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  1. Hi there, My boyfriend and I are going to be getting away--FINALLY!--for a much needed vacation. This will be my first time to New Orleans and I want to make sure i am not missing anything. We will be there a week! I work for an accoladed fine dining restaurant group and have been doing a ton of research, trying to make sure I get to see and eat everything! We are staying in the French Quarter the first night and at the Chimes the rest of the time. We will have a car and will also use the streetcars often. We are extremely active . I would love some feedback on what I have planned and what I have missed! I have been reading this forum for a few weeks and have really enjoyed reading all of the advice and trip reports! Any insight would be greatly appreciated! Sunday Dinner: Acme Oysters Monday Lunch: Willie Mae’s Activity: Zoo/Carriage Ride/Explore the City Dinner: Mila Tuesday Lunch: Luizza's by the track Activity: Historic Cemetary Tour 1:00 Dinner: Cochon Wednesday Lunch: Pick up Muffelata at Central Grocery and take with us Activity: Honey Island Swamp Tour/ UCM Museum Dinner: Upperline Thursday Activity: 9th ward bike tour @9:30am Lunch: Parkway Bakery Dinner: Lola’s Friday Lunch: Galatoire’s Activity: Laura Plantation Dinner: August Saturday Breakfast: Brennan's Activity: Le Monde Creole Tour 10:30 Lunch: Bayona Activity: Insectatarium/ Aquarium Dinner: Stella Sunday Brunch: Commander’s Palace 11:00 am Go to Cochon Butcher for goodies for home. Stop for ice on way home… Thanks so much!!!!
  2. Leaving the decision of whether or not to add a grat to a guest's bill to the serving staff can be viewed as discrimination. I worked in a restaurant that got sued and lost their tail because of a server's decision on this matter. In my restaurant, the staff is required to add a gratuity of 18% of all parties of 8 or more. When we opened, I let them in on making the decision on whether or not we would have a grat policy. They wanted the safety net. The servers must also stamp the bill with a "gratuity was added" stamp and let the guest know verbally that the gratuity had been applied.
  3. Turner Hall is my favorite fish fry, but is only held on Fridays. I love their perch (they will send you a free refill of any fish if you ask) and I think they have the best potato pancakes in town. I also like Serb Hall, but for entirely different reasons. I had really great service there and really liked the classic feel of the restaurant. I recently hit Stonefly Brewery for fish fry and had my first experience with fried smelt. Absolutely delicious! My cheap guilty pleasures consist of the butterburger (double with cheese) from Solly's, the parriada from El Senorial, 2 for 1 oysters at the Milwaukee City Market on Thursdays, the asian slaw with the ramen in it from Juniper 61 or Cafe Lulu, custard from Kopp's, and breakfast at Ted's or John's Sandwich Shop on North. Oh, and I really love Sonic.
  4. We are traveling to Chicago unexpectantly this Monday and are looking for a place to dine that we haven't been to. One of our good friends suggested Boca. Has anyone been there that could offer some opinions? Otherwise are there any other suggestions?
  5. Hello! Most grocery stores are open the day of Thanksgiving until around 4 pm. You will have better dining luck in Green Bay than in the Depere area. Honestly, all of my favorite Green Bay dining experiences are pretty casual. I love Kroll's (there is an east and west side location) for burgers and some of the best fried mushrooms and cheese curds! Los Banditos is my favorite place for americanized Mexican. (I typically like authentic cuisine, but their chile con queso is almost drug-like addicting.) I grew up on Chili John's Chili (There is a location in Lambeau Field.) If you are looking for fine dining, Hinterland is probably the best choice, although their wine list is incredibly overpriced. Let me know what you are looking for and I may be able to give you some more specific options! As for Milwaukee (my current residence), I can give you lots of suggestions in all categories. In my opinion, the best restaurants in town are Ristorante Bartolotta, Mr. B's, Sanford, El Senorial and Solly's and Elsa's. Ristorante Bartolotta is an authentic Italian restaurant in Wauwatosa. My favorite restaurant in the city! The duck pappardelle is amazing! They are owned by the Bartolotta Family, Paul Bartolotta is the chef of Ristorante Bartolotta in the Wynn in Las Vegas and is pretty renowned. (He was on Iron Chef last week.) The Bartolotta's own 4 restaurant in Milwaukee and their Corporate chef housed in Milwaukee just took home the James Beard award for best chef in the midwest for their French concept, Lake Park Bistro. Mr. B's is their steakhouse in Brookfield (wood-burning oven) and their steaks are out of this world. Sandford is another renowned restaurant in Milwaukee. It is owned by Sandy D'Amato who is also a James Beard Award winner. The menu offers seasonal dishes as well as a chef's tasting menu, which in my opinion is the way to go! Service here is wonderful. El Senorial is a dive, but is the best authentic Mexican in town. They do a dish called "parriada" which is a sizzling platter of short ribs, steak, chile rubbed chicken, chorizo, chicken wings, onions, peppers, etc. served with tortillas and sour cream. Their salsa and horchata is also amazing and you can feed a family for 20 bucks! Solly's is the home of the best butter burger I have ever have... (Better than Sobelman's and Kopp's in my opinion, which are their main competitors, but Kopp's is great if your a custard fan!) Elsa's is an lounge downtown that serves food. They're known for their wings, burgers and chicken sandwiches. It's a great place to grab a cocktail and people watch. It's owned by the same people that own Kopps! Let me know if I can answer any specific questions for you! I hope this helps!
  6. We will be staying at the Sofitel Water Tower (downtown), but don't mind driving or taking a taxi to other neighborhoods if it is worth it. We just LOVE to eat! I have not been to Frontera Grill or Topolobampo yet? Any comparisons?
  7. My boyfriend and I are driving to Chicago to dine at Alinea in a few weeks (I am chomping at the bit to be on our way!), unfortunately we can only manage to arrange an overnight trip therefore are limited in the amount of culinary time we can spend. I would love some advice on some great breakfast and lunch places for Thursday and Friday afternoon. We don't mind casual or upscale, and like all types of food, the more creative or authentic, the better. The last time we were in town we did the casual thing and hit Gino's East and Mr. Beef. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  8. I am traveling to Chicago with a friend next week Sunday and am looking for some good recommendations on where to go. I am looking for a place that is innovative as well as high quality. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  9. I am not a big fan of Harvest. ( I think the staff is pretentious and it is over-rated.) I used to love Letoile, but my last few visits have been only mediocre. The service is always good, but the menu hasn't left me with much to talk about. My partner and I really love Fresco ( in the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art) for downtown dining or Eno Vino (on the west side). Both of these, especially Fresco, have great service and exceptional food. Definately do Marigold for Saturday brunch. It is the best in town. Another great local spot is Greenbush on Regent street. It has all the quaintness of an of old trattoria, and the pizza is fantastic. We also frequent Takara for sushi and the Oldfashioned for that "Wisconsin" experience. Hope this helps!
  10. Unfortunately, Bistro John Paul closed a little over a year ago. I would recommend Hinterland Brewery for a nice dinner. Don't let the "brewery" thing discourage you. This restaurant is one of the nicest dining spots in Green Bay. It's an old warehouse that has been renovated into a fine dining restaurant, and they feature fresh seafood and wild game. They are a little pricey. Their website is at www.hinterlandbeer.com. They are located downtown. For a more casual dining experience, Los Banditos on West Mason has the best Mexican food in town and is a standby with the locals. Their margaritas, fajitas, and chile con queso are all out of this world. Los Banditos is located on West Mason. Kroll's is the best greasy spoon, burger joint. They have an east and west side location, and are always packed! Hope this helps out. Let me know if you need any more info.
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