NOLA with 6 year old twins and grandparents food itinerary, what do you think?
Hi everyone, it's been 10 years since our last visit. Thought it would be good mini vacation. Arriving Sat Feb 15-Wed Feb 20. We are foodies and our kids are pretty adventurous to a point. From Boston, one kid loves seafood, the other any kind of meat. Here's our plan, suggestions or comments welcomed and appreciated!
Arrive Westin FQ 2-3
Tour French Quarter
Café Du Monde for snack
Dinner - Crescent City Brewery - open to suggestions but Sat night of 1st Mardi Gras parade and NBA all star weekend tough to get table of 6 in advance. I wanted to consider Gumbo shop but I always remember a line. Would like something close to hotel and casual and fun for 1st night.
Breakfast: Court of 2 Sisters. I know not best food, but would like jazz brunch with good variety. Booked for 11 am so we can get breakfast and lunch varieties. Any other recommendations? I was thinking Commanders but how fancy do we have to dress up. Business casual ok for Sunday? Also heard it is 2-3 hour affair. If so, kids may get antsy. I did book Commanders for lunch during the weekday as standby. Also was considering Mr. B's.
Mardi Gras World if time
Dinner - Domenica - If we arrive 5:30’ish, is happy hour only in bar or is whole restaurant good for ½ price pizza?
Lunch - Emerils 1PM (I heard tour gets back 12:45-1PM. May have them drop us right off at Emerils!)
? Childrens Museum if not too tired. We have free passes
Dinner - American Craft – Kids and Grandparents
Herbsaint for our one night out me and the wifey. If you had one choice for a night out, any other recommendations. I was thinking Bayona or August also?
Tuesday – Switch hotel to Courtyard on Iberville
Breakfast – Stanley or Camelia Grill
Garden Tour/? Zoo pending time and if we are "toured out"
Lunch - ? Commanders Palace
Dinner – NOLA
Wed – Quick Breakfast, have to leave hotel by 9:30 or if we get up early enough and packed, Stanley or Camelia Grill
Maybe Beignets from Café Beignets or Café Du Monde or Breakfast Po boy from Johnnys
Other choices as standbys: Mulates (for the dancing, not the food!), Mother’s (I always liked this place for the Ferdi and Shrimp Po Boy, but reviews seem to say it has gone downhill? Last time I was there was 10 years ago!), Luke, Gumbo shop
Any other casual spots you recommend with minimal lineup or takes reservations.
Please don't take offense, but I find your choices mostly pedestrian -- I personally would eliminate Crescent City Brewery, Court of Two Sisters, Mr. B's, Emeril's, Mulate's, Mother's, and, were it not for the kids, Cafe du Monde and Camellia Grill. (Of course, not everyone would agree with me on all of these.)
Have a look around the board. You'l find no shortage of places to replace those with.
No offense taken! I would love to venture out more, but remember it would have to be kid friendly or at least some items on menus that kids would typically enjoy (so no to turtle soup or pig cheeks at cochon!) and no long waits.
I know my choices arent greatest by Chowhound standards but trying to introduce our kids slowly to the fun life of eating and experiencing different cultures! My kids favorite meal is Dim Sum, crispy chicken skin, shrimp and tofu if this gives you any idea of their likes so far. Hopefully, crawfish and etoufee will be next!
I was thinking of Cochon Butcher for lunch. May have to try this either sit down or take out back at our hotel!
Thanks again for your comments
I think you have a good list for what you want to accomplish. Sometimes it's not just about the food but the experience.
Although it might scramble your schedule a bit I'd skip Mulate's and do the Sunday evening fais do-do at Tips. You may need to check if kids are allowed but there are no video poker machines to ban them.
I haven't noticed a line at Gumbo Shop but I may be passing at off hours.
I think this is a good itinerary. When I was there with my husband we really enjoyed Johnny's, Stanley, NOLA, Emiril's, Cafe Beignet, Cafe du Monde, and Domenica. Just make sure you read menus and pick places where the food seems very appealing to you. Enjoy your trip and hope you have a good "kid-free" dinner!
You might also consider Cochon Butcher for a lunch.
If you're looking for an alternative to the Brewery, check out EAT (eatnola.com) which takes reservations and serves up some pretty good food. Note they're BYOB ... Rouses in the Quarter[*] will have wine & beer though. Another FQ alternative might be St. Lawrence, very close to your hotel. The food and service are consistently good and there isn't usually a crowd till later on. Both places are informal.
With kids at lunchtime I might consider the American Sector instead of Emeril's. Don't get me wrong: I think E.'s is pretty damn good at dinner but lunch there has always seemed a bit ... dour. Maybe it's just me.
Stanley, NOLA, Dominica ... all solid choices. If you're on Magazine St during the week (or very early on the weekends ... it gets busy) you might consider Surrey's (there's one in the Garden District and one further towards the Zoo) for breakfast. Better, I think, than most other options.
Herbsaint is a fine date night place as would be Bayona or August (or Coquette or Commander's). I'd suggest that if you have the time, an adult trip (kids aren't allowed) out to Bacchanal after dinner would be a nice way to round out the evening (Bacchanal's food is also pretty tasty by the way) or perhaps catching a show at dba or Le Bon Temps Roule -- both places have pretty dance-y crowds (and good beer selections) if that's what you're after -- neither allow children.
At the risk of getting flamed, I might suggest Buffa's for their Sunday brunch. The band -- Some Like It Hot -- is very good (which is why I recommend it); the food ranges from excellent to ho-hum depending on ... well something, I've never figured it out. It's not a stuffy place (by any means) and everybody there's always kinda having fun. I do recommend an earlyish arrival, 10-10:30 or so. By the time the band gets crankin' the house is full. (Note that brunch is in the back, non-smoking room.)
Cafe du Monde is better when there's not a line. For the life of me I don't understand why people wait. Mother's, eh. If you're in that neighborhood and hungry, consider Capdeville just around the corner instead.
Incidentally, both the Aquarium and Zoo are fabulous.
[*] Note that Google Maps shows "Rouses Market, Royal St." as the Baronne St. location. I really do mean the one on Royal in the FQ.
I'd choose August but check the menu. It changes seasonally and may not be to your liking.
Domenica's HH is the entire restaurant. Although sometimes you can walk right in, it's best to make a rsv. Wander off the pizza menu and order some small plates orHH special nibbles or split an entree. The pork chop Milanese is simply outstanding and nearly covers the plate.
Business casual is ok for Commander's. Lunch and brunch are only as lengthy as you choose.