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1 meal in New Orleans

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am a chef in the SF bay area and I will be in New Orleans for a week doing some volunteer work. I figure I have time to go to one nice restaurant, but I don't know where to go. I have to admit that I want to impress my friends by reporting back on a less well known but fabulous local place. In other words not Emeril's, K-Paul or Bayona. Actually I've been to both Bayona and K-Paul and they were great. I am looking for cajun/creole cuisine and I am bring my wive and 11 year old son, so I don't want to go to one of the most formal places.
post #2 of 17
A lot really depends on exactly what you want to eat and what is opened after the recent events. Your foodie friends will be just as impressed with Central Grocery and Mother's as they would be Commander's Palace, Mr. B's, and K-Paul's. 1 place I really like is The Gumbo Shop. Solid, traditional fare. Great courtyard to sit in also. Nothing new, nothing cutting edge, but very solid cajun and creole food. I also really like Acme Oyster Bar and Desire (in the Royal Sonesta on Bourbon St.)
post #3 of 17
Jaque Imos.....wonderful down at the base of Carrolton and St. Charles so I don't know how it faired. Cajun-Creole great eatin'
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post #4 of 17
ditto shroom! Or mothers, perhaps uglich, ............
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post #5 of 17
Ditto on the Gumbo Shop but be prepared to be squeezed into your table. The place is small and the tables can barely seat 3 people comfortably.
post #6 of 17
Hey Sonomacult,
i'm a NOLA expatriat, also living if SF,CA. i'd also reccomend stopping in at Central Grocery for the experience. the aroma of spices kinda knocks you off of your feet when you walk in the door. if you want a casual eating experience, get one of their Muffalotta sandwiches. one sandwich will feed 2 people. get it to go and walk across the street and sit on the levee and watch the mississippi river go by while you eat.

i'd also reccomend Emerils Lagasse's NOLA (medium end). or L'Economie (high end).

unfortunately all the good seafood shacks that i grew up with in Bucktown got destroyed when the levee broke. but if you want a great catfish, shrimp, or oyster po' boy, you should go straight to Mandina's on Canal street. the turtle soup is outstanding as well.
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pierre
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post #7 of 17
Pierre we are like minded about muffalottas and the Mississippi River....something about watching the river drinking a Barq's rootbeer and munching on a muffalotta.
Kinda like drinking cafe a lait and eating beignets at Cafe du Monde.....it's touristy but the locals do it too.
Oh to watch the azaelas bloom.....there is nothing like the riot of color in the south during the Spring....almost made the heat of the summer worth it.
My buddies at the Ecocenter in Loyola have 2 of their farmers markets open....one in Uptown Sq. off Broadway on Tuesday. My favorite one on Sat. morning in the CBD on Julia....they have prepared food that's awesome...various restaurants cook lunch for a month at the market using local food....it's been very fine the times I've been. There are also fun cooking demos that feature some of NO best chefs.

Let us know where you go and what's up....we live vicariously at times.
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #8 of 17
When in the Big Easy, eat Creole. Don't try to search for true Cajun Food there. Chefs have a tendency to interpet Cajun as spicey Creole. Take a side trip, instead, to Breaux Bridge, Between Lafayette and Baton Rouge. Eat at Cafe Desiree'. Excellent local Fare. You see, Cajun Country is west of New Orleans. Lafayette has a lot of good Cajun Fare also. If your here this summer, take in one of the many festivals. These festivals showcase Cajun Food as well as Creole. If your willing to learn a few things, the festivals will be the place. The family will like it also.

If your in New Orleans for some time, venture out and north to Baton Rouge. BR has some of the best places to eat in the area. Some of the New Orleans food establishments have ventured up to BR and found a whole new world since Katrina.

A good Local chef in the area above New Orleans is John Folse. (www.jfolse.com)

PS: True Jambalaya doesn't have tomatoes in it. "Creole-Red, Cajun-Brown"
post #9 of 17
The best meal I've ever had while visiting New Orleans wasn't in New Orleans. It was in Abita Springs at the Longbranch, and more than worth the drive there and back.
post #10 of 17
Not sure if it's too late to recomend anything or even if they are still there except maybe The French Market and Cafe DuMond so here goes. In my 4 trips to New Orleans I would suggest Cafe Dumond for Cafe au lait and Bengiets, The French Market for a bowl of Gumbo and side of Andouille Sausage, any one of the Italian Deli's up that way for a Muffaletta, The Court of Two Sisters had a very nice spread for lunch, K-Pauls unfortunately had a water heater problem on my last visit so was sadly missed and for another quick bite any of the Dante's that are on Bourbon Street have a great slice, stromboli or calzone. For the experience Brennans and the Comanders Palace are very nice unfortunately fell short of expectations for the entire party. Still worth a visit to just here the walls talk tho.

Can't forget a visit to Pat O's either. Just remember you have to find your way back to the hotel. During the opening of a restaurant in Baton Rouge my first visit there in 1994 yielded 9 hours of Hurricanes and Mint Juleps with a 800.00 bar bill and we were only four people. :eek: :beer: :roll: :D What a blast that city can be.:bounce:
post #11 of 17
I personally would avoid Pat O'Briens--like the plague.
Mr. B's (yet another Brennan striking out) can't be beaten for food, service, and atmosphere though not strictly creole or cajun if that is what you're looking for. Nice little bistro. It's a must to stop by The Collums for a drink (St. Charles Street, I think near the Garden District).
post #12 of 17

I could use some guidance

My husband and I will be traveling with a group of friends to New Orleans in late January. We're arriving a day in advance of boarding a cruise ship for a week. We'd like to have dinner together the evening before the cruise. Our travel agent (who's also a friend and coming with us) suggested Commander's Palace but asked me to do some digging.

I'm bumping this thread in hopes of getting some updated information. Now that we're farther out from Katrina, I expect some recommendations may be added to this list. I know where to come for good advice. ;)

There'll be 12 of us. We don't want to spend top dollar, but we all appreciate a good meal. We're not looking for mufaletta or gumbo for this particular meal (although I expect some of us will at lunchtime!).

Any suggestions?
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post #13 of 17
First, a disclaimer: I've not personally tried these places, however, I have heard very good things about them (except for Beshsteak, about which I've not heard anything). I have made a couple of Besh's recipes and found them to be excellent.

Chef John Besh Restaurants | New Orleans Lousiana

shel
post #14 of 17
Luke looks like the best bet among them, Shel. I'll add that to the list. I couldn't find a menu for the steak place, but he has pork rillettes on the menu at Luke- one of my favorite things to eat.
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post #15 of 17
He has braised short ribs on the menu at Luke. I made his recipe for the braised ribs and LOVED it.

John Besh's Braised Beef Short Ribs Recipe - Esquire


shel
post #16 of 17
john besh's August is incredible.....dig slightly deeper in the archives you'll find a huge wealth of info.

Bayonas, still great either lunch or dinner
Sucre, new pastry shop......buzz is it's good
Couchon.....pig in all it's glory
I'll ask a NO buddy what he'd recommend.
Breakfast, Mothers on Tchopitoulus.....early they have blackened ham and biscuits, singley a great dish. debris is the bits left over from cutting roast beef into slices, they put the bits (debris) into gravy and serve it on grits or on Ferdi sandwiches....

There's a new place that's getting alot of awards that has a wonderful buzz, the name escapes me......I'll ask and report back
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #17 of 17
Thanks! I'll look forward to hearing more.

Debris? Some around here call bits like that "schnibbles". :D
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