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Just back from NOLA-here's the recap before I forget-thanks for all the tips!!!!

j
jhanaw Oct 24, 2012 06:34 AM

Alright, here's the round-up! I am not nearly as good as some of you in describing the food, but I will do my best!

Thursday late night nothing was open so we ate at Sylvaine in the Quarter, which was actually a surprise and very good. Can't really remember what we ate, though....just that it was good and we weren't expecting it to be. Later, at the Pat O's Piano Bar, we had Rainbows, which were gross, but fun to look at. Then, Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop for Absinthe which I skipped...

Friday breakfast was at The Clover, and it was fine, nothing special. We had a quick lunch at The Redfish Grill and the Bloody Mary's were really good. I had raw oysters, which were blander than I am used to but good enough. The price was right, anyway! The report on the shrimp po-boys were that they were good. but not great, which we expected. We did have the molten cake dessert-that was pretty yummy, but they no longer pour white and milk chocolate over the cake :(

Headed Uptown to visit the Tulane Campus and went immediately to PJ's for coffee, always better than the other chains. After an Abita Amber at The Boot for old times' sake, we headed over to Magazine for dinner at Rum Junction, a sort of mishmash of Caribbean, Creole, and Mexican. I thought it was so-so, a bit on the salty side. The apps were bland (queso and guac) and they specialize in tacos in a ton of interesting combos, some of which worked. The rasberry mojito was terrific, though. I am sensing a trend here,,,

Later on we went to The Monteleone to get a drink at the Carousel Bar but with only one seat available, most of the group kept having to shuffle along with the bar. It was funny, but not conducive to drinking so we left. Found this cute little spot called Something Else in a an alley I had never been in before. The outdoor ambiance was great, the drinks so-so. We did come back for breakfast -more on that. After that, we headed to The Goldmine for Flaming Dr. Pepper Shots, which were as yummy as I remembered. Then, at 3 am, Cafe DuMonde for coffee and Beignets. I "think" they were good...it was pretty late, and there were Dr. Pepper shots....

Saturday brunch was at Cafe Maspero where a friend had worked in college, so it was a nostalgia stop. I had a shrimp po-boy which was pretty bland, and the rest of the food looked pretty tired but friends said the Jambalaya was pretty good. Saturday night was a huge group dinner at Jacque Imo's. I actually liked it a lot more than most of the group, but I stuck with apps. I had the fried grits, fried green tomatoes, alligator cheesecake, and crab cakes.I thought each was really good, but the entrees, with the exception of the fried chicken, which was outstanding, looked and tasted unexciting. The bread pudding was awesome and the atmosphere was great, though, perfect for a large, noisy group. We headed next store to the Maple Leaf for some live music and more Abita.

Sunday breakfast-back to the Something Else where I encountered the BEST thing ever in the history of food-chicken fried bacon. I will try to include a picture. We all agreed it was the best thing we ever ate and that also, we never wanted to eat it again! The cheese grits were perfect, cheese mixed in not on top, the shrimp n grits was also very tasty. We also had fried boudoin balls. Again, delicious but definitely, as cookie monster says, a once-in-a-while food.

Dinner Sunday at Domenica's. My husband and I both had the same reaction-sort of a sterile room, but the staff were very gracious, almost overly so. We had the arugula salad which was terrific, very refreshing, and a pizza and the squid ink and blue crab pasta. I LOVED the pasta-I actually ate almost the entire large portion. It was in some sort of butter sauce so how could it go wrong? The pizza was less impressive. Soggy in the middle, average in flavor. We left half of it.

Monday we went to Cafe DuMonde again for breakfast and this time I can verify that it was yummy. Hot beignets and cafe au lait-great combo. Lunch was milkshakes at the WW II Museum (worth a visit!), in preparation for the big night at Restaurant R'Evolution.

So, R'Evolution. I had it built up in my head for months, and while I wasn't disappointed, I would say that for the price point, they need to step it up. The bread selection was nice, but none of them were remarkable in flavor. French rolls, whole wheat rolls, flatbread, all of which tasted like they would anywhere. 2 kinds of butter, but they tasted very similar. An amuse bouche of carrot juice, which frankly, was bizarre. Too sweet. The Death By Gumbo was as good as everyone said, and they were nice enough to split it into 2 portions ahead of time. I really thought it had the essence of gumbo, super smoky, very rich, without being too filling. The quail, which I had never had before, was fabulous, and they had stuffed it with the rice and sausage you expect to find in the soup. Very clever. We also had pork rilletes, which was very bland without the accompanying sauces (5) and pickles. Then, it got weird. I was all of the sudden very very ill. I had ordered the scallops with foie gras, my husband the pork n beans. But before they even came, I was feeling horrible. When they did come, the scallops were undercooked and grainy. The pork n beans was fine, but definitely not $35. Feeling unwell, the extra slimy scallops didn't help. They brought them back to cook some more but I just couldn't eat them. To their credit, and this is where they really stand out, they were very concerned that I wasn't able to enjoy my dinner. They offered a replacement, but in the end I just couldn't eat anything. So sad! But, they brought ginger tea while my husband had chocolate cake, which he said was really delicious, and he is a cake person so it must have been. Then, they brought over the chocolate jewelry box and the waitress felt so bad for me she also brought a little to go box and packed them up for me! Then, they took the scallops and rilletes off the bill! We ended up staying a bit and chatting with the waiter as we had some common stories/friends. So, overall a great experience, but I think the food was a bit of a letdown. Even if I wasn't feeling ill,the scallops were too salty and grainy, and the pork n beans was about what we could get at any bbq place. Oh, I had wine from the Ipad-that was fun, but I had to ask for help.

Phew!

 
 
  1. j
    jhanaw Oct 24, 2012 06:43 AM

    I also want to mention the space at R'Evolution. I think it was a bit....old fashioned? It was very pleasant, but with the exception of the kitchen room, it had a very old-school feel to it. Pretty for sure, but somewhat generic. Also, the first seat they had for us was right in the flow of server traffic, so I made them change it. When dinner costs that much, I am not interested in being next to the wait service center.

    1. g
      Gizmo56 Oct 24, 2012 12:08 PM

      Domenica: I agree that the staff and the crowds warm up the decor at Domenica, making it seem simply modern and uncluttered, rather than sterile. I'm disappointed to hear that you were served a less-than-stellar pizza there. We were very impressed by how perfectly done the crust on ours was, from edge to center, and the toppings were inventive and excellent.

      R'evolution: The two types of butter actually are exactly the same, the difference being that one is salted and one is not. I am glad you got to enjoy the Death By Gumbo before feeling ill, that really is a very special dish. It sounds like the staff went the extra mile when you weren't feeling well, which is also good news. It is a terrible experience to be feeling sick when in a restaurant, especially while traveling, and I'm sorry you had that experience. We enjoyed all of our apps, entrees, extras and dessert, but they did not include scallops or pork and beans. I hope that some day you'll make it back, and that the meal will work out much better.

      Chicken-fried bacon and Dr. Pepper shots: I'll have to take your word on both of those. We are similarly big fans of the praline bacon at Elizabeth's.

      Thanks for an interesting trip report!

      11 Replies
      1. re: Gizmo56
        j
        jhanaw Oct 24, 2012 02:26 PM

        That bacon was on the list, but we never made it to Elizabeth's. We talked about it a lot, though!

        1. re: jhanaw
          n
          nolala Oct 24, 2012 08:30 PM

          Sounds like you had plenty, but you missed nothing by missing Elizabeth's. Pretty much everyone here locally knows that, at least presently, they've lost their touch.

          1. re: nolala
            g
            Gizmo56 Oct 25, 2012 01:13 AM

            Chowhound has a search box. Entering "Elizabeth's" in that box brings up a wealth of comments, both from locals and visitors.

            I went by that information (and other sources) and I was not disappointed. nolala can say "they've lost their touch" (whatever that means), but we had a great brunch there a few weeks ago. Great food, cool space, nice people, it all works.

            Do your own research..

            1. re: Gizmo56
              n
              nolala Oct 26, 2012 07:20 AM

              Also, trust a local. Word on the street beats "entering ____ in a search box"

              1. re: nolala
                g
                Gizmo56 Oct 26, 2012 07:42 AM

                I know that you are new to Chowhound. Using the search function here is how one finds comments about any given subject, both from the locals and from the visitors.

                1. re: nolala
                  k
                  kibbles Nov 2, 2012 02:56 PM

                  a locals word is not sent from above, either... im a local -- there are some places i like, some i dont like. for instance i love the pizza at Domenica and would probably never set foot in Somethin' Else Cafe (but then id also miss out on the chicken fried bacon).

              2. re: nolala
                m
                montuori Oct 26, 2012 09:16 AM

                I'm curious what you mean by "lost their touch." (Aside from making the tragic mistake of taking the bun 'o fun off the breakfast menu ... a move only a cardiologist could agree with.) They're certainly busy enough during breakfast & lunch, weekdays and weekends -- I can't believe the clientele are all tourists.

                1. re: montuori
                  n
                  nolala Oct 26, 2012 09:34 AM

                  A large amount of their clientele are tourists, just like Mother's, but also frankly local Southerners who have the taste buds of the type that ought to make the Cracker Barrel in Hammond or Mena's also appeal. Plus, surely you know montuori, that some of the most lackluster places in NOLA have the longest lines. Amount of business does not equal quality. Apply that theory to movie ticket sales, etc. Yes, the masses are often wrong about quality.

                  1. re: nolala
                    r
                    robinsilver Oct 26, 2012 10:13 AM

                    One of the reasons sometimes the tourists go to places like Mother's is because it's different from what they have at home. I am sure I can get a much better breakfast where I am from (NYC), but that doesn't mean that I still don't appreciate a place like Mother's for what it is, although admittedly we didn't wait on the line when we were there 2 years ago, so probably haven't been in 10 years.

                    1. re: robinsilver
                      n
                      nolala Oct 26, 2012 12:39 PM

                      I work in the quarter and what I hear from tourists is that they go to Mother's because 1) The guide book recommended it. 2) The food was good there the last time they were in town (a decade ago). 3) It's what they know or somehow think is the "in" place for locals.

                      These are generally the culinary equivalent of low-information voters, so anyone paying attention to what locals have to say or coming on Chowhound, ought to know the current state of Mother's and others like it.

                      NOLA is one of the culilnary capitals of the world with a distinct cuisine to be proud of. Much of what we have is different or doesn't exist "at home," but that doesn't mean a subpar version of it should be accepted, suggested, or even heralded, not when there are so many good counterparts all over the place.

                    2. re: nolala
                      k
                      kibbles Nov 2, 2012 02:58 PM

                      i agree w/ nolala on this -- Elizabeth's gets a lot of tourist play. very popular w/ festers looking for funky dining unlike home.

                      myself, i find the breakfasts there boring and perhaps over-priced, w/ the exception of the praline bacon which is, admittedly, da bomb.

            2. karendor Oct 24, 2012 03:04 PM

              What a great report. I think I stumbled into Something Else, too, my last trip. Little cafe right off of Royal Street? I had a deconstructed Rice Krispie treat, or something very yummy. Will have to try to chicken fried bacon.

              Sounds like you have great stamina for NOLA dining/drinking. I wonder if you meant Rum House on Magazine? i had the same impression, nothing very special food-wise and OK drinks.

              Thanks for a very fun report with photos!

              7 Replies
              1. re: karendor
                j
                jhanaw Oct 24, 2012 04:06 PM

                Rum House, that must be it. The mojitos were tasty but very weak! Yes, the cafe was in an alley off an alley off Royal. Never been in that alley before, it was really neat. Very NOLA. Everyone should probably try chicken fried bacon at least once, but that's probably enough. BTW, the DuMonde pic was from about 4 am.....

                1. re: jhanaw
                  karendor Oct 24, 2012 04:48 PM

                  Funny; my kid did Du Monde @ around that same time of a.m. right after her Pat O'Brien's Hurricane (ick!) on her first visit to NOLA. Did not go well, and I am sure she was not alone in that experience :\I am a Cafe Beignet fan, the one on Royal, but sounds like I can keep Something Else on a breakfast list. Sorry you did not feel well -- you must go back soon for a re-visit!

                  1. re: jhanaw
                    noradeirdre Oct 25, 2012 08:10 PM

                    That place (Rum House) is always mobbed, and I just don't get it. We've stopped in the afternoon while strolling around for a taco and adult beverage, which were fine, but... I don't understand why anyone would wait in line for it.

                  2. re: karendor
                    m
                    mangia mama Oct 28, 2012 07:20 AM

                    Is Something Else in the same alley as Green Goddess? I'm heading to NOLA in 2 weeks and would love to try a new (to me) breakfast spot.

                    1. re: mangia mama
                      j
                      jhanaw Oct 28, 2012 08:04 AM

                      yes!

                      1. re: mangia mama
                        j
                        jhanaw Oct 28, 2012 08:06 AM

                        also, if you get the biscuits, they are a huge biscuit covered in stuff. like plate size. too much for me(although chicken fried bacon wasn't????), but consensus was it was pretty good. and the french toast was like a little popover. also very yummy. i had eggs in a raft, or something like that. texas toast and a poached egg in the middle. yum.

                        1. re: jhanaw
                          m
                          mangia mama Oct 28, 2012 02:37 PM

                          Thanks! Will have to check this out!

                    2. hill food Oct 25, 2012 02:01 AM

                      see the thing about the bar at the Monteleone is your stool comes around to the bartender about when you need a drink. in your situation if all had stood in place your friend would have returned around the time for a refresh. (hey s/he got the seat so they can live for 20 minutes of solitude and circumnavigation)

                      1. r
                        robinsilver Oct 25, 2012 04:36 PM

                        Thanks for mentioning Somethin Else. It is not far from the hotel I will be staying in with a group of friends, so can do either breakfast or lunch there. I haven't read about it before on here.
                        We are arriving on November 1st. The plan is to go to Pat O'Briens to try the Hurricane. I can't imagine liking it, but someone told one of the women that we had to do that. I guess maybe I will share on with others. We plan to stay and eat in their Courtyard because one of the people is arriving later, and we thought that would make it easy. Any thoughts on that idea? We have 8 people all together.

                        11 Replies
                        1. re: robinsilver
                          s
                          shanefink Oct 25, 2012 05:09 PM

                          Go across the street and get burgers at Yo Mama’s. I’ve never eaten at Pat O’Briens, but it doesn’t sound like a good idea. A couple of hurricanes won’t hurt you. 3 might.

                          1. re: shanefink
                            karendor Oct 25, 2012 05:26 PM

                            Agree with shanefink 100%. No more than 2 Hurricanes, if you can stomach the sweetness. So many better places to eat, and so many better to drink too!! Robinsilver. what time are you getting in to the FQ?

                            1. re: karendor
                              hill food Oct 25, 2012 07:04 PM

                              yeah one really doesn't go to O'Brien's for the food. and avoid the (is scam too harsh a word?) deal of buying the glass. just get it in a plastic go-cup or plan on redeeming the glass when done (likely it's just going to get broken over the course of a Quarter crawl anyway) if not too crowded it IS a pleasant courtyard, I like it just before and during sunset although I'd prefer the decrepit decay of Lafitte's or a balcony for people watching. sure try a hurricane (or hedge and have a sip off a friend's before ordering), but they do serve things other than hurricanes.

                              <edit> HA! I just thought of something, since you're going with a bunch of gal pals, on Friday y'all should hit the upstairs at the Bourbon Street Pub and ogle the go-go boys. assuming you're straight, that is. if not, well maybe the eye candy wouldn't appeal. although a friend went once and the reported spectacle of a guy stripping down and lighting his privates in rubbing alcohol does create a mental image that is not found every day.

                              1. re: hill food
                                r
                                robinsilver Oct 26, 2012 07:23 AM

                                Great idea, they will love it. All straight, and only 2 of us are married, but will definitely be happy to look anyway.

                                1. re: robinsilver
                                  j
                                  jhanaw Oct 26, 2012 08:49 AM

                                  just want to chime in. we used to go there a lot back in the day. sometimes, the regulars don't take kindly to gawkers. just a heads up.

                                  1. re: jhanaw
                                    hill food Oct 27, 2012 09:29 AM

                                    well there's a fine and too easily crossed line between fun/respectful and obnoxious/jerky I say.

                                2. re: hill food
                                  n
                                  nolala Oct 26, 2012 10:10 AM

                                  Sadly, the St. Bernard crowd has taken over Lafitte's, and now it's almost as loud and touristy as many on Bourbon Street's obnoxious corridor.

                                  1. re: nolala
                                    k
                                    kibbles Nov 2, 2012 03:05 PM

                                    nolala is quite right on this -- folks from da parish manage Lafitte's and destroyed most of what was admired about the place. now its got flat panel TVs, a loud crappy 80s-rock jukebox, and...a peanut dispenser? what the hell. it's now generally completely packed from loud frat boys...

                                    1. re: kibbles
                                      hill food Nov 2, 2012 08:31 PM

                                      really? that's sad, I liked it even just a coupla years ago when it barely had electricity.

                                      1. re: kibbles
                                        h
                                        hazelhurst Nov 5, 2012 05:41 AM

                                        That is depressing news...I have not gone down that far in about ten years....St. Louis is about as far as I get these days except to go around to Esplanade and farther. Flat televisions? In Lafitte's? Ugh. Where are the days when the Cat Woman danced on Bourbon Street?

                              2. re: robinsilver
                                j
                                jhanaw Oct 25, 2012 06:31 PM

                                can't speak to the lunch but the breakfast was good. sort of pricey, but very well done.

                              3. n
                                nolala Oct 26, 2012 10:08 AM

                                Jhanaw, sorry to hear that your Domenica's pizza was poor. Typically it's the best in the city. Also, good to hear that you had a nice time at Sylvain. Though it's no longer the hip-new-place, the food is strong and the atmosphere is top-notch. They're weird about customers sitting in the courtyard for some reason, but otherwise a very nice addition to the FQ.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: nolala
                                  N.O.Food Oct 29, 2012 08:28 PM

                                  The AC unit is back there and it's loud. If you can tolerate it when it's on, the courtyard's great. Love that place.

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