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Jan 18, 2014 03:58 PM

NY foodies comin down

When we choose a vacation, it has to involve food. We have both been to Nawlins previously but not in a while. So this will be a three nite (sat-tues) weekend. Would love to know some off the list type restaurants. We can figure out the big names but would love recs for off the beaten path places. A good,reasonable wine list is pretty important. Thanks in advance. Can't wait

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  1. I am at a loss to respond. The request is vague. I never tell anyone whrethe locals go because I want locls only. I never tell anyone what special item to order because I don't want a million people asking for it.
    No, can't help you on the local dives. Can possibly help if you are willing to go to the known places and enjoy. Attitude is essential in entering a foreign territ

    4 Replies
    1. re: hazelhurst

      Guess you aren't a chamber of commerce member. We live in one of the great eating cities in the world and never, ever hesitate to recommend off the beaten path places that we love. it gives the visitor a true taste of the city. it is basically a one and done deal. and if the restaurant gets a little extra business all the better. different strokes......

      1. re: smarty

        Larger venue, easier to diffuse the influx, New Orleas is smaller...THE great po'boy (poor boy if you insist) shop is terrific. Then,,of a sudden..The World descends. Everyone want to see the REAL city, le veritable Paris.

        I do not send tourists to my favorite places unles I know the tourist. No, I correct myself..if I have met a traveler who appears, to me,interesting...then I may divulge my secrets.

        The truth is--and you well know it--that the best places in Paris, London, it..are made so by the customers..not by the "chef". As fine as the food is, the reason for gathering is each other. Even eating along, you are communing with the waiter, with the cook, with the busboy. .

      2. re: hazelhurst

        In this day and he if social media, the locals only spot is no longer. Word gets out so fast about places now. I live in Jersey but from New Orleans, oh and please don't call it Nawlins, and I know of new places and pop ups before my friends who live there.
        R&O is my favorite poboy, other local places would be Mandinas, which I have been going to for 33 years.
        A neighborhood place that gets high praise is Willie Mae's for friend chicken but I don't get the love.
        Find where the Taceaux Loceaux food truck will be, it's usually at a good neighborhood bar

        1. re: roro1831

          Roro's point is a good one: the media are such that there's not a lot of goings on that aren't reported; and to Hazelhurst's point, it's unlikely that people here are going to spew about it if it's not at least somewhat out there already. To be honest, you could pick a few random places off of the Eater 38 list and not go wrong.

          My first suggestion: buy a guide book and give it a read. Check out the Gambit, Advocate, Eater, Blackened Out, NOLA Defender, NO Menus, and past threads on CH and put together an proposed itinerary. I'm sure there'll be no shortage of opinions.

          My second suggestion: pick where you're going to go the first night and talk to your friendly bartender. He'll size you up (hint: it'd be a good time for overtipping) and give you a few recommendations. If you're into interesting (as opposed to orthodox ... both are fine) wine lists maybe try the Green Goddess. The food's good and the staff aren't stupid.

          My third suggestion: there's a reason certain places are talked about and other places aren't. In many instances it's because the best places are frequented by tourists and locals alike (e.g., there's a good reason Cochon won a Beard award and is busy every night). There are a lot of restaurants in town but not so many that very good ones can fly too low under the radar.

      3. The query is a difficult one to respond to because of how open ended it is -- after all, reading recent discussions on this board should provide a lot of useful information -- but I also find the response that says "I know but I'm not going to tell you because I'd rather keep it to myself" completely repugnant to what this board represents. The entire raison d'etre of Chowhound is to share the off-the-beaten-path chow-worthy establishments that one can't find in the typical guidebooks. No one needs chowhound to find out about Commander's Palace or Acme Oyster or Cafe du Monde.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Blumie

          I see noting repugnant about being cautious. We'llyak about the est RB&R or what have you but I do not expect anyone to blab, for thusands to hear, about the stuffed veal pocket at the dead Chevron station on the road to Bayou des Felicite(Thursday only before 2:00). Have a look at the inane hoopla over Willie
          mae's, a "let's feel good about ourselves award to a decent place that is now exinct. I've got some places I would be happy to share with you persona;lly, o at the next table, but I don't want Diners Drive in an Dives showing up.

          chowhound may not be neded go knowabout commndder;s but the people who write about Commander' are rying to be guides as to how best to enjoy the place, which is more than th dinner. In short, it is about more than calories

          Liebling's last book, "Between Meals" has a nice footnote in which he describes a dead restaurant that he did not give away I the original magazine articles 'beca
          'use I wanted to keep it to myself

        2. I live in Canada and am somewhat removed, but even I cringed when I read "Nawlins" (from "smarty"!), which led me to wonder what kind of responses would follow...

          There are quite a few threads which deal with off-the-beaten-path NO, perhaps search them out, have a gander, then ask more specific questions?
          I'm just sayin.

          1. Hmmmmm . . .

            >>> When we choose a vacation, it has to involve food. <<<
            So, too, do my wife and I.

            >>> We have both been to "Nawlins" previously but not in a while. <<<
            "Ain't never been there; they tell me it's nice." On the other hand, I've been to New Orleans probably 15 times or more in the past 12 years (both pre- and post-K).

            Then again, I live in Berkeley, California, and I ain't never been to "'Frisco" or to "Cali," either.

            >>> So this will be a three nite (sat-tues) weekend. Would love to know some off the list type restaurants. <<<
            I'm confused. If they're "off the list," wouldn't that be because they aren't very good? I mean, if they were any good, wouldn't they be on SOMEBODY'S list???

            As others have said, your request *is* on the "rather vague" side of things.

            FWIW, I think monutori gave you some great suggestions, and I would echo them.

            In terms of wine lists -- and food -- I'd check out R'evolution. New Orleans is not necessarily a great wine town (i.e.: I'm far more impressed with the way wine lists are put together in San Francisco, LA and New York). There are too many "names," and not enough "undiscovered gems." That said, there are good wines to be had, even if a great many of them are familiar "stalwarts."

            Also, keep in mind that many places are closed on Sunday, so make your plans accordingly.

            2 Replies
            1. re: zin1953

              New Orleans wine lists - now THAT is a relatively short list. It is not because there are not wine lists in New Orleans - there are (especially now), but few really good ones.

              Pre-K, there were some with interesting depth, if one was well-heeled (and I mean REALLY well-heeled), but many were lost.

              Now, I like Restaurant August, The Grill Room @ Windsor Court Hotel, and R'Evoulution (sommeliers in training, on our last visit, but list was good). Unfortunately, those are not restaurants off anyone's radar.

              Other restaurants, such as Galatoire's, Commander's and Ralph's on the Park, have adequate wine lists (well, Ralph's DID, until they cut out the white Burgs!), but I find gaping holes in the middle - most go from "the usual suspects," with giant markups, to true collectible wines, also with significant markups.

              One interesting, well-conceived wine list (albeit a short one) was Cochon, though several folk have commented on the markup. For a resort city, I found them to be well within target range - some interesting choices on that list, which worked well with the fare.

              Now, New Orleans has historically not been a "wine town." They made their mark with cocktails, so wines were long a real after-thought. It has only been somewhat recently, that wine has taken a spotlight, and it will take time to catch up - if the market holds.

              Zin, I am with you on wine lists in the US - I want a new experience, when dining out, and do not hesitate to pay what I consider "fair prices," the markup be damned. As we spend a good deal of time in major destinations, I know what a "fair price" is. What I do not want, is to have a list with only the wines in my cellar. While I love the white Burgs from the Colin "boys," and my Drouhin Clos des Mouches, when dining out, I want to experience other producers, other vineyards, and will fall back, only when there are not options. It's the same for wines of various regions, and even varietals - I want new experiences, that I do not have every day. I want a sommelier, who knows a broad spectrum of wines, and also the cuisine from the kitchen THAT day. I do not find such in NOLA, all that often.

              Still, things ARE getting better, and more chefs/owners ARE taking the pains to offer more, and beyond the normal list from the distributors.

              Just my feeble observations,


              PS - We MUST do Commis, since we cannot seem to meet up in NOLA.

              1. re: Bill Hunt

                Sorry and all but one cannot discuss white burgundy and not quote Amis pére:

                “Closely resembling a blend of cold chalk soup and alum cordial with an additive or two to bring it to the colour of children’s pee” was how a character in a novel of mine described, perhaps opinionatedly, the generic white burgundy.

                because one risks the possibility of becoming snooty otherwise.

            2. Take a look at some of the Uptown restaurants like Dante's Kitchen, Boucherie, Martinique Bistro, Brigsten's and Upperline. You could also go more casual like High Hat, Cowbell or Dat Dog.