and you have some budget limitations. My earlier suggestion was to arm yourself with Pepto or Alka or find someone to share with! Or perhaps do desserts @ lunch when things are less pricey?

                                                                                                        From your list: I have only had desserts @ Coquette & Herbsaint and would heartily advise to save room @ both of these. I think Herbsaint's Banana Brown Butter Tart with Fleur de Sel Caramel is pretty reknowned and I loved the donut and sour cream ice cream number @ Coquette earlier this year. I must say -- and I am overdue for a trip report -- my favorite Bistro experience (May trip) was Boucherie. Our party's two desserts were killer: thai chocolate chess pie and the krispy creme bread pudding. [I almost ordered a third dessert, but thankfully did not - - they were large].

                                                                                                        That Thai chocolate chess pie was just lovely, and NOW one of my favorite NOLA desserts. The whole wait/bar/food experience at Boucherie was superb, and the entree prices are quite reasonable compared to other Bistros. My new favorite -- but your list is amazing. HAVE FUN!

                                                                                                        P.S. I found the bartender @ Dante's to be arrogant, but the rest of the experience was quite good. If you eat outside do use their bug spray. I think I prefer Dante's for brunch, but that is me.

                                                                                                        1. re: ndukka562

                                                                                                          I believe the Creole Lunch at Commanders includes the bread pudding souffle, which I love (and I'm not really a big dessert person). Another great dessert is bananas foster. I don't know if they do it at Galatoire's. If you call Brennan's they'll let you know if there's a time they can accommodate you for just that dish. It's very reasonably priced at Palace Cafe, so you could call them and ask if you can just come in and have that by itself.

                                                                                                          1. re: ndukka562

                                                                                                            I'm sure others will help regarding desserts. As a boy I used to get teh crepes maison at Galatoire's and the crepes suzette at Antoine's..my father liked them both. But by the time I was 18 I usually skipped it. Once in awhile I'll have an ice cream or something. the lats dessert I had at Galatoire's was for a Landmark Birthday a few years ago..it was a flan with a candle, which is customary, and the waiters insisted on it. it is the only time in my life I let them sing Happy Birthday but there was a whole mob and they were persistent.

                                                                                                            1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                                                              Ah, the Crepes Suzette at Antoine's. I think that I was about 10, when I bought my mother a crepes pan for either her birthday, or maybe Mother's Day. She tried to reproduce those, but without much success. I think that they might have been the only dessert, that I ever saw my father eat?

                                                                                                              Once, there was a great little crepes shop, between Bourbon and Dauphine, on about Conti, (downtown side), that gave Antoine's competition. After we found it, and dined there, I gave my wife a crepes pan for Christmas, or maybe her birthday? Again, we tried and tried, and just never quite got it right.

                                                                                                              +1 for Antoine's Crepes Suzette.

                                                                                                              Hunt

                                                                                                          2. I would add eatNOLA to your lunch list IF you are in the quarter, and want something a little different. You have to BYOB (go cup, or bottle) if you want to alcohol but it is very light, bright, in a quiet part of the Quarter, and has a very non-touristy vibe. Nice sandwiches and omelets up until 2 pm on Sat & Sunday. Good fresh juice and reasonably priced. Avoid Stanley for lunch - big waste of time and money!

                                                                                                            [See I sort of got my trip report in -- thanks for letting me piggyback!]