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bjgeraci

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    New Orleans, LA
  1. I think you meant Central Grocery (for a Muffaletta) Some of my favorite places that hasn't been mentioned yet are: The Pelican Club - dinner. K-Pauls - now open for lunch (Thu Fri Sat) as well as dinner 6 or 7 nights. Mother's - for breakfast, but also for dinner too. Cafe Adelaide - just ate there for brunch If a car is available, I like to suggest "off the beaten track" places like Bruning's on the lakefront, Jack Dempsey's in Bywater, and Rocky & Carlo's in Chalmette. We took our friends from out of town to these places and they loved them....
  2. I think Mother's on Poydras still have the "early-bird" breakfast special for under $5. Eggs, grits, sausage, biscuit, toast, butter, jelly, oj OR coffee. Nacho Mama's in the CBD also has big veggie burritos for under $5. Place St. Charles (201 St. Charles) has a 2nd floor food court with a nice variety (no national chains). Serio's Deli has good down-home lunch specials: red beans & rice, YakkaMein (noodles in gravy w/ soy sauce & hot sauce), etc. Tandoori Chicken near the Fairmont hotel has a lunch buffet, but I think it's closer to $10 than $5. The theme is that all these places are in the CBD section where office workers (like myself) want to get a quick and cheap bite to eat. Order-at-counter type food. No waiters, no tablecloth, grab and go.
  3. I seem to remember in Ramsay's Boiling Point, it seems like the very first night he opened up his own place, the A/C went kaput. So I sensed that it was for GR, "I suffered through this, you can suffer through this too."
  4. bjgeraci

    Beer

    It's more like 45 minutes because you'll be taking the Causeway across the Lake Pontchartrain, then it's I guess another 15 minutes away once you're over there. Closer to town, there are several brewpubs in the city. I like Crescent City Brewhouse for their food as well as their beers; Goron Biersch (a national chain) opened up a place near the casino last year; Zea in Clearview Mall and Esplanade mall make their own beers - as well as their own soft drinks; there's a place in MidCity off Canal and Carrollton ("Acadian something" ?) that I think is also a brewpub.
  5. Sorry to hear that since August tends to bring low hotel prices and good dinner specials. I still have memories of great meals and deals at the Pelican Club & Brennan's during that period. The other time of the year for great rates and specials starts a few weeks before Christmas because the hotels have "Papa Noel" special rates that you have to ask for. Along with that, there are Revillion menus from Dec 1- Dec 24th, which is a special fixed price (and usually a great deal) menu from a lot of the great restaurants in the French Quarter.
  6. One thing I have learned to appreciate in Paul Prudhomme's later cookbooks ("Louisiana Taste", "Kitchen Expedition") is that he goes through and explains in detail what the food should taste like at different times during the recipe. This also comes out of his ideas about seasoning things not all at once, but in stages. I've also had great luck with recipes from "Austin Leslie's Creole-Soul: New Orleans' Cooking With a Soulful Twist".
  7. Ok, My wife and I made it Saturday May 1st from 11:00 am until 6:00 pm when the dark clouds really looked ominous. Here's the food-related info: I started with my usual: Cochon de Lait poboy and she started with her usual: oyster artichoke soup in a bread bowl. Then I ate a crawfish sack. Then it was off to the contemporary crafts where I picked up some white chocolate bread pudding and a ice cafe au lait in short order as well as some nice jewelry and pottery. My wife heard that there is a big fee to get one of the 60 stands in the Contemporary craft area and that when one owner asked, she found out that she was among 13,000 (!) owners competing for the 60 spaces. Okay, The two of us split a Vietmanese beef on vermicelli with cucumbers / mint / peanuts, then it was into the grandstand for the cooking demonstrations --- Susan Spicer of Bayona did a salad with quail, spiced pecans, pear, celery, and a sweet emulsified dressing. I liked it a lot because she would give some insight of why she did something one way and not the other. I also like Susan a lot; she's very friendly, involved in Share our Strength organization; and just a wonderful human being. Okay. From there, over to the Louisiana Craft exhibits, then we got a sugar-free snowball and a mango freeze (YUMMY!!!!) and headed to the Congo square area where we picked up more stuff to buy. Then to the Congo Square food section where I got a chocolate espresso pie (which was mostly "frozen" and the pie was a little bit like a cookie texture), then Prejean's fabulous quail / andouille / duck gumbo which has a bounty of flavor. It has some heat, but enough to tingle, not too much to drown out the other flavors. Stopped by the Acura tent to check out the new models, then to the Cajun Cabin in front of the grandstand (while my wife got some Rose Mint Tea) to see the Yakka Mein demo, which is noodles, meat, green onion, broth, soy sauce, Tabasco, and 1/2 hard-boiled egg. A Chinese-Soul New Orleans dish. Then back to the grandstand where the 2nd floor has nice seats to sit at, the ones in front have tables in front of you, and I kind of napped there for a while --- I do this every year. Okay, back by getting a Granita in the grandstand, then we were at the phase where we looked at the remaining food coupons in the book and starting giving them to people in line. What else did we get? I remember couscous with yogurt sauce (with pineapples and coconut ) which is really really refreshing, picked up some coconut macaroons to take home with us, another sugar-free snowball, and I think I left something else out.... This was the only day we were able to go, there was more food that I would have loved to get on another day: Veggie Platter at Mona's, BBQ Oysters, Cuban sandwich, gator po-boy, cracklins, navajo fry bread, sausage bread, gambian food, Tunisian food, veggie spring rolls, strawberry lemonade, cannolli.... I miss the Tropical Isle salad made by Kids in Crisis project. Think Romaine & fruit pieces & coconut & nuts & a blue cheese vinegarette. And the day ended with the two of us sitting by the fence listening to Marcia Ball singing and we decided to leave at 6:00pm when the clouds really looked black, but we had a full day and a fun day.
  8. What I find hard to believe about Uglesich's are: They have a web site now: http://www.uglesichs.com/ They're releasing a cookbook with their "secret" recipes this fall.
  9. I don't know how much time you'll have, but I always enjoyed the New Orleans School of Cooking on the same block as NOLA. It was a 2-3 hour cooking class usually composed of gumbo, jambalaya, bread pudding, and pralines. You get the recipes and it's usually led by an entertaining person, for $25 per person. It also has a store where you can buy some spices and goodies to go. Too bad you're not going to be in town the following weekend; that's the time of the year where New Orleans puts out a lot of St. Joseph's altars. It comes from the big Sicilian heritage in New Orleans. Many years ago in Sicily, there was a drought and a famine and the people prayed to St. Joseph for relief---in exchange they would erect altars in his honor. Needless to say, the rains came, the famine was over, and the altars are built even to this day. I know that you're not breakfast eaters, but in New Orleans we can run the gamut from Cafe DuMonde (near Jackson Square), La Marquise (my favorite on Chartres near Jackson Square) to Brennan's on Royal, where breakfast can easily run $50 per person and will be enough food for lunch and about 1/2 a dinner. A cheap place in the CBD that I like for breakfast is Mother's (on Poydras & Tchoupitoulas) which has an early bird special $4.25---including coffee or OJ. I particularly love their biscuits there. They specialize in debris (Roast beef pieces in its own gravy), and baked ham with the wonderful charred exterior. Finally, if you get tired of "New Orleans" food and you just want a sandwich or a burger, I'd like to recommend Cafe Maspero's on Decatur. It's always crowded, and it's a place that a lot of locals like.
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