Our trip to NOLA with kids
My family just returned from our first trip to New Orleans. We loved it so much that my husband and I plan to return in the fall to hit places we couldn't with 3 young kids. None of the places we went to had children's menus but Atchafalaya and Domenica were very accommodating.
We went to Willie Mae's and thought it was fantastic. My husband is inspired to try to duplicate her fried chicken because we don't have fried chicken like that in Chicago. We were happy to find that they take credit cards, too. We went on Friday for lunch, arrived at about 11:15am and got the last table.
After the zoo, we went to Hansen's. Line was out the door and moving at a snail's pace. I think we were in line for 45 minutes but were glad we stuck it out. Reminds me of the snow we can get in S. California but without red beans and green tea.
We tried Green Goddess for dinner. My 5 yr old would have loved the grilled cheese but they were out of that. My oldest had the bangers and mash which he devoured. My middle child had the korean slow cooked pork with collard greens and sweet potatoes which was delicious. I had a forgettable shrimp dish and my husband had some type of fish which was just ok. I loved the bacon praline sundae, though! I would try it again without kids.
My sister and her family arrived the next day. My BIL talked about wanting to eat oysters the whole time so I chose Casamento's for lunch. It was fantastic and set the bar for oysters for the trip. We only had a car for the first part of our trip. Otherwise, I'm sure we would have gone back there every day. Afterwards, we hit Plum St. It was good but I liked Hansen's a little better. However, there was no line which was a big plus!
We went to Atchafalaya for dinner which was very nice. They gave us a private room just up the steps which was lovely. I could have made a meal of just the fried green tomatoes. The shrimp and grits were also fantastic. We would come here again (without kids).
On Sunday, we went to the French Market for the Roadfood Festival which was so fun! That evening we went to Acme which just doesn't compare to Casamento's. I would not go there again. I know there are other places to go for oysters in the FQ, but Acme seemed the most kid-friendly.
We originally had a reservation at NOLA for dinner but decided that our kids wouldn't survive it (little one was complaining of earaches and possibly had a low-grade fever). We changed it to Domenica and everyone LOVED it. We had the best, most attentive service of our entire trip. We had an assortment of pizzas (made it for the happy hour) which everyone loved, esp. the one with lardo and also had the squid ink pasta, and fried kale. Little one got a bowl of buttered pasta which was perfectly cooked. Domenica will be a must do for us next time.
Thank you so much for sharing your recommendations and experiences. We were trying to decide between Phoenix (big waterpark and spring training) and New Orleans and my sister's kids (12 and 15) chose New Orleans for the food. They let me do all the planning and were happy with my choices. Also, my 9 yr old son was thrilled to eat bugs at the Insectarium!
Nice report. (I'm in TX, not LA, but dying to get back.) Sounds like you had very realistic expectations with the kiddos and that's key to a good time.
I had to laugh, I was wondering what restaurant sells out of grilled cheese but then I looked at Green Goddess's menu: Cahill's Irish Porter Cheese -- that was likely the limiting factor (?). I've got about 2 ounces left and have been shifting it around the fridge so the husband can't find it. :)
I forgot to add that we went to Central Grocery before we left for the airport. The comments I read here prepared me and my sister for the long line. It was sort of comical how slow the line was moving and how the lone cashier didn't seem to care. I think it took him 10 minutes to change the cash register tape. At one point, a police officer stopped in and the cashier stopped to chat with him and take his order. Many people tried to cut the line to buy groceries (which all looked dusty--who buys groceries there?). We spent about 40 minutes in line at 2:30pm and it was consistently out the door. The muffulettas were great. I would love to buy some olive salad to take home with me next time.
Ah, I've bought groceries there. Specifically, Luxardo cherries a bunch of years back when they were more difficult to come by in other stores. (They make for a fine Manhattan garnish.)
Thanks for your review. I have friends with kids who visit and really have no idea of where to send them (and what they should expect). It's always nice to get the post-visit report.