Last Minute Help
I will be in New Orleans with two friends in about 8 hours. We will be spending the weekend wandering around the city and searching for tasty things to eat and drink. We are adventurous and so the only consideration is that we won't have reservations. That said, it would be great to experience stuff that you can only get/is best to get in New Orleans.
I would love to hear about your favorite places to walk in and grab a bite.
Thanks so much.
Well, most people suggest eating downstairs for your first experience at Galatoire's, and they don't take reservations for downstairs. However, I wouldn't suggest going there if all members of your party don't have at least a jacket and slacks.
Po Boy shops are another New Orleans specialty and they definitely don't require reservations. Based on my experience and research, some of the names that come to mind are Johnny's in the French Quarter, Parkway in Mid City, Parasol's and Tracey's in the Garden District/Irish Channel.
Other places that wouldn't require reservations: Cafe Reconcile (weekdays only) in Central City, Dunbar's Creole Cooking (weekdays only) inside the Loyoloa University Law School, Willie Mae's and Dooky Chase in Treme for fried chicken, Lil Dizzy's has a great Sunday brunch.
You could also hit the places on Frenchmen Street for more of a bar-food atmosphere like Three Muses.
Then there is always a muffaletta to-go from Central Grocery.
Others will chime in I'm sure...
Judging from your NYC remarks, you are not afraid of jackets so in that case you can walk into Galatoire's anytime in teh afternoon. You are not required to have a jacket before 5:00 or all day Sunday but you'll want one...and a tie, preferable. Relax and take your time. get to know the waiter.
Just a quick report back as I made it to two of your suggested places.
I found Johnny's to be unimpressive. We tried the oyster, crawfish, and sausage po boys. Both the Oyster and Crawfish were very bland and overwhelmed by mayonaise. The Sausage was good, had decent spice and flavor, but didn't make up for the other two being relatively poor. muffaletta from central grocery was quite enjoyable. I don't have much to compare it to, but my friend who eats the stuff regularly said it compared favorable to most he had previously tried.
They also surprised me with dinner at Stella. It had its ups and downs. The desserts were top-notch. My fiance is a pastry chef and I so wish she had been there to enjoy them with us. The beef tenderloin dish was also a hit, as was a sweetbread preparation, though not nearly as good as one I had had at Bayone a few years back. The real miss was a duck entree. The bird was prepared five ways and each way had a fatal flaw. The Szechwan Seared Breast was perfectly cooked, but then drenched in a truly overpowering sauce that completely masked the duck. The Moo Shoo Pancake Stir-Fry was indistinguishable from decent moo shoo at a Chinese restaurant. The Duck Miso Broth was gritty and had too high a fat content for miso, causing separation as it sat on the plate. The Lacquered Leg and Thigh was good, but not memorable. Finally, the Crisp Foie Gras Wontons were the star of the plate, with a very rich and flavorful filling. Unfortunately, they were as greasy as crab rangoon. All and all, we had a very good time, but you can do better for the price.