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Must try dishes for first timers in NOLA

Going through old threads I came across these must try items or drink locations. This is our first time away in 10 years from our children for our anniversary. So looking to have a great time.

Gumbo
Jambalaya
BBQ Shrimp
Po Boy(verti martes)
Grilled oysters.(acme or felix)

Drinks at the carasoul
Hurricane at Pat and brians

We would like to try many different dishes and only 4 days so we dont mind doing our own food crawl rather then sitting down to fine dining restaurant for every dinner,

We will also be in NOLA during the Quarter fest 2 of the days where there will be lots of food sampling,

Reading all the must try restaurants , musicians to go watch and all the hapoy hour times is bit overwhelming, we could go and just wing it and have fun but we would hate to miss so much,

Any guidance on must try and location for items would be helpful.

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  1. Make reservations for the two nights without the festival at normal times 7:30ish. Leave one day to wing it and eat all the festival food you can and then for the 4th night, make a late dinner reservation, like 9:30ish. Make sure to explore the whole city. Head Uptown and try one of these great restaurants- Brigsten’s, Dominique’s, Le Petit Grocery, Clancy’s or Gautreau’s. If you can, try Commander’s Palace brunch. Go to Mr B’s for a BBQ shrimp snack. Don’t waste a meal there. Same for chargrilled oysters at Felix’s, Acme’s or Drago’s. IMO, they are all one-trick ponies. If you’re looking for a great lunch on one of the non-festival days, hit Cochon Butcher. Their expansion should be complete by then so I wouldn’t worry so much about not getting a seat. Gumbo and jambalaya are widely available to FQ Fest. My favorite is black Bart’s jambalaya and the duck and andouille gumbo. And the best po boy in the city can by found at the Fest as well- Cochon de lait po boy. Oh yeah, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

    121 Replies
    1. re: shanefink

      I think that is good advice all around. The Festival gives plenty of chances to samplelots of stuff and,obviously, varaitions. The OP should know that there are endlses arguments--and endless fun---over "standards", e.g. whether one puts tomato in jambalaya, what makes a Real gumbo..should remoulade be red or white(yellow-ish), how much clove in turtle soup. I'd argue that remoulade and turtle soup are essential NOLA items..grillades too. Oyster preparations range from sublime to stupid but a good Bienville can be fantastic.

      Nap house is always a good idea..it is one of the Quarter places that is still very much part of the lives of natives.

      1. re: shanefink

        Yes I have Couchon Butcher on my list for a sandwich but which one? Or two as we can share them 1/2 each to try.

        What so you mean by one trick ponies??? Just go have a drink have oysters then leave?

        1. re: shanefink

          Good advice, especially the Cochon de lait. Be forewarned...the festival has grown tremendously. It has become " Bourbon St. on Fat Tuesday" crowded.

          Don't know why Napoleon House is famous for their Pimms. Just about anywhere else is better.

          1. re: JazzyB

            You're not kidding. I had to go down there two years ago to deliver some sheet music that a friend had forgotten and it was a zoo. I ended up hiding out with some restaurant friends (who had a place to sit down). Never again.

            1. re: hazelhurst

              Well I am glad we are there then 2 days before the festival gets underway to take in the scenery before the crowds

              1. re: palmtree38

                Once you get bored of the crowds head to another neighborhood and walk around and randomly try some bars and restaurants. Uptown is easy to get to on the St. Charles streetcar. Walk around the park and maybe go to the zoo. High Hat Cafe is a fun and good drop in restaurant (check the website). I would also recommend Boucherie and Dantes Kitchen for a more upscale experience.

                1. re: Chulacat

                  That is excellent advice..and the weather should be perfect for it, too. The perfect time of year to fall in love with New Orleans,and once in love, well....

                  1. re: hazelhurst

                    Dat Dog is also a hoot. Either the Magazine or the Freret location are great.

                    1. re: hazelhurst

                      Our first day we will arrive mid morning check in at hotel and start walking to FQ taking in sites, smells and music. Po boy or muffalata for lunch and drink is what we are considering,
                      Dinner we were looking at stopping at several places on the list to do a foodie crawl which can be done a few nights so wondering if we tmay not need to make dinner reservations as only in NOLA 4 nights to which 2 are FQF.

                      Bourbon street visit at dusk to get the experience walk around 1/2 hour and head elsewhere. Probably be a earlier night as we would of been up since 2am.
                      Day 2
                      morning have breakfast at our hotel and then head out on the st. charles streetcar to garden district spending the morning here visiting the cemetery, taking in scenery and lunch at commanders Palace.

                      Take the street car back or walk it. On this thread dressing nice is required to dine at CP but will we be looking out of place in a jacket and dress walking the streets?
                      Day 3
                      if alligators are been frequently seen on tour take cajun encounters morning trip. Come back and enjoy FQF for the afternoon early evening of music drink and food.
                      Day 4
                      Walk, talk stop at various places for appys, drinks on list must try, buying souvenirs along the way. Take in more of the festival.

                      Day 5
                      Mid morning check out head to airport

                      1. re: palmtree38

                        As far as attire, you should be fine on Prytania Street, any of the "number" streets (First, Second etc). It is hard to convey in words how the NOLA neighborhoods shade off. You can go from one block of well-maintained houses to a row of simple shotgun houses in a matter in minutes. A friend lives on Sixth Street, about a minute walk from Commander's. He can turn the other way out of his door and be among longshoremen's bars in about three minutes on foot,

                        1. re: hazelhurst

                          Would lunch at CP still require a jacket? Walking around may be a hot day mid April in button down shirt , jacket and long pants.

                          Or nicer golf shirt, docker pants and closed toe leather boatshoes be too casual?mor golf shirt, golf pants with dress shoes?

                          Ladies can wear dressier capris, dressy top and flats? Or skirt and or dress be better?
                          Walking in pumps for long distance wont be comfy for me as i have ongoing feet pain (plantar fascitiis)

                          1. re: palmtree38

                            They do not require a jacket at lunch (or even at dinner). No shorts allowed. No sandals. I would not take a date in capris..but no woman would accept an invitation without knowing she was expected to wear a dress.

                            I have known ladies who arrive in comfortable shoes and change to a dress pair held in a bag.

                            I should stress, though, that I am an anomaly and one of the few on this board---or in all of the City now--who won't be caught dead in any decent restaurant without and coat AND a tie.

                            1. re: hazelhurst

                              Funny I thought of bringing comfy flats in purse and wear heels to wear in CP good plan

                              Walking in heels in cemeteries and around garden district will be uncomfortable for me.
                              Depends on ages of gals going not a lot of my friends early 40's wear dresses unless fancy evening occasion.
                              Skirts and dressy capris seem to be worn more during the day,
                              Open toe heels I guess not allowed either
                              Will come up with something.
                              Im going to take a book on TA under CP reviews and photos as many times guests are in pictures to give an idea of attire.

                              Ok took a look wide range.
                              One couple in T-shirts other women in casual and dressy blouses. Men in golf shirts with dockers or dress pants others in jackets,

                              1. re: palmtree38

                                Traditional heels are tricky navigating nola sidewalks. Wedges are much better, although some sidewalks will still prove a challenge. Nearly all of my shoes fall into the sandal category..... Wedges and heels alike. It's so warm here, closed toe shoes during winter only. I never feel out of place wearing heeled sandals at Commanders with a sundress. BTW, bring a shrug if you wear a sundress. Nola ac can be quite formidable.

                                1. re: JazzyB

                                  I wear dressier sandals ie not keens, or crocs but with a small wedge. comfortable.
                                  So open toe shoes for ladies is okey at CP its just the men they dont want in open toe?

                                  I have a black shrug I was planning to pack and lycra like material but wrinkle free

                    2. re: Chulacat

                      Its somewhat confusing on what neighbourhoods are considered safe

                      1. re: palmtree38

                        Uptown is very safe. It is an extremely upscale neighborhood with mansions lining St. Charles and high end boutiques on Magazine Street.

                        1. re: Chulacat

                          Sounds pretty. Looking forward to it.
                          what neighbourhood is the river area? And don't laugh just curious is there alligators that come up that river at times?

                          1. re: palmtree38

                            No alligators in the Mississippi in the city. They are in the swamps outside the city.

                            Try the Happy Hour at the Columns Hotel on St. Charles. It is in the Garden District between Uptown and CBD. Good value and pretty fun experience.

                            1. re: Chulacat

                              Aah, the Columns Hotel is beautiful! What a lovely porch to sit on & have a cocktail & watch the world go by...I can't wait to get back to NOLA in April!!!

                              1. re: Chulacat

                                if we are at CP for lunch ending before 2pm we might be out of the neighbourhood as Columns happy hour starts at 5-7pm. looks like drinks only at HH no mention of small plates or such at hh.
                                porch setting looks quite pretty.

                              2. re: palmtree38

                                The whole city is the river area, really. We divide it for practical purposes into four points: Uptown/Downtown/Riverside/Lakeside. Anything "up river" is "Uptown" although the neighborhood "uptown" is a little more defined. In describing a location, we say "it is on the Downtown lakeside corner of St Charles Avenue." (this would be the far, left corner if you are travelling towards downtown. It is not as complicated as it sounds. you'll get the hang of it.

                                I have never seen an alligator in the river in the City although I have seen plenty farther downriver and farther upriver.

                                1. re: hazelhurst

                                  One of my favorite descriptions . . .

                                   
                                  1. re: zin1953

                                    yup, that's it...and it just brings up the old set of eternal New Orleans Un-answerable Questions:

                                    1) Why is it that, when you drive to the West Bank, you go South?

                                    2) Why is Upperline (Street) farther down than Lowerline?

                                    3) Why is "East End" west of "West End?"

                                    4)(extinct) Why is there no Barq's on Sunday at Ye Olde College Inn?

                                    A friend once tried to explain these and we made him shut up.

                                2. re: palmtree38

                                  You'll see some alligators during your swamp tour, especially if the weather is warm.

                                  1. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                    NJ are you going to be here for the quarter fest??

                                    One person mentioned the first time to see Bourbon street is at dusk/night as a real sight .

                                    1. re: palmtree38

                                      No. We will be there April 17-22. I found out about the festival after we booked everything but there's always next year! Bourbon Street at night is the time to see the sights, that's for sure!

                                      1. re: palmtree38

                                        I firmly believe it's every American's obligation to see Bourbon St., Manhattan, and Las Vegas at least once in his lifetime (but not necessarily twice). Here's my Bourbon St. advice:

                                        1. If it's not a color you can immediately associate with an actual liquor, don't drink it.

                                        2. If someone actively tries to sell you something, don't buy it.

                                        3. He knows where you got your shoes.

                                        4. More on shoes: nothing open toed (you'll thank me later).

                                        5. Be less of a mugging target than everyone else: keep your phone and money in your pocket and don't get too schnozzled.

                                        1. re: montuori

                                          Don't give away Number three..them kids gotta make a livin'

                                            1. re: hazelhurst

                                              And ANYWHERE in the FQ, if someone tries to hand you a "free" hat, do not take it. Keep walking. Trust me.

                                              1. re: hazelhurst

                                                re: #3, they aren't "kids", they're grown men.

                                                1. re: kibbles

                                                  Plenty of them are kids. And while some are shaving you don't have as many old men working the streets like Pork Chop did for 60 years.

                                                  Odd you should mention that, though. I saw a former Antoine's captain at the Fair Grounds yesterday and we jawed over the changes to the restaurants and street "entertainers" at some length

                                                  1. re: hazelhurst

                                                    maybe youre thinking of the tap dancers? i stroll thru the quarter often on my way to work and most/all the times ive been asked where i got my shoes have been from grown men, not kids and not adolescents.

                                                    1. re: kibbles

                                                      Tap dancers --with the coke caps on the shoes..will do it. (But Pork Chop was a dancer you may recall) Still I don't think anyone asks me anymore. Maybe its carriage but I don't know when the last time I was approached. Still, I've seen lots of 12,13 yrs old pull it

                                              2. re: montuori

                                                I was going to wear my wedding band only leave diamonds at home.
                                                No open to shoes? Figured sandals would be worn mid April. Ut with crowds at FQ feet get stepped on

                                                1. re: palmtree38

                                                  Your diamond rings/earrings will be fine, I always wear mine (it's not that type of crowd there). I would wear sneakers or closed toe flats on Bourbon Street because of all the um, wetness on the street & sidewalks there. Can never be too sure what that small puddle was you just walked thru. Everywhere else in NOLA I would defintiely wear sandals & flip flops.

                                                  1. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                                    People pee on the streets???? What the?

                                                    1. re: palmtree38

                                                      Well, they are often rather far gone in drink...that is to say, drunk, bombed, plastered, fried, blotto, stinko....there is a certain loss of control under those circumstances.

                                                      1. re: hazelhurst

                                                        Yes, it is beyond their control. Some also drink beyond their limits & involuntarily regurgitate the excess alcohol onto the street & sidewalks. The bar owners do a great job of cleaning everything off the sidewalk come morning though. And there's also a street cleaning truck that squirts lemony scented soapy water as it drives down the streets in the morning, so you can wear sandals during the daytime!! LOL

                                                      2. re: palmtree38

                                                        More like "garbage truck juice". Contrary to popular tourist belief, you can not urinate on our streets. Public urination will land you in jail.

                                                      3. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                                        So most don't spend much time on Bourbon street then? If you have to plan what shoes to wear before you leave your hotel for the evening lol.
                                                        Our first day we were going to head out for lunch in the FQ for a Po Boy and drink. Get familiar with the area by foot, maybe see Bourbon street in the evening after we have returned to hotel to change and freshen up. Go out somewhere for dinner and drinks.

                                                        Next day take the St charles street car to CP for lunch, walk Lafayette's cemetery, garden district area and would the Columns Hotel be too far from here for a HH cocktail be a good idea? OR Cooter Brown's at the riverbend(509 S Carrollton).

                                                        Third day take a morning swamp tour then return to FQ fest for music and food all afternoon, rpt 4th day and buy souvenirs
                                                        5th day check out of hotel back home.

                                                        1. re: palmtree38

                                                          Seriously, one walk down & back on Bourbon one of the nights you're there is really enough to get the idea of what it's like. You'll see the street entertainers, get bumped into by someone who's on a bar crawl, stop in a bar or 2 for a libation and good music, visit the voodoo shop out of curiosity, and head back towards Canal Street. It's a fun street with lots to see & drink, but in my opinion, not something you'll feel the need to do each night of your stay in NOLA.

                                                            1. re: palmtree38

                                                              The Columns makes a nice stop for a late afternoon drink on the porch.

                                                              The vibe (and age group) on Bourbon Street at night is like a giant frat party. If you are in that mindset, I suppose you might enjoy it, but for most folks, a quick walk to satisfy your curiosity is probably as much or more Bourbon Street mayhem than you'll need. There are much better destinations in the FQ.

                                                              Cross Esplanade and enjoy the music venues and festive atmosphere on Frenchmen Street. Have a late night beignet at Cafe du Monde. Stop for drinks at Napoleon House, Hermes Bar, the Carousel Bar and French 75. Get a plate of oysters at Felix's. Catch a set at Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse in the Royal Sonesta Hotel, and have a drink in the bar at R'evolution (in the same hotel). Cross Canal Street and have a Ramos Fizz in the beautiful Sazerac Bar in the Roosevelt Hotel. Get there between 3 and 6 pm for half-priced pizza and Italian wines by the glass at John Besh's Domenica at the same hotel.

                                                              All of the above would be time better spent than the Bourbon Street spectacle, IMO.

                                                              1. re: Gizmo56

                                                                I appreciate this info, were mid 40's so frat party and barfers are not our thing.
                                                                My list

                                                                Sazarec bar-more affordable drinks during their HH here and close to our hotel on way home.
                                                                Lafittes Blacksmith shop oldest bar in USA. Walk in have a drink walk out
                                                                Sylvain for dinner/desert
                                                                Po boys at Johnnys
                                                                Mrs B's shrimp platter
                                                                French 75-drink
                                                                And Carosoul for a hurricane
                                                                Lukes HH oyster fix
                                                                Domenica for HH wine and pizza
                                                                muffuletta at Cochon Butcher
                                                                Commander Palace lunch (reservations made)
                                                                acme or Felix for Oysters

                                                                1. re: palmtree38

                                                                  Yes, it's not worth more than an hour or 2 of your visit. We're in our mid 40s also & would rather visit Bourbon St during the day rather than at night. Your list sounds great! I'm a fan of Felix's chargrilled oysters, but I've heard Acme's are right up there with them & both restaurants are right across the street from one another if your decision is last minute.

                                                                  1. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                                                    Great!
                                                                    Now some say felix is better for char grilled Oysters and Acmes for raw? I think I have that right?
                                                                    oyster crawl may be in order my spouses favourite
                                                                    Also trip to french market for crawfish boil or another location as that was a big must try too.

                                                                    1. re: palmtree38

                                                                      Yes, I prefer chargrilled at Felix's & raw at Acme, if I go to Acme, as there are plenty of restaurants that also serve them up nicely chilled & tasty!!! If you have time, I suggest crawfish @ Cooter Brown's in the Garden District (the St Charles streetcar will get you there). Hubby & I stopped in there for a cocktail & the crawfish they were serving looked really good, so we ordered some. They were delicious!

                                                                      1. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                                                        Yes I saw your post about Cooter Browns . We probably will only have time for one visit to the garden district and we have lunch reservations at commander's Palace. So we could walk off lunch at the cemetery then have a drink and share an order of crawfish lol oink oink

                                                                        1. re: palmtree38

                                                                          They might have to roll you out after the crawfish if you do that! LOL There are plenty of places in the FQ to get crawfish so you can have them another day.

                                                                        2. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                                                          NjlovesNOLA or anyone else have a link to a good map that we can print off and put the addresses of these restaurants on so we know where were going?

                                                                          1. re: palmtree38

                                                                            Do yourself a favor and acquire one of these:

                                                                            http://www.amazon.com/Streetwise-New-...

                                                                            The laminated folding format is ideal for travelers, especially if you plan to be doing a fair amount of walking. Best $6 you'll spend on the trip.

                                                                            1. re: palmtree38

                                                                              Here's a link to printable walking maps of NOLA that I have found useful...

                                                                              http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=w...

                                                                              Just copy & paste

                                                                          2. re: palmtree38

                                                                            After you try the typical char grilled (the attraction here is sopping up the garlicky, parmesan butter sauce) go to GW Fins and have the best....cold smoked, sizzling oysters.

                                                                            1. re: JazzyB

                                                                              we had GW's for the first time not long ago -- actually didn't care for them at all. the oysters were plump and sorta like water balloons... now, i enjoy raw oysters, and i enjoy grilled oysters, but i dont enjoy grilled oysters that feel like raw oysters.

                                                                              Drago's are still our best liked.

                                                                        3. re: palmtree38

                                                                          The devotees ofCarousel Bar will have to weigh in on this but to my mind it is not a Hurricane type of place. Come to think of it I am not sure I've ever seen anyone have a Hurricane anywhere other than Pat O'Brien's or at a private party.

                                                                          Carousel was once noted for the Vieux Carre cocktail, maybe a Roffignac.but, as I say, one or more of its legion of fans can make recommendations.

                                                                          1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                            Lafitte's Blacksmith Shoppe -- while i hate the frat boy atmosphere, and addition of TVs and jukebox (what a shame, both), i think they have the best hurricane. real fruit juice, not too sweet.

                                                                            1. re: kibbles

                                                                              I'm not sure if it was a special or what but a friend of mine recently scored a real juice hurricane at Felipe's in the Quarter. While not the apex of haute cuisine, they do a good enough job if you're in the mood for what they do.

                                                                              That said, good to know about Lafitte's.

                                                                              1. re: montuori

                                                                                I know some of the bartenders from Felipe's, that doesn't surprise me - one was the bar manager at Maurepas and King Fish, both strong cocktail programs.

                                                                        4. re: Gizmo56

                                                                          Gizmo is this your bar crawl itinerary over 1 night or a few?? Lol

                                                                          1. re: palmtree38

                                                                            :)

                                                                            I didn't expect you to hit them all in one go, just wanted to rattle off a number of FQ options.

                                                                            1. re: Gizmo56

                                                                              Ok well being a NOLA newbie one has to ask a lot of questions :)

                                                                              Also many like HH for a drink pop in and or light snack.
                                                                              How does everyone keep track of the times and locations lol

                                                                              I think I need to come up with a HH walking map .

                                                                              Many I have read seem to be 3-6pm maybe this is standard

                                                                              1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                Just check the websites of any places that interest you as possible happy hour destinations for the hours.

                                                                                One caveat: some of the bars that are in hotels (Sazerac, Carousel, etc.) will have big throngs crowding in during the late afternoon from business meetings in the hotel conference rooms letting out, etc.

                                                                          2. re: Gizmo56

                                                                            Just to clarify the rosevolt hotel has Domenica restaurant in it as well as the Sazerac bar in it (known for their Ramon Fizz drinks)?? Both places happy hour is 3-6pm?

                                                                            I believe this hotel is between FQ and route back to our hotel Drury Inn we are staying at?

                                                                            1. re: palmtree38

                                                                              The Roosevelt is 1/2 block away from the FQ, just across Canal Street, with entrances on both Barrone and University. Yes, get the Ramos Gin Fizz in the Sazerac Bar. The drink, and seeing it made, are both quite wonderful.

                                                                              I am not sure if there is any "happy hour" at the Sazerac. I suggest stopping into Sazerac during the mid-afternoon when it is likely to be quiet. The Roosevelt often hosts business meetings. When they let out toward the end of the afternoon, the bar can get very crowded and loud. Go before that happens, so that you can soak up the beautiful decor and have a chance to relate to the bartender and servers.

                                                                              Yes, at the adjacent Domenica, the "happy hour" is 3 to 6 pm, and it consists of half price on all pizzas and wines by the glass.

                                                                              1. re: Gizmo56

                                                                                Thanks gizmo.
                                                                                Someone had mentioned they have a HH as a good time to go as Sazarec drinks are $$$

                                                                                One week will be there. Very excited for our first trip to NOLA

                                                                                1. re: Gizmo56

                                                                                  I never go to the Sazerac at 5:30 or so..I try to stop by in the afternoon on a weekend. And the other thing to avoid is live "entertainment." One more than one occasion I have been in there when they had a group playing. These are set up according to interrogation methods used by Stalin's NKVD and the Gestapo. Every instrument is wired to a speaker and amplified in a room that needs no such "enhancement." The resulting noise sounds like London in the Blitz.

                                                                            2. re: palmtree38

                                                                              There is so much more to nola than the FQ. Boirbon St. Is loaded with touristy bars and souvenir shops. five minutes is enough time spent. Take the street car uptown to get a glimpse of the Garden District, uptown (Audubon Park, universities, St. Charles mansions), the Riverbend and S Carrollton. iRide the Canal St line to City Park (such a gem). Home to NOMA, sculpture and botanical,gardens, paddle boats, golf, tennis, equestrian stables, Morning Call, the list goes on. Oh, and forget to check out Magazine St. , the Marigny and Bywater.

                                                                              1. re: JazzyB

                                                                                here's the problem with sending people to Marigny or Bywater due to the FQ being too touristy -- now the Marigny and Bywater are getting too touristy. Frenchmen Street? forget it. Bourbon Street v2.0.

                                                                          3. re: palmtree38

                                                                            Although they try, the Quarter is not the cleanest of venues

                                                                          4. re: montuori

                                                                            3. He knows where you got your shoes.

                                                                            LOL! I still fell for it even with the warning

                                                                            1. re: Ziggy41

                                                                              What is this all about?? Dudes trying to sell you new shoes as know where your current ones are from?

                                                                              1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                It is a bet that you make with a kid on the street who will tell you "where you got your shoes" down to "the City, the state, the time and the place :where you got them shoes." Don't take the bet: you'll lose.

                                                                                1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                  Where you got your shoes............on your feet.

                                                                          5. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                                                            In your opinion if you were in going to NOLA first time and have 4 full days only would time be better used to explore the neighbourhoods and skip the swamp tour? The reason I ask as yes mid April they will be out however, they pick you up early 8:30am good hour or more to pick up guests at hotels. take the tour then drop off mid afternoon 2pm or later. This does take up a lot of one day for our trip.

                                                                              1. re: JazzyB

                                                                                lol Jazzy sounds like you have been there done that :O)

                                                                                1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                  In our fifteen plus excursions to NOLA, we've never ONCE said "Sure wish we had devoted some time to a swamp tour"....

                                                                                  Just one perspective...

                                                                                  1. re: Monch

                                                                                    I've been on two swamp tours, one was business but the second was with some visiting friends. I enjoyed both, even tho I've been around the marshes for many years.
                                                                                    Part of the entertainment is having an entertaining tour Captain.

                                                                                    If you have the time not all of Louisiana is urban treats.

                                                                                    1. re: collardman

                                                                                      Could NOT agree more, CM.

                                                                                      One of our MOST memorable trips:
                                                                                      - We landed at Armstrong and immediately jumped in a rental to drive to Baton Rouge. Spent the afternoon and evening knocking around BR. Fun!
                                                                                      - Got up the next morning for the ride back...along the River Road. Fascinating for a Wisconsin boy!
                                                                                      - A tour of Laura plantation and a lunch at B&C Seafood, in Vacherie, and we headed back to New Orleans for the rest of the trip.

                                                                                      The roadtrip and plantation tour were an absolute highlight.

                                                                                      Looking back on my comment, through your reply, I was being very narrow minded....appreciate the feedback.

                                                                                      1. re: Monch

                                                                                        First time and 4 days only in NOLA.

                                                                                        1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                          We did a swamp tour during our 3rd visit to NOLA. Only because we were still wet behind the ears the first 2 trips & thought there was nothing more to do than eat & drink! (we were young then!). It was a fascinating drive to the swamp & we really enjoyed the tour. I'm sure whatever decision you make will be the right one for you! Plus, nobody visits NOLA just once, so plan the tour during your next visit!

                                                                                    2. re: Monch

                                                                                      our wet lands are beautiful, and a swamp tour is the easiest way for a visitor or even a local to see a bit of them. i recommend.

                                                                                      1. re: kibbles

                                                                                        while I agree wholeheartedly I'd just add that one should see the swamps between now and the end of april...and don't try again until October.

                                                                                        1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                                          Is that due to the weather ie flowers coming in bloom alligators coming out

                                                                                            1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                              No, I am speaking of the heat..by May the temperatures are already running in the 80s(F) and humidity is soaring..80%. Simply miserable (unless you are a stalk of sugar cane or a soybean plant). Louisiana in fall and spring is one of the most wonderful places on earth but summer is a killer. I resist summer by dressing in light clothing but I still dress. I have some standards remaining.

                                                                                              1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                                I'm going to guess Hazelhurst is telling you that because of the extreme heat & humidity during the summer months. I'm also going to guess that the bug population in the wetlands increases greatly during the summer months. I've been on the tours during February, April & October & it's beautiful.

                                                                                                1. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                                                                                  If you can guess horse races and stocks as well as you called that, we have GOT to get together....long Galatoire's lunch....on me. Bring pen &paper (no computer stuff please)

                                                                                                  1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                                                    I'm much better at the races, so we'll concentrate on that! But I have to insist on paying for lunch since you have guided this Jersey girl in the right direction MANY times thanks to your recommendations here on CH!!

                                                                                                    1. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                                                                                      Oh, pshaw! you say the nicest things. I'm in love already..we can have fun fighting over the tab.

                                                                                                      are you good on turf races? those are my favorites.

                                                                                                      1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                                                        I am pretty good on turf races, although I prefer good old dirt. I can be found on any given summer weekend at Monmouth Park. Ever hear of the Haskell Invitational?

                                                                                                        1. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                                                                                          "Ever heard of the Haskell Invitational/" Child, you cut me to the quick! Grade I stuff, Stop by Lucy the Margate Elephant for luck and rattle over to see your $$$$ fly down the track. Hot. humid July Jersey. (In my youth we wore seersucker out there).

                                                                                                          Come to the Fair Grounds--where the food is pretty damn good again (there two weeks ago at a private party). Longest stretch run in America. goddamn good dirt, too.

                                                                                                          1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                                                            I see you know Jersey summers too well! That's the time of year when those damn no-seeum's come out to bother us. I'm going to have to grab my sun hat & venture out to the Fair Grounds. When do their races begin? We'll be in NOLA in April & then again in October.

                                                                                                            1. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                                                                                              Our meet starts Thanksgiving and runs through march. Closes just before the Jazz Fest

                                                                                                              1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                                                                Hmm, we might have to do a NOLA trip next February or March. I'll look into it. Thanks!

                                                                                                                1. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                                                                                                  Anytime. There are few things more beautiful in Life than a Feb/March day at Da Track watchin yo'' money fly away.(Unless, maybe, it is watching Secretariat [turn to the East and bow] demolish the Belmont, footage that never fails to reduce me to tears.)

                                                                                                                  1. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                                                                                                    We will miss each others NOLA stay by a week or so, we are mid april.
                                                                                                                    A chow meet up would of been fun

                                                                                                      2. re: hazelhurst

                                                                                                        Hey, when my (now 19 year old) daughter was 12, she picked 6 out of 7 winners at the track! That 7th horse, though . . . I think he's still approaching the finish line.

                                                                                                        1. re: zin1953

                                                                                                          I know that (7th) horse! The Borden Chemical Company is well-known to send spies out when I bet so they know who to claim. Borden, as you may know, owns Elmer's Glue/

                                                                                            2. re: palmtree38

                                                                                              We live here and unless there is a reason (Galatoire's) to be on Bourbon, we avoid it.

                                                                                              1. re: JazzyB

                                                                                                Agreed (and I don't live there, just visit once or twice a year, going back pre-K)

                                                                                                1. re: zin1953

                                                                                                  I also had thought the swamp tour would be great to see with the kids so we may just hold out and do that with them as a family.
                                                                                                  Take in more of the attractions that adults would enjoy more ie history. architecture, etc

                                                                                                2. re: JazzyB

                                                                                                  Totally agree with that. In our last 8 visits, we never even ventured down that street. UNFORTUNATELY, we will probably have to spend a few hours on Bourbon in April because we are bringing 3 thirty somethings who have never been to NOLA &, well, that's part of the baptism when it's your first time...

                                                                                                  1. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                                                                                    well we will be newbies so check it out 15 min then leave. Were mid 40's so not into the college crowd

                                                                                                    1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                                      Hubby & I are mid 40's too, so the Bourbon Street attraction is long gone. Thank goodness!

                                                                                                      1. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                                                                                        haha we will have enough problems with the FQ and surrounding areas sampling this and drinking that :O)

                                                                                                        1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                                          Right now. Plan another trip.

                                                                                                          Spending your entire visit in and around the Quarter is like never leaving the East Village and thinking you've seen all of Manhattan, let alone New York City . . .

                                                                                                          Don't misunderstand -- there is lots to eat, to see, to do in and around the FQ, but (obviously) there is so much more to the city of New Orleans and the surrounding area. (I know you know that already; I'm just trying to encourage you to visit again . . . and again.)

                                                                                                          I first went to New Orleans in 1970, and have been visiting at least once a year since 2002 (except for 2005, when Katrina hit; we cancelled our Oct. 2005 visit, but were back the following Spring), and I still don't know New Orleans . . .

                                                                                                          Try to get out to Breaux Bridge and eat at Poche's or Cafe des Amis; check out the andouille in La Place. Drive out River Road, see the plantations, and eat at Hymel's . . . let alone checking out the other neighborhoods of New Orleans itself.

                                                                                                          And whatever you do, have fun! ;^)

                                                                                                          1. re: zin1953

                                                                                                            Thanks! We wont have a car rental but would consider one for a day .

                                                                                                            I guess to be honest all the talk about safety and past 9pm some hotels you should take taxis back not walk. Dont go in this area as bad neighbourhood on edge of caution we were staying local as not familiar what is good area and not driving around. Needing gas, stopping for photos. Etc

                                                                            1. re: JazzyB

                                                                              Cochon de lait is the same place as cochon butcher?
                                                                              And everyone goes here for the cochon mufflattas? Or is there another hot item on their menu? (Menu is not too big)

                                                                              1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                Cochon de lait is the food item, "Cochon butcher" is the store. Hog butchering is usually called a "cochon de lait" although purists insist that the pig be a suckling pig.

                                                                                1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                                  Ok gotcha! And hazlehurst you go here for the Cochon Muffaletta with house meats and olive salad $12??

                                                                                  Anyone like St. James Cheese Company?? This seems like a fun pairing cheeses,pastramis and wine for a nice lunch???

                                                                                  1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                    Yes, Cochon Butcher is doing a good muffaletta. And St James is lots of fun to play around with but it will run into $$ in a hurry

                                                                                    1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                      Gosh ... I've never had the live salad. That sounds like something I'd really enjoy.

                                                                                      St. James is very good. I suspect they're providing a fair amount of the cheese served at restaurants around the city. As Hazelhurst indicated, they're not cheap but when the cheesemonger tells you that you really must try the $30/lb Gouda (or whatever) he says it with authority. Plus they're next door the Creole Creamery.

                                                                                      1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                        St. James is good. However, it's not anything you can't find in any city, USA. their meats are really nothing special. The cheese selection is good. Any pastrami you find in Nola will be sorely disappointing. Steins's deli has it flown in from NY but it is presliced/portioned and "crisped"in a microwave. I know of no place that keeps it in a steam table and slices to order as it should be.

                                                                                        1. re: JazzyB

                                                                                          we LOVE our cheeses providing not from a goat or sheep.
                                                                                          Ewww can taste the fur on my tongue so have to make sure menu items don't have goat or chevre which i learned quickly.
                                                                                          5 -10 year chedders.

                                                                                          Will skip the st James lots of other places that are not what we would have at home to sample.

                                                                                          I would find a LIVE salad interesting too :) Olive salad typo

                                                                                          1. re: JazzyB

                                                                                            i like St. James. Justin Trosclair won best-cheesemonger in a big competition in NY.

                                                                                            http://www.specialtyfood.com/news-tre...

                                                                                    2. re: JazzyB

                                                                                      I did not see Cochon Butcher on the food lineup for the FQF. to be serving their Cochon De Lait

                                                                                  2. palmtree, Here's a few suggestions for your food crawl:

                                                                                    -We always make sure we go to Camellia Grille (540 Chartres St) in the FQ for breakfast. The food is great with atmosphere to match!
                                                                                    -Venture to the Napolean House (500 Chartres St) for a Pimm's Cup. You'll enjoy the history there.
                                                                                    -We prefer Felix's (739 Iberville St) grilled oysters over Acme's (724 Iberville St). They have a much better flavor in my honest opinion. But I like Acme's raw oysters.
                                                                                    -Deanie's for seafood (841 Iberville St).
                                                                                    -For a nice variety of beers & the best cheese fries I have ever tasted, hop on the St Charles Ave streetcar & head to the Garden District for Cooter Brown's at the riverbend(509 S Carrollton).
                                                                                    -The Gumbo Shop (630 Saint Peter) has a great Bloody Mary if that's your taste.
                                                                                    -Mr B's Bistro for BBQ shrimp (201 Royal St). Out of this world!
                                                                                    Oh, and before a native New Orleanians corrects you, it's Pat O'Brien's, not Pat and Brians. Either way, the drinks are strong & lovely!

                                                                                    Have an awesome time & go with the flow-you're going to be hooked after your first visit to NOLA just like I was, trust me!!

                                                                                    46 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                                                                      Just goes to show . . . we *each* have our own Personal Palate Preferences. ;^)

                                                                                      This Californian also loves New Orleans, but a) absolutely hates Deanie's seafood (quite possibly the worst meal I've ever had in the FQ, and b) can't stand Pat O'Brien's. On the other hand, I love the BBQ shrimp at Mr. B's. prefer Acme's raw oysters to Felix's, and *always* manage to hit up the Napoleon House for lunch and a Pimm's Cup.

                                                                                      As Hazelhurst points out, there are "endless arguments, and endless fun, over the 'standards'." The most important thing is to ENJOY!

                                                                                      1. re: zin1953

                                                                                        Zin, you're absolutely right about preferences.

                                                                                        I don't think of Pat's as a place to go & hang out (I grab a to-go cocktail & keep walking). BUT, this being palmtree's 1st visit, it would be good for them to see some of the touristy spots-which I consider Pat's to be. I confess I've only been to Deanie's twice but can't complain about my softshell crab & shrimp dish.

                                                                                        Yes, the important thing is to enjoy, have fun, and don't step on a scale until you get back home!!!

                                                                                        P.S.-this New Jerseyian also loves California and just returned from Sonoma & Napa. I think I was meant to live in Alexander Valley!! ;)

                                                                                        1. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                                                                          Pat O's actually can be a local joint although it goes in phases. If you can get in there mid-afternoon it can be very pleasant. we used to go about 3:30 or 4:00 for a pleasant time outside and then go to dinner. Nighttime is different. But it shows up on natives' parties with some regularity but I cannot remember the last time I was there at night and I think the last time I saw a New Orleanian order a Hurricane was 30 years ago. I agree it is a place that should at least be seen.

                                                                                          Deanie's in Bucktown is the only one I ever went to and I've not gone in sometime.

                                                                                          Alexander Valley is wonderful. I've played around there when staying at Little River which is a glorious spot.

                                                                                          1. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                                                                            We were just in California 10 nights in October. LA taking hwy 1 all the way up to SF. We love Cali and all the good eats.

                                                                                            Were watching the scale now to shed a few to break even after NOLA lol

                                                                                            I read the hurricane you pay deposit on the drink. Does anyone here have a glass they have brought back as a souvenir?? Or too much to lug bag?
                                                                                            I have to say i love my set of Hula glasses from Dukes in Hawaii are lovely in my cabinet.

                                                                                            1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                              We'll be in NOLA for Easter & my birthday and can't wait! I do have a Pat's Hurricane glass from my first visit 14 years ago. I always travel with a few pieces of bubble wrap in case I decide to bring home local spices & hot sauce, so I wrapped it in there & put it in my carry on bag. It proudly serves as the stirrer holder on my bar at home!

                                                                                              Never heard about a deposit on the drink though. Maybe because when you stay there & drink they put it in a glass & want the glass back? Hmm.

                                                                                              The next time you're in CA, try Bottega in Yountville. Went there for honeymoon dinner & was not disappointed!

                                                                                          2. re: zin1953

                                                                                            What is Pimm's is it a whiskey? I just read the other ingredients in it and looks interesting, for sure a try.

                                                                                            We are staying at the Drury hotel and they provide a decent hot breakfast we will save a few bucks and have it at the hotel most mornings so really lunch, dinner or graze all afternoon & night.

                                                                                            With only 4 days would be advisable to skip a swamp tour? And just walk and walk taking in sights? Stopping in at places that look interesting?
                                                                                            Guess decent walking shoes will be required on this trip.

                                                                                            And a traveller mug or tervis cup that I like to bring will not be needed as each establishment will provide a plastic cup for you to walk with?

                                                                                            1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                              I always thought Pimms was a gin & fruit juice mixture, but I am probably wrong!!

                                                                                              From one tourist to another, do the swamp tour! Not only is it alot of fun as soon as you get on the boat, but the driver who picks you up at your hotel is 99% of the time a local & tells you the history of everything you pass during your 1 hour drive to the tour. We have done it 4 times & each time it gets better. I actually got to hold a baby gator!

                                                                                              Yes, each establishment will provide you with a to go cup.

                                                                                              1. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                                                                                Good to hear not a tourist trap and others like it.mMaybe a good time to go out in morning so have the rest of the day to enjoy sightseeing food and drinks.

                                                                                                A co worker of my spouses went in early evening and saw the wild boar at that time along with racoons.
                                                                                                Would cajun encounters be a good tour or suggest another one?

                                                                                                1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                                  Yes. Honey Island Swamp Tours by Cajun Encounters. You'll see wildlife & the camps that can only be accessed by boat. You won't be disappointed. We've always gone in the morning, although they have a night swamp tour which sounds pretty interesting but I'm a chicken & would never do a night time swamp tour! LOL

                                                                                                  1. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                                                                                    Great will look into it. About $80 for a couple with hotel pick up as we wont have a car

                                                                                                    The river that is near the FQ is there ever alligators in there?? Just curious :)

                                                                                                2. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                                                                                  Pimm's[*] is a gin (usually) based liqueur. The N.H. Pimm's cup is Pimm's with lemonade, Sprite, and a cucumber garnish. There are other Pimm's cups around town that strive for a slightly upmarket take -- generally by muddling a little mint or cucumber into the glass.

                                                                                                  I make a version at home with a shot of Pimm's, an extra shot of Plymouth gin, San Pellegrino Lemon, and a cucumber garnish. (The garnish is important ... without it you don't get that fresh aroma.) Very nice on a hot day.

                                                                                                  I think the best thing to eat at the Napoleon House -- and the only thing I ever order there -- is the muffuletta. A whole sandwich will feed two.

                                                                                                  [*] This entry seems to be accurate enough: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pimm's

                                                                                                  1. re: montuori

                                                                                                    The Pimm's cup at Napoleon House is delicious.

                                                                                                    1. re: montuori

                                                                                                      My Go to Pimms: 2ozPimms, 1/2 oz homemade sour mix (fresh lemon and lime juice, agave), cucumber slices, topped off with 4oz gingerale. Serve in an ice filled, tall cooler with a cucumber wheel garnish. Very refreshing.

                                                                                                      1. re: JazzyB

                                                                                                        Try about 4 ounces of Pimms with a full can (12 ounces) of Pellegrino Limonata and a generous squeeze from both a lemon wedge and a lime wedge. Served over ice this is my go-to summer beverage.

                                                                                                3. re: zin1953

                                                                                                  We love raw oysters as well so Acme's raw. felix grilled.

                                                                                                  Mr B's a grilled shrimp drink and leave place?

                                                                                                  Gumbo shop for gumbo and bloody mary sounds devine

                                                                                                  I just looked at Napoleon house's menu it is very reasonable! So this looks like a place for a lunch and pimm's cup. Are the po boy's something to order there or other items on menu you suggest?

                                                                                                  Looking for $25 and under dinner entrees plus appy and wine is our budget.
                                                                                                  So a place to make a reservation with nice atmosphere for our evening treat that is in that budget let me know what you would recommend.

                                                                                                  1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                                    BBQ shrimp at Mr B's. Once, our waiter there told me I was only a handful of people he has ever seen who didn't get any sauce on the bib they provide. I told him it's too good to waste! LOL

                                                                                                    1. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                                                                                      MR. B’S BARBEQUED SHRIMP - A Mr. B’s signature dish! Gulf shrimp barbequed New Orleans style, served in the shells with a peppery butter sauce, and French bread for dipping $21.00

                                                                                                      Is this what you order?????? Is this a one person entree or a sharesie?? And you go there eat the shrimp have a drink and move on? So this is a lunch item or snack one gets? Or other items enjoyable on the menu to make it a good lunch suggestion like Napolean house?

                                                                                                      Also says bloody marys $1.50 mon-fri cocktail specials. Well what time are these specials??

                                                                                                      1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                                        Yes, that's the dish. No, you won't want to share!! We've never had anything else so I can't speak about the rest of the menu. I would think the drink specials are either during lunch or a happy hour thing. You can always call & inquire.

                                                                                                        1. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                                                                                          I would think for $21 you get a good portion of shrimp then???

                                                                                                          I have to say our best shrimp was from a shrimp truck on the north coast of Oahu.. Sloppy and kick butt spice.

                                                                                                          Many restaurants we have ever travelled list exact times online that happy hour is. I notice several I looked up in NOLA dont say and travellers say you see signs out front stating its HH with 2 for 1 or 3 for 1 drinks.. Do restaurants there just pick times when they feel like having one??

                                                                                                          1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                                            It's a nice portion, enough to share (but I never do!). Lots of bars on Bourbon St have that 3 for 1 drink special & it's a good bargain. Maybe one of the locals can chime in on the HH subject?

                                                                                                            1. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                                                                                              Thanks for your help!!

                                                                                                              Also turtle soup is this a must try and where to go for that?

                                                                                                              1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                                                Sorry, my day was interrupted by a meeting! I don't eat turtle soup, but i've heard it's very good at Commander's Palace.

                                                                                                                  1. re: zin1953

                                                                                                                    Just for emphasis, I agree. Once in awhile it can be shading towards salty but I think that is when it has cooked down pretty far. Someone recently was raving about one somewhere but hell if I can remember where.It may have been uptown. Perhaps someone Out There knows. But day in day out, Commander's is the best publically available outside the clubs and even against those it need not hang its head.

                                                                                                                    Bon Ton's is pretty good, too.

                                                                                                                    1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                                                                      I may have mentioned turtle soup a few times. A while back between a few business dinners and a weekend in the Quarters I went through a few.

                                                                                                                      Then went home and cooked my own for the first time.

                                                                                                                      And they were all different. Mandina's and Ralph's on the Park were good. Mandina's the best I've had there. CP was very good. Grand Isle just OK.

                                                                                                                      Mine got good reviews (from a captive audience) but I know what I want to do differently for the next batch.

                                                                                                                      1. re: collardman

                                                                                                                        Did you use the turtle stock or switch to a veal/beef stock? That--and browning the meat--are two major arguments.

                                                                                                                        1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                                                                          I understood the two paths and took the recommendation of a Chef and browned followed with a part beef part vegetable stock. I didn't like the results. Good, but no cigar. (Well, maybe a Hav-a-Tampa)

                                                                                                                          Next time I will create turtle stock. If that still doesn't get me to where I want to be it might be the turtle stock kicked up with a bullion concentrate.

                                                                                                                          1. re: collardman

                                                                                                                            The one my friends like best has turtle stock (but sometimes I will add some beef stock to make more). This takes nerve, though because you'd swear it would be horrible: turtle smells AWFUL when you are simmering(NOT boiling) it.

                                                                                                                            One very well regarded version in town stretches theirs with turkey thighs..they've never been caught so far as I know.

                                                                                                                            Main key Is, of course, the roux. It is one of the few that is more than one-to-one(flour/fat) and you have to watch it like a hawk.

                                                                                                                            1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                                                                              Might want to try veal stock. it makes everything better.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Chulacat

                                                                                                                                I've done that too. A restaurateur friend buys a box for me. You can also use Commander's trick of adding spinach.

                                                                                                              2. re: palmtree38

                                                                                                                New Orleans is, by and large, not an online kind of town. You're almost always better off calling to find out current information. Witness the new Oxalis website:

                                                                                                                http://oxalisbywater.com/

                                                                                                                nicely put together but lacks both opening hours and a phone number. I'm not sure exactly why a restaurant needs a website if not to provide those data.

                                                                                                                Take heed: happy hours that offer discounted drinks are generally better than places that offer X for 1 drinks. Just a general observation after a lot of strenuous testing.

                                                                                                                (Incidentally, Oxalis opens daily at 4.)

                                                                                                                1. re: montuori

                                                                                                                  Thanks! 3 for 1 drinks is over the top for us..
                                                                                                                  I rather like you say discount wine or beer for us.

                                                                                                                  1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                                                    After you check in, stop in the local Walgreen's or CVS there & get a bottle or 3 of wine & a 6 pack of beer for your hotel room.

                                                                                                    2. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                                                                                      NJoves
                                                                                                      I will need to get a map as I am so lost what is bourbon street, french quarter, uptown, garden district. River area.

                                                                                                      We are at the Drury Hotel on Poydres street. Many areas are suppose to be 10-15 min walk away. A street car pass may be something we should look into.

                                                                                                      I have also Slap yah Mamma and punch your daddy seasonings I want to buy along with Crystal hot sauce. Anyone else have any food items, spices. Treats they always bring home?
                                                                                                      Also a king cake they don't look so appealing do they taste better then they look? Do you bring one back home?

                                                                                                      1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                                        Bourbon Street runs through the French Quarter (also known as the Vieux Carre) which will be marked on any map. The Garden District is Uptown which means it is "upriver" from Canal Street, one of the French Quarter's demarcations. Poydras is a few blocks Uptown from the French Quarter and is easily walkable.

                                                                                                        It has been years but the last time I heard of deposits on Hurricane glasses was for the HUGE one used for parties. Even those have been successfully stolen. They'll sell you one of the signature glasses, though..well they used to so I assume they still do.

                                                                                                        I think by "one trick pony" shanefink is saying "stick to the chargrilled oysters only" and don't bother with anything else. That's probably good advice although the raw oysters should be fine..depends on who is supplying them and I am note sure right now--I have not talked to the guys at Big Easy or Rock Hard in awhile..they usually keep me posted.

                                                                                                        1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                                          You'll be fine after the first day, but on the corner of Canal & Bourbin (I think), there's a visitor's bureau where you can get maps & the folks there will point you in the right direction. I went on amazon.com a few years ago & ordered a guidebook that showed what was located at each stop along the St Charles streetcar line. That was very helpful!
                                                                                                          I usually shop at Rouse's Market on Royal St (in the French Quarter) for all of my take home spices & sauces. One secret: there is a Walgreen's on Royal St (a block in from the main drag Canal St). That is the only place I buy my blackened seasoning. Everywhere else it's $7, at Walgreen's it's $2.99. It's Louisiana Blackened Seasoning. Very good spice with no sodium!
                                                                                                          I've never brought a king cake home so I don't know if they travel well.

                                                                                                          1. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                                                                                            I had read on Trip Advisor that Rouse's is a great place to get spices at lower prices then gift shops or the market and there is a large one close to our hotel at the corner of Girod and Baronne.

                                                                                                            Is Walgreens only less on the Louisiana blackened seasoning ? as you said you shop at Rouses's for your take home spice /sauces and wondered why you didn't just buy all from Walgreens.

                                                                                                            I will look into buying that louisiana blackened spice is that the name of the brand to look for?
                                                                                                            We love to cook so love to add some spices to our collection,

                                                                                                            1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                                              The Louisiana blackened seasoning is the only thing I pick up from Walgreen's. All other take homes are bought at Rouse's. Rouse's for some reason doesn't carry that one particular brand. It's in a small blue round container & it's a powder. Tried Zataran's blackened seasoning but way too salty for me. And I like salt.

                                                                                                              1. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                                                                                                Great thanks for clarifying. Will pick some up

                                                                                                                1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                                                  The only blackened seasoning to buy is Paul Prudhomme's. The recipe is in his Louisiana Kitchen cookbook should you want to mix it up yourself. FWIW, Frank Brigtsen unabashedly uses Prudhomme's seasonings.

                                                                                                                  There's also a (smaller)Rouse on Royal in the FQ.

                                                                                                                  1. re: JazzyB

                                                                                                                    What is FWIW???
                                                                                                                    dont know who Frank Brigtsen is either. local chef?

                                                                                                                    1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                                                      FWIW = For Whatever It's Worth

                                                                                                                      Frank Brigtsen is chef/owner of Brigtsen's -- see http://www.brigtsens.com -- an excellent, James Beard Award-winning local chef and restaurant.

                                                                                                                      1. re: zin1953

                                                                                                                        Is Paul Prudhomme's black seasoning for sale at Rouse's??

                                                                                                        2. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                                                                                          Mrs B's shrimp plate is $21 so a plate each and drink is a $60 snack more a lunch for us.

                                                                                                          We may go for a drink each share the shrimp and move along for another tasty vittle .

                                                                                                          1. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                                                                                            Mr b's bistro is in which neighbourhood?

                                                                                                          2. I hope you'll try some red beans and rice, too. Have a great trip.

                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Tara57

                                                                                                              Are they similar to Bahamas peas and rice or cuban rice and beans.
                                                                                                              Tried both wondered if similar.

                                                                                                              Spouse is hoping to try crawfish too

                                                                                                              1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                                                I'd say red beans and rice is (are?) creamier and more saucy than Cuban black beans and rice. Oh, yes, do try some boiled crawfish, too.

                                                                                                                1. re: Tara57

                                                                                                                  Yeah, the red beans really become a sauce or gravy over the rice, not the mixed, drier nature of peas and rice/rice and beans.

                                                                                                            2. How about beignets and chicory coffee at Cafe Du Monde?

                                                                                                              Also, I know some look down on the place, but I sure love that crab cheesecake at the Palace Cafe.

                                                                                                              1. Is there a wine and beer store close to Drury hotel to pick up refreshments? Or somewhere on route from the airport our taxi driver can stop before the hotel?

                                                                                                                Great suggestions!
                                                                                                                So we check in our hotel, unpack bags and set out to the FQ. Im thinking we would like to try a Po boy as our first NOLA grub as it will be lunch time paired with a cold drink (beer wine, cocktail)
                                                                                                                A Verti marte all that jazz,shrimp philly, or the combo oyster/ shrimp,
                                                                                                                Johnny's roast beef dressed or
                                                                                                                Quartermaster deli
                                                                                                                (Or if missing a must try Po Boy please suggest)

                                                                                                                Place your vote!

                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                                                  I would just go to a drug store for refreshments. You may want to stop by Luke on the way back for happy hour. Great prices on fresh oysters and drinks. Luke is between your hotel and the FQ.

                                                                                                                  I like Central Grocery muffalettas but they are not at all popular on this board.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Chulacat

                                                                                                                    Pick up your refreshments at Rouse's either on Royal or in CBD.

                                                                                                                    1. re: JazzyB

                                                                                                                      thinking of NOLA now and although 5 weeks to go I just poured myself a Ceasar drink (candian version of bloody mary) and went on Chow to my posting .

                                                                                                                      Pimms sound refreshing thanks Sweetpea

                                                                                                                      1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                                                        I'm going to have to try mine with a slice or two of cucumber. That sounds lovely!

                                                                                                                        I am a Caesar fan as well. I had a few Bloody Mary's in NOLA and couldn't help thinking (to myself) that all could have used some Clamato Juice.

                                                                                                                        1. re: 1sweetpea

                                                                                                                          Lmao sweetpea.. I have had a bloody mary but not in years and I gagged and thought wow there is something seriously missing in this.. :)

                                                                                                                          1. re: palmtree38

                                                                                                                            Of course, my cottage Caesars could use the punch of a pickled okra pod. That's a nice touch of deep southern sentiment.

                                                                                                                            1. re: 1sweetpea

                                                                                                                              I like pickled hot beans in mine, the skewers with pepperonni. Cheese and pickle in a ceasar is nice too