I can't research any more--we are in town for a WEEK in March...HELP!
I'm a university professor and my spring break plans fell through and we have decided to drive from Virginia to New Orleans. We are staying in an apartment in the Marigny from about March 2-9 and we will have a car. I have been looking for everything from traditional New Orleans fine dining to Ya Ka Mein and Po Boys and everything in between. I am usually pretty good at eating my way through a city, but I have to say that opinions on New Orleans restaurants vary tremendously, especially here on CH.
We know we want Po Boys and maybe to sample 2 of the city's best to compare.
My wife will kill me if we don't risk the line at CDM for beignets.
My son is Ya Ka Mein obsessed...something about noodles and soup is all he needs.
We have wanted to go to Cochon for years, but many of the local reviews are disconcerting.
One dressy dinner, but we are pretty casual so it won't be jackets and ties every night for sure.
Oysters at Casamento's
Elizabeth's (around the corner from our friend) for brunch
We have a whole week, so country buffet or fried chicken is a definite.
Looking for best bar to drink AND eat?
What's out in the suburbs...we will drive for food.
I am fishing on one of the last days...not sure of the location of the marina yet, but we'll want to do lunch in that vicinity.
I could list 30 places we WANT to try but I want to hear what we might have overlooked or what you all think are absolute musts.
We are adventurous eaters but appreciate food in all forms and prices.
Can't eat 200 meals for every dinner...faculty salary is NOT all that!!
Thanks in advance, I am looking forward to your favorites.
A few thoughts:
-- I'm a fan of the non-traditional Killer Po-Boys in the Erin Rose bar and am partial to Mahony's on Magazine, though it's true they're neither cheap nor speedy. Others will have wildly varying opinions, they're all valid. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
-- Cochon is great. It's an easy target for criticism: they're selling a style of food that hasn't so much been transplanted (from the country to the city) as translated. I -- and others like the James Beard folks -- find little fault with the place. I usually opt for a handful of apps instead of an entree, you get more selection that way. Closed Sundays.
-- The Joint, just around the corner from where you're staying apparently, has excellent BBQ. In my opinion the city's best. Closed Sundays.
-- CDM is usually not crazy (read: no line) if you don't go at breakfast time. If you're a fan of beignets, stop in a Booty's in the Bywater for their Zeppole. (Booty's has a stupid name but they're running a fine little neighborhoody spot.)
-- Maurepas Foods is a great bar to eat and drink at. Not traditional NOLA food but local and well executed. Also not very expensive (though as always, the drinks add up). Sylvain in the Quarter is another great eat & drink combo (though Murf has left, I hope the strong cocktail program continues). Luke has a lively bar and good food as well and usually has a pretty decent local oyster. Maurepas is closed Wednesdays.
-- Elizabeth's is fine though in the neighborhood I'd opt for Suis Generis for brunch instead: I think the food, atmosphere, and bloody marys are better. That said, stopping by Elizabeth's bar for a cocktail and some praline bacon would be an excellent early evening treat. Elizabeth's is closed on Mondays and S.G. Monday and Tuesday.
-- Mr. B.'s bar is well tended (they serve a very drinkable Sazarac) and serves up some excellent BBQ shrimp. I'd stop in across the street at the Monteleone for a cocktail at the Carousel Bar too.
Here are a few humble suggestions, all on the lower end of the price scale (where my favorite eats are always found):
--Sammy's Food Service, 3000 Elysian Fields, for poboys. A slice of real NOLA, not aimed at tourists, the upwardly mobile, or the status conscious. Typical "neighborhood" restaurant menu. Roast beef poboys stand out, but the daily specials are worth a look: stuffed mirliton, smothered cabbage, stuffed crab, etc. http://sammysfood.com/index.php?optio...
--Cafe Reconcile, 1631 Oretha Castle Haley. A charity organization and a solid lunch joint all wrapped in one. Trains at-risk youth for hospitality careers and offers damn fine shrimp & white beans on Thursdays, plus homestyle food every day of the week. Recently renovated & expanded. http://reconcileneworleans.org/
--If you're near Elizabeth's, then you're very near Pizza Delicious. $2 for a cheese slice, $2.50 for pepperoni. Changing array of specialty pies. Nobody comes to NOLA for pizza, but this place would hold its own in the NE. And sometimes you just need a slice. http://www.pizzadelicious.com/
--for the noodles & soup boy, take him to a pho shop. Since you have a car, drive all the way out to NO East and visit Dong Phuong bakery & its attached restaurant. You can snag a selection of meat pies & stuffed buns from the bakery and then pop next door for pho and lots of other choices. Ignore the chinese lunch specials and order the Viet food. Or buy a bagful of bahn mi sandwiches from the bakery and have a picnic somewhere. http://dpbanhmi.com/DP_Bakery/Welcome...
--if the beignets are the attraction rather than the mystique of the French Quarter Cafe du Monde, go out to City Park and the new 24-hour Morning Call, located in the park's "Old Casino" building. Morning Call is as old (maybe older?) than CduM, though it moved out to Metairie back in the day. This City Park outlet is just the second location of the venerable establishment. Located next to a playground and lagoon, marble countertops and mahogany woodwork, and did I mention it was 24 hour? Beignets are always hot and fresh. You can pair this with a walk through the NOMA sculpture garden nearby.
--hit up Cochon Butcher if the full Cochon experience isn't for you. You can sample the wares and maybe decide if you want to go whole hog (pun intended).
Forget BBQ, it's not a strong point here. Ditto for country buffet. Fried chicken--get some takeout from McHardy's, 1458 N Broad, drive out to City Park, then maybe go have beignets at Morning Call for dessert.
Let's see--you're missing crawfish, which will be plentiful in March. Try Zimmer's Seafood, 4915 St. Anthony St, which is also a great spot for a fried shrimp poboy.
And take that kid (assuming he's still a kid) to get a snowball....a few places should be open by March, like Plum Street Snowballs ( http://www.eteamz.com/plumstreetsnoball/ ) or Pandora's (901 N Carrollton).
Enjoy your trip to NOLA, March is a great month to visit.
I'm not huge on poboys, but if you want a killer sandwich, head to Cochon Butcher and you will not be disappointed. I am not a fan of their sister restaurant, Cochon. I'll give an example from last weekend when my friends wanted to go there. The Cochon plate- beautiful, tender pieces of cochon over turnips topped with bland, out of season mangos. My favorite two bars to dine and drink at are new places- Sylvain and SoBou. Both should be within your budget. Several restaurants will prepare the food you catch on your fishing trip- try Cafe Giovanni for that ($17per plate). Consider R'Evolution for your one dress up meal. I'd also try to hit Commander's Palace for brunch on the weekend. BBQ Shrimp is best at Mr. B's. Casamento's is frustrating about their open times so check in with them before heading uptown. Dong Phuong is worth the drive out east, but Magasin has great Pho too.
The only notable omission in the responses to date is Boucherie just off Carrollton Ave. While reactions appear somewhat mixed, I must say a recent dinner there was truly exceptional. The small plates format was ideal for sampling a wide variety of preparations and the quality was consistently impressive. All in a lively, charming setting with wonderful service and very reasonable prices. Right up there with Herbsaint to my surprise (and with more consistent service). Can't wait to return. Oh - and do be sure to make it to Casamentos. It's the real deal.