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Everything posted by azurite

  1. Thanks for all your responses so far and Shelly59 for your advice regarding the neighborhood around the hotel. azurite
  2. I'm going to be staying in downtown Wilmington, DE, for a few days at the end of April for a meeting. I'll have two evenings when I can choose where I eat dinner, although I won't have a car either evening. Taking a bus (if there is metro bus service in Wilmington), a taxi or van (if enough people want to go to the same place) is possible so I'm not restricted to places in walking distance although I like being able to walk to/from. I'm staying at the Doubletree (700 N. King St.) & anywhere from 2-3 to 5-6 other people may want to share my choice of eating place. It'll be Saturday & Monday evenings. I'm not much of a meat eater and like to eat local foods when possible, but otherwise have no strong dislikes/preferences. One of the people who'll probably eat w/me has expressed a longing for many fresh veg and/or fruit. Neither I, nor anyone likely to be with me, is going to want a many course expensive meal, probably more like $30-45/person excluding any alcohol, if that's possible. We have a per diem meal allowance & I think most people try to stay within the allowance. Almost any kind of ethnic food is fine with me, although I've yet to have opportunity to try Peruvian or Ethiopian food (but what I've read about them sounds promising) and probably ok with most of the other meeting attendees who are mostly likely to decide to go with wherever I choose. Domaine Hudson has been mentioned as a possibility. I've gotten some very good suggestions from eGullet members for other cities, for which I & the people who've eaten with me have been thankful. Having some recommendations or suggestions on where to eat has made a real difference to me when I've been in an unfamiliar city for a few days on business. Thanks in advance for your suggestions and advice. azurite
  3. I didn't see this program so perhaps I shouldn't say anything, but . . . I read a biography of Alice Waters last year & remember reading that she thought it was fine to fly (by jet) the "best" produce from a farm in Socal for her restaurant. Apparently the produce is organically grown on a family farm. That didn't make much sense to me. She's also far from the only one pushing for or working on edible schoolyards. The Master Gardeners in my area have been helping kids to have produce gardens at school for years. I think this area, even though it's still a mostly rural & not well off area, does try to buy some local food for its meal programs. In the last few years, some dedicated MGers have also started additional community gardens (one of which, near a lighthouse on BLM land, kids help grow everything) in the past 3 years or so. That said, it sometimes seems, that some trends or projects flourish more strongly when there's someone, a celebrity or whomever, who people can say, oh, he/she is doing that, maybe I will try it or push for it too. So if Alice Waters encourages more people to buy at farmers' markets, join CSAs, push for/volunteer to help start gardens at local schools or start a veg garden at home or at a community garden, more power to her. My own "organic/local" heroes are: (1) a friend who's gardened organically for 30+ years at her current home &, at one time, had a veg garden that was about an acre (she sold some of her corn & strawberries then) ,plus a variety of fruit trees, that met all of her then family's veg & fruit needs, and probably those of some of her friends. She also (at one time), grew & cured her own olives, made a variety of her own cheeses from goats she raised & milked herself, has pretty much bred a flint corn variety that's adapted to her climate through years of selection, and who may have serendipitously "bred" a new apple variety just by planting apple seeds from time to time (to see what would happen) or protecting volunteer apple seedlings, just to see how the fruit tastes when the tree eventually bears fruit. (2) the (former) manager of a local natural foods co-op who played a major role in keeping the co-op alive through a difficult period, recruiting new board members, & demonstrating near genius in finding some local growers for some produce so not all of the produce had to be shipped in from the valley or CA and (3) all the Master Gardeners who work with the public & school kids to start & maintain the school and community gardens.
  4. Deborah Madison (Vegetable Soups) has a "comfort food" soup that uses quinoa (1 cup uncooked). Other ingredients are: two potatoes, a bunch of spinach, 1/4 lb or so of feta cheese, corn (a cup or so, the recipe calls for 2 ears of corn) and a jalapeno pepper. Some salt & pepper to taste. I really like the soup. It's fairly fast to make & not complicated. You can vary the ingredient proportions somewhat depending on what you've got on hand & still get a tasty soup. She includes an earlier version of this soup in "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone." Ms. Madison suggests rinsing the quinoa before you cook it, to rinse off any remaining saponins (bitter). Probably there are other recipes around, maybe a search of epicurious.com would yield some interesting recipes? I'd guess you could substitute quinoa for rice or tiny pastas in some soup recipes, particularly the tiny pastas as quinoa cooks fairly rapidly. azurite
  5. There were real delis on Long Island?
  6. The small farm that's sold chicken & eggs at the local Saturday market (produce, herbs, crafts, music) for the past two years, had something new on its list of what's for sale this year: chicken feet. When I asked what the chicken feet were being used for, the farmer said that the local restaurants buy the chicken feet for making stock. Has anyone used chicken feet for this purpose? Have any observations on how a stock made from chicken feet compares w/one made from chicken backs & necks? I'm ready to try chicken feet as it seems to be impossible to get chicken backs in my area. I've tried the local farm, a mobile butcher, & the area supermarkets, no chicken backs (except from whole chickens), necks, available.
  7. I grew more of my own produce this summer than I have in years (which isn't saying much actually). I still have lettuce, onions, scallions, parsley & brussel sprouts growing & potatoes still in the ground. The parsley overwinters, as does the sorrel, I'm not sure if the lettuce will or not. Helped a friend pick her fruit (berries, plums, cherries, grapes), so she gave me some, I froze, dried fruit & made some plum chutney. She made some grape juice & gave me a quart, plus some apple butter & she'll probably give me some of the apple jack or cider she's working on now. I did a little hazelnut picking (picking up from the ground) & some shelling for the same friend, so I may get some of those (I did last year). Some more berries from my own garden or picked at another friend's place. I won't be buying any dried fruit for breakfast (on cereal) this winter & probably into the spring--what I dried will be enough--first time I've managed that. What I've frozen will be desserts or treats over the winter & into the spring. I was given two red currant bushes this spring--they yielded about 7 berries this year (but they tasted really good!), I hope for a larger harvest next year. I've paid more attention to sales, I kept checking a local store's ads to see when wild sockeye & a little later, coho (I think it was coho) went on sale in September so I would be sure to buy enough for the winter. Didn't even think about buying halibut because of the price/lb. Between the fish & the one whole chicken I bought from a local farmer, that's my non-legume/bean/nut protein for the winter, including dinner for a few friends from time to time. That's more long term planning then I did, say, 3 years ago. I can & do order organic flour, a case of canned tomatoes, lentils, etc., in bulk through my local food co-op & I've done that off & on as, especially if you split items like a 25 lb bag of lentils between 3 or 4 co-buyers, you can save a fair amount of money (lower markup), even if you're buying organic. Have had a Costco membership for years--been buying their OG evoo & some other items for the past year or two, after first checking to see if the prices really are less (sometimes the local supermarkets can match or even better Costco prices for TP & a few other groceries). I am definitely sticking to my lists much more consistently. azurite
  8. Thanks for the additional suggestions. It looks as though I'll be arriving too late to go out for dinner on the one free evening we have, but I've been passing along all the suggestions listed to the several people I would've been eating with were I arriving in LA about 3 hours earlier. They say thank you too. azurite
  9. Rjwong & JFLinLA, Thanks for your suggestions-sounds as though we'll have quite a few places to choose from. I probably didn't make clear that we'll be free to choose a place to eat on Friday evening & perhaps again on Sunday. I'm staying a little longer than some of the other committee members so I may be able to eat breakfast outside the hotel (if I wish) before continuing on to side trip for members. Then I'll be catching a train going north. I'll pass on your suggestions. azurite
  10. I'm going to LA for a meeting in early November--we'll be staying and meeting in the Wilshire Grand, which (according to its website) is between Wilshire & 7th, or near/on Wilshire & Figueroa St. Friday evening we're on our own, so I hope I can get some suggestions for some interesting places for dinner that are moderately priced & not far from the hotel. Unless we could take the subway (is that what it's called in LA? Metro?) most of the way to a restaurant further away. We won't have cars but taxis (if there are taxis in LA) or vans are a possibility although it'd be easiest if walking or taking the subway/metro is possible. Not that I know what areas of LA are ok to walk around in during the evening & which aren't (perhaps one of you will know?). Moderate means around $35 for an entree. Asian, Middle eastern food, it's all ok. Some of us come from areas that may have restaurants that serve fairly good regional (US regional) food but anything else is mediocre--so any suggestions for good Chinese (all regions), Indian, Peruvian, Iranian, Thai, Russian . . .. will be well received. The hotel seems to have several eating places but I have no idea how good/bad they are. It'd be nice not to have to eat in the hotel as we are already spending so much time there/inside. I'm hoping that LA (including the part of LA I'll be staying at) is like Manhattan & Queens (the boroughs I know best even though I just visit NY these days), you can eat well w/out spending alot. TIA, azurite
  11. Someone was asking about groups that are actually helping low income people get better food? One organization is the Master Gardeners (State Agricultural Extension Service). That's just the one that comes to mind at the moment and that I personally am familiar with. I've read articles about groups in other areas. In my area, which is a rural/semi-rural, resort coastal county (w/plenty of low income people), the Master Gardeners have: (1) built & help people grow veg & herbs in a number of raised beds in the front yard of our local Food pantry building--the people using the raised beds are low income; (2) started & help kids plant & work in at least 3 school yard gardens, the kids get some of the produce & I think any surplus may be donated to the local food pantries; (3) a garden for veg, herbs, on land run by the BLM, upon which is also a tourist attraction (a lighthouse). MGers supervise, kids who are interested plant, weed, get some of the produce, any surplus is, I believe, donated to the food pantry; (4) at least two other community gardens in other parts of the county have been started by Master Gardeners. As far as I know, spaces or beds in these community gardens are available for use by any resident, low income or mid income. A friend of mine who is low income, has a large veg garden & an ever multiplying container garden just outside her house. She lives in a rural part of the county & has a fair amount of land (bought when she was married & the land was cheap). She has apples, two kinds of plums, pears, quinces & cherries, raspberries, strawberries, Tayberries, blueberries, hazels (hazelnuts), black walnuts. She's not able to pick everything herself now & her kids are gone, so I help as do some of her neighbors. In return, we get fresh produce. She grows cucumbers for me as it doesn't get hot enough where I live to grow much (without cold frames or a greenhouse) other than cool weather crops like salad greens, potatoes, herbs, cole crops. Her garden produces beets, flint & sweet corn, brussel sprouts, asparagus, a seemingly endless supply of self-seeded kale, winter squash, summer squash, snap peas, Romano beans, yard long beans (for the first time), carrots & many many potatoes. When I first met this person, her garden was large enough to keep a family of four supplied with produce almost all year round (she had a large freezer). She also has chickens & sells some of the eggs. The chickens eat her food discards, any weeds & produce not only eggs but great fertilizer. Her son & his partner, who live in a city apartment in a moderate sized city while attending college/working, meet a fair % of their herb/fresh produce needs through container growing on their balcony. A disabled friend, who lives in a subsidized apt. complex in a moderate sized suburb, grows some of her produce (& enough to freeze some) in a few of the 10 or 12 raised beds on the property of the apt. complex. All of these gardeners are essentially micro-producers. I grew enough lettuce & other greens for myself for all of the spring & summer in two large containers. If I can figure out a way to build something cloche-like over them that won't blow away in the high wind winter storms, I can probably keep myself supplied with greens & cilantro all year around. For several years, in a relatively small plot, I grew enough potatoes to meet my needs for almost all winter. I have two blueberry bushes, one huckleberry bush & get enough berries to freeze some. Next year I plan to start enough onions from seed to try to meet at least 6 months worth of my needs. That will all be microproduction & it will all be organically grown. I'm not working full time right now but I had a bigger garden during part of the time I was working full time. I do not have a large lot, some of it is too shaded for growing veg or fruit & the climate is such that I am limited in what I can grow without a greenhouse and/or wind protection. Despite those limitations, I could grow a substantially larger % of my produce requirements or wants then I do. This is a long post & I'm sorry if it seems too long but these are issues that are important to me. I guess my point is that there are low income people who grow quite a bit of their own produce and are, essentially, micro producers. I started growing greens in containers because I was tired of paying what seemed like increasingly high prices for organic produce like lettuce but had gotten temporarily tired of dealing w/some problems concerning my veg garden. I had to pay for the containers & soil, & a heating pad (to start seeds), but after that, my main cost has been seeds-- I believe that, over a 3-4 year period, I am saving money by being a microproducer. I save some seeds from some of what I grow. Oh, for the record, I am not Italian & I grew up in suburban/urban areas, although my father had a large veg garden & some fruit trees in the backyard of our first house. Second point is that, yes, there are organizations, such as the Master Gardener program, offered by the Agricultural extension service, who are working to help low income people get access to fresh produce & have the opportunity to grow their own. Community service of some kind is a part of the requirements for becoming certified as a Master Gardener. Agricultural extension offices exist pretty much everywhere in the US, not just in a rural or semi-rural counties. There is at least one Ag Extension office in Nassau county, on Long Island, NY, it has a Master Gardeners' program & that's definitely not a rural area. Does that program or its members focus on establishing community gardens? I don't know. As for food not being political, good luck. When Earl Butz, a former Sec'y of Agriculture, effectively declared war on small farmers in favor of large corporate farms, it was political. It is political when a new Farm bill continues to give huge subsidies to corporate ag but a relatively miniscule amount to small farmers & organic farmers. It is political when small farmers who happen to be black had to file a class action against the USDA to obtain their share of the subsidies, i.e., they successfully alleged discrimination in how subsidies were awarded (& may not yet have collected their awards, despite having gotten a favorable decision). It is political when McD's habitually sues (for slander/libel) those who criticise its food, see the "McLibel" case in the UK. That particular lawsuit--which became the longest running civil suit in England--rather backfired on McD's when two of the defendants chose to fight (pretty much on a pro se or unrepresented basis). They ended up winning on several counts, losing on others. I like Gary Nabhan's approach. He & some other started a native seeds/SEARCH program to help the preservation of heirloom seeds of food plants. He wrote, "Coming Home to Eat" & was editor of a book titled "Renewing America's Food Traditions". In one of his books he includes a quote that goes something like, if you want to save it, you gotta eat it. According to his website, he was going to give a talk or speech at the Slow Food thing in SF. azurite
  12. Chris, Outstanding post. Thank you for an excellent description of the process. The area I live in has several school gardens & some community gardens--at least one of the community gardens has children (I am not sure of the age range) doing most of the planning & work. The local Master Gardeners do much of the organizing & supervision--I'll have to ask a few of the MGers I know how they set things up with the schools. Maybe I should print out your response for them . . .. azurite
  13. Thanks to everyone who's responded so far. At the moment, based on what I've read here & on looking at menus on websites, Vermillon is my first choice. But I'll be passing on most of the suggestions to the person who's in charge of making travel/hotel/etc arrangements. azurite
  14. Years ago, a friend who keeps a small flock of chickens had a surplus of young males/cocks. You don't want to have more than one or two roosters around, if you have more they fight w/each other and sexually harass the hens, who then don't lay well. So they decided to slaughter the surplus. I decided it was time I saw & assisted in the slaughter & prep of one meat source. I'd eaten alot of chicken, I thought it was time to see how it was done. I didn't do any of killing, just witnessed it, but I helped with everything else. The actual killing of the chicken might've been a problem for me, but the rest of it wasn't (except that I wasn't good at it, so it took me longer to locate & remove the internal organs, then my friend who's had alot more experience). Maybe it wasn't a problem because I'd done the various biology dissections you do in HS & college if you take any biology labs. It'd be harder with larger animals, I think, if only physically & I'm not sure how I'd deal with bleeding a larger animal. Although I've never assisted with the slaughter & prep of any other animal, I think it's a mark of respect to do so if one can. Crowded feedlots & inhumane, assembly line slaughterhouses--they're not so good for animals or the workers. It'd be better if we could all go the 4H or small farm route, although I think more people would have to eat alot less meat for that to be possible. I think this is an excellent thread.
  15. Thanks! Sounds like there's ample variety to suit just about everyone's taste. azurite
  16. I'll be attending a meeting towards the end of April in Alexandria, VA. All those attending will be staying at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center. On Saturday evening, attendees are free to eat dinner where they please--it's a fairly small volunteer organization so we often sort ourselves into 2 or 3 (or 4) small groups, depending on who wants to eat where. I'm hoping to get the names (& website addresses, if available) of a variety of inexpensive (but not McDonald's) to mid range restaurants. I'm not at all familiar with what kinds of places Alexandria has (probably most people won't want to go all that far from Alexandria). I like (and know a few others like), Indian, Thai, Chinese (all kinds probably Szechuan for sure), Italian. Fish, vegetarian is fine with me, I think some other members are more partial to a place w/good beef and generally alot of meat. My own preference would be to try a restaurant that cooked with local produce/meats as much as possible--just to see what the chef/cooks come up with. My sister lives in another part of northern VA, & a year or so ago we went to a farmers' market not far from where she lives and I was impressed with the range of produce & fruit (the fruit was mostly apples, but really good apples & cider) available in mid-October, plus the availability of some good organically grown produce. I'd be happy with 5 or 6 suggestions of places offering good food at a moderate/medium range price (even if they don't use local produce/meats/fish). Don't think there'd be any more than 7-9 people choosing to eat the the same place. Don't know for sure, as depending on where we meet, more spouses, SOs, adult children of members, may join members for dinner on Saturday. If I haven't supplied enough information, let me know. I've started a separate thread from the other thread requesting information about restaurants in Alexandria as it seemed the poster was planning on spending a great deal more money on his/her meal than the meeting attendees will want to spend. Thanks in advance. azurite
  17. I thought I'd bump up this topic as I've been wondering how everyone's nocino and/or vin de noix had come out. I made vin de noir noix (I used black walnuts from a friend's tree) this summer and in January opened two bottles, at different times, to share with friends. So far, everyone who's tasted it seems to like it--tastes ok to me (I don't really what it's supposed to taste like). I used an adaptation of Foodman's recipe for vin de noix--I forgot to write down exactly what I used or omitted, but I believe I used less sugar and did not add one of the spices listed. I followed Abra's suggestion on waiting a fairly long time before opening my bottles (after filtering the liquid & transferring it to wine bottles) and think the liqueur definitely benefited from the extra time. Now I think I might ask the guy I used to buy all my wine from (he & his wife sold their wine shop/small restaurant business around two years ago & retired) if he and his wife would like to come over to do a tasting. He's a nice man (his wife is also a very pleasant person), still writes a wine column for the local paper, but I think since he has so much expertise I feel a little intimidated. But I'll probably ask him, all he can do is laugh or spit out the liqueur (or both). How did your nocino or vin de noix turn out? Slightly OT -- my friend & I later gathered some ripe black walnuts and eventually cracked open quite a few. The nutmeat is very delicious--substantially tastier than English walnuts I thought. But given how hard the shells are, and how many shells were empty, I now understand why you don't find black walnuts in the store (shelled or unshelled)--or I've never seen them (maybe at some farmers' markets?). Beautiful trees though. azurite
  18. I've used millet only ground into a flour--I like to use half a cup when I make a semi-whole grain bread. A friend's substituted millet flour for wheat flour for breading chicken and has enjoyed what she calls the "nutty" flavor of millet combined w/the chicken. Deborah Madison has a very good soup recipe using quinoa. It's in her "Vegetable Soups" cookbook (I think there's a version of the recipe in one of her earlier cookbooks)--besides the quinoa, it includes spinach, feta cheese, a jalapeno pepper & corn. Delicious. I was paging through the book when I saw her describe this soup as comfort food--had to try it because it didn't look as though it'd be a comfort food. But after I made the soup, I agreed with her. I think I've tried only one or two other ways of using quinoa. The seeds tend to bounce and roll away (prior to cooking), that can be a bit exasperating if I'm in a hurry (or get clumsy). Haven't tried amaranth yet. I eat oat groats regularly (hot breakfast) & often include some cooked steel cut oats when making bread. Haven't tried teff or kamut yet. azurite
  19. The food pantry in my town accepts nothing in glass jars. However, it does accept fresh veggies & fruit--and the Master Gardeners in the area have set up some raised beds on the property of the food pantry. Low income people who want to grow some fresh veggies in the beds sign up and a few Master Gardeners are around to offer help & assistance if it's needed (I think seeds & perhaps some starts may be donated). Another garden on BLM land (I think a few MGs & kids run that one) donates much of its produce to the food pantry. The food pantry also offers a summer meal program for low income kids--otherwise some of them would have less to eat during the summer then they do during the school year. There are usually several (or more) food drives during the year--the local post office helps with two of them--a plastic bag is left in your box and your mail carrier will (supposedly)pick up the filled bag on a given date, if it's left by your mailbox. Except that for the past two years, my mail carrier hasn't, so I've had to drop off the bag at the post office or, if I have time when the pantry's open, directly to the food pantry. I try to buy stuff on sale at the local natural foods co-op during the year--so if I give boxes of mac & cheese, it's a bit better quality, ditto canned chili, etc. I tend to give dried pasta, bags of rice, boxes of mac & cheese, & canned goods (veg, fruit, soup, chili) & cans of tuna. One year my small veg garden yielded a substantial potato surplus, so I took some potatoes to the food pantry. A friend of mine, now deceased, used to donate a portion of his retirement income to the food pantry, so I try to send a check every year to the food pantry in his memory. The summer meal program seems particularly worthwhile. This fall our food pantry (like many others in the US) almost ran out of food/money. Fortunately, enough people & businesses came through w/donations to keep it going. Slightly OT, I understand Congress is (finally!) considering increasing the amount of foodstamps (and increasing the qualifying level of income) and more veg/fruit/grain has been added to WIC foods. azurite azurite
  20. To everyone who contributed suggestions--thanks very much. I sent most of them on to the administrator of the volunteer organization that's meeting in New Orleans later this month and she's going to make up a list of whichever places she thinks will best meet every taste or desire. I think she's leaning towards Creole/Cajun places as she feels that's NO's specialties. A few people have told me their desire to have a beignet at one place or another (that they've chosen) so I guess they'll be going out for breakfast. I come awake pretty slowly in the morning so I doubt if I'll make it out of the hotel unless it's for a walk (I can manage walking, it's thinking and eating that can be difficult) although it's an attractive idea. Thanks again, and I don't know how to close a thread but if I can do it by saying, this thread's now closed. azurite
  21. Possibly some ethnic variety--the Lonely Planet book on New Orleans (dated well after Katrina) mentions that a fair number of Vietnamese in NO and so there were some good Vietnamese restaurants (a kind of food i cannot find where I live unless I make it myself or travel 90 miles) although the book itself mentions only one (the Lemongrass Cafe). I wondered if there are any within say, a mile or two of the Doubletree hotel? Other than that, I guess the same parameters. I think the restaurant you listed that serves steaks will satisfy those who appreciate alot of beef on their plate. The guidelines were: $50 max or not much over, say $60 per person; within a 4 mile range or so of the Doubletree restaurant on Canal (although the closer the better)--my personal preference is for fish/seafood (except for oysters & mussels, unless it's soup), spicy is fine, fried is ok but not desireable, almost any ethnic variety of food (New Orleanian, Asian, Indian, Mexican, Latin American . . . ). However, others are more "American" food oriented, i.e. more meat & potatoes w/one other veg, not spicy) and possibly attendees with the more conservative preference might also go for Italian--if it's what people often expect to be "Italian" (not northern Italian). No vegans that I know of. Dinner is the only meal we'll be eating out as far as I know. Thanks so much for your suggestions. azurite
  22. Organic oat groats or steel cut oats, both from bulk bins at a food co-op. I used to eat Bob's Red Mill steel cut oats until I discovered the co-op had steel cut oats in bulk for less and they taste just as good to me. Lately I've been eating the oat groats more often. Boil water (3:1 ratio), put in 1/3 cup oat groats, wait until simmers, cover, find something else to do for 50 minutes or so (I eat this most often on weekends or when I can work at home in the morning). Last year, a friend had a big crop of prune plums, so big she decided to dry some of it. Because I helped her pick the plums, I got several sandwich sized plastic bags of dried plums (or prunes). For awhile I didn't know what to do with them besides eat them as a snack--and then I happened to have some extra apple cider, and I decided to see how the dried plums would taste if hydrated in the apple cider--answer: very good. Tried stirring them into cooked oats --yum! Topped with plain Nancy's yogurt--extra yum. Unfortunately, I eventually ate all the dried plums. But I remembered I had some dried apple slices, and bought some dried mango slices, and when I ran out of apple cider, I've tried a variety of other juices (often whatever's on sale) to hydrate the dried fruit. So far, pretty much everything has tasted good and it was another good year for plums so now I've got more dried prune plums. I've never tried cooking the oat groats or steel cuts oats in a liquid other than water--definitely seems like something to try next. azurite
  23. Thanks, TAPrice, for your suggestions. Maybe a few more? Although I'm already intrigued by the idea of getting to sample Latin American/Spanish food . Or maybe one of two of your other suggestions . . . Bayona, the contemporary American place you mentioned and/or La Boca might work well for people who really prefer beef or steak. I think that if I offer a fair variety then after that, it's up to the administrator to deal with anyone really fussy. I only wish we didn't spend most of our time in meetings. At least this time I won't be frazzled because I've flown from west to east, but will have taken the train from NY to NO, so plenty of time to adjust to the time difference between the two cities plus it's east to west so the time change is helpful to me (not an early riser by preference). Thanks again to everyone who's posted. azurite
  24. Thanks, cfg & joiei, for your suggestions! Joiei, your suggestion about taking the ferry sounds wonderful. I don't know if I'll have time to try it, but I know of two other people who are going down before the meeting starts, so they'll have a free day or part of the day, so I'll pass on your ferry suggestion to them. azurite
  25. I've looked at the current threads for Louisiana several times over the past few weeks and haven't seen any one thread that answers my question(s), so I'm going to start a new thread. If I've missed an older thread that did supply the answers to my questions, I apologize for being redundant and if you point me to the older thread, I'll read through it. I'm going to be in New Orleans for a 2 day meeting over the last weekend in October. It's a meeting of smallish volunteer organization that draws members from around the country (we have a national meeting 2x/year). I think the number of people attending will be around 25-30 people. There's a variety of food preferences--some people are adventurous and will be looking forward to this meeting partly because it'll give them a chance to sample food in a city internationally known for its food and restaurants. Others are (I believe) more conservative and prefer a more meat & potatoes meal. We'll be staying in a hotel in what I'm told is the business district (I've never been to NO)--the hotel is on 300 Canal Street. I mention that because if the area's ok, some of us might want to walk to wherever we're eating. I think the price range is probably from $35 to $55/person (not including tip) although I suppose I could be overestimating what people are willing to spend. I believe our per diem is $50/person so possibly the majority may want to limit their meal cost accordingly. I'd guess that means staying in the middle range of restaurants (I hope it doesn't mean only low end places, although if they're good, it doesn't matter). We have only one evening (Saturday) where we can choose where to eat--the other evening is catered by the hotel or someone as are all other meals. For the last meeting, we (the administrator and I) came up with three restaurants for people to choose from. The three suggested offered a reasonable variety of types of food (Indian, Italian and M&P), people let the administrator know where they wanted to go, she made reservations, and people seemed happy with a greater choice of places to eat than had been offered at prior conferences. I'd like to reproduce this success in New Orleans if that's possible (with all that I've heard about NO's food & chefs, it's difficult to believe it's not possible)--or at least I hope that with the assistance of eGulleteers I can. That's who helped me out with suggestions for the last conference. Within walking distance (for me, that'd be a half mile or more, if it's a safe area to walk at night but that might be more than some people would want to do) isn't an absolute limitation. I like to walk, especially after I've been traveling, but within cab distance is fine too. Say a 1-5 mile radius? I'm looking for about 5-7 sitdown restaurants, that offer meals within the price range I've listed above, and ranging from offering meat/steak & potatoes style food or what's sometimes referred to as traditional American (although it seems like sort of a misnomer to me), to whatever foods New Orleans is best at in your opinion. I like fish, shellfish, except for mussels & oysters, and I enjoy spicy foods, but I'm not that big a meat eater although other attendees might enjoy a good barbecue place (that's three types of food already). I don't know if time of eating makes a difference, if it does I think it'd be around 7:30-8pm. Any suggestions you can offer will be much appreciated. Azurite
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