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How to pickle your liver in 4 days flat: a round-up of weekend drinking in NOLA

Ohh! That sounds amazing. Def putting it on the list for next time.

Dec 18, 2014
clairelizabeth in New Orleans

Leslieville pubs or other casual dinner options

Lil Baci is our standby for groups w/ dietary restrictions (managed to take 1 non-seafood, 1 non-nuts, and a couple of vegan/gluten free folks for brunch w/ no casualties and felt like champions), but +++ Aft and Eastside Social.

How to pickle your liver in 4 days flat: a round-up of weekend drinking in NOLA

So. Four days in New Orleans, where every bar has to-go cups at the ready. One couple that really loves interesting things to drink, and fun places in which to do so. I've written about where we ate elsewhere on this board, so this is all about places where we primarily drank. Here - in no particular order - is how it all went down:

Lafitte's Blacksmith (Bourbon & St Philip) : A favourite from previous visits, but how had we never discovered the back-room piano bar? Impossible NOT to have another beer and sidle up to the edge of the baby grand.

Napoleon House (St. Louis & Chartes): Pimm's cups at the bar. Pimm's cups to go. Pimm's cups while cycling. We hit this place up at least 3 times. The last time we were in NOLA, we were drinking at the bar here, and a friendly couple named Mark and Lacey from Texas befriended us and insisted we drink shots of Fernet Branca with them. We hate to disappoint, so we helped them finish the bottle of Fernet, and tagged along with them to...

The Erin Rose (Conti, north of Bourbon): where we drank more Fernet and I think somebody had an Irish Car bomb, and then it was 4 am and we staggered back to the hotel and never saw Mark and Lacey again. This trip, we took it relatively easy and drank bourbon and G&T's at the back bar in the evening, and came back for morning Irish Coffee's (frozen and hot) a few days later.

Chart Room (Chartres & Bienville): Small, dark-ish, usually packed. Great people-watching in the bar and looking out over the sidewalk. Feels like a bar where bartenders go to drink before or after shifts. That is a good thing.

Molly's at the Market (Decatur & Ursulines): Excellent Irish/Americana bar. If there was a cop show set in New Orleans, this is where they would drink and talk over cases. At some fairly late hour, we took our large chicory coffee from Cafe du Monde to Mollys, had a couple of beers to help digest beignets, and as we were leaving, ordered 2 shots of whiskey that we added to the coffee. Chicory coffee: much improved by whiskey.

Tujagues (Decatur & Madison): One solo beer at the bar. There are no stools, so you literally have to belly-up to the bar or sit by yourself at a table. I stood. Like a lady.

Sidney's Wine Cellar (Decatur & Dumaine): Not exactly a drinking establishment, per se... but a damn good liquor store with a great selection of cans of local brew. Which are good to sip across the street on the levee overlooking the river. This place also stocks Old New Orleans Rum (http://oldneworleansrum.com/), which is delicious.

Tiki Tolteca (North Peters & Bienville, 2nd floor): This is a tiki bar which should be taken seriously. For real. Why? Because they make a damn fine Hurricane, by the original recipe. Did you know that it includes passion-fruit juice and tastes like heaven? Forget that shit on Bourbon St. This is the real deal and deserves respect.

Crescent City Brewhouse (Decatur & St Louis): Did not go in, but they have a hand-dandy take-out counter with at least a blonde and an amber on tap. Makes the walk to Frenchman St that much nicer.

R Bar (Royal & Kerlerec): This was kind of our local. Discovered it on a previous trip, and it was just down the street from where we were staying. Pool table, loud music, long bar, and a randomly placed old-timey barber chair. One night there was a guy making jambalaya in a huge pot on the sidewalk for everyone at the bar. The staff are super lovely, especially Lara, who was our guide on...

Confederacy of Cruisers Cocktail & Bike Tour: Started at 10:15 am, with a freshly made daquiri. Then, in the space of 3 hours, we got a pretty great tour of the FQ and CBD interspersed with stops for drinks: Beer from Sidney's, Pimm's Cup from Napoleon House, Sazerac or Ramos Gin Fizz's at the Roosevelt, and Frozen Irish Coffees at the Erin Rose. We'd been to everyplace already or on prior visits, but we learned a lot about the history of bits of the city, and tipsy biking is ALWAYS fun.

Frenchman Street: We stayed in the Marigny, so Frenchman was our starting and ending point for daily drinking. Which is to say, my recollections of the specific attributes of each establishment are hazy. However, we had great beers and morning Irish Coffees at 13. Bamboulas is a bit pricey, but has a great tap selection and the music was excellent each time we stumbled in. We saw the Treme Brass Band at d.b.a. or the Blue Nile and had a bunch of very strong cocktails and Abita Purple Haze's wherever it was.

The Howlin' Wolf (South Peter Street): Headed out here to catch the Hot 8 on Sunday night. Solid beer options. Excellent band.

Bonus favourites (but not from this trip): The Columns Hotel on St Charles. Gracious old mansion with old school bar inside and an amazing garden patio. The Maple Leaf Lounge in Riverbend. Fritzel's Jazz Pub on Bourbon.

Whew. That's a (sodden) wrap. Cheers!

Dec 17, 2014
clairelizabeth in New Orleans

Decent Choices?

Breakfast: Elizabeth's in the Bywater (http://www.elizabethsrestaurantnola.com/), Cake Cafe in the Marigny (http://www.nolacakes.com/)

Lunch: Willie Mae's Scotch House or Dooky Chase's for fried chicken.

Dec 17, 2014
clairelizabeth in New Orleans

Decent Choices?

Agree re: Clancy's vs Brigtsens - though more on atmosphere than food (I slightly prefered my meal at Brigtsens, but that's my own fault for ordering risotto - boring! - at Clancy's). Ask for a table in Clancy's downstairs dining room. Then order a round of negronis.

Dec 17, 2014
clairelizabeth in New Orleans

4 Days in New Orleans Roundup

Awww. Thanks y'all, you are too kind! Drinks list coming up.

Dec 17, 2014
clairelizabeth in New Orleans

4 Days in New Orleans Roundup

My husband and I recently escaped from frigid Toronto for a long weekend in New Orleans. This was my 3rd visit and Adam's 5th, so in preparation we scoured and lurked on Chow boards, read up on recent reviews, and made lists. Lots of lists. And then - apart from carved-in-stone dinner reservations - we kind of threw plans to the wind and relaxed.

Here's where we ended up.

Thursday afternoon/evening:
We walked from our inn in the Marigny over to Coops to share the taster platter (gumbo, shrimp creole, jambalaya, rice, fried chicken) and quench our thirst with couple of Abitas (Amber and purple haze)

Walked off the snack through the Quarter and around Frenchman Street to check out who was playing through the weekend.

Hopped in a cab to dinner at Peche. I love, love, loved the atmosphere and energy at this restaurant. We ordered everything to share, and our eyes were slightly larger than our stomachs, but I regret nothing. Smoked tuna dip and BBQ shrimp to start. Braised Drum fish (reminded me of the Vietnamese dish Ca Kho To, fish braised in a clay pot) and grilled fish with greens and mushrooms, with a side of roasted brussel sprouts. We had wicked cocktails to start and then a couple of nicely balanced whites by the glass. Waddled back to the edge of the quarter to amble through the absurdity of Bourbon Street before hitting a couple of bars on Frenchman.

We were up unusually early to get a hearty breakfast at Cake Cafe (http://www.nolacakes.com/). Omelette with crab, brie and spinach for Adam, eggs, boudin sausage and cheesy grits for me. We're not really breakfast people, but everything was amazing. Highly recommended.

The early breakfast was strategic: we'd signed up for a Cocktails of New Orleans bike tour (http://confederacyofcruisers.com/new-...) that began at 10:15 am. Promising 5 drinks in 3 hours, we needed to eat first! The tour was excellent, and it covered some places we had been to before, we learned a lot. To wit: NOLA's oldest fitness club also has a great bar (of course it does!).

After biking, and a bit buzzed, we decided to embrace the day-time tipsy cycling opportunity. We kept the bikes and pedalled over to Bacchanal in the Bywater for "snack". One massive cheese plate and an order of stuffed dates later, and our plan to follow up with BBQ at the Joint was shelved until Saturday.

For dinner, we headed across the city to Brigtsen's (thanks for the suggestion, Chowhounders!)and were welcomed into one of the back dining rooms by the chef. Still a bit full of cheese from the afternoon, we skipped the Reveillon menu and went for classics. Sweetbreads, BBQ shrimp - I could not get enough of them - a seafood platter and gumbo. Pretty sure we eclipsed our weekly recommended sodium intake in one meal, but it was completely worth it. The service was lovely and each dish was excellent.

We hopped back on bikes to pick up a 1/2 Muffuletta from Central Grocery and a couple of beers from Sidneys, picnicked on the bank of the river and watched the boats go by.

After a visit to the Backstreet Museum (go! it is amazing!) we pedalled back into the Bywater to The Joint. We shared a platter with ribs, brisket, pulled pork, sausage, backed beans and coleslaw. And each had a massive stein of day-glo orangey pink rum punch. The ribs were some of the best we'd ever had, anywhere, and the pulled pork was amazing. Were I to go back, I'd get the potato salad and the mac 'n cheese as sides. But at the time, a hit of vitamin C from the coleslaw was much needed.

For dinner we headed back to the Riverbend to Clancy's. It was busy and bustling and fun, but we were seated at a table in a deserted room upstairs. Slight buzzkill. However, they make a mean negroni and we did our best to strike up a good rapport with our server (which... kind of worked, eventually). Adam had the fried oysters with brie, followed by veal with crab, and I had BBQ shrimp with grit cake, and the lobster risotto. Both starters were great, and Adam's veal situation was delish. The risotto was decent, but not really memorable. We liked it and will definitely go back, but we'll try to get a reso on the main floor.

Sunday we took it a bit easy:
Adam was heading to the football game, so we walked over to the stadium, picking up Irish coffees (one iced, one hot) from the Erin Rose along the way. He had an alligator sausage at the game, and I grabbed a fried oyster po-boy at Tujagues bar. Also picked up another Muffuletta for the flight home on Monday.

We met up at RBar for beers and a snack, before heading back to Coops for more fried chicken and jambalaya for supper. There's nowhere to get good jambalaya in Toronto, and we wanted one last fix before heading back to the freezing north.

Throughout the weekend, we also drank like champions. I'd be happy to post a quick list of where we sipped, if there's interest - this post is already too long, and I tried to keep it food-focused.

Thanks again to the whole NOLA Chowhound community for your suggestions and insights. We're already plotting and planning our next trip to your lovely city!

Dec 15, 2014
clairelizabeth in New Orleans

Keriwa or bestellen? Or somewhere else to take a new yorker that takes reservations for this Saturday...

For my money, Keriwa is turning out some of the most creative flavour and texture combinations in the city. They do interesting, thoughtful food that is amazing. I've never found the atmosphere to be particularly buzzy, but the food will knock your socks off.

Tusker Beer in Toronto?

I think the lager is available at Smokeles Joe's (which also does food and is on John St).
Or if you are ok with venturing to Parkdale, the Rhino has it.

cheap eats for LA Chowhounds?

pho: Golden Turtle on Ossington
poutine (classic quebecois fries and gravy): poutini's on queen west.
drinking: the Rhino (queen and Brock?) has a good selection of local brews
St Laurence market for bacon sammies, as previously noted!

Help narrowing down where to eat and drink in PDX!

I was all set to write a post about how two Canadian hounds were going to be in Portland at the end of the month, staying at the White Eagle to save money for eating and drinking... but Cancuk seems to have done all my legwork!

These are all great suggestions - and if anyone has thoughts on amazing breakfast/brunch options (for a post-wedding, likely hungover, meal) I'd really appreciate them!

Looking forward to the report back Cancuk!

Aug 16, 2010
clairelizabeth in Metro Portland

The Counter?

I think the fried chicken came in at about $17, which we thought was pricey... until the serving arrived and it was huge.

Totally share-able.

The Counter?

Went on Monday night at about 10pm, l'homme and I live in the neighbourhood and have been really excited about a late night food option other than the Wheat Sheaf. (Yeah, I know... I post on chowhound but eat at the WS... let the stoning begin!)

I'd been in the space before opening, and was pleasantly surprised at how it balances chic and homey. The booths are roomy, the lighting is kind, and I covet the floor tiles. Whole look is a bit diner+train car+moroccan bordello.

For a place still finding its feet (we were told it had been open for just a week) I was impressed by the service, pacing and most of the food. I'm confident that the snags will work themselves out with time and more plates going through the pass.

We had fried chicken (with cheddar mac and cheese) a side of wilted spinich, and mac and cheese.

The M&C was good, but pretty bog standard and frankly not interesting. Served in a cast iron kettle - nice touch - and garnished with two thin baguette toasts (which made no sense, because if you are serving a dish that is solely comprised of carbs and dairy and fat, why would you top it off with more carbs?) and two rounds of pancetta, over crisped to the point of blackness. This dish could be hoiked up a notch with the simple addition of some sort of properly cooked pig (lardons, bacon, threads of prosciutto...)

The chicken came in five pieces in a bucket, an enormous portion for one person, and was served (oddly) with tartar sauce and (less oddly) cheddar mashed potatoes. L'homme avoided the sauce, but raved about the chicken. A thick crust of slightly sweet batter wrapping tender, juicy chicken pieces. Two of which are still in our fridge, because, despite our best efforts, we couldn't go the distance. Cheddar mashed pots were delicious, but the cheese was just melted over the top of the potatoes, when we'd expected a golden mound of cheese infused starch. Regardless, the dish tasted excellent.

The wilted spinich was properly wilted, but over salted and wilted baby spinich leaves with the stems left on lead to limp and drippy stem threads which are sort of unappetizing.

Large selection of bottled beer, a select few on tap - served in chilled glass mugs!

Other menu items: a variety of all day breakfasts, a muffuletta, shrimp po-boy, salads, burgers and sammies.

Overall, I think it is a great addition to an area with many condo-ites and few mid-range dining options.

Kelowna - suggestions?

I'm so thrilled that you went to Bouchons - those cornichons are amazing!

How was Raudz?

ISO Buddha's Hand citrons

Thanks all... I'll keep my eyes open in the winter. I'm planning to pickle the rinds, but now thinking about candied peel...

ISO Buddha's Hand citrons

I'm looking for Buddha's Hand citrus fruits... any suggestions where I could find some are much appreciated.

Kelowna - suggestions?

As a displaced Okanagan girl, I'm jealous/homesick reading this thread! I worked 4 summers at Quail's Gate during university and my brother completed his chef training at Mission Hill - both are excellent, QG is a bit more relaxed and I think the view is better... but MH's food is amazing.

I usually try to hit up Bouchons bistro (to pretend I'm in Paris) and The Greatful Fed (for lunch/breakfast - and it's really kid-friendly). Raudz is also a must.

The Farmer's market near Orchard Park Mall on Saturday mornings is a lot of fun, and a great opportunity to talk to local farmers - there's great coffee and a truck selling an array of gourmet snacks... And the kids can run around and watch the buskers.

2 days in Toronto - Restaurants with charm, character?

I feel a bit like a cheerleader... "yes! Caplansky's...Rah rah.. Niagara Street Cafe!..." but Niagara is well, well worth it. Also, they do an excellent Sunday brunch (bacon jam!).

Niagara Street Cafe
169 Niagara St, Toronto, ON M5V1C9, CA

Black Hoof

Fries are thrice fried in horse fat. completely delicious!

Black Hoof

Sat at the Bar on Sunday night and had the "Sunday Surprise" : calf's brain ravioli w/ artichokes and parm shavings. Absolutely delish - though perhaps not for the squemish...

Also, the horse heart and tongue dish wonderful, and pretty much filled my iron requirement for the month! Apparently they confit the tongue in horse fat, which makes it extra rich and tender.

2 days in Toronto - Restaurants with charm, character?

Second Caplansky's. This place is legit! Started as a small operation in a slightly divey bar, and then moved to its own location on College St, got swarmed by ppl in the first month (hence the mixed reviews) but it's settled into a smooth routine, and the knish is to die for.

Also in that neighbourhood is Auntie's and Uncles - great for breakfast, but often with a line 'round the block of hung-over students/hipsters on weekends... :)

356 College Street, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

2 days in Toronto - Restaurants with charm, character?

Q&B is def. dad-friendly, and the fish and chips are divine!

Black Hoof doesn't take resos, so get there early, or be chill about waiting (if there is a wait, they'll send you across the street for a drink at the sister location, the Hoof Cafe - which is pretty awesome in its own right).

The Black Hoof
928 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

2 days in Toronto - Restaurants with charm, character?

Kind of a random, off the top of my head list...
Queen and Beaver Pub on Elm St- downstairs dining room or patios (upstairs has tvs...) : cozy/funky
Ematei Isayaka on St Patrick : authentic
Le Select on Wellington : chic/character
The Black Hoof/Hoof Cafe: just freaking awesome
The Roof Bar at the Park Hyatt Hotel - for an afternoon/pre dinner cocktail

Depending on how authentic you want your lunch, a swing through St Lawrence Market (and apologies for not remembering all the market vendors...) could yield a peameal bacon sandwich, fish and chips (at the south end, past the fish area), veal and eggplant sandwich (downstairs at Mustachio's).

Enjoy your time in Toronto!

30 Saint Patrick St, Toronto, ON M5T3A3, CA

Le Select
432 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON M5V1E3, CA

Park Hyatt
Toronto, ON, Toronto, ON , CA

Good spots in Toronto to eat alone

I second Smokeless Joe's, Caplansky's, and the Black Hoof or the Hoof Cafe. Anh Dao on Spadina is a tiny, friendly, Vietnamese place with great food. My local is the Old York - pretty laid back, nice patio, sammies, and a good selection of Ontario beers.

356 College Street, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

Smokeless Joe
Toronto, ON, Toronto, ON , CA

Anh Dao Restaurant
383 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2G6, CA

The Black Hoof
928 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA