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St Charles streetcar line dinner rec's

mangia mama Sep 29, 2012 11:24 AM

Traveling to NOLA in November with mother and mother-in-law ( to satisfy m-i-l's bucket list!). Since walking will be an issue for the 2 80-somethings, I thought a Saturday evening ride on the St Charles streetcar for dinner would be a good option for us. Of course Commander's Palace is a great high-end choice, but any other suggestions?

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  1. t
    Tonto RE: mangia mama Sep 29, 2012 12:37 PM

    Mr. John's steak house, Superior Seafood, The Fat Hen, Vincent's to name a few.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Tonto
      mangia mama RE: Tonto Sep 29, 2012 02:43 PM

      Thanks. I'll check into your rec's. Any creole or cajun?

    2. g
      Gizmo56 RE: mangia mama Sep 29, 2012 03:15 PM

      I am assuming you are staying in the CBD or FQ? If so, you might consider an excursion on the streetcar with a stop for a cool beverage at the Columns Hotel. If you then stop for your dinner on the way back, your options increase as you get back toward the Canal Street end of the line. Herbsaint comes to mind, and MiLa.

      However I still think Commander's Palace would be ideal, especially considering that one of your trio is on a "bucket list" visit.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Gizmo56
        mangia mama RE: Gizmo56 Sep 29, 2012 08:05 PM

        We are staying near the FQ. I love the idea of stopping at Columns Hotel for a cocktail before dinner! And, I do think I need to splurge and take them to Commander's for dinner. It would really be a wonderful evening for us to remember. Thanks!

      2. t
        teachergirl23 RE: mangia mama Sep 29, 2012 04:28 PM

        I think if the weather is nice, you HAVE to have drinks on the porch of The Columns Hotel. I had brunch there one Sunday morning and it is an absolutely delightful setting. I second Commander's also. It's an experience. The service is incredible and the food is delicious.

        1 Reply
        1. re: teachergirl23
          mangia mama RE: teachergirl23 Sep 29, 2012 08:05 PM

          Thanks! I think this sounds like a plan!

        2. TaTee RE: mangia mama Oct 1, 2012 10:09 AM

          80 somethings on and off of a street car may pose a problem for all. Recommend that you
          take the streetcar in the daylight and go to Commander's for lunch or brunch. There is a two block walk from St. Charles Avenue to the restaurant. Directly on the line, are Emeril's Delmonico and the aforementioned, Mr. John's Steak House. If your Mother and M-I-L are
          ambulatory and walking does not pose a problem, then a stop off at the Columns for a drink would be a lovely idea. If you are out after dark, please take a cab back to your hotel.

          2 Replies
          1. re: TaTee
            Bill Hunt RE: TaTee Oct 2, 2012 10:09 PM

            My thoughts exactly, but I am basing my choices on my family members, at about that age, so there could be major differences.


            1. re: TaTee
              rasputina RE: TaTee Oct 18, 2012 07:36 AM

              I second Delmonico, the food is excellent and it's directly on the line no walking required.

            2. Bill Hunt RE: mangia mama Oct 2, 2012 10:08 PM

              You have obviously researched things, but with 2 80-something ladies, are you comfortable with the walk from St. Charles to CP's.

              Having traveled extensively with my M-I-L and her slightly younger sister, walking, even two longish blocks might present a problem, at least for my older family members. It's a nice walk, but be sure that you take that into consideration. Also, sidewalks in New Orleans (almost ALL parts of the city) are quite uneven.

              Now, a streetcar ride IS something special, but when back with M-I-L, we always did a cab, or our rental van, and then did the streetcar ride separately, however romantic and nostalgic.



              13 Replies
              1. re: Bill Hunt
                Gizmo56 RE: Bill Hunt Oct 3, 2012 08:23 AM

                On the other hand, speaking as one who has a very spry set of in-laws in their late 80's,for many seniors the 2 block walk is not going to present a problem at all. Use your judgment and take your time. Note that Lafayette Cemetery is on one side of the street (opposite Commander's Palace), so if you also might enjoy taking a short detour to get a glimpse of the cemetery, there is that option too.

                I think the ideal expedition would be to cab to Commander's Palace, enjoy a leisurely lunch at a table in the Garden Room, make the brief walk to St. Charles (with perhaps a peek into the cemetery), ride the street car through the Garden District to the Columns Hotel for an after- lunch refreshment, and then complete the street car ride back to Canal Street.

                1. re: Gizmo56
                  Bill Hunt RE: Gizmo56 Oct 3, 2012 10:30 PM

                  The cemetery is a good point. My wife's family has two crypts there, so we often took my late M-I-L for a visit, prior to our dinner.

                  So very much depends on the senior citizens, and what they would enjoy. Each case will be unique, and particular to the members in the party.

                  Still, a dining experience at CP, regardless of the mode of transportation, should be worth the effort.

                  @ OP, enjoy!


                  1. re: Gizmo56
                    montuori RE: Gizmo56 Oct 4, 2012 07:07 AM

                    Small note: the St. C. streetcar line is currently under construction between Lee Circle and Jackson (or thereabouts). It appears that buses have replaced the streetcar from Canal past the construction. I thought this work was scheduled to have been completed by now (gosh, how unlike a NOLA project to run long...) and will probably be done by December but the OP might want to check before making final plans.

                    1. re: montuori
                      topeater RE: montuori Oct 4, 2012 07:28 AM

                      CP for lunch, not dinner. Ask to be seated in the garden room.

                      1. re: montuori
                        uptownlibrarian RE: montuori Oct 4, 2012 10:30 AM

                        Construction goes to Louisiana as of right now. Who knows how long that will be accurate, however.

                        1. re: uptownlibrarian
                          hazelhurst RE: uptownlibrarian Oct 4, 2012 10:36 AM

                          You can get fairly good info on the RTA site, e.g. St Charles and Melpomene interssection closed today. I'll be glad when this mess is over. Track work is like painting the Jeff Parish water tower..it is a mark of how old I am getting when I see it done again.

                        2. re: montuori
                          Bill Hunt RE: montuori Oct 4, 2012 07:41 PM

                          That is good into. When there at end of July, it appeared that the only construction was on the Carrollton end of the line. We did not notice anything along St. Charles, but might have just missed it.

                          Thank you,


                          1. re: Bill Hunt
                            robinsilver RE: Bill Hunt Oct 5, 2012 08:22 AM

                            I know this is OT for Chowhound, but any other recomendations about what to stop and see along the streetcar line? We were thinking of getting 1 or 3 day passes. We are staying in the FQ, so are we better off taking the streetcar to Commander's (we have a dinner reservation, don't want to change to lunch), or should we take a cab? How expensive are cabs in NO? I am from NY, but find that other cities tend to have higher cab prices than we do.

                            1. re: robinsilver
                              montuori RE: robinsilver Oct 5, 2012 10:04 AM

                              Cabs are cheap and traffic's usually not too bad. Do yourself a favor and call United though. They tend to have better service than others.

                              As for exploring uptown: my recommendation is usually to take a long walk up Magazine St. There's a ton of stuff to see and do and eat (and, truth be told, drink). One can easily imagine starting at Surry's, drinking one's way by places like Loisel and the Dirty Coast t-shirt shop, walking through Audubon Park back to St. Charles, taking the streetcar to the Avenue Pub and then heading back towards the CBD on foot, preferably stopping at the Circle Bar, Bellocq, and Victory on the way, of course.

                              I realize this doesn't actually answer the question you asked ... I'm channeling what I'd rather be doing right now other than working.

                              1. re: robinsilver
                                Gizmo56 RE: robinsilver Oct 5, 2012 11:36 AM

                                I would recommend taking a cab to Commander's and then taking the streetcar back. That way you'll be assured of arriving in time for your reservation (the street cars can be irregular and tend to get bunched up) and if the weather is warm and the streetcar is crowded, you will arrive in more "fresh" condition if you take a cab.

                                Cab fare rates are a little higher than NYC, but it is a smaller town with less traffic, so the actual fares are never too bad. It is only a ten to fifteen minute ride from the CBD to Commander's. I agree with montouri that the best service is from United. Most other cabs tend to be very run-down mini-vans with faulty AC, etc. United's fleet is well maintained and reliably comfortable.

                                Likewise I agree with montouri about exploring Magazine street. Commander's is between St Charles and Magazine, so you could easily explore Magazine before and ride the street car afterwards, or vice versa.

                                Do, however, check to see where the work on the tracks might be taking place, otherwise your wait for the street car may be in vain.

                                1. re: robinsilver
                                  Bill Hunt RE: robinsilver Oct 5, 2012 06:55 PM

                                  I did not realize that there WERE "passes" for the NOLA streetcars. However, with but few exceptions, almost everything along the Canal to Carrollton line is "worth seeing." It is as nice a trip, as hiring a private car, and due to the patrons, probably better, at least IMHO.


                                  1. re: Bill Hunt
                                    Gizmo56 RE: Bill Hunt Oct 5, 2012 11:32 PM

                                    The one and three day "Jazzy Passes" are a great deal.

                                    1. re: Gizmo56
                                      Bill Hunt RE: Gizmo56 Oct 11, 2012 07:58 PM

                                      Hm-m, that is a new one to me. While it's been three life-times, since we lived in NOLA, that is a new term.

                                      When my wife was youngster, she used the streetcar every day to go to school, and then to go downtown to see her grandmother, or mom, at work, on Canal St. on the weekends. She never mentioned any "passes," from back then, but the fares were only about $0.10 for the fare from the Upper Garden District to Canal St. I think that the fare (much shorter ride) was only $0.05 to school. Don't tell her, but that WAS a few years ago.

                                      Thanks for sharing,


                        3. i
                          ilikeNOLA RE: mangia mama Oct 5, 2012 08:26 AM

                          We liked Mr. Johns but for something different, The Melting Pot was an experience that I coiuld like.

                          1. hill food RE: mangia mama Oct 5, 2012 11:59 PM

                            late to this thread, but I too like a beverage of choice at The Columns. pretend it's still a private house (yours) and there's a pleasant party going on full of perfectly nice people whom you don't really feel any obligation to meet.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: hill food
                              Bill Hunt RE: hill food Oct 11, 2012 08:01 PM

                              Yes, The Columns IS a special place. Time might have passed it by a bit, but it is well worth "stepping back in time," and enjoying the clatter of the streetcar on the Avenue.

                              I agree completely - a slower pace, and a bit of nostalgia are very worthwhile, at least to me.


                            2. k
                              kittyfood RE: mangia mama Oct 7, 2012 09:22 AM

                              I would not recommend walking from St. Charles to Commander's after dark, especially with two older ladies. As others have mentioned, lunch or brunch should not be a problem. But if you really want to go to Commander's you might be happier taking a cab from your hotel.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: kittyfood
                                karendor RE: kittyfood Oct 10, 2012 09:21 AM

                                If you opt to do CP for dinner (agree with cab both ways at night and at least one way during day given possible sidewalks/mobility concerns), I would suggest weekend brunch at Dante's Kitchen which is at the Riverbend stop, and then you have to walk a few blocks behind Carrollton Ave.

                                Small converted home with great service, home-made hot sauce and bread pudding french toast to die for. No reservations for brunch and it can get crowded, but they may give you some consideration given 2 80 somethings.

                                The construction/stoppage on St. Charles streetcar is a big deal because I would not want to have to call a cab or do a bus in the middle of the route -- but check with your hotel, they should know.
                                Have fun - your mom's should have a ball.

                                1. re: kittyfood
                                  Bill Hunt RE: kittyfood Oct 11, 2012 08:04 PM

                                  Considering the neighborhood, and the distance, the walk in the light should be fine. I know that CH does not like any mention of safety, on this board, but my biggest concern would be the un-even sidewalks in the dark. In New Orleans, like some other cities, the sidewalks are buckled by tree roots, and can cause some difficulties. Older folk can easily fall victim of uneven sidewalks, and especially in the dark.

                                  Even my poor wife has fallen on the cobblestones in Shepard Market, Mayfair, London, and also in San Francisco, due to uneven sidewalks. In NOLA, they can be VERY uneven.


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