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(Mostly) "Cheap Eats" weekend in August...please critique my list

It’s been four years since I was last in New Orleans, and I sort of spontaneously decided I need to go. And we got some good off-season deals…so we’re coming down the first weekend of August, and staying at the W next to the casino. Since we’re currently in DC, we know from heat and humidity, but are going to take it as easy as possible…so please let me know if any of these are further out than they seem. Not renting a car, but ok with taking streetcars. Cabs if we have to, but we’re trying to stay budget-conscious. (I’m also keeping an eye on the “Cool-inary” promo deals.)

In no particular order:

Angelo Brocato’s – Looked at their website, and almost cried. All the Sicilian treats from my New Jersey childhood that are (mysteriously) impossible to find here. Anything else in that neighborhood we shouldn’t miss?

Eat – A favorite from our last visit. I still think about their BBQ shrimp. Still good?

Felix – We stood at the raw bar for oysters last visit, and enjoyed ourselves. But should we skip it this time since it’s August?

Green Goddess – For Mr. Arkham since he doesn’t eat meat (although he does eat fish and seafood). And I certainly don’t mind eating vegetarian.

Coops' – For the fried chicken.

muffulettas and po’boys – will consult Chowhound’s recs.

Drinks:
Napoleon House
Cure
carousel bar at the Montelone
Pravda (a fave from last visit)

We also want to do one splurge meal, either lunch or dinner. We’re thinking Stella, Commander's Palace, or August.

Oh, and Saturday night we want to check out White Linen Night and the “afterparty” at the Contemporary Arts Center. Will the festival food be good, or should we plan on eating elsewhere in that neighborhood?

Thanks so much for taking a look at my list! Can’t wait to get back, even if it’s a shorter visit than I’d like.

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  1. A few blocks toward City Park from Angelo Brocato is a new place getting raves....Toups Meatery.

    Only eaten at EAT for brunch, but always solid.

    Oysters obviously won't be at their best in August, but if your in the mood, why not.

    Pravda is a personal favourite. Try the Bijou.

    White Linen will be as thick as thieves. Hot & sweaty. Galleries will be packed to the gills with people trying to get little ac. It's a scene, man. Never been to the after party though. I'd definitely plan on eating elsewhere. May I suggest Root?

    1 Reply
    1. re: BayouTeche

      Will have to check out Root and Bijou for sure. Thanks!

    2. I usually stick to the Quarter, so I'm not familiar with some of the central business district area locations you mentioned.

      Muffaletta-Central Grocery..go early

      Po'Boy-I'm on a best Po'boy mission myself..looking at trying some in Uptown. But what I've had so far, Pierre Maspero's fried oyster and coleslaw was awesome. Johnny's for anything fried was excellent.

      Napoleon House--definitely try the Pimm's cup as well

      Splurge meal-If you feel like going to the FQ, Arnaud's (Jazz casual dining room), Galatoires, and Muriels are all excellent. I do not care for Antoine's too pricey and stuffy.

      3 Replies
      1. re: amelee71

        Thanks! I know I want a Pimm's cup at some point. I had my first one just recently at a very good New Orleans-style seafood place in DC and it was wonderful.

        1. re: amelee71

          Splurge meal: R'evolution, August, GW Fins. August has $20.12 3 course prix fixe lunch m- f. Commander's is far better for lunch than dinner. Although the food won't be as good as at August, it's a fun time in the garden room. They offer a prix fixe and 25 cent martinis m-f. Best fried chicken either Willie Mae's or Emeril's chicken and waffles (lunch only m-f). Emeril's also has a 3 course prix fixe lunch $19.50. Domenica's daily happy hour 3-6 ...1/2 price pizzas, wine, beer, well drinks. If you want to eat oysters in August, go to Luke's daily 3-6 happy hour. Oysters 50cents, 1/2 price libations. Enjoy!

          1. re: JazzyB

            Thanks for the happy hour recs! Leaning toward lunch at August on Friday as our splurge.

        2. I suppose it's possible, but I have seldom had a bad meal in New Orleans (although some wretched drinks on Bourbon St.). Even hole in the walls seem to do it well.

          For an "upscale" night, if it's still going, the Inn of Two Sisters rivals any that you mentioned and the courtyard setting with the fairy lights is magical

          3 Replies
          1. re: FriedClamFanatic

            FriedClam..Do mean Court of Two Sisters on Royal?

            1. re: amelee71

              ooops......yes! Thank you for correcting me as some poor person is searching Google frantically...........Do you like the place?

              1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                I love it! For one looking for a variety of southern, creole, and traditional New Orleans style fare, this is the place..not to mention the all you can eat buffet at lunch. So you could literally go gorge yourself at lunch and not eat again all day! Plus the courtyard is gorgeous and Jazz music all day long. Courtyard may be a little hot this time of year, my guess is yes! The cornbread cold salad is to DIE for!!!!!! It's about $28 pp for the buffet, which is a little pricey to take kids. My son's will pay for itself, but my 12 year old's will be wasted money...oh did I mention the mimosas???

          2. I would recommend Parkway Bakery for its po'boys, and its close to Brocato's. I also recommend One Rest. and Grill and its weekdays happy hour. Half price wine and apps. until 7pm. You could make a meal of 2 apps, then get dessert somewhere else.

            4 Replies
            1. re: foodophyle

              Parkway is only close to Brocato's if you have a car. Take the canal st. streetcar to Rue 127 for dinner, then do dessert at Brocato's. Make sure you get a dozen florentines to take home!

              My budget conscious itinerary -
              Domenica's happy hour 3-6 - AMAZING pizza (get the wild mushroom, even if you don't like mushrooms)
              Dickie Brennan's happy hour (5-7?) get the crab sack things
              lunch at August and Coquette ---- both have incredible three course lunches for 20-25. BEST value in town. Really unbelievable.

              Your best bet is to do the fancy places at lunch, Commander's is another with great deals and do casual places at dinner.

              1. re: lawstudent

                Thanks! For some reason, I wasn't even thinking about happy hours but that should work out perfectly. Fly in, get cleaned up, then hit a HH for drinks and food.

                Would "business casual" be ok for lunch at August or Commander's? Mr. Arkham doesn't even own a jacket...we're more of a "black jeans, black t-shirts, and Converse" couple.

                1. re: JoanArkham

                  I've not been to August or Commanders, but I have been to Galatoires, Arnauds at lunch and they are business casual. I would think lunch in NOLA, anywhere would be business casual...someone correct me if I'm wrong. Your converse will fit in just nicely in NOLA. But avoid as much black as you can during the day...it is HOT and humid being right on the river. I'd recommend NO denim as well! Find some linen and cotton! Happy travels!

                  1. re: JoanArkham

                    business casual would be okay for either at lunch but much less so at dinner. both are jacket preferred environments in the evening though ties are def optional.

                    Commanders does in fact in force their no shorts policy and I've seen people turned away for that. Although I've also seen some folks in there dressed, let's just say questionably.

                    second the recommendation of light cotton and linen.

              2. re: Mr. Arkham. August offers a vegetarian tasting menu in the evening.

                1. Hope it's ok to tack on to my original post...

                  Continuing to look into cheap stuff to do, we may try to take advantage of the free Friday show at Tipitina's. Any good, casual places nearby? (And is getting a cab back going to be a nightmare?)

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: JoanArkham

                    Dick and Jenny's is pretty casual, but it's a little spendy. Great food, in my opinion. Mahoney's is a ways away, and gets mixed reviews, but I like it. Casamento's will be closed.

                    1. re: JoanArkham

                      If you don't mind eating in a bar or on the sidewalk, there is always a food truck outside 45 Tchoup on Friday nights, two blocks down from Tip's. Also there's a good taco truck called Taceaux Loceaux at the Kingpin on Fridays. It's a further walk but still very doable. Or Rouses grocery store is across the street from Tip's, you could get a muffaletta or something from there and they have an area with tables for eating in.

                      The cab won't be a problem. There will be cabs in the area so you might be able to hail one, or call United Cabs at (504) 522-9771.

                      1. re: uptownlibrarian

                        Thanks! Food trucks are ok with us, and tacos are another thing that's oddly hard to find in DC.

                        1. re: JoanArkham

                          I love Napoleon House for the Muff and Pimm's. If you are going to White Linen you could eat at Rio Mar, on the corner of Julia. I have not eaten there in a couple of years, though. The Carousel Bar is a must :)

                          1. re: cestlavie455

                            Def get your Pimm's cup at Napoleon house! They rock there!!!!

                            1. re: cestlavie455

                              I've heard Adolpho has left Rio Mar.

                      2. First of all, thanks to everyone on this board for great suggestions and info! We didn't get to nearly as many places as we wanted to, but we will be back for sure. Thinking of driving next time, so we'll be able to explore a bit further.

                        Really, we didn't have a bad meal the whole time...except for one piece of "emergency pizza" at 2AM off Bourbon St. :)

                        Lunch at August was the big highlight. We figured that going for the $20 lunch some corners would be cut...and I was expecting "restaurant week" service. But even if we had paid twice as much, I would have walked away satisfied.

                        Best surprise was the "duck debris po-boy" at Satchmo Fest.

                        Best drink was the ginger mint julep at Napoleon House, although I preferred the service and atmosphere at Pravda.

                        Biggest regret...did not get to Coop's or Felix. And I had some good po-boys, but never got a muffuletta.

                        Anyway, thanks again! I do think next time we're gonna visit in January though. DC humidity has nothing on you guys...

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: JoanArkham

                          Glad you enjoyed. FWIW, muffalettaas travel well. No big thing missing either Coop's or Felix's ( currently without a liquor license). Weatherwise, March, early April and October arre best time of year to visit.