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Essential NOLA for first time tourist

If on a budget, try to take advantage of Happy Hour specials. The WW II museum is an easy walk and John Besh's brisket sliders at .75 can't be beat.

http://www.nola.com/drink/index.ssf/2...
http://www.bestofneworleans.com/gambi...

Sep 15, 2014
Hockey19 in New Orleans

Is a visit to Commanders Palace a must?

This post gets deep into what makes a great meal and dining experience. Is it french service, wait staff filling every need, food touches you may not see elsewhere? A room exquisite in ambiance and style? Or is it raw, and informal, filled with dedicated staff providing quality food at reasonable prices. Ambiance becomes a resin chair listening to music under the Christmas lights in a Bywater location versus a jazz trio playing to a dressed up crowd in a garden room. The beauty of this discussion is we have experienced both, have greatly enjoyed both, and thrill that folks visiting NOLA can choose both and end up in the same place.

Sep 08, 2014
Hockey19 in New Orleans

Coming down 8/27

Sunday morning brings an end to our great trip. Only thing we missed was a muffaletta for the flight home. 8 am cab ride did not leave us with much choice for a fresh treat. Oh well- be back in December!!

Sep 06, 2014
Hockey19 in New Orleans

Coming down 8/27

Have to add in our visit to Dickie Brennan's Bourbon House for Happy Hour. It was attached to our hotel. I knew they had a nice raw bar and oysters were a buck each. Found a spot at the bar around 5:30 and caught the server's attention. I like to make sure what are the rules for things like this and I asked about the Happy Hour specials. First response, "Happy hour is over at 6 so you can order off the menu." My response-"good thing it's 5:30." Rolled with the punches and we ordered Abita's and a dozen raw. Over the next hour had the best time talking to Lou, our shucker. He did not stop for a second but carried on the type of conversation that makes for great experiences. He has been there for 10 plus years and knows how to make you feel like a regular and at home even though it is your first time. Why would you not want to come back. Our poor waiter on the other hand (who I won't dime out by name but has a relation to the organization) was every reason not to have nepotism in an establishment. Lou brought over a mussel sample for us (how do you get that much garlic in a mussel) and a taste of some crazy bourbon milkshake that should not be legal. We missed oyster's at Luke but Bourbon House was a great second choice.

Sep 05, 2014
Hockey19 in New Orleans

Coming down 8/27

Saturday brings a ton of rain. We hike to The Gumbo Shop for an early lunch. We get one of the last available tables at 11:30. Order fantastic chicken andouille gumbo, good red beans and rice, and a bit disappointing jambalaya. Service is real good and it is a pretty restaurant. They have a small patio that would have been nice to sit in but for the rain. It's a down time afternoon as my wife splurges at the Windsor Court Spa and I end up looking for any available shelter in the torrential rain instead of sitting poolside. All is a prelude to our anticipated dinner at Coquette. Upon arrival, we head upstairs to our table where we let the staff know we are going for the blind tasting and wine pairing. While the impression is given that you will have direct input into your meal, there really was no such interaction. The only easily made accommodation was to serve all white's as my wife reacts poorly to reds. Table side popped champagne started the meal. Small plate amuse bouche of a prosciutto type slice followed by a breaded shrimp. Each subsequent plate is brought by an enthused staff (they all just seemed so happy) with a different wine. The staff which was so knowledgeable about every aspect of the meal which helped guide us through each course. Highlight was a bass dish which I thoroughly enjoyed. Kicker is I do not eat any fish at all. The Asian flavored broth soaked into the mild bass was a highlight. We had duck, pickled vegetables, to die for fried chicken nuggets (don't know what else to call them). A decadent peach dessert. We have spent a lot of money for dinners in many restaurants. The flavor and creativity of the food, the atmosphere, and the incredibly attentive staff made for a special evening. It was our first visit but our server had so much fun with us, she hugged both of us upon leaving. Little touches make for great nights. Bummer is that we are leaving early tomorrow.

Sep 04, 2014
Hockey19 in New Orleans

Coming down 8/27

We like Jacob's but totally on board with a local rec. Will check them out next visit. Thanks

Sep 04, 2014
Hockey19 in New Orleans

Coming down 8/27

As a dear departed New Yorker, I love the Harry M Stevens reference.

Sep 03, 2014
Hockey19 in New Orleans

Is a visit to Commanders Palace a must?

I get your thoughts but a restaurant that that has spawned Paul Prudhomme, Emiril Lagasse and Tory McPhail can't be dismissed as a tourist trap. Commander's is iconic, it produces a great meal, like all "it" spots it is touristy and while a meal at Bacchanal can be fun and good, it's deciding if high end service and dining is a to do or an expensive "eh". If I have a few days in NOLA, I am going to mix Commander's and Bacchanal, not choose. If I have one to choose I choose...... can't be wrong.

Coming down 8/27

If it is Commander's, it must Friday (our favorite)and it must be raining. This time it is merely rain as opposed to the Thunderdome we had last year. Booked 2 months in advance and could only get 1:30-seriously. It's slow in August? Called every day and got he same response, no change but luck was with us Friday morning as we got a 12 PM spot. We are quickly walked in to our new favorite room- the Patio Room. Can't get there without walking through the kitchen. Greeted and thanked for visiting by staff at all stations. Having read many reviews about service declines I was interested to see how things progressed. Staff seemed well trained but you could tell they had less tenure. To many young, very nice, faces. Difference was watching Dining Room Manager/Maitr'e D ?, who we know as Argyle set a table. Done so professionally and with dignified flair. Just something you have to know to watch for. Service had a little blip, no issue, but shouldn't happen was when my drink was delivered to the table across from us. Enjoyed watching the 3 lovely ladies trying to figure out why there were 2 limes in the martini they did not order. Greatest garlic bread in the world arrived and off to lunch choice. I went with the 3 course special. Incredibly super rich gumbo, a bit of andouille (house made as I found out during my kitchen walk)but lacking in more items. The quail was deboned and spectacular. A bit of added hot sauce (choice given) with great stuffing. My wife went with a salad and a tamale (not on the September menu it seems). As she said, not your average Mexican lunch. Lunch came with the standard bread pudding, still great and we got a slice of moist crazy good pecan pie. Multiple martini's and 2 hours later, another perfect meal in what I feel is the most beautiful restaurant for dining. Lazy afternoon but off again to Frenchman Street to catch Dana Abbott on round 2 at Cafe Negril. Great set ends at 10 and we make a bad decision not to enjoy the Mexican taco bar at Cafe Negril Had it before, it's cheap and good and would have been a nice end before the walk back to Canal. We skipped and on a HOT HUMID night headed back through the Quarter. By the time our stroll ended, we were starved, melted and on Bourbon. Made the guilty pleasure stop at the Hard Rock relocated onto Bourbon. A/C was blasting and we happily munched appetizers, tons of water and chilled out after a long day. Tomorrow- Coquette

Sep 03, 2014
Hockey19 in New Orleans

Coming down 8/27

Believe what you read, the greatest food city in the US has by far the worst stadium food possible. I truly could not believe the lack of imagination, quality, and sky high prices at the Superdome. The Trenton Thunder minor league baseball stadium where we go is like a John Besh restaurant in comparison. I can get crab fries, good Bar B Que, decent dogs, wood fired pizza, cheese steaks, pulled pork. Not bad for a 6000 seat ballpark. The Superdome has a $15 sliced prime rib sandwich. That's it. The attempt at jamabalaya which I am sad to say I purchased, was out of the box rice with a passable piece of sausage. $9 Coors Lite. Lovely. I cannot imagine what deal with the devil the Saints made for their food concessions but I hope it was worth their Super Bowl win.
Thank God we are at Commander's the next day.

Sep 02, 2014
Hockey19 in New Orleans

Coming down 8/27

My card carries full coverage but I can see paperwork hell coming over the next few weeks. Had the Jacob's andouille last night on a homemmade shrimp and sausage Po Boy. Making jambalaya tonight for my team to enjoy tomorrow. Will use the Bailey's log and see the difference.

Sep 02, 2014
Hockey19 in New Orleans

Coming down 8/27

Thursday was our planned drive to LaPlace to pick up andouille at Jacob's. Hertz rental at the convention enter was a bit overwhelmed to say the least but after a ridiculous 45 minute wait for a car, we hit the road. 1st stop at Cajun Pride swamp tour. Tourist stops still work for us and the 2 hour tour was fun. Lots of gators, a great tour guide, fun hug from a baby gator and off to lunch. Minutes away was outdoor seats at Frenier Landing Restaurant. No one but us there at the late afternoon visit. Head on BBQ shrimp for my wife. Solid gumbo and spicy shrimp loaded on my salad. Sitting on the edge of Lake Pontchartrain with well prepared food in an off the road location was nice. We love Jacob's andouille but wanted to do a bit of a taste test so picked up a pound at next door Bailey's. Bought 5# and some tasso at Jacob's. Will see if we can tell the difference. Plan was to head to Luke's for Happy Hour oysters before the Saints game. But life intervenes as our rental got hit by a stone on I-10 and a windshield crack immediately appeared. Instead of just a car drop, I now needed to handle the joy of an insurance claim. Phone calls and paperwork later (with Chase stepping up and apparently covering the claim) we missed the Luke time window. Disappointed but back to the hotel for a quick shower before heading to the Superdome.

Sep 01, 2014
Hockey19 in New Orleans

Coming down 8/27

After Mayfield's, my wife went to Harrah's for a few hours. As planned, we ended up at Erin Rose. Surprised a bit at how small it was. Goal was Killer Po Boy's. I ordered the pork belly and my wife had the shrimp. The cash only back bar was busy but we got a side table in the main bar. Both Po Boy's were fantastic. Not what you would expect at a location like this. Noise level was high but we ate, hung around a bit and called the night quits around midnight. Off to Thursday.

Sep 01, 2014
Hockey19 in New Orleans

Coming down 8/27

7 AM flight to NOLA, so were thrilled to get early check in at the Crowne Astor on Canal. After a quick walkabout and nap, we hit Domenica for Happy Hour. Half price pizza and beer. It was empty at 3 when we arrived. Server was friendly and attentive. The beer list is great for exploring. Had a NOLA Rebirth ( a local brew which donates to a local non profit to support musicians) for to start while my wife had an Abita. Went with the Clam Pizza and Wood Fired Eggplant. Clams in the shell topped the gooey white pizza loaded with tons of garlic. The eggplant was tremendous. Crisp smoked skin loaded with edamane, other veggies, and a killer sauce. Followed up with a Southern Prohibition Fire Ant. A pretty good red. All was such a great start as we headed over to Irwin Mayfield's for a late afternoon 2 hour set from Dana Abbott doing a show she calls Lady Sings the Blues. There were $5 tapas choices available but lunch had not even settled yet so we just sipped a few more Abita's as the afternoon lingered on.

Sep 01, 2014
Hockey19 in New Orleans

Coming down 8/27

Back and what a great time. Long day of travel so will write more tomorrow but NOLA was in prime form (even if the Saints were not.

Aug 31, 2014
Hockey19 in New Orleans

Coming down 8/27

Lunch will probably be late in LaPlace which is why we may be stuck in the Superdome for dinner. In all honesty, we can survive a stadium meal. We have eaten in much worse I am sure. Reality is post game may be more fun. Have to figure out where to go.

Aug 25, 2014
Hockey19 in New Orleans

Coming down 8/27

While we were unaware of Southern Decadence when we booked, upon learning more, it is clear it will certainly liven up some of our jaunts through the quarter. We are from Philadelphia and Philly Live gives a decent food choice and a quick walk to the game. It almost seems wrong to go to a restaurant like Herbsaint prior to a football game. Finding a tailgate would be the way to go but that is probably not in the works.

Aug 24, 2014
Hockey19 in New Orleans

Coming down 8/27

Flying in for a long weekend. Can't wait as it has been to long. Get into NOLA around noon so by the time we are settled we we will hit Domenica for Happy hour. Late afternoon drinks at the Sonesta, where we will be in Irwin Mayfield's to see the great Dana Abbott. Dinner in flux but if we are thinking light, Erin Rose seems to be a likely source. Never been there but Esquire TV did a bit on them and it looks like a fun place for a great Po' Boy. Thursday is off to La Place so we can buy a years worth of andouille to bring home from Jacob's. Lunch choice seems to be Frenier Landing in La Place. Review are up and down but we are pretty easy. Evening will be at the Saints game so my wife can watch her husband to be (Drew Brees) walk the sideline in a baseball cap. Will make sure to give a Chowhound review of the Superdome food. Friday is our favorite. Lunch at Commander's. Our feeling about Commander's is not to worry about whether it is worth it, or is it past it's time,etc. It is just 2 plus hours of the most wonderful southern NOLA fine dining you can imagine. Late night at Acme is a likely end. We get good oysters in Philly but no one here carries gulf oysters. Have never received an answer why. Gulf oysters are so much better than the East Cost or West coast oysters that we get. We love sitting at the bar having an Abita pitcher and watching the shuckers at work. Saturday is spa day for my wife at Windsor Court. No plans for nourishment in the AM but our adventure will take us to Coquette for their blind tasting menu on Saturday night. We have done our splurge dinner at R'evolution the last two times but Coquette's meal and reviews said ---come visit. Home on Sunday so will pick up Muffalttas for the flight. Central Grocery was an OK last time and Cochon's was different but really good. Will have to make a decision soon.

Aug 24, 2014
Hockey19 in New Orleans

Outskirts of NOLA Recs? Looking for a cajun destination lunch 45min-1.5hr away

Really enjoy B and C. Always unhappy that we can't bring home the fresh shrimp. Their house seafood spice is a great alternative to Old Bay. Anyone have any experience with Frenier Landing in LaPlace. Doing an andouille run to Jacobs in 2 weeks and looking for cajun/creole in LaPlace.

Aug 15, 2014
Hockey19 in New Orleans

Going to New Orleans Aug 27 What to expect for first time??? Food, weather and people....

Wow- can't believe I missed the OP date. total fail. However- I probably should have clarified. Walk the streets combined with a bit of research is a way to go for those comfortable with exploration. K-Pauls, SoBu, Acme, Eat, Mr. B's, Galatoire's, Muriel's, Felipe's,any Emiril, any Brennan, on and on. No way to know what floats a boat but if you spend some time looking and use your tools you will find hits. Avoid over researching, NOLA will charm you as it has so many other when you stumble into a new gem.

Aug 05, 2014
Hockey19 in New Orleans

Going to New Orleans Aug 27 What to expect for first time??? Food, weather and people....

Both Bill Hunt and Shanefink summarize absolutely wonderful ways to dive into NOLA. For a first time visit, I can only add a recommendation that you avoid over planning. After many visits, I (as many others) try to figure every moment out. There is so much we look to compress, which is hard to resist. Try. The beauty of NOLA is the ability for the unplanned to become the highlight of your trip. Allow yourself the opportunity to explore to find what you will like. Walk the streets and read some menus. Listen to where the music is coming from. Talk to strangers in the bars. They will tell you secrets. Delve into the tourist spots. It would not be a first trip without beignets, hurricanes, and Preservation Hall. But it would not be a first trip without a random surprise that made you say, we are coming back again and again to our favorite city.

Aug 04, 2014
Hockey19 in New Orleans

Head-on Boiled Shrimp Junkie Needs Help (FQ/ CBD)

Last time we were there, Mr. B's offering of BBQ shrimp was head on/head off

Aug 04, 2014
Hockey19 in New Orleans

New Orleans on Weight Watchers -- Unfortunate, but necessary, Help please!!

Interesting question. WW is pretty liberal these days on how to eat but if you go to higher end restaurants my guess is you can influence how your meal is cooked. Get the shrimp/oysters/fish grilled and well spiced but tell them light on the butter which is everywhere. NOLA is not exactly a dieters dream but small plate restaurants abound and if you take a moment to research menus you can make it. Gumbo and Jambalaya are probably out but make sure you have a friend who will let you taste. It would be criminal to miss these great items. No Hurricanes at Pat O'brien's.

Jul 03, 2014
Hockey19 in New Orleans

Trip Report 4/25-4/29/2013

Great write up. Was way confused when Mittendorf's did not appear but did not feel it necessary to say "what???"..lol. R'evolution review is spot on. Death by Gumbo is a one of a kind special. My wife loves the Bird in a Cage, Service has however been a step behind the food. Not sure if we will have transport to Mittendorf's as the one day with a car includes a LaPlace run in the other direction but it looks like a great place.

Jul 01, 2014
Hockey19 in New Orleans

August Visit-Filling in the gaps

Coming in for a late August visit. Flight arrives around noon on Wednesday so by the time we are in and settled we will be hitting Domenica for their happy hour. With a late lunch, thought we would hit a late night pub dinner and Erin Rose seems to be a favored choice. Reviews seem great and having never been there why not. Looking for support on the choice. For Thursday, planning on driving to Jacob's in LaPlace for our andouille pickup. We could eat back in NOLA but looking for some recs in the Metarie area. Going to see the Saints preseason that night. First time to the Superdome so will probably go native and eat there unless someone has another thought for pre-game. Friday is annual trek to Commander's for lunch. Dinner after Commander's is usually light so we will probably end at Acme for oysters and Abita's. Saturday is spa day for my wife at Windsor Court. Looking for an early lunch spot. Dinner splurge will be at Coquette for the blind tasting that night. She loves R'evolution for our one big spend meal but Coquette looked to good to pass up. Leaving too early Sunday to get muffs so will have to get them late on Saturday. Other than Central, any recs?

Jun 30, 2014
Hockey19 in New Orleans

Combination solo/business/couple trip-the results Part One

Great post. No better bug in the US to be bit by than the NOLA bug. We got hit with it in 2006 and our annual trips from Bucks County are the highlight of our year.

Feb 09, 2014
Hockey19 in New Orleans
1

NY foodies comin down

Not a lot of love shown to your inquiry but it would be helpful with more details. No idea of where you are and what transportation is available. With what I can gather, try EAT eatnola.com/ and bring your own great wine. Drop by American Sector (enjoy the WW II museum) during Happy Hour for a bit of John Besh. Greatly enjoyed The Joint for BBQ.

Jan 21, 2014
Hockey19 in New Orleans

Which NOLA cooking class?

We have enjoyed NOCE multiple times. It's not cheap but 10 people or so having a great evening with a great chef, great food and wine cannot be translated always to a price. Last time was with Frank Brigtsen and it was as great as it should be. I would love to do hands on and Langlois looks like a nice choice for our next visit. Will look more into them.

Jan 21, 2014
Hockey19 in New Orleans

BBQ Shrimp pairing?

Everything will cook quickly but big shrimp can handle it. A problem may be fresh shrimp versus frozen Thai or Philippine or Chinese or who knows. Finding high quality head on shrimp is not easy.

Dec 28, 2013
Hockey19 in New Orleans

BBQ Shrimp pairing?

Nothing beats a cold Abita with BBQ shrimp but there are so many good winter brews available that would work. Support a local micobrew choice to make it special. We have been drinking a bit more Reisling these days which also might work.
Here's the real deal recipe which I have made.

http://www.mrbsbistro.com/recipes_shr...

Dec 28, 2013
Hockey19 in New Orleans