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Old June 12, 2005, 10:32 AM   #1
TTom
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BBS Reg. Date: Jun 16, 04
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 236

Resorts: Bay Club (Hawaii), Point/Poipu, La Vista Beach, DIK, Club Regency (Marco)
NOLA Recommendations

Awesome Anna
Hello all, I am new at this ... I am off to New Orleans and I am wondering if anyone has some information on Outlet shopping ??? Where and what kind of shopping there is there. I've never been there before so I am looking forward to it. Some popular places to visit and best restaurants would be great as well. Please display info. Thanks

GinGin

There are no outlet malls in/near the French Quarter, but there are several upscale stores on Canal St. near the Quarter including Saks, Brooks Brothers and others. There are also some upscale stores in the Riverwalk Mall close to the Quarter, Harrah's Casino and the Acquarium of the Americas.
Try this site <http://www.thecityofneworleans.com/shopping/>

Hoc

You will most likely not find any shopping bargains in New Orleans. There are some very ecclectic art galleries in the French Quarter, so you could get some very nice and/or unusual artwork there. But it won't be cheap. The antique stores on Royal St. are great, and you might be able to get a relative bargain there (E.g., a $10,000 Armoire for only $6,000 is a bargain, but not cheap.)

Your best bet at enjoying New Orleans is to focus on the food, music, architecture and party atmosphere. It's a bohemian's paradise, but not a shopper's paradise. Dance in the streets. Eat until you can eat no more. Take some ghost tours and vampire tours. Take a cooking class or two. Check out the cemeteries and the Southern Mansions in the Garden District. Enjoy the unique architecture of the French Quarter. But don't expect to come back with deals on clothes or other items.

Some of my recommendations for food:
Mother's for Red Beans & Rice, Ferdi's Special Po' Boy
Johnny's Po' Boys for other kinds of Po' Boys
Pascal's Manale for BBQ Shrimp, Old N'awlins as a close second
Progress Grocery is now closed, but whoever is in their place (Is it Julia's?) still makes a great Muffaletta. 915 Decatur St.
Napoleon's if you want your Muffalettas heated
K-Paul's for great upscale Creole and Cajun
Nola for the same
Commander's Palace for a one-in-a-lifetime dining experience. Go at lunch to save money and you can also go casual at lunch, not at dinner
New Orleans School of Cooking for an entertaining cooking class and a decent classic lunch of Jambalaya, Gumbo, Bread Pudding and Pralines

Some fun things to do:
Shopping at the French Market. Arts, Crafts, T-shirts, and more food to take home
A Garden District Tour
A Riverboat Ride

Walk, walk, walk through the French Quarter ("Catch a horse-drawn carriage, ride it down to Basin Street. In the old French Quarter, you know ya got ta use your feet. Dixieland and Hambone, I'm goin' back where I belong. I know what it means to miss New Orleans.")

Check out Mardi Gras World, the WWII Museum, the Cabildo and the Civil War Museum

Perhaps gambling at Harrahs, if you want to just lose your money (never seem to win there)

Check out the bars -- they all have live music. I particularly like the Funky Butt, as well as a bunch of them on Bourbon St. Just walk down Bourbon, and stop in wherever the music catches your attention

Mimi in CA

Have a Hurricane at Pat O'Briens, go to Preservation Hall, ride the St. Charles streetcar, if your are there in late March check-out some of the events at the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival. Do they still have the 25 cent martinis at Commander's Palace at lunch?

Hoc

If you're adding to the list, you should add the following:
Sid-Mar's (near the lake): Possibly the best shrimp, crab and oysters in town, and at reasonable prices. Their oyster soup and seafood gumbo are legendary with locals.

Gumbo Shop (in the Quarter): Great gumbo, good shrimp remoulade, and decent crawfish pie.

Dooky Chase (mid-city): Homestyle creole cooking with a heavy African influence. Best dishes are Shrimp Dooky, Creole gumbo, Shrimp Clemenceau, Stuffed shrimp, Crawfish etouffee, Breast of chicken a la Dooky (stuffed with oysters and topped with marchand de vin sauce). Very good fried chicken.
Galatoire's (in the Quarter): People rave about the Trout Meuniere, but also a classic, "old-time" restaurant in the tradition of Antoine's for classic New Orleans creole preparations. Consider Shrimp remoulade, Crabmeat maison, Canape Lorenzo, Oysters Rockefeller or Oysters en brochette. Also the steak bearnaise is great. Jacket required.

Antoine's (in the Quarter): This restaurant is splurge material only. It is one of the oldest operating restaurants in the U.S., and claims to be the oldest. They invented Oysters Rockefeller. There is better food in New Orleans, but it is done very well here, and is worth it once for the experience. Classic creole/french cuisine and classic presentation. Jackets required, and quite expensive.

Edit: By the way, I added these because they are not already in the New Orleans Dining list. There are a lot of restaurants already on the list that I heartily recommend. I still think that the Wyndham (used to be the Westin) Riverview Room's Sunday Brunch is the best buffet brunch in town, with great food, good music and a spectacular view.

travelqueen

Must eat a Micheal Andersons on Bourbon St.

National Parks has a free walking tour in the French Market area, you must pre-register to get a spot. Ride the streetcar in fact the best bet is to get a three day unlimited bus pass that includes the streetcar. Do a walking tour in the garden district the homes are grand. You can reach the area on the streetcar the St. Charles Route.

For fun shopping try the French Market the Outdoor market. It has food and clothes it is a flea market type. Don't forget to eat some Beignets. If you are going during the holidays it is a beautiful city the city park is great for light tour. Don't drive though make sure you walk it. If you have time rent a car and tour some plantations and battlefields. Or if you are not that adventours try a tour by grayline or whoever. Have fun, but be careful. The city seems so fun, but it is a big city with big city crime and problems. If you have any doubt about how safe something is ask at your hotel.

rapmarks

re National Parks walking tour. We arrived at 8:40 for 9:30 tour, just made the cut. It was not worth the wait, even though the tour was free.sent 40 minutes looking at the river and talkingabout it. Spend the 10 dollars to take the Friends of the Cabildo walking tour, they spent two hours or more describing everything and give you tickets to go into the 1850's house and Madame Johns Legacy. Also worth while was the tour of the Lousisiana Purchase museum and the Williams residence. With a two for one coupon in the Museums book, it cost us $4 and was a great tour.

Fern Modena

I'm a streetcar fan(atic). We always take a trip on the St. Charles Streetcar as part of our vacation there. Its a relaxing way to see a different part of the city.

GinGin
We and our guests took the St. Charles streetcar all the way to the end of the line and back. It's like an almost free tour of the garden district with those awesome homes to view.

The trolley also stops by the New Orleans zoo and Audubon Park.

Fern Modena

You can take the Streetcar to Commanders' Palace, too. Its a very short walk from the car line.

GinGin

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think I also saw one of Emeril's restaurants on the St. Charles route.

Enrico

I believe it is Delmonicos.

GinGin
Is Delmonico's one of Emeril's restaurants?

Fern Modena

Yes, it is Delmonico, and it is owned by Emeril.

Enrico

Since 1998 Emeril's Delmonico <http://www.emerils.com/restaurants/delmonico/>

Hoc

I just went back last weekend. I ate at Peristyle. It is listed in Zagat's as possibly the best restaurant in New Orleans. Not cheap for N.O., but not really expensive. Although the three of us split an entree, three appetizers, two salads and two desserts, the total bill with wine was only $140 for the three of us.

The most wonderful dishes we had there, in order of wonder: 1) a lump crabmeat and roasted beet salad with a horseradish dressing on the crab and a beet-balsamic vinaigrette on the plate; 2) a bowl of mussels in a saffron-cream-aioli emulsion sauce; 3) Free-range Chicken with a pan gravy and spaetzle. We kept turning the plate, because there was a different flavor on every portion of the plate. In the middle of dinner, the owner and executive chef, Ann Kearney, came out to see how we were enjoying it. When my cousins mentioned how much they liked the mussels, she came back out later with the recipe and sat down with us for 10 minutes, giving us a tutorial on how to make them. Delightful woman, by the way. She grew up in Dayton, went to school in Cincinatti, and eventually made her way up the food chain in N.O.

Peristyle is on the Northeast edge of the Quarter, at Rampart and Dumaine, but well worth the walk.

We also had Hurricanes at Pat O'Briens, which is a classic tourist thing to do, but I had never done it before. Pre-tipped our waitress a few bucks, who then set up a table for us right next to the flaming fountain in the courtyard, and we had a delightful time getting blasted on one hurricane each (I don't recommend more, unless you plan on getting so drunk and sick that you can't walk).

We ate at the Redfish Grill on Sunday night, because it was the only thing still open after our Ghost Walk. Food was pretty much unremarkable. EXCEPT the Double Chocolate Bread Pudding, which consisted of bread pudding infused with chocolate, and covered in a dark chocolate sauce and a white chocolate sauce. One of my cousins, who said that she does not like bread pudding, was running her finger along the empty plate, trying to get whatever last morsels she could scrape up. So, go there for the dessert, but not the dinner.

Hoc

The Plaza Suite is just a couple of blocks away from Mother's, so plan on having a couple of meals there:
1. Breakfast including a Debris Biscuit;
2. A Ferdi's Special Po'Boy;
3. Red Beans & Rice.
Inexpensive, very casual, and amazingly good.

purple

Thanks for all the good recommendations. We are going in April with family and looking very forward to it. Has anyone been to the area called Faubourg Marigny? There are supposed to be restaurants, clubs etc there. We are thinking of eating at Marigny Brasserie and then listening to music one night. Another nite we are going to Commanders Palace and the last night we plan to go to Brigtsens or Upperline. Do these all sound good?

GinGin

There are other areas of New Orleans to go other than the Quarter and downtown if you have a car. There's the Lake Ponchatrain area and the 'Fat City' area of Metairie (a suburb of NOLA. Perhaps this is where these establishments are located. These areas are very popular with local residents. Believe it or not locals don't normally go to the Quarter and downtown for their entertainment.

ahaydel

As a local New Orleanian, I heartily agree with all your suggestions. I'll add a few more: Irene's in the Quarter, R.O.'s at the lakefront, definitely Mike Anderson's on Bourbon St. for Trout Norman, or the Guitreaux, Andrea's in the burbs for Italian/Seafood, Cafe du Monde for beignets and cafe au lait, Mother's for poboys, Acme Oyster House for raw oysters! In this town, everyone lives to eat and plans life around food.

Fern Modena

Our first trip we stayed at Courtyards timeshare which is in the Faubourg Marigny area. Its a residential area very close to the FQ with many clubs and restaurants. We've eaten at Praline Connection there (good). There's also a club, can't remember the name, where the Nevilles appear when they are in town.

Also, as mentioned by another poster, try the Guitreau at Mike Anderson's, or Crawfish or Crab 7 ways.

MaryH

I agree with a lot of the posts and had good to excellent meals at Praline Connection, Mothers, Cafe du Monde, Pascal's Manale and some others. Love to try more at Mardi Gras for the week in a week and half. Really looking forward to it.

GinGin (re: Memphis question)

Memphis is close to many Mississippi casinos and also is the home of Elvis Presley. You can take a tour of his home and grounds while there. There's Mud Island adjacent to downtown Memphis on the Mississippi River. Memphis has a very nice zoo. There's also Beale Street, a tourist area, with many jazz, r&b and blues clubs, shops and restaurants.

There's only one timeshare anywhere near Memphis and it's at Robbinsville, Mississippi close to the casinos. I think it's pretty hard to trade into since it's the only timeshare in the area.

As far as other places to stay in Memphis, it has the same type accomodations/hotels/motels as any other big city. It just depends on what area of Memphis you wish to stay. Memphis is a large city and growing rapidly like Atlanta.

abelee

Did anyone mention Deanie's in the French Quarter ( around Bienville and something?). It's a popular stop for seafood with reasonable prices, good servings, and great service.

Forgot to mention; when you get tired of gumbo, seafood, and poboys, there is a place called Vodoo Bar-B-Q. There are several in the NOLA area. One is found along the St. Charles streetcar line in the lovely Garden District.

Hoc

Originally posted by Hawaiibarb:

This is a great thread! Since so many of you know New Orleans, can you give me any suggestions for resonable parking.


There is an open air parking area down by the French Market. Parking there is something like $5 or $7 a day. Not convenient if you want to actually use the car while you're there, but I never get a car when I go. Also, there is a bus that goes right down Decatur St. from the lot to Canal (It might go farther, but I've never ridden it beyond Canal). Canal and Decatur is only a couple of blocks from the Plaza Suite.

Blues (re: Memphis question)

If anyone in your party has any interest in the Civil War, then of course you won't want to miss the National memorial in Vicksburg (don't remember exactly what it's called). It's huge; a drive-yourself tour. You first stop at the visitor's center to get maps, background, etc; then drive around the park. There's a salvaged ironsides battleship in the middle of the park, too.
Natchez is great for viewing the antebellum mansions. Take the horse & buggy tour around the old town.

Alton

Another neat little restaurant is the Quarter Scene at the corner of Dumaine and Dauphine. Food is reasonable and the tuna steak I had was good. They allow you to bring in your own bottle of wine.
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Old June 12, 2005, 10:35 AM   #2
TTom
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BBS Reg. Date: Jun 16, 04
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 236

Resorts: Bay Club (Hawaii), Point/Poipu, La Vista Beach, DIK, Club Regency (Marco)
NOLA (Continued)

Hoc

Originally posted by bigrick:
I'll use all this info when we go to NOLA on 3/26. (I can't wait!) For the week prior, I'd like to drive a bit and see more of the area. Maybe go as far as Memphis. Any suggestions on "don't miss" sites (historical, scenic, music, or food!)


In Memphis, you have to have real Barbecue. Not only Charlie Verdoux's Rendezvous, but don't miss the Mr. Brown sandwich at Leonard's Pit BBQ. <http://www.southernfoodways.com/memphisbbq/pages/leonards.htm> Without a doubt, the best pork BBQ sandwich I've ever had. Also, don't miss the marching of the ducks at the Peabody Hotel.

Unless you are a real Elvis fanatic, Graceland will be interesting, but once you've done it, you never have to go back. It's essentially a middle class home that had a few additions made. Nothing like the amazing Mansions in NOLA's Garden District. I gained a greater appreciation for Elvis -- the man and the musician -- by visiting Graceland, but it's not so spectacular that I ever have to see it again.

I just worry that a week on Beale St. might just diminish the incredible music you hear in NOLA. You might get tired of listening to music if you do it every night for two weeks.

If you're up for a driving vacation, you might start around the Grand Canyon, and take a week driving to New Orleans. Good stops each day would be: The Grand Canyon (Fly into Phoenix, rent a car and drive the 150 miles to Flagstaff), Albuquerque, Carlsbad Caverns (out of the way, but a spectacular experience and worth the extra day), one of the Texas towns (San Antonio is down there toward the South of Texas, but good), and then NOLA. With this route, I think you would be driving roughly 500 miles or so on your driving days. So, that would be about 8-10 hours of driving on those days, with stops. But that is doable if you have two drivers. And it's a great way to see part of the U.S. you might never otherwise get a chance to see.

MaryH

Had lunch at Commander's Palace this past week since I had late dinner reservation at Delmonico's on the parade route the same night. CP still have the 25 cent martinis. I ordered 2 thinking it was first at 25cents and 2nd at regular price and both were 25cents each.

The bread pudding souffle with whisky cream sauce is excellent and Commandar's Palace has great service with true southern hospitality. The staff ask questions and really care about your answers and they took me for a quick look of the chef's table in the kitchen.

Whereas dinners at Emril and Delmonico was nice and good but far less personal although sitting at the food bar overlooking the kitchen was fun. They were not impressed when I said that the Creme bruele was good but not the best I have tasted and having lived in France for two year including one in Paris, I have tasted better there and also in NYC and Miami.

Hoc

Normally, when someone asks about a day trip, I recommend a swamp tour. I don't know if this would be a good trip while carrying an infant. Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World and museum is across the river and, while technically still in New Orleans, the excursion will probably take the better part of a day. You might also consider a Riverboat ride (can take 4 to 6 hours), but this could be interesting or boring, depending on your particular proclivities.

GinGin

The swamp tours would definitely not take an infant. The airboats are extremely loud and the ride can be very rough. My suggestion would be to search tours in NOLA on www.google.com <http://www.google.com> to see what might tickle your fancy and would be suitable for an infant.

Hoc

Personally, I'd just do the lunch. Dinner at Commander's Palace can be extraordinarily expensive, and the Jazz Brunch is usually crowded and expensive. If I were you, I'd stick with the lunch there, and do Sunday Brunch at the Wyndham Canal Place and Friday Dinner at Pascal's Manale (which will also be crowded, but much less expensive and very upscale in the back, though it seems like a neighborhood bar in the front). I think K-Paul's might be closed all day on Sunday, so you probably want to plan accordingly.

I would get the Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding with Lemon Sauce and Chantilly Cream at K-Paul's for dessert, and don't miss the BBQ Shrimp at Pascal's Manale (and wear something where you don't mind if you drip the butter/worcestershire sauce for the shrimp on it). Also their bread pudding is very rich and buttery.

For the K-Paul's main course, go for something bronzed, although their stuffed pork chop and their blackened beef tenders are very good. We had some kind of appetizer there that was amazing, I think some kind of shrimp and crab cakes with a couple of sauces drizzled over the top. Whatever you get will be good.

Hoc

Originally posted by bigfrank:
Steve I realy do not mind the expensive part as long as it is worth it. I feel since my wife will only be there for a half a week and I will be there a whole week(not to mention that I will be there without her on our wedding annivesery)That I should make it as good as I ca


The thing is that I've heard mixed reviews about the place when it's really crowded, like at brunch. While you don't mind the money, I suspect that you would mind paying $150 for a brunch that is less than stellar.

Also, to heighten the "New Orleans" experience for your wife, consider taking a horse-drawn carriage ride through the French Quarter. I would bet she would find that quite romantic, even though I think it's a bit contrived. Do you think she would enjoy a tour of some of the Southern Mansions there? I've heard that those tours can be quite impressive.

I meant to add, if you do decide to have dinner there, and you really don't mind the price, but are looking for an outstanding experience, I've heard that the tasting menu, paired with the wine, is supposed to be very good. It will probably come to just about $300 with tax and tip, but it is supposed to be an impressive culinary experience.

bigfrank

Originally posted by Hoc:

Also, to heighten the "New Orleans" experience for your wife, consider taking a horse-drawn carriage ride through the French Quarter.


I Already did that the last time we were there.

I would bet she would find that quite romantic, even though I think it's a bit contrived.

Do you think she would enjoy a tour of some of the Southern Mansions there? I've heard that those tours can be quite impressive.


We did a few the last time allso. we want to go there to eat.

I meant to add, if you do decide to have dinner there, and you really don't mind the price, but are looking for an outstanding experience, I've heard that the tasting menu, paired with the wine, is supposed to be very good. It will probably come to just about $300 with tax and tip, but it is supposed to be an impressive culinary experience.

The problem with the tasting menu is I do noteat fish and there is alot of that there. I do not mind spending $200 for the 3 of us on alacart.
If you realy think I should change the dinner to lunch I will if you say so. I will even can the brunch if you do not think it is worth it. what should I do.

Hoc

Well, it's a matter of personal taste. I don't think you can go wrong with the quality of the food at Commander's Palace for dinner, but $200 for 3 people might be getting away a bit cheap there. More likely to plan on about $100 apiece or so. At least, I've never gotten out of a decent restaurant at less than that for dinner.

Take a look at the online dinner menus <http://www.commanderspalace.com/new_orleans/menu_dinner.php> and see what you think. Based on that menu, I figure about $35 each for the main course, an additional $15 or so per person for salad/appetizer and $15 or so per person for dessert/coffee/aperitif, and maybe $100-$180 for wine for the whole table. Then add an additional 25 percent or so for tax and tip. So, for three people, that's $370-$465. I love fine dining as much as the next person, and I have spent as much as $280 for two people for a good meal, but nearly $500 for a dinner for 3 is still a bit pricey for me.

It looks like you can get the complete dinners for a bit less, about $40 or so a person, which include appetizers and desserts, so that your final bill for 3 with wine, tax and tip is closer to $270 to $370.

Maybe my thought is also that there are so many good restaurants in NOLA (Commander's, K-Paul's, Peristyle, Emeril's, NOLA, Pascal's Manale) that it seems a shame to eat more than one meal in a single restaurant. Now that I think about it, that's probably more my advice. Go to Commander's Palace once, at any time you want, but go to a bunch of different great restaurants and sample the variety.

Hoc

Originally posted by bigfrank:
We want to go to Kpauls at least twice. The last time we were there we felt that the best food came from there.


I agree. Some of the best food I've had in NOLA has been at K-Paul's (from a fine dining perspective). I think you said above that you don't eat fish. Do you like shrimp? If you do, you are missing out if you don't go to Pascal's Manale at least once and order the BBQ Shrimp there. Also the bread pudding there is among the best I've ever had. I think we started with some kind of chopped salad or olive salad that was also great.

GinGin (re: Memphis question)

The civil war park in Vicksburg is a must if you have any interest at all in the that war. I've never been to Natchez, but I'd love to go there one day to see the antebellum mansions.

P.S. If you should make it to Mobile you must drive to the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach area. There's wall to wall condos, beautiful beach homes and some of the most stunningly gorgeous white sand beaches and blue green water in this country.

P.S.S. If you like gardens and flowers you must stop by Bellingrath Gardens which is south of Mobile on hwy. 163. They have a very nice lunch area also. If you go to Bellingrath Gardens you can continue you trip south to Dauphin Island on 163 and take the car ferry across Mobile Bay to the Ft. Morgan area which is a short drive from Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

SydneyTugger

Does anyone know how long it would take to drive from between Orlando and New Orleans?

I looked up the distance and it's about 1000km but I don't know the roads and am interested in how good the roads are and how long it might take.

GinGin

It's 668 miles from Orlando to New Orleans and interstate all the way (interstate 75 up the middle of Florida, then you hit interstate 10 west, carries you straight to NOLA).

Speed limit is 70 MPH so you should make it in 9.5-10 hours pure driving time.
If you will be doing this in January when the Tug cruise is the days will be short that time of year. It will be dark by 5:00 p.m. central time so keep this in mind in case you should want to stop for a night layover somewhere between Orlando and NOLA.

Hoc

Originally posted by TomCayman:
Last year did the zoo already (it was great), so was thinking :
- Swamp tour on the full day we have free
- Streetcar, aquarium and walk around the french quarter on the half day


That sounds like a good plan. But, you will not have time to do the streetcar, aquarium and French Quarter in a half day. You should pick only one of those activities. I would go for walking around the French Quarter (particularly antiquing and shopping on Royal St., admiring the architecture throughout the Quarter, and listening to the live music and street entertainers at Jackson Square, on Bourbon St., and elsewhere), as it is the most uniquely New Orleans activity.

BTW, the Museum at the Cabildo (at Jackson Square) is well worth spending some time.

For family friendly (read inexpensive and very casual, perhaps a bit noisy, atmosphere) restaurants:

1) Mothers. Mothers. Mothers. Can't say it enough. Food is great, atmosphere is extremely casual, and relatively inexpensive.

2) The Coffee Pot is good, casual and also inexpensive. I'd go for breakfast, where they serve things like some pretty unique New Orleans-Style omelets, and Callas, which are fried balls of rice, flour, cinnamon and egg, coated with powdered sugar and served with Maple Syrup and butter. These are a traditional New Orleans breakfast that goes back to the Colonial days, when the Creole women would walk through the streets with baskets of these for sale.

3) The Gumbo Pot has, in addition to some of the best Gumbo in town, a very relaxed atmosphere and would be good for children.

4) Johnny's Po' Boys. Inexpensive, casual, and good sandwiches. Beware, they close around 4 pm.

5) I suspect the children might enjoy Jackson Square, followed by a breakfast of Beignets and milk at Cafe du Monde. You can have coffee there. A plate of 3 Beignets (drenched in powdered sugar) is about $1.10, coffee is about another dollar, milk or OJ is usually $1 to $2, depending on the size. All they serve there, though, is Beignets, coffee, milk, iced coffee, OJ, water, and maybe some other stuff to drink (non-alchoholic). In the mornings, there is usually a street musician entertaining the diners at the restaurant, which is entirely made up of an open-air, covered patio dining area.

GinGin

Our timeshare guests in NOLA last Sept. went on the swamp tour and to the acquarium. They loved both. The steetcar down St. Charles is a must do. This ride shows the true architectural essence of NOLA outside the Quarter in the fine homes and mansions along this route.

I agree with you concerning the NOLA zoo. I believe it must be one of the finest in the country. It's not only a zoo, it's a horticulturists dream with all the flora, exotic plans and trees (many very old live oaks).

You also may want to consider a paddle wheel boat ride if you can find the time or perhaps for your next trip.
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Old June 12, 2005, 10:36 AM   #3
TTom
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BBS Reg. Date: Jun 16, 04
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 236

Resorts: Bay Club (Hawaii), Point/Poipu, La Vista Beach, DIK, Club Regency (Marco)
NOLA (Continued)

Hoc

Originally posted by Kathy Q:
This has been an incredible thread full of great information. I have a couple of questions. I've booked one night (Saturday, Jan 22) at the Provincial Hotel at the corner of Rue Chartres and St Phillip St. I may book the Friday night as well. The TUG cruise leaves on Sunday 1/23/05 and since I've never been to NOLA, I wanted to stay in the French Quarter rather than by the Port.)


You're in the gay area of the Quarter. Not a big deal, unless that bothers you. It shouldn't, as the Quarter is pretty flamboyant, in any case.

Originally posted by Kathy Q:
If I arrive around noon on Saturday and check in at the ship after lunch on Sunday, what would those of you most knowledgeable suggest for my culinary itinerary?


It depends on what you are looking for. For example, the New Orleans School of Cooking in the French Quarter provides for a very enjoyable experience, and you get to eat some good Gumbo, Jambalaya, Bread Pudding and other traditional New Orleans foods. The food is good, and the atmosphere is a lot of fun, but it's not fine dining. You do get a pretty good meal and a "cooking show" for about $25 or so (if you get there by 10 am. If you get there for the 2 pm class, you will get corn & crab bisque, shrimp creole and pralines for $20).

If you are looking only to eat, then it depends on what your tastes are. Mother's has great, "down home" style food but no atmosphere (unless you consider "noisy hash house style" to constitute atmosphere). K-Paul (my favorite) has great food and atmosphere, but it's expensive. NOLA has a very creative menu, sometimes good, sometimes great, but it's fairly noisy, though upscale. It's also expensive. Food and atmosphere-wise, you would not go wrong with Bayona, though it is also a bit expensive.

You could read "A Confederacy of Dunces," (Pulitzer prize-winning novel set in New Orleans) and see whether that makes you crave a Lucky Dog (it makes a lot of people crave them for some reason). Then you could get a dirt-cheap meal by buying a Lucky Dog off the carts in the streets of the Quarter. Felix Oyster House (less famous than Acme Oyster House, but better, fresher food) has a good raw bar, and decent casual seafood selections (also casual, low to medium priced). Ralph & Cacoo's (about the quality level of Macaroni Grill) makes some of the best Shrimp Remoulade in town. But most of their other offerings are mediocre, unless you like blackened gator. Their blackened gator is quite good.

If you don't want brunch on Sunday, then the Quarter Scene Restaurant makes a great Caribbean Waffle (Waffle covered with Whipped Cream, chopped apples, mangoes, melon, strawberries, pecans, and other various fruits and nuts) and has very good coffee. At about Burgundy and Dumaine, it's really close to you. But the Wyndham Brunch, while a bit pricey, is worth the splurge for me. I love to sit there, listening to Louis Armstrong type music, watching the river and the Quarter from two-story high windows, and eating some very nice (though not spectacular) food.

On Saturday, you might just choose to have Beignets and Coffee in the open air patio at Cafe du Monde, then stroll over toward the French Market, snacking on samples of fudge and pralines on the way, listening to the music that you will inevitably hear from the various street musicians, and getting in some good souveneir shopping.

All of the above places are within, or no more than about 3 blocks' walk from, the French Quarter.

Originally posted by Kathy Q:
Would you also suggest what you'd add if I arrived at about noon on Friday and had another dinner, breakfast and lunch opportunity?


I would go for dinner at Pascal's Manale. You will have to take a cab or the streetcar, but it's worth it. Or else, get the BBQ Shrimp at Old Nawlins restaurant in the Quarter. Before I tried Pascal's, that was my favorite BBQ Shrimp. An additional lunch would definitely be some kind of Po Boy. The Ferdi's Special at Mother's is good, or anything at Johnny's Po Boys is good. Or get a Muffaletta at the store next to Central Grocery. Breakfast, if you haven't done it at some other time, has to be Beignets and Coffee at Cafe du Monde.

Walk Jackson Square with your extra time and enjoy the street musicians, mimes and the artists displaying their wares on the wrought iron fence around the square. Take a tour of the Cabildo and check out the museum. That night, go to Pat O'Briens and have a hurricane. While under the influence, take a nighttime ghost walking tour. Then stop by the old Jazz Preservation Hall and listen to the band play old standards (ragtime and 20's jazz) for about $5.

Originally posted by Kathy Q:
I won't have a car, so it's all got to be walking distance or a short cab ride from my hotel.


You don't need a car in New Orleans.

Originally posted by Kathy Q:
Entertainment-wise after dinner I'm assuming I can just wander around until I find a spot that suits me, right?


There are lots of places on Bourbon St. with live music. You will surely find something you like there. Big Al Carson is usually playing in one of the clubs. Incredible voice, and he does some great Marvin Gaye and Al Green type tunes. You will also find some great blues, ragtime, and rock groups. You might also check in advance to see who is playing at the House of Blues and the Funky Butt. If Harry Connick, Sr. is playing, he does some great '40s jazz, like "All of Me," and that style (think Sinatra). He's worth seeing.

bigrick

Originally posted by Hoc:
Some of my recommendations for food:
Mother's for Red Beans & Rice, Ferdi's Special Po' Boy
got a Ferdi's to take on the plane with us, still gone way too soon, but the flight was more enjoyable
Progress Grocery is now closed, but whoever is in their place (Is it Julia's?) still makes a great Muffaletta. 915 Decatur St. this address is now a non-food store


I like to add to that list a place called Adolfo's. It's on Frenchmen St above the Apple Bar which is on the same side of the street (and same block) as the Spotted Cat. (Sorry, I don't have the card with the address with me right now.)

purple

Just got back from Nawlins and had a great time with awesome food. We bid on the rooms thru Priceline and got the Marriott for 80 =10 bonus from Priceline. Here is report which I also posted on Chowhound.com

My husband and I got there in time for lunch so we headed to Coop's Place. I got the gumbo which I thought was a little watery (thin) and the duck quesadilla which was delicious. Monday nite we went to Adolfo's and my mother pronounced the setting to be "unique" (especially the red laundry tub and the green toilet seat in the restroom!) Most of us got snapper with ocean sauce (buttery sauce with shrimp on one side and crawfish on the other side) Food and service were good. We were a little disappointed in Frenchmen St. We thought it would be longer and have more clubs, restaurants. It seemed like there were only a couple of blocks and the areas on either side were a little unsavory. There were good sounds coming from the Spotted Cat but it was full. Charmaine Neville was at Snug Harbor but the parents wanted to go to Preservation Jazz Hall. We enjoyed that, especially my parents.

Tuesday, we rode the streetcar to Uglesich's and were in line around 11. We did not have to wait very long. I got gumbo and the fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade. We also got bacon wrapped shrimp with sweet potato soufflé and shrimp uggie. The gumbo was thick and smoky and I loved the fried green tomatoes. The shrimp uggie was very tasty as well.

Tuesday nite went to Commander's Palace and ate in the garden room upstairs. Had the Las Vegas salad, seared gulf fish and bread pudding soufflé. The food was all great and the service was very attentive and professional except for a couple of minor glitches which were remedied immediately. We all enjoyed the experience very much and would go there again.

Weds we rode the Magazine street bus to Casamento's and thought it was charming. We had gumbo, fried crab claws, calamari, oysters on the half shell, fried shrimp and fried trout. It was yummy and totally grease free--amazing! Although we thought the gumbo at Uggies was a little better than Casmentos. Rode the bus to the zoo and caught the zoo cruise back to town. That nite, we went to Brigtsens and had a wonderful evening. We ordered shrimp remoulade, salads, sheepshead which is a fish, and seafood platter, chicken. For dessert, some got the pecan pie; I got vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce and choc chip with fudge sauce. Our primary server was named Pat and she explained that the wait staff works as a team so if we needed anything, we could ask any of the servers. She took very good care of us and she checked on us regularly to pour wine, ask if dinner was okay, etc. . Next morning we had to leave and no time to go to Cafe Du Monde but we did get some beignets in the airport and they were very tasty! The rest of the family went to the Palace Cafe for lunch and here is my sister's report: Everyone thought the Palace Café a very interesting place, bright and with beveled glass windows that looked into the kitchen. We did not sit at the bar overlooking the kitchen, but that might have been fun. The lunch specials were reasonable and good. Unfortunately we had to leave for the airport (or so we thought) and didn’t have time to order the desserts we had seen on the way in. I did get cheesecake to go (I think it had Grand Mariner in it) and ate it at the airport. We were quite pleased with the restaurant, though I’m sure we would also have liked Mr. B’s Bistro, which was the other place we were considering. The six of us had 4 different entrees and all liked what we got. The lunch salad was lovely, with fresh melon and blueberries. The turtle soup was good and thick. I had gulf fish lyonnaise (drum on that day I think), which was delicious. There were a good many lunch selections - two pork dishes, two fish dishes, a beef dish, soft shell crab, don’t remember if there was a chicken dish, but I assume so. The menu was posted outside and was also on their website.

Hoc

Originally posted by Thanh:
Is Mardi Gras week a good time for folks who are not big with drinking and partying to be there?


It depends on your particular sensitivities. A lot of people who are there during Mardi Gras are going to be over-indulging in liquor, and will be partying. I'm not a big drinker, but I do love Mardi Gras. That is because I love the people watching and the excitement in the air.

NOLA gets quite a bit more crowded during Mardi Gras than during other times, so if you have problems with crowds, you will not enjoy it. There are 5-6 parades every day, with all kinds of goodies being tossed from the floats to the onlookers. I find the parades to be a blast. The streets of the French Quarter are shut down to automotive traffic, and there are bands set up on quite a few street corners. There are also people in costume roaming the quarter all day, and costume contests and open air stages all over.

There is an open air mask market on the weekend before Mardi Gras, where you see some amazing, creative and expensive masks, made out of leather, brass, bird feathers, and other things.

So, there is more in the way of activities, music, people watching and partying during Mardi Gras than at other times of the year, but the trade-off are the crowds. Whether you will like it depends on how much you like those things, and how much you hate crowds.

bigfrank

I am currently at the Quarter house. I know Hoc you love mothers and Comandos Palace. But we walked out of Mothers because the place was way too filthy, The kicthen ws dirty with food all over the floor. We were also told that the original owner is no longer there, that may have something to do with it.

We were not impressed with Comando's Palace. The food portions were small and the menu was limited to weird differant food and allso it was mostly sea food whick I do not eat. For appatizers My wife had the las vegas salad and I had the watermelon salad.

We have eatened in kpauls 3 times. It seems that they realy take care of there returning custemer's. We were given a free appatizer that consisted of a mashed crawfish in a rolled tortia. It is not on the menu and I would assume it is given to there return custumers. Unfortunatly I did not eat it since I do not eat fish but my family enjoyed it. What I realy enjoyed is the dessert menu. We were also given at no charge a $30 dessert sampling which consisted of Pecan sweet pottao pie,chocholate bundt bomb with the chocholate Ganash, Creme Brulee which was the best I ever had not eggy and tasted great. And my Favorite was the fried Bread pudding with chocholte AHHHHHHHhhhh to die for.

We ate at a Cafe Maspachin I know I spelt it wrong but it is located on the coner of Decater. The red beans and rice was great and the Muffalta was tasty. The large strawberry Daq are only $3 and are close to being almot 32oz.

We also had Cafe du Monde. The iced coffee was very good. The beignet was also very tasty, the place is coverd in powderd sugar so it is dirty. If you want to see them being made I recomend you do this after you eat because you may not try it after seeing this. Go around the back of the building you will see all the sugar coming out from the floor and the way they are handled with out gloves with sugars and powder that is above the cooks elbows and see as his pesperation goes into the mix. I guess it adds flavor.

GinGin

bigfrank: The beignet was also very tasty, the place is coverd in powderd sugar....

LOL Frank, everytime we eat at Cafe DuMonde the powdered sugar blows everywhere and I commence to having a sneezing fit. I didn't find Cafe DuMonde dirty, though, except for all the sugar that blows to the floor.
As far as Mothers goes, I was under the impression it had been in the same family for generations and still was, or it was when we were there last September anyway.

Mothers is probably different from any restaurant (cafe) you'd consider eating at in NYC. Mother's is a huge cafe and it is just that, a cafe. You have to wait in line to order your food and pick up your order yourself when it's ready. Most of the time during breakfast, lunch and dinner there's a long waiting line that snakes along the sidewalk to even get in the front door. If one doesn't like waiting in lines, crowds and a noisy eatery then Mothers is not for you.
It's a favorite with the downtown crowd and locals and has been for many years. I guess you'd have to be a Louisianian, southerner or a cajun to really appreciate Mothers.

Their oyster poboys are to die for.
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Old June 12, 2005, 10:38 AM   #4
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NOLA (Continued)

bigfrank

WE got to Cafe Du Monde late and there was Powder every where. WE were also At Mothers just about an hour before closing so that maybe why it was so dirty. We were told that the owner passed on and that the son has become alittle skimpy on the sandwichs or at least they are not as big. We were told by the Quarterhouse staff that he is not running the place like his dad did. Tonight we ate at KPauls again and they are treating me like gold there. The waiter said that Paul Perdume takes his guests when they visit NOLA to Mothers for Breakfast. So now I am going to try it without my wife since I have friends coming here for the rest of the week. I will let you know how it turns out.

GinGin

If you like roast beef they make a fantastic roast beef poboy with debris (gravy) at Mothers. Those were huge as were our oyster poboys (couldn't eat all of mine, but they have doggie bags). Never have tried a shrimp poboy there though. Maybe next trip.

Bruce W

Go to Camilla grill, where the St Charles trolley makes the right turn on I think Carollton Ave. There will probably be a line. It is not more than a greasy spoon, but the omelets, burgers and pecan pie are great, but the pie is heated on the same grill where they make the omelets and burgers!!!.
Frank, you would appreciate this, when you go to the rest rooms, you walk right through the kitchen, quite a sight!

Hoc

Originally posted by bigfrank:
Mothers


I ate there in January, and the food was just as good. But I don't care one whit about the quantity of food I am eating. I care only about the quality. I would rather have a thimbleful of great Lobster Bisque than a pot full of the mediocre stuff. So, if the new owner has cut back a bit on quantity, I would not notice. As long as the red beans and rice are still the best in the city, and the Ferdi's Special Po'Boy or the Debris are still wonderful, I will continue to go there.

The dining area can get a bit messy toward the end of the day, because thousands of people go through there each day. One of my favorite restaurants is Arthur Bryant's in Kansas City. They have sauce-stained linoleum tables and crumpled up napkins on the tables and floors. But the BBQ there (the burnt ends) is still about the best in the country, and that is why New Yorker Magazine ranked it one of the best restaurants in the country, and every President who has gone to Kansas City has eaten there.

Restaurant kitchens as a whole are pretty dirty, considering. Health laws exist to try to minimize the problems, but even with the health laws, I probably would never eat in any restaurant if I spent any time in its kitchen. So, I don't think about that, and instead focus on whether the food is good.

Originally posted by bigfrank:
We have eatened in kpauls 3 times.


You can't go wrong with K-Paul's. NOLA is also very good, though K-Paul's is one of my favorites. Just don't look too long into the kitchen.

Originally posted by bigfrank:
Go around the back of the building you will see all the sugar coming out from the floor and the way they are handled with out gloves with sugars and powder that is above the cooks elbows and see as his pesperation goes into the mix. I guess it adds flavor.


Realistically, looking into the kitchen of almost any restaurant will disgust you. No matter how clean they try to be, the cardboard boxes that hold the food attract roaches and mice, and most restaurant kitchens are disgusting if you really examine them. And NOLA, with its tropical climate, will have more than its share of disgusting critters. At least, with Cafe du Monde, you can think of it this way. The very hot oil into which the beignets are placed will kill anything that would otherwise worry you.

bigfrank

What a differance a day makes. I brought my friends to Mothers today for lunch. It was much cleaner than 5pm in the afternoon on a weekend. I ate the Ralphs which is a Ferdi with cheese. I have to say it was great. We all enjoyed the sandwich's. I honestly feel that the Red beens and rice tasted better in cafe Maspero. We had to cancel our lunch at Commandos palce today because my friend got beer all over his pants last night and it was his only pair, good thing since we traded that for Mothers. We are off to Kpaul again this eveing, I can not tell you how well they treat there returning guests. They have given us free appatizers and free desserts.

bigfrank

Originally posted by Fern Modena:

Lunch portions are really tiny at Commander's Palace. I'm not a hearty eater, and I noticed. Of course, the prices are lower at lunch, but you get what you pay for. Go at dinner, or order from the dinner menu at lunch, not the "special lunch" one.


Fern I ate dinner there with my wife and was dissapointed. the portions were small and imo not nearly as good as KPauls.

BTW I was given a VIP card for KPauls. I no longer need to make reservations there. I can go as I please without reservations or having to wait. I also received an autographed menu from Paul Prodome.

bigfrank

We found a great and classy piano bar owned by Jennifer Flowers. We sat next to her by the piano as she played and were invited backstage after her performance, What a lovly lady she is. I highly recomend seeing her show.

Hoc

Mid-spring is probably the best weather for NOLA, so one of the more desirable times to go. (Easter week 2005 is the last week of March). NOLA is a very Catholic town, so it could be a destination for many during Easter Week. Make your Easter Brunch reservations very early, or you won't be going out for brunch on Sunday morning. But, at least there are no week-long parades, etc. like during Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest.

glenn1000

OK, time to add some more to this thread. We spent last weekend in New Orleans to see the 49ers take on the Saints. Exciting game, even though we (SF) lost in the end. I used Priceline to book four rooms for our group- three at the New Orleans Marriott and one (ours) at the New Orleans Sheraton across the street from the Marriott. We thought that the Sheraton was pretty nice. Our friends were not impressed by the Marriott- old, loud and not well maintained. The JW Marriott, right next to the Sheraton, looks much nicer.

Our first meal was at Galatoire's. I had fond memories of this place and recommended it to the group. Although the food was pretty good, the service was abysmal. In fact I e-mailed a letter to the restaurant about our experience:

I wanted to share our experience dining at Galatoire's on Saturday, September 18. We were visiting from San Francisco and, having dined at Galatoire's several years ago and very much enjoying it, I recommended Galatoire's to our group of eight. My friends had brought two special bottles of wine along and had called to check about corkage. They were told that the price was $15 per bottle. They told the person answering the phone that both bottles were magnums and were told that the price was the same. The food was very good, though I must say that your service has completely fallen off. We waited long periods of time without being noticed. Our water glasses were empty most of the meal and the food did not arrive together. Still, the meal itself was very good. At one point in the meal we noted an older gentleman hovering behind our table. He did not introduce himself to our table or make any contact. Later, when the bill arrived, we noted two apparent errors. First, the appetizers had a charge for something that we had not ordered. Also, the corkage was $15 for one bottle of wine and $45 for the other. The waiter told us that the manager had added on the extra charges and immediately brought him to our table. This was the same man who had hovered earlier, and he was as unpleasant as could possibly be. He told us that we must have ordered the additional appetizers- that many people add additional things to the appetizer sampler. We said that we had not and the waiter looked very uncomfortable, obviously realizing that this was his error. Regarding the wine, he told us that corkage was $15 per 750cc. The fact that we had been told differently by phone was of no consequence. He offered, insultingly, to change the $15 and $45 charges to two $30 charges! We just paid the full bill and left. I was so completely embarrassed about recommending Galatoire's, especially since our other New Orleans meals were top notch. The experience we had was so bad that I felt compelled to write this letter. I have never written such a letter before. The owners need to know how patrons are treated at Galatoire's.

Enough said!

The next night we ate at NOLA's and had a fabulous meal. Though the cooking is not specific to New Orleans, the meal and service were absolutely top notch. The atmosphere was fun and we all had a great time. I had the tasting menu which allows for sampling several different things. Since several of us had ordered this and they all have the same dessert included, our waiter offered to bring several different desserts for variety. And our friend with a birthday was truly serenaded.

We ate lunch at Mothers. Not too impressive IMHO. It was definitely a bargain though. I loved our breakfasts at Cafe du Monde. If you call beignets and coffe breakfast. It was lots of fun and tasted good. We chose not to look in the kitchen!

One more thing- we took a great swamp tour with Cajun Adventures. You are taken by bus (about 50 minutes) to a swamp with lots of aligators. They feed them marshmallows so they come by the boat. It was very interesting to hear the guide explain things- very well done and professional.

I felt bad as my contributions to our trip- the Priceline booking of the NO Marriott (which my friends didn't like) and Galatoire's (which was weird and seriously disappointing) were low points. But everything else was fabulous. Next time I'm sure that the 49ers will win...

cpamomma

This is a GREAT thread. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to it. My family (including 2 teenagers) will be taking our first trip to New Orleans the week before Christmas. We are staying in a 3 bdrm/2 bath at the Hotel De L Eau Vive. I would love any feedback anyone has on either the place we are staying, or activities that would be good with teenagers. The things we are thinking about are: a cajun cooking class, a bayou tour on a smallish boat, a plantation tour, maybe a ghost tour, lots of walking and eating in the French Quarter, etc.

GinGin

We used to own a two bedroom at Hotel de L'Eau Vive (we sold it a couple months ago). It's a great resort in a great location within walking distance to everything in downtown NOLA and the French Quarter and a block from Harrah's Casino.

Your teens might enjoy a paddle type riverboat ride to the zoo (NOLA has a great zoo) with a real streetcar (could be named Desire ) ride back to downtown. That way you can see all the magnificent houses along St. Charles Avenue. The swamp tours they would enjoy I'm sure. Some are on very fast airboats. Our friends went to the Aquarium and they loved it along with it's educational benefits with it's surround screen theatre.

The Riverwalk Mall is a great place to shop and eat and to watch the cruise ships in port.

You'll do lots of walking, believe me.

Be sure and go to the terrace at the top of Hotel d L'Eau Vive and look at the NOLA skyline at night. It's a magnificent view. Of course, if you have the 3 bedroom penthouse, you'll be seeing the wonderful view the entire time you're there.

Ernest Lao

If no one has mentioned taking a guided "Segway" tour of New Orleans, then I can't imagine that your teenagers (and you) would not have a great time seeing some of the sights of New Orleans via these two-wheeled vehicles.
We just did a Segway tour in Chicago (haven't done the NOLA version, since they weren't in operation when we were last there), but I made a note that we would do this the next time we visit. Go to <http://www.citysegwaytours.com/neworleans/> for a description.

In case you aren't familiar with Segway vehicles - here's an excerpt from the Segway tours Website:

"The Segway™ Human Transporter is the first of its kind — a self-balancing, personal transportation device designed to go anywhere people do. Easy to use and operate, the two-wheeled Segway sports high-tech gyroscopes that automatically respond to your body's movements, "sensing" when it should speed up and slow down.

You stand on a small platform between left and right wheels as you hold onto handlebars at a comfortable waist height. The Segway handles the balancing for you, so that you're always upright as you glide through any environment."

This was easy to learn to do, and the devices are truly amazing - you have so much control that it feels like the machine has become part of your body responding to your "thoughts." I can't begin to describe how much fun this was.

It looks like the New Orleans tours (there are 2 per day limited to about 8 people) will be running when you are there, so if the weather is at least "decent," then I wouldn't hestitate to give this a try.

MaryH

I was in New Orleans over Easter. Arrived a few days before my checkin so spent two nights at the IC New Orleans on St Charles and was upgraded to club floor with access to lounge due to my status so did breakfasts there (smokeds salmon and normal stuff) and one evening cocktails (seared tuna and veges).

I ended up going to Cobalt across the street in Hotel Monaco a couple times for drinks / dinner. They have music on weekend evening 6-9 that are decent, althought not spectacular and good drinks, especially happy hour 4-7 weekdays and 5-7 weekends. The bartenders got friendly after 2nd time and were giving me and the person seated next to me (a friend of the chef) some of the leftovers in the shaker such as frozen Strawberry martini, lemon basil drop, etc in addition to my wine and martini. I think martini are $4 in happy hour and at least double that normally. The food is reasonably nice there too.
When my friends joined me, they were looking for more casual, cajun / New Orleans places so did more ACME oyster house, Deannies, Pat OBrien's etc, Bacco, etc. before I left for my conference. Came back through for a nite and had dinner at KPaul's which was excellent. I think I had the crab and corn bisque, bronzed tuna and something like creme brulee for dessert.
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Old June 12, 2005, 10:39 AM   #5
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NOLA (Completed)

Hoc

This trip, K-Paul's made me sit at the bar. I had the blackened Filet, which was excellent. It took them so long to bring it out, however, that they gave me a free dessert. I chose, of course, the Spice Cake Bread Pudding with Chantilly Cream.

At NOLA's this trip, I tried some appetizer that is their most popular, and did not like it at all. However, a dessert to die for: Chocolate Cake, layered with chocolate mousse with diced, dried apricots in it, more cake, more mousse and apricots, then cake, chocolate ganache, on a plate with an apricot puree. Delicious!

Since Progress Grocery closed down, and the place that took over has stopped serving Muffalettas, I went back to Central Grocery. Their Muffaletta was quite good (though not as good as Progress used to be). Tried the Praline Connection this time and hated it. The red beans and rice had almost no flavor -- tasted more like refried beans than like the traditional New Orleans dish. No meat in it, nothing. The fried chicken was greasy and cold, and most of the other stuff was stale and picked over, and nothing about which to write home. I tried the "Ralph's" at Mother's and it was very, very good.

I tried the Beignets at Cafe Beignet this time, but they don't hold a candle to Cafe du Monde.

These remain the quintessential places to go for the traditional NOLA dishes:
Gumbo Shop for Gumbo.

Mother's for Red Beans & Rice and for a "Ralph's."

Cafe du Monde for Beignets.

K-Paul's for anything Blackened or Bronzed.

NOLA for the Garlic Bisque and desserts.

Pascal's Manale for BBQ Shrimp.

Fern Modena

Have you ever gone to Mandina's or Cusamento's? I'm thinking about both places for my "sisters vacation."

Jerry's always enjoyed the fried chicken at Praline Connection. We have always gone to the Frenchmen location. Might I guess that you went to the one on South Peters? Everyone who's told me they had a substandard meal had it there. Its a shame that the quality is so different between the two.

Hoc

Originally posted by Fern Modena:

Have you ever gone to Mandina's or Cusamento's? I'm thinking about both places for my "sisters vacation."


I have never heard of Mandina's. I do understand that Casimento's has some of the best fried oysters in NOLA, though.

Originally posted by Fern Modena:
Might I guess that you went to the one on South Peters?


Sho' nuff. That's the one I went to, because I was staying nearby at the Plaza Suites. The food was just horrid. I got the feeling that the only reason they stay in business is kickbacks to the tour buses that come through there daily.

bigfrank

Originally posted by Hoc:
This trip, K-Paul's made me sit at the bar. I had the blackened Filet, which was excellent. It took them so long to bring it out, however, that they gave me a free dessert. I chose, of course, the Spice Cake Bread Pudding with Chantilly Cream.


Now if you would have told me you were going to K-pauls, I would have just for you made a reservation for you. All that I needed is an hour or less of a notice. I am a VIP at K-Pauls. I no longer have to make reservations, My table will allways be there even if there is a line outside and, I get a free appatizer for going back each time. All I have to do is flash my card and I walk right in.

The best dish IMO is the blackend Pork Chop. I can't wait for Oct.

Dani

Can anyone recommend a good psychic? LOL I'm serious. I went to one years ago in New Orleans and wouldn't mind doing it again for kicks. I think the place I went to had the word "time" in it and they were in two locations. I'm open to new suggestions too. Thanks.

shagnut

Go see BIG AL at Funky Pirate. He is huge, I never saw him stand up but his voice is incredible. He won the Bourbon Streets Legends award this past Jan. I saw him right b4 the cruise, in fact I liked him so much I saw him twice.

Forgot to mention, while at the club order a Hurricane. One, you will be buzzing, two, you will be weaving down the street. shaggy

Hoc

Originally posted by shagnut:
Dani & others, go see BIG AL at Funky Pirate. He is huge, I never saw him stand up but his voice is incredible.


I saw him stand up once. He probably weighs 500+ pounds, but his voice is kind of like Marvin Gaye and Al Green wrapped into one. He also does a decent Muddy Waters impression. Definitely worth seeing.

Dani

Thanks Guys!!! I found what I was looking for..."The Bottom of the Tea Cup." I just came back from the New Orleans Cooking Experience and all I can say is OMG!!! I think I just had the best bread pudding ever!!! I also went to Mothers last night...very good. Thanks for all the tips.

MaryH

I went to Praline connection at Frenchmen St. first time 3 years ago and South Peters last year while at Plaza Suite for the first part of Mardi Gras and no comparison.

I think S. Peter runs more of a buffet and a lot of the stuff is not the right temperature or under the hot lamp to long (dried out) when I went there. I went for the Gospel brunch and the food was only a 5 versus 9 at Frenchmen but the entertainment was kind of fun.

MaryH

Originally posted by barndweller:
What are my chances for a non holiday, non monsoon season trade? I've got a strong trader. Thanks to all of you for the inspiration!


There are some for rents ads for New Orleans from time to time on TUG classified. That is how I got a rental at Plaza Suites last year in Feb for early part of Mardi Gras

On the exchange front, there are also listings on direct exchanges and possible exchanges on TUG.
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