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Jun 28, 2013 12:32 PM

50th Birthday on a Friday

OK, ya'all....need a little feedback and suggestions on this. Want to do up a big Five-Oh birthday celebration in New Orleans, and am thinking of Friday lunch at Commander's Palace, and dinner at Galatoire's that evening. Is this doable, or even recommended? What are some of your ideas for a great all-day 50th birthday of debauchery in your fabulous city on a Friday? Thanking you in advance....

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  1. Commander's part of the equation, at lunch, perfectly fine. So too would be Galatoire's at night, but how large is your group? Remember that no reservations at nite, so a large group for supper on a Friday...just be ready to wait, unless you reserve a room upstairs, which I love myself, irrespective of whether I'm around other diners and have that "buzz". Keep in mind, too, that if you get carried away at a lingering Commander's lunch, and you look at your watch and it's you really want to eat a big meal again that soon? Maybe just do CP and then leave your evening wide open. Two big meals on the same day...even for me, Chief Hedonist, could be a stretch. Have fun!!

    1. For a birthday of debauchery, I would consider doing only Galatoire's, and start off in the mid-afternoon, when the line has died down so that you have a sort of late lunch/dinner hybrid.

      Save CP for a brunch, with lots of Bloody Mary's, the following day.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Gizmo56

        I will give a big +1 for this plan.

        No since in trying for too much, and not fully enjoying the experience.

        CP's for Brunch, the next day.


      2. Nope, not possible. It is physically, emotionally, and gastronomically impossible to do both Commander’s and Galatoire’s on the same day. Tears and sweat will be rolling down your face by the time the entrees roll around at Galatoire’s. Do yourself a favor and split them up.

        5 Replies
        1. re: shanefink

          OK, that's exactly what I was wondering...too much to do and well-nigh impossible, eh? OK, I'm thinking of standing in line at Galatoire's around 3:00/3:30 and just waiting. There will be just me and my hubby, as far as I know now, so does that sound about right to be there for several hours? I've read about the advice here on how to approach this, but never paid attention till now when presented with the opportunity and situation...duh!

          Another question about CP lunch: is any day of the week OK for that? Reason I ask is because I kind of have Cafe Atchafalaya on my radar for Saturday brunch. What do you think? More opinions/suggestions will be much appreciated!

          1. re: Christine

            Atchafalaya's Saturday brunch is a great idea, casual and relaxed...bloody mary bar, etc.

            Yes, a weekday lunch is a great way to experience CP, request the garden room when you place your reservation. I think any day is ok, no particular disadvantage to any specific day of the week.

            1. re: Gizmo56

              Great! Just what I wanted to know...thanks, Giz.

              And I'm assuming the 25 cent martinis are in effect every weekday lunch at CP? Are the bloody maries also 25 cents there?

              1. re: Christine


                Yes, they have the 25 cent martinis at lunch every day of the week. They also have daily 2 and 3 course lunch specials that are an excellent value.

                I don't think they offer 25 cent Bloody Mary's, but note that there are 4 different variations of the 25 cent martini.

                I really like the shrimp & tasso henican appetizer....

                More info here:

                1. re: Gizmo56

                  You have helped set me on our way to dining pleasure at Commander's Palace. Thank you!

                  I did notice there are four different martinis, which is good for me, because I'm not a huge fan of "classic" martinis as my husband is.

                  Thanks again!

        2. A Commander's/Galatoire's double header is definitely do-able although it will take two weeks off your life. I have done it several times although, admittedly, not lately. I use Commander's as something of an appetizer course and then decamp to Galatoire's around 2:30. You can stay at CP later than that but I don't like to keep the staff on a string whereas Galatoire's is going to be open all day

          The $0.25 martinis were fine when they started that program years ago but the last one I had--or tried to have--was made with gin "so corrosive that it had been rejected by West Indian embalmers".[HLM]. It must have been freighted in on the NO Public Belt Railway in a tank car.

          10 Replies
          1. re: hazelhurst

            Yes, I had heard that hubby probably won't be receiving his precious Hendrick's gin in the martinis at CP. Oh well, he'll either make do at that .25 price, or order something else.

            And I think we could "probably" do both in one day, but I think the advice to split them up is wise. But now the question is: what do you suggest we do in the Quarter before we hit the Galatoire's line around 2:30/3:00? And you say we'll be able to keep the momentum going there for several hours?

            1. re: Christine

              By 2:30 the line at Galatoire's should have vanished. You should be able to walk right in. It will still be raucous from the Friday lunchers but it will calm down (usually) by about 4:00 at which time you will have had one or two drinks, some soufflé potatoes, maybe an order of shrimp remoulade. Then you can get down to serious eating about 4:30.

              1. re: hazelhurst

                Ooh, sounds great. I like the idea of easing into the late afternoon/early evening with some drinky-winkies, some tantalizing apps like their souffle' potatoes and shrimp remoulade, and then just let the evening unfold. Should we tell the waiter it is a "special" occasion, and put our trust in him as far as the rest of the meal?

                I think we'll just stroll around the FQ in the morning beforehand, and have a little late breakfast somewhere, and a couple/few drinks before we hit the Galatoire's line. Any thoughts/ideas where, so that we don't overdo it before the gustatory debauchery begins? Maybe breakfast at the Old Coffee Pot, and then some drinks at Hermes Bar, French 75, and/or Napoleon House?

                1. re: Christine

                  Unless you are a World Class cholesterol champion you probably should take breakfast easy--but don't avoid it completely lest your stomach shrinks. Coffee Pot is OK for that. If you are NOT doing Commander's on the first day then certainly amble over to The Roosevelt and have a drink--but not more than one because Galatoire's has a heavy pour. Amble into the restaurant about 3:00. You might want to stop by eearlier just to see the place and tell them you are coming in for a birthday celebration. You'll get a birthday song from (probably) Imre and this will trigger another couple of songs ("Honey, my birthday is in 11 months..can we pretend it is today?") I don't let them sing on my birthday but when I turned 50 I was overruled by the waiters and a mob of them gathered around the table, warbling. So sure, let them know. Sometimes they'll give you a pen with the restaurant name on it.

                  1. re: hazelhurst

                    Sounds absolutely lover-ly! I usually cringe when they do embarrassingly bad birthday songs FOR OTHER PEOPLE in chain restaurants (because i'm never in a chain on my birthday), but at Galatoire's, I will def. cherish the memory.

                    And we promise to take it easy at breakfast... and love the sound of a "heavy pour" at Galatoire's. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!

              2. re: Christine

                In the summer, you'll probably want a fresh change of clothes just before Galatoire's, so budget some time to return to the hotel.

                I would consider getting out of the FQ ... maybe a breakfast at Elizabeth's in the Bywater:

                If you elect to stay in the FQ, consider a good breakfast at Cafe Beignet or Stanley. Perhaps a beverage at Napoleon House, or at the Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt, which is just across Canal Street from the FQ on Baronne. Maybe a plate of Oysters at Bourbon House, Felix's, or Acme around noon.

                1. re: Gizmo56

                  Gizmo, I didn't see your post until after i replied to hazelhurst. We've been to Elizabeth's and loved it, but I think we will elect to stay in the Quarter before heading to Gal's in the afternoon. is the Coffee Pot good for breakfast? We have never been there. We have gone to the Sazerac at the Roosevelt, wow, what a place. Absolutely gorgeous. I do like your idea of oysters, though: have already eaten at both BH and Acme, so think i'd like to throw some love toward Felix's this time. Thanks for the ideas...I'm sure we'll figure something out ;-) (wink)

                  Oh yeah, this will be Friday Sep. 13...what kind of weather should we expect then? Has it cooled off some by then, or is it difficult to predict?

                  1. re: Christine

                    The Old Coffee Pot is a good choice. Like Elizabeth's, they still serve Calas cakes.

                    Felix's is revitalized under new ownership, so it is good place to direct some love.

                    Have a great time!

                    1. re: Christine

                      The odds are that September will be hotter than the hinges of hell. It usually takes two cool fronts, back-to-back, to crack summer. A friend of mine wore a seersucker, white bucks and a straw boater to the Post Harlequins Hangover Bash in late was a protest against non-Xmas weather.

                      You might get some decent oysters but I saw some up in Baton Rouge last week from a good provider..they looked awful and the shucker said they were impossible to open. If you have some en brochette, though, you'll be OK.

                      1. re: hazelhurst

                        From time-to-time, season-to-season, and year-to-year, one does need a sartorial protest, or two.

                        I try to book things for October, but my wife's family seems intent on getting me back to NOLA in July, August and Sept - not my choices.

                        As for the Martinis, I would not worry about the $0.25 versions. It IS a 50th, after all. Go to the various restaurants for their food, and their style. The Martinis will just flow, regardless of any special price. They are a very good "come-on" for the locals, and for the tourists, who just wish to get drunk. Instead, go with the cuisine, instead, and let the drinks fall, where they may.

                        Most of all, ENJOY, and be very comfortable that one cannot do it all - at least in one trip.