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Nola trip report 6/14-17

Thanks for the report! :)
I'm tagging on my own mini-report from a short trip to New Orleans last week... I apologize for the choppiness and lack of details. :T

Cochon - We also went to Cochon, and this was actually our first meal in the city. I walked into beautiful smells of barbecue. ;) Service was pretty good, though the waitress seemed miffed to actually have to describe menu items to us. Fried boudin balls are so good... piping hot, falling apart w/a poke, delightful. If I ever see the word "boudin" on a menu again, I'll probably jump at it. We also had the rabbit and dumplings (beware the small bones!), and I'd agree w/another 2 mouthfuls of rabbit! I enjoyed scooping up the excess sauce w/bread. Cochon was a bit salty, and we decided that we're not fans of cracklin, but put all the ingredients together and you've got a tasty dish. I'd love to go back again given the chance!

Coop's Place - Confusion began when we walked in and the place was empty except for 2 customers eating silently. We must have stood around looking like idiots for at least 5 minutes before someone showed up to get us settled. This place is for big stomachs! The tasting plate looked awesome (jambalaya, gumbo, red beans and rice, fried chicken, creole)... heard very good things about it. Raves for the jambalaya and chicken. Gumbo was spicier than expected but still very enjoyable. I had a heaping plate of shrimp and crawfish etouffee. Very satisfying lunch. Very.

Herbsaint - Noise level was quite high! Service was pretty slow, which didn't sit well w/some of our diners. Excellent gumbo - I liked seeing the meat and my friend appreciated not seeing large pieces of okra. :P Fried frog legs were crispy and plentiful! The meat was tender, but it really didn't have a striking flavor aside from being a fried item. My friend said good things about one of the red wine flights. ;) Pork belly... leaner than I expected, but delicious. The sauce worked well combined w/all items, providing a little heat at the end. Very pleased w/the pork belly. :) I'd also like to recommend the spaghetti w/fried poached egg. Mmmm.

Brigtsen's - Everyone here is so friendly; we can't get over the Southern hospitality. The duck was amazing and massive. I enjoyed about 5 out of 6 items on the seafood platter - there was one item that had a medicine/cough syrup aftertaste which didn't sit well w/me. The butternut shrimp bisque is as good as it looks... the flavors are very strong but excellent! As for dessert, I would probably commit a crime to have that cafe au lait creme brulee again. This restaurant deserves many more words but I'm not much of a writer and need to head off somewhere. I met Chef Frank!

I'd love to go back to New Orleans sometime and eat my way through the city. :) Thank you for a great time, and thank you hounds for pointing us to such culinary delights.

Jun 27, 2008
gsmoose in New Orleans

Lower-priced casual dinner for group of tourists...

In general, we're more of the entree-only-no-drinks type. ;) So my first inclination is to look at the prices of entrees. Spending more than $20 on a meal is a rarity for most of us in the group... but I am indeed looking for great food in New Orleans so I'm trying to suck it up when it comes to my wallet. :P

The good news is I think we're going to Herbsaint! Thanks to all again for the suggestions... they'll be useful for people in a similar situation.

Jun 03, 2008
gsmoose in New Orleans

Lower-priced casual dinner for group of tourists...

Thanks all!!

N.O.Food is right, I'm trying to keep our dining to local cuisine as our party has people from Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, among others. But there certainly is no lack of good eats in New Orleans!! I'm still crossing my fingers for Herbsaint but these suggestions will keep me busy and help churn out a 2nd option.

Though I didn't find a recent menu for Jacques-Imo, hopefully that will be affordable enough for the group... EAT looks to be a good option too. I wish Mandina's accepted credit cards! Time to search through the chowhound threads for these places. And call Brigtsen's to make a reservation (on a very hard-earned consensus). ;)

Jun 03, 2008
gsmoose in New Orleans

Lower-priced casual dinner for group of tourists...

as a replacement for Herbsaint.

Is there anything in a lower price range (e.g., entrees topping off at $15-20) that is nice and casual but doesn't make me pine all night for Herbsaint's pork belly which I've read so much about?

We're a group of friends from all over the country coming to New Orleans for the first time. I had pitched a dinner at Herbsaint during our short stay, but the probability of this plan is looking bleaker so I'm fishing for a backup. I'd like to have a short list of restaurants just as delicious and well-received, but at a lower price point. Suggestions are greatly appreciated!

(My current long list of food for the trip consists of very inexpensive eats and upscale casual, but little in between)

Jun 02, 2008
gsmoose in New Orleans

Five Guys Burgers Opens in Carson [moved from L.A. board]

I tried Five Guys in Philadelphia. The burgers were decent, especially for fast food, and the "little" burgers are definitely big enough w/1 patty. I agree that having the variety of toppings listed and free is a plus!! They were very generous on the fries, though greasy as ipsedixit mentioned. I had the cajun fries which seemed only lightly seasoned w/Old Bay.

I haven't been to In-N-Out in a while but given the differences between the 2 places, I'd be happy going to whichever is closest.

May 29, 2008
gsmoose in Chains

Planning meals for group trip/vacation

How do I ask my friends to confirm their spot at dinner at restaurants without sounding... dictatorial/pushy/disrespectful?

A bunch of college buddies and I are going on a vacation together... first group trip ever. We're about 2 weeks away and since no one has made any suggestions regarding what to do in the city we're visiting, I drew up a temporary itinerary of attractions and restaurants (courtesy of Chowhound, of course).

I haven't heard much feedback in terms of restaurant choices. My concern now is dinner reservations. I'd like to make them ASAP so I need to know who is in (if any) for the restaurants I've suggested.

The rest of my party of 8 is not as concerned w/food as I am... while they enjoy good food, they're a little more money-minded in that regard (and we have picky eaters plus varying income levels). So my question is (again)...
How do I ask my friends to confirm their spot at dinner at these restaurants without sounding... dictatorial/pushy/disrespectful?

Much thanks, fellow eaters!

May 29, 2008
gsmoose in Not About Food

Emeril's Restaurants

Sorry to dig this up again... I'm taking my first trip to New Orleans soon and yes, I've made it a mission to go to one of Emeril's restaurants so I can say I've been to one. (never fear, I'm also reading up on plenty of threads for other meals)

It seems that people have varying opinions on these restaurants, which is expected... though the majority seems to indicate that the food is at least just fine. ;) I'm wondering how these restaurants would place on a monetary scale... I've been looking for pricing but have found a lot of conflicting information and really don't know what I'm getting myself into!

How would these restaurants rank in terms of price and separately, how are they in terms of value? I understand that good food can be worth the dollar, but I also understand my wallet. ;) Thanks!

May 20, 2008
gsmoose in New Orleans

It's time for Taiwan Fest!

I was there yesterday for a performance thing and indeed, not much to report on the food side. Ah Zong has a booth as does Canaan... nothing terribly interesting going on food-wise. You can definitely smell the stinky tofu though!

May 11, 2008
gsmoose in Los Angeles Area

Lian Wu? (Wax apple/nose apple/etc.) available in LA?

Many family friends grow this fruit but I don't recall ever seeing them for sale in stores... sorry!

They can grow quite well here... one family friend has several trees that bear plenty of fruit.

Apr 25, 2008
gsmoose in Los Angeles Area

Sunday Lunch or Brunch in Philadelphia

I ended up bringing a large party to Cafe Pier One (46th and Baltimore, I believe) for the Sunday lunch... and realized that there was no way we could eat there. :( There were about 6 tables in the tiny establishment, all of which were full, so we basically took up any open space available to order our to-go lunch. The wait for our orders was incredibly long though... and one sandwich ended up being forgotten so the wait was extended even further... but I must say that most menu items were quite attractive. Loved the chicken salad sandwich, even after it had been sitting in a bag on and off a plane for 7 hours.

Wanted to try Beau Monde, but there was little time for traveling much beyond University City... thanks for the tip though; definitely want to get there next time.

Mar 04, 2008
gsmoose in Pennsylvania

Bonte Waffles in Philly?

I've been planning for a trip to Philly next weekend (from LA) and included Bonte Waffles on my list of places to visit... have things gone downhill recently? :( I was really looking forward to these but it sounds like the waffles are less than delicious now... may have to re-evaluate its spot on my list.

Feb 17, 2008
gsmoose in Pennsylvania

Sunday Lunch or Brunch in Philadelphia

I'm interested in this question as well since I'll be in Philadelphia next weekend and I've realized that few places are open for lunch on Sundays. :( I came across Hot Potato Cafe in some searches but their brunch menu isn't online so I have no idea if their Sunday brunch menu is comparable to their lunch menu...

Anything near University City or just around center city? And preferably less than $20 per person (considerably less would be nice :P)... thank you!

Feb 14, 2008
gsmoose in Pennsylvania

Buca di Beppo - free $10 card in the mail

I'm a sucker for their tiramisu... grab 1 or 2 friends and dig in! I haven't had enough experience to know what you should avoid, but I personally think their food is just fine enough... and hey, w/your $10 gift card, it'll taste even better! ;)

Jan 10, 2008
gsmoose in Chains

NYE Dining for One in Costa Mesa?

Looking for a place as well (for two). Called Marche Moderne and they're all booked. Also called Napa Rose, they only have spaces available for their $185 late night seating with midnight champagne toasts and dancing.

Let me know what you run across! I'm not too concerned about the price if the food is up to par, but I can do without all the pomp and circumstance.

Dec 30, 2007
gsmoose in Los Angeles Area

Can I still get Moon Cakes?

They're definitely still around, usually at 50% off (or more!)... was just in Rowland Heights yesterday.

The Rowland Heights Diamond Bakery in the 99 Ranch plaza (Nogales/Gale) has them buy 1 get 1 free (individual). Supermarkets should still have boxed mooncakes. The Van Nuys 99 Ranch probably has them (or ask, as ipsedixit suggested).

Oct 01, 2007
gsmoose in Los Angeles Area

Hollywood/Vine - veg. friendly, quick, easy on the wallet

Lucky Devils has vegetarian-friendly options?? Excellent to hear! I'm quite a meat-eater myself so I would prefer a place that would satisfy both of us. There are some good words about Lucky Devils and it's only a few blocks down... we could use the walk for those calories. Thanks SauceSupreme!

Then again, I also like the idea of sandwiches for our quick meal... both Yonni (thanks lil mikey!) and Caffe Etc sound great and cozy... I'll discuss these options w/my dining companion!

Sep 20, 2007
gsmoose in Los Angeles Area

Hollywood/Vine - veg. friendly, quick, easy on the wallet

I've been going through the many threads for dinner options around Hollywood and Vine... and though I see oft-mentioned Magnolia, Hungry Cat, Bowery, etc, I'm not sure if they are suited for my upcoming venture to the area.

As far as I know, my dinner companion eats only kosher meats, otherwise vegetarian. I am not well-versed in kosher meats but I don't think a bbq-only joint would work. ;) We're also trying not to do too much damage on the wallet... let's say $20 max per person, no drinks.

We'd like to be in and out of the restaurant in 1 hr for dinner. Is this possible? :P Walking distance from the Hollywood/Vine intersection would be preferable, as we're going to IOWest. Recommendations greatly appreciated!

Sep 19, 2007
gsmoose in Los Angeles Area

Taiwanese Restaurant Recommendation in Rowland Hts Area

The Taipei and Rowland Heights stores are not the same Supreme Dragon (Yi Tiao Long)..... but thanks for the gossip, bearmi!
I would agree that Supreme Dragon is more northern... though also enjoyed by Taiwanese. :P

I know your trip is already over, but here's a suggestion for others and future trips:

Class 302 - in the 99 Ranch plaza off the Nogales exit from the 60 fwy (Nogales and Gale)
Taiwanese school theme
Taiwanese snacks and dishes... lunchboxes... amazing shaved ice (the kind w/shaved milk ice, where the ice is actually infused w/milk before shaving)

Sep 13, 2007
gsmoose in Los Angeles Area

last-minute trip to L.A.

steve h, if you'd like to get to the San Gabriel Valley to sample some of SoCal's best Chinese food, you can definitely get there by the Metro buses. Several lines originate in downtown and land you right in the middle of SGV eating... 76 goes on Valley, 70/370 on Garvey, 78/378 on Main, etc. Check out for bus maps or bother your hotel concierge for maps and timetables (available online as well). If you aren't in a hurry, the buses can be your friend... sounds like you could make use of the $5 day pass if you're traveling on other subway lines as well!

Jul 13, 2007
gsmoose in Los Angeles Area

Heavy Noodling in MPK is closed

Could you describe Taiwanese steam table fare? I don't think I've heard of that! Interesting.
Yes, the sign is confusing... I'm starting to think it's rather common for a closed establishment to take a long time to take down the sign! :P Even dismantling it a bit would help so that it isn't so noticeable...

Jun 29, 2007
gsmoose in Los Angeles Area

Has the DOTCH! japanese cooking show been cancelled/replaced??

It ended early this month... sad but true. :( Unfortunately this new show doesn't have subtitles! I miss Dotch dearly. Wish we could have seen those extra specials.

One portion I viewed had a heavyset group of men trying to cook for themselves on a very small budget (I think 1000 yen??) for the week. That might be the same episode silence9 watched. It was entertaining for a bit but since I couldn't understand it, I stopped watching...

Jun 22, 2007
gsmoose in Food Media & News

Heavy Noodling in MPK is closed

Looks like it... there's a new Express restaurant instead, and it offers cheap combinations (lunch? dinner? not sure about the time). I'm bummed too.

Jun 22, 2007
gsmoose in Los Angeles Area

Best Chinese dinner in Rowland Heights?

This place is awesome! Also a family favorite here... or maybe just mine, ha. The large bowls of soup are excellent with many kinds to choose from... half a meal in itself.

My absolute favorite is the beef... sorry I don't actually have its real name, though "gu yue niu rou" (Gu Yue beef) will probably suffice. The dish has a generous amount of tender peppery yet somewhat sweet beef cubes, on top of sliced tomatoes and raw onion. Absolutely heaven for me!

May 30, 2007
gsmoose in Los Angeles Area

ISO Chinese Sesame Balls

Some of the deli/bakeries at 99 Ranch probably make them... I know the Rowland Heights 99 Ranch sells these at the hot foods deli area next to the bakery. They're large and golden, though I can't vouch for their taste as I've never tried them. But they sure look good!

May 26, 2007
gsmoose in Los Angeles Area

Be Still My Heart—Beard Papa coming to Costa Mesa

Mainplace too? Awesome!! Thanks for all the good news of new Beard Papas in Orange County.

May 25, 2007
gsmoose in Los Angeles Area

101 Noodle Express

I also finally went to the Rowland Heights location... the beef roll was amazing. I had only seen pictures and didn't read the thread carefully, so I wasn't expecting a warm item. While the wrap was a little greasy to the fingers, it sure didn't taste that way. I love the sauce and the greens weren't too heavy on the scallions, which I don't particularly care for anyway. Absolutely delicious. I can't wait to drag a companion to the Valley location.
They really promote their "ping pan" of "lu" items... even the small one is loaded with extremely flavorful items. The large one is enormous; I wish I had time to identify everything but it was just a passing glance on another customer's table.
Of course, I'm also easy to please, like sel... :P

May 11, 2007
gsmoose in Los Angeles Area

Help please Chinese delivery near USC

I've had meetings w/Chinese delivery (working w/your thread title) from Wok on Fire, which is very popular with the faculty in my department.
1447 S La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(310) 289-5168

Can't say I'm a big fan of their food, but they probably have soup and they do deliver... hope your daughter is feeling better now anyway!

May 08, 2007
gsmoose in Los Angeles Area

Help please Chinese delivery near USC

Rice Garden is in a food court in the center of campus and I'm almost 99% positive they don't deliver... neither does Yoshinoya which is along one edge of campus...

May 08, 2007
gsmoose in Los Angeles Area

Need commute-friendly Chinese breakfast Fri. AM

It's well past Friday, but thought I'd suggest Ding Pang Zi anyway... at Garfield and Garvey, in the same plaza as ABC Cafe and Xiao Mei (northeast corner). They open at 6AM every day except Tuesday, and everything on the menu is available from breakfast items to noodles... I'm sure everything can be taken to-go. You'll find all kinds of baozi here and other breakfast items but probably not dim sum...
But Xiao Mei opens at 7AM and does have some dimsummy items so once you're done picking up your breakfast from Ding Pang Zi, stop by Xiao Mei for the rest... and maybe a cup of soymilk.

Apr 29, 2007
gsmoose in Los Angeles Area

Curry bread (aka Curry-pan)

I just passed by Curry House To Go yesterday and saw the flyer, but neglected to look very carefully, sorry about that! I believe I did see a price of $1.80 though... definitely would have stopped for one if I wasn't on the way to try Orochon.

Apr 22, 2007
gsmoose in Los Angeles Area