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Jul 20, 2012 12:49 PM

looking for "quintessential" NOLA...

Looking for quintessential New Orleans' experiences:
-Fresh redfish or catfish, expertly prepared
-Sunday Jazz brunch (preferably a la carte, not buffet)

Mostly in the Quarter, but a few recs in the Garden District would be great too!


My husband and I are taking our 12 year old daughter to New Orleans in October. We’ve already been but we’d like to give her the quintessential “taste” of NO. This doesn’t necessarily mean the best quality, most “authentic”, etc. I know this might go against some of your chowing beliefs, but… On our last trip there I had jambalaya at The Napoleon House. (I could probably make better.) But presented along with the wonderful historic ambiance, the amazing Pimm’s Cup cocktail, Lenny the bartender, the classical music… it was perfect! A dinner I will never forget. Just like Mother’s. I know there are better po’boys out there, but my daughter just has to have *that* crazy experience!

We are staying in the French Quarter (Dauphine). She is well-behaved and an adventurous eater, a bit of a foodie, but doesn’t care for tons of sauces and bells and whistles (just like her mama!). Price point would be $25 upper range for a dinner entrée. We're happy to do cheap and divey, too. Also, she LOVES fish!

We'd like to try Bayona, NOLA, Mr. B's (BBQ shrimp); as well as repeat visits to Old Coffee Pot, Stanley, and Mother's.

These boards have been a great wealth of information. Thank you!

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  1. Hansen's for snowballs

    If they are still open in October

    1. Your list is a nice spread where you can get a bit of N.O. with different takes. And, yep, I do question including Mother's, but you explained the reasoning. For better informal/affordable seafood consider Grand Isle, just a block from Mothers.

      1. There are restaurants in NO and there are NO restaurants. Bayona and NOLA are restaurants in NO. For real NO restaurants you need to go to the neighborhood places--Mandina's, Liuzza"s etc. If you want more upscale, try the Hermes Bar at Antoine's where you can order off their full menu.

        1. Commander's has excellent gumbo (and turtle soup). Go for lunch (m-f) in the garden room. Prix fixe available. A fun time. OR.... K-Paul's has a self serve lunch Thur-Sat. Stop in and grab a bowl. The oyster po boys are good as well.. Best fish in town, GW Fins. Order an array of apps to share and split a couple entrees. Request a window table. Brunch, Cafe Atchafalaya. Take the streetcar to Louisiana. Walk toward the river (6 or so blocks). On L side . Can't miss it. You will
          need resv.

          Take a ride on both the St. Charles and Canal St. streetcar lines for a glimpse of what lies beyond the quarter. Totally different. The Canal Line ends at City Park. It is truly a gem. It is home to NOMA, sculpture garden, botanical garden, pedal boats, walking trails, golf, tennis, amusement park... The St. Charles line will take you through the CBD, garden district, uptown (home to mansions, Audubon Park, Tulane and Loyola Universities), the Riverbend, and Carrollton.

          2 Replies
          1. re: JazzyB

            Your 12 year old might LOVE getting dressed up, riding the streetcar out to the garden district, taking a stroll through Lafayette Cemetery, and having a leisurely lunch at Commander's. Could be something that she remembers for a looong time.

            1. re: kukubura

              Now, it HAS been many years (actually decades), since I was a 12 year old, and dining in New Orleans, but my fondest memories were: Galatoire's, Antoine's, Arnaud's and Brennan's. Over the years, after I moved to New Orleans, Arnaud's Commander's Palace and Brennan's fell off my list, though both managed to crawl back up the list. Antoine's fell down, pre-K, but I have heard many good things recently. Many current restaurants were not yet in existence. Chefs now, were perhaps also 12 year olds, way back then.

              As a guy, though about the same age, dressing up, and dining with my parents in a "fancy restaurant" was great. We had usually taken the L&N Hummingbird to New Orleans, and usually did the streetcars to the various restaurants, if not in the FQ. To me, the whole experience was great. Not sure that I can relate to younger folk today, but way back then, the whole exercise was worth it, and the fodder of great memories.

              To the OP - good luck, and hope that your 12 year old ends up with great memories too.