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Rachel Perlow

The Perlows to visit New Orleans

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We're going to visiting New Orleans shortly. We've been there before, so we're not total newbies, but advice appreciated. And, we were wondering if anyone would like to get together for a meal, Nov 14-20.

We're planning on lunches at Commander's Palace and Elizabeth's, and a dinner at Upperline. We'd like to return to Palace Cafe for some oyster pan roast and white chocolate bread pudding. I'm sure at least one muffaletta will be consumed during the week and we'll probably return to Central Grocery for another for the plane ride home. I'd also like to try Uglische's, since I missed it on my last trip.

Cheap eats, splurge meals, what else should we do besides eat advice, all welcome. And, we can get together for a big group eGullet Get Together, or just meeting another individual or couple for a meal would all be fabulous. :cool:

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Objectives:

1) eat great Jambalaya (have had it at several places but always looking for more)

2) eat great Gumbo (been to Gumbo Shop)

3) eat great "bbq" shrimp (we've been to deenies and are planning a return visit)

4) Eat great muffalettas and Po Boys (been to central grocery and Mothers, where else should we go?)

5) Eat great beignets. I hear theres a new contender in new orleans besides Cafe Du Monde, where is it?

6) Eat any other great creole and cajun food of note.

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I love having a list of objectives that all begin with "eat." Sort of like my last trip to NYC.

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I've only been to New Orleans twice in my life. Once was long ago while I was in college. The other was a bit more recently when we combined a visit to New Orleans with a trip to the crawfish festival in Breaux Bridge, LA. For Cajun food, I think you really want to get out in the country, though I don't have any specific recommendations.

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Objectives:

1) eat great Jambalaya (have had it at several places but always looking for more)

2) eat great Gumbo (been to Gumbo Shop)

3) eat great "bbq" shrimp (we've been to deenies and are planning a return visit)

4) Eat great muffalettas and Po Boys (been to central grocery and Mothers, where else should we go?)

5) Eat great beignets. I hear theres a new contender in new orleans besides Cafe Du Monde, where is it?

6) Eat any other great creole and cajun food of note.

1) How about a great dive for Jambalaya?.....Coop's Place on Decatur Street serves great Jambo and is an interesting place to observe local Quarter denizens in their native habitat behaving like natives. It is also cheap, and quick, and no kidding, chock full of sausagy goodness.

2) While it tends to be forgotten, K-Pauls has stupendous Seafood Gumbo and usually has a daily special of chicken and andouille or some other derivitive. While it falls into the category of "highly spiced" (Paul Prudhomme was Bamming long before Emeril ever thought about it) , it is usually chock full of stuff and the soup part of it is divine. Gumbo, along with the rest of the soups there, at Mike Anderson's is dependable and full of seafood. They also have the best (once again, my opinion) red beans and rice in New Orleans.

3) Pascal's Manale on Napoleon Ave (you can ride the St Charles Streetcar for an interesting way to get there) has the dish all others are measured against. Go there. Fun place. Atmosphere hasn't changed in 50 years (and to some degree neither has the wait staff or the customers :smile: )

4) For Muffalettas Central Grocery is king.

Po Boys are another matter. Domilise's, Mother's (get a debris roast beef, mmmmm), Johnny's, Casamento's, Mandich's, Uglesich's, Liuzza's by the Track, and Crabby Jacks (owned by Jack Leonardi, a great guy and good friend who is also the owner of Jauqimo's, current home of Austin Leslie, formerly of Chez Helene and The Fry King of Planet Earth). Great sandwiches abound in this town.

In case you are wondering about all of the Yugoslavian names on the po boy list, those guys have been running the oyster trade down here for 100 years. Where else could you find someone named Tee Ben Mahalovich? (real name, head of seafood association)

5) There is Morning Call for an alternative to Cafe Du Monde, and the beignets are the same. Morning Call is still king in my opinion, if for no other reason than it is such a great location

6) For Creole Food, the Praline Connection in Faubourg Marigny (near French Quarter on Frenchman) is superb. The real deal and some of the best desserts (in a southern centric kind of way) that you will ever eat.

I love their chicken livers almost as much as I love my wife, and that is alot (and the chicken livers never question my intelligence, unlike my wife, who does so on a regular basis :wacko: ).

Eddie's on Law Street is great for their Tuesday night buffet. It is run by the Baquet family, truly old names in the New Orelans Creole Scene. You have to see it to believe it, but just as a warning, it is really hard ot find, has no parking, and for the non native, is in a neighborhood that might remind you of urban Haiti. It's actually not a bad neighborhood, but you might be thrown off by the look. But the people are great and the food is out of hand good. The Bacquets have another location on Maple Street just up from Jauqimo's, same food, in a much more refined atmosphere.

Dooky Chase is great and dependable. Still being operated after all of these years by Leah Chase and her family. The photos on the wall are great. The Chase family was at the center (as was their restaurant as a meeting place) of the Civil Rights Movement in New Orleans and there are many mementos from that period on the wall. Most of those folks have continued coming back for the ensuing 40 years. Great Food. Cooked by people who care. Highly reccomended. Both for the experience and the food. Awesome fried chicken.

This may well be, and I will argue with all comers (in a friendly, non confrontational sort of way :raz: ), the best place to eat great food at a reasonable price in the United States. Enjoy your visit. You can diet when you get home.

Hope this helps.

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For Etouffee and Jambalaya I have always favored the Bon Ton cafe across from the Federal Bldg.

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Jambalaya is home cooking. I love it, but I don’t order it out. A lot of friends say the jambalaya at Coop’s Place is great. The restaurant (bar :rolleyes: ) is a little funky, but the food is surprisingly good. They also keep lots of Abita Beer (local brand) on tap.

Coop's Place, Phone: 504/525-9053

The Gumbo Shop can be iffy. If you want to try a different place, gumbo at Mr B’s for lunch is fantastic. Coincidently, Mr B’s also makes great BBQ shrimp. The shrimp are heavy on the Worcestershire sauce, but they taste fantastic. An alternate place for the BBQ Shrimp isPascal's Manales (the restaurant that created this dish). You might want to try both.

http://www.mrbsbistro.com/

Pascal's Manale, Phone: 504/895-4877

For the muffulettas, Central Grocery is my favorite, but many people swear the ones at The Napoleon House are even better. They even have a drink created there that all the customers talk about. I think it’s a Pimm’s Cup.

http://www.napoleonhouse.com/reception1.html

The other place you might want to try is Jacques-Imo's. It’s a Cajun café with some really interesting food (and atmosphere). Go early. They don’t take reservations to my knowledge, and there’s always a line. You could always call Bourdain since he ate there (in the back of a truck, no less) when A Cook’s Tour was here.

http://www.jacquesimoscafe.com/info.htm

You’re not going to have a hard time finding good food, and I really hope you both enjoy the trip.

----------

Edited for typos


Edited by NolaFoodie (log)

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You've got a few days. Might I suggest getting out into the outlying areas a bit? A 2 hour drive to Lafayette and surrounding area will give you a different perspective. It's been a while since I was in the Big Sleazy, but I was born and raised in Cajun country. You really can't go wrong there.

All of Louisiana is not like New Orleans. Great food can be found literally everywhere. The little convenience stores in Acadiana sell boudin for $1 per link. It would go for $4 or 5 in NOLA, and it's either from the same supplier, or an inferior one.

But I'm from Lafayette. I'm biased. :biggrin:

edit = frappin typo


Edited by FistFullaRoux (log)

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The Big Sleazy :laugh:

But what you suggest they do (besides eat, and, yes, Lafayette does have much better boudin than NO) when they get there? :cool:

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3) Pascal's Manale on Napoleon Ave (you can ride the St Charles Streetcar for an interesting way to get there) has the dish all others are measured against. Go there. Fun place. Atmosphere hasn't changed in 50 years (and to some degree neither has the wait staff or the customers :smile: )

Mayhaw,

I seem to remember hearing some bit of lore that the dish was actually invented at Pascal's Manale (or by its ownership). Any truth to that?

=R=

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lucky you! i'm going twice next year so be sure to give us a nice detailed report of your adventures. and, speaking of adventures, don't forget to visit bourdain's contributions to the "most creepy and disgusting dive bar" thread (yes, i dug them up just for you):

1) Snake and Jake's Christmas Club Lounge, New Orleans. God, I love this place. Dark, skanky, Christmas motif, and naked people drink for free.

2) Checkpoint Charlie's, New Orleans. Get hammered while the blood and hair from last night are washed in the convenient in-house laundromat!

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The Big Sleazy :laugh:

But what you suggest they do (besides eat, and, yes, Lafayette does have much better boudin than NO) when they get there? :cool:

Go to Snug Harbor for jazz. Look at antiques on Royal, then compare the (lower) prices on Magazine.

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That's OK, I'll leave the honor of checking out those places to you. We're staying in a timeshare and have laundry facilities in the apartment. :wink:

As for leaving NO, if someone gives us a specific destination worth renting a car for, we'll definitely consider it. I was really hoping we'd get to meet some eGulleteers while down there. Is NOLA a place we visit, but don't live in?

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But what you suggest they do (besides eat, and, yes, Lafayette does have much better boudin than NO) when they get there?

Anyone can kill a day just about anywhere. I don't know if I could recommend Lafayette for a week or more, unless it was someone looking to seriously become a student of the culture. But in one day, you can have 5 or 6 great food experiences, and hit 3 or 4 spots that the average NOLA visitor wouldn't, although it takes a bit of driving. In Lafayette proper there is Acadian Village, The Natural Science and History museum - they pay special attention to local subjects, the gators in ULL's pond (right next to the student union), and 1000 great places to eat. Everyone should take a swamp tour. If you feel like driving a bit more, Floyd's Record shop in Ville Platte is culturally significant. The Liberty Theater in Eunice. There is the tour of the Tabasco factory, Avery Island Jungle Gardens and Bird Sanctuary, and Rip Van Winkle Gardens between New Iberia and Abbeville. Shadows on the Teche in New Iberia. Any three of those stops and a few meals will wear out even the most determined tourist.

Although if it was my call and taking a foodie on a Lafayette area tour, I'd leave New Orleans about 7am, after begniets, of course. Fortified with caffeine and a sense of purpose, drive down I-10 (through Baton Rouge - Good for another day trip) to the Breaux Bridge exit. Call ahead to Atchafalaya Experience Swamp Tours and take a boat ride out to the swamp. Good for an hour or two. The bugs aren't too bad in November. Lunch at the original Mulate's in Breaux Bridge. Get a map and directions to Avery Island for the Tabasco factory and Jungle Gardens tour. Back in the car for a trip down LA14 to my hometown of Abbeville. Call the chamber of commerce for a walking tour of what was the "moutain town" in the 1980's remake of The Blob, and get information about the Giant Omelette Celebration (you just missed it. It was Nov 2nd. 5000 eggs, onions, crawfish, and butter. Makes life worth living). Lots of shops and specialty stores. Although, if you go to Lafayette from Abbeville, you should go through a little town called Maurice. There you will find the Mecca of Cajun food. Hebert's Specialty Meats. Bring an ice chest. Within those hallowed, unassuming cinderblock walls, you will find the greatest delacasies. Stuffed deboned chickens with varied stuffings, turducken (but you may have to order that ahead) cracklins, boudin, pre seasoned and already marinating pork roasts, and outstanding tasso and andouille. For dinner, do you eat at Black's Oyster Bar in Abbeville, or do you go into to Lafayette for dinner at the original Don's? You can be back in the crescent city in time for a late nightcap. Later if you take in a show at Grant Street Dance Hall or hit the Baton Rouge riverboat casinos on the way back.

That is a foodie trip to the south of Lafayette, my neck of the woods. Not that I'm bad mouthing Nawlins. They have a decent football game over there occasionally, and they do the cutest thing with these plastic beads. But did you ever notice the sidewalk outside of Pat O Brien's is stained red? :raz:

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That is a foodie trip to the south of Lafayette, my neck of the woods. Not that I'm bad mouthing Nawlins. They have a decent football game over there occasionally, and they do the cutest thing with these plastic beads. But did you ever notice the sidewalk outside of Pat O Brien's is stained red? :raz:

Fistfullofroux, your entire post was EXCELLENT. You made me long for Lafayette even. :blink: Actually, on my way home from Lake Charles (work sometimes, not too often), I always loved stopping by Hebert's to pack an ice chest of stuffed chickens to bring home. I have some friends of friends there, and we visit occasionally, and I grew up in the country, so I'm not bad-mouthing Lafayette either. Those state troopers are hell on wheels on I-10, however. So, Perlows, if you take the day trip, you might want to slow down and follow speed limits (or thereabouts) at least by the time you hit Baton Rouge.

BTW, thanks for not bad-mouthing us -- thought you might have been that old football "star" that had so much publicity for the negative things he had to say about New Orleans women. Hey, maybe if he wasn't actually in a bar on Bourbon Street doing God knows what with God knows whom in the wee hours of the morning, he would have met some different, um, ladies. :hmmm:

P.S. Rachel/Jason, I'm just a sub-egulleter with not too many posts. I will be alone that week, so I can't join you as a couple but I'm sure you'll get a group together and I'd love to join you.

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I highly suggest you do Liuzza's at the track for lunch and get their unbelievable shrimp po'boy. Its a hollowed out Po'Boy roll stoffed with the most delicious shrimp in a creole mustard sauce! Get a cold beer in a frosted mug or a bloody mary. Forget Uglies its overrated.

Do the oysters on the 1/2 shell at Casamentos or the fried crab fingers. Do go to Mandich's for lunch and get the fish filet topped with lump crabmeat and bather in butter & garlic (I declined the hollandaise!)

Port o'Call makes the best burgers. Lilet in very good. A drink on the 7th floor bar at the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel is a must (check out the observation deck) and you have to check out the Rib Room. Big rotisserie. Maximos has a great Italian wine list and great lamb chops. Irenes is a treat for Italian food & she's a doll and my friends mother-in-law. And speaking of mother-in-laws be sure to check out the late Ernie K Does Mother-In-Law lounge!

CC's is great for coffee. Frankie & Johnny's. Tipitinas for music. Pick upo a copy of Gambit & Where ya'at.

Have fun!

Zeman

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And unfortunately, I won't be able to join you, otherwise, I would take you on that tour myself. I'm stuck in Birmingham, having drawn the short straw to be on call for the month of November. But I'm going home for Christmas, and I'm bringing two ice chests. Half of my stash from Hebert's got raided after the last trip I made. I'm going to avoid the hassle and just take orders this time.

And it will be a bit early, and not quite in season, but you can get King cakes pretty much year round now. Gambino's if you are staying in New Orleans. Although Louisianians arguing over who has the best king cake could take up a website of it's own.

This isn't to say New Orleans doesn't have great food. Exactly the opposite. Only they have great New Orleans food. I personally stay away from any menu listing that calls itself "Cajun Style". There is a huge difference.

The best food in Louisiana, like anywhere else, is the food served at someone's home, and preferably by an older relative. If you aren't lucky enough to get that, restaurants are a good substitiute. But if I were you, I'd find an old Cajun grandmother to fix you some pork chop rice and gravy with navy beans. Then prop yourself under an old oak tree (If the skeeters aren't too bad) with the beverage of your choice and listen to the old men tell stories on each other.

I really miss Louisiana sometimes. I can't wait for Christmas. Damn. Made myself cry. In a good way.


Edited by FistFullaRoux (log)

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Well, Rachel and Jason, you've sure gotten some rec's here. Hope you keep us up to date when you get there. Just by chance an old friend of mine, a Maine lobsterman, stopped by the other day. People (organizations) fly him around the country to shuck oysters at different gatherings every once in awhile. He's been down to NO and said he had a good time on Bourbon St. But then, Bimbo Carter's idea of a good time might be different than yours. He and Bourdain would probably get along just fine. :biggrin: Anyhow, have fun and keep us posted. (This is a good thread.)

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Those state troopers are hell on wheels on I-10, however. So, Perlows, if you take the day trip, you might want to slow down and follow speed limits (or thereabouts) at least by the time you hit Baton Rouge

And another bit of advice, if you do make this trip. Maurice is a notorious speed trap. It says 40mph. Just do it. Don't even think about pushing the speed limit within the friendly confines of Maurice, LA. There's an old joke: "23 state police cruisers were chasing an escaped convict who had just robbed a bank and stole a car. They went though Opelousas at 70, Lafayette at 75, and all 24 of them slowed down to 40 in Maurice."

That may be the only downside of the smaller Louisiana towns. If you are careful, you'll be OK. Not trying to scare you, but a lot of these towns have one or two red lights and are narrow spots on a wide highway. South Louisiana is flat, and a lot of the roads go straight for a long time. The urge to push the speed limit is there. Just set the cruise control and try to tune in KBON 101.1 from Ville Platte, and take it easy.

edit = yet another in a long line of typos


Edited by FistFullaRoux (log)

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As an inveterate buyer of travel guides I would like to reccomend the following excellent guide to the world of South Louisiana.

Disclosure: both of the authors are friends of mine and I was involved in some of the trips for this book. Inspite of my drunken assistance, the book turned out great.

Cajun Country Guide by Macon Frye and Julie Posner

Hope we can meet for lunch on Tuesday or Wednesday while you are here. Jaucquimo's, Crabby Jacks, Acme, Liuzza's, Mandina's, Mandich's, Mr. B's, whatever, you pick......we'll eat.

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