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Easter Weekend in New Orleans


maggiethecat
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My daughter and her bridesmaids-to-be aren't the Chippendales type. They are well-travelled (among them, I think they've visited every continent except Antarctica) sophisticated travellers in their middle twenties, who work for non-profit arts organizations and the government. Meaning: we do not have trust-fund/law firm/brokerage house salaries happening here.

They have wisely decided to spend five days in New Orleans instead of getting drunk in a bar with male strippers. They will be flying in from Chicago, LA and Denver, and have already booked their architectural/historical walking tours and rooms at The Frenchmen in Faubourg Marigny. Although they enjoy their cocktails and wine, I doubt that they will be barfing Bacardis on Bourbon Street at 4 am.

Honor (daughter and bride-to be) had a few NO questions tonight on our weekly call, so I'll hand them over to you experts. They had forgotten that it was Easter Weekend, and want recommendations for lunch/brunch places that will have that New Orleans je ne sais quoi and might actually still have rez open. One of the bridesmaids will be celebrating a birthday, and they want cake and champagne ---where's a fabulous bakery for a birthday cake? Finally, watching their cash, they want one classic New Orleans dining experience, but would prefer that it would be lunch. And they won't have a car.

OK, if any folks on earth can answer these question, it's y'all. Thanks.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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I had lunch here about a month ago and it was fabulous food. I was a tourist and just happened upon this place. http://www.muriels.com/html/menu.html :biggrin::biggrin:

Bruce Frigard

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There are a couple of fun things to do in the city while your there. The Crescent city classic, the most civilized 10k around, get a wagon, load it with some beverages of your choice and walk (you can walk) through the garden district and uptown to a great party at the end with good music and local foods.

Also, you will have at least two easter parades happening in the French Quarter on the 27th. Try to catch the historic french quarter parade, it is well dressed ladies riding in open cars and buggies in their easter finest before ending up at St Louis Cathedral for services.

For that lunch, try high tea at the Windsor Court Hotel.

Have a great time and try to ride the ferry at the foot of Canal Street, it is free for pedestrians.

French Quarter Events edited ot add this link

Edited by joiei (log)

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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On my visit to N.O. in the fall, I had three AMAZING dinners at Jaques-Imos, Brigtsen's, and Herbsaint. If any of these serve lunch/brunch, I'm confident they would be delicious. All 3 are streetcar-accessible (although J-Imos will be a longer walk than the others) and all were decently priced.

"What, after all, is more seductive than the prospect of sinning in libraries?"

Michael Dirda, An Open Book

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Maggie,

If they are going to be there on Friday, for lunch, they should go ahead and make reservations for Commanders Palace. It is the best lunch dining deal on the planet. Seriously good food and seriously cut rate prices. It is lovely, a great Friday to go (if they don't have any experience with large groups of men in seersucker and white bucks this would be a good opportunity for them-you don't see that much anywhere but New Orleans) as it is a popular "fmily lunch day" and the crowd is pretty great. Beautiful surroundings, great service, world class food, Twenty Five cent Martinis, what more could you ask. Everyone should go there once. This is a good chance.

And they should, when the waiter says to them, as soon as they sit down, "will any of you be ordering bread pudding for dessert?" say yes. There should be no real thought to this. Just yes.

And the French Quarter Easter Parade is worth a look. It's pretty fun and just seeing Chris Owens in the daytime is enough to make you appreciate the abilities of modern day plastic surgery. SHe is 75 if she is a day.

Edited to say that some of the hotels have really good deals on Easter Lunch. I think that there is a listing somewhere with menus. I will have a look tonight.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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This thread is managing to make me fiercely jealous of my own flesh and blood.

Twenty-five cent martini's at Commander's Palace? Easter parades? Next year I think I know where I'll be Easter weekend.

Keep 'em coming. Thank you all.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Maggie,

If they are going to be there on Friday, for lunch, they should go ahead and make reservations for Commanders Palace. It is the best lunch dining deal on the planet. Seriously good food and seriously cut rate prices. It is lovely, a great Friday to go (if they don't have any experience with large groups of men in seersucker and white bucks this would be a good opportunity for them-you don't see that much anywhere but New Orleans) as it is a popular "fmily lunch day" and the crowd is pretty great. Beautiful surroundings, great service, world class food, Twenty Five cent Martinis, what more could you ask. Everyone should go there once. This is a good chance.

...

I second the rec on Commander's Palace. It is a lovely tram ride out to the Garden District which will be beautiful right now. One of my nicest restaurant experiences was lounging in the patio area sipping a Mint Julep... This would be great for brunch (weekends) or lunch.

A great New Orleans cocktail experience is to go the Sazerac Hotel and order up an eponymous drink there.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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A great New Orleans cocktail experience is to go the Sazerac Hotel and order up an eponymous drink there.

"The Saz" was a wonderful bar; in fact, it was one of my favorites bars in the city. Sadly, management has seen fit to mount a big flat-paneled TV screen on the wall so that people can watch sports as they drink.

HOW they got away with it in that bar is anyone's guess. It's so wrong.

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A great New Orleans cocktail experience is to go the Sazerac Hotel and order up an eponymous drink there.

"The Saz" was a wonderful bar; in fact, it was one of my favorites bars in the city. Sadly, management has seen fit to mount a big flat-paneled TV screen on the wall so that people can watch sports as they drink.

HOW they got away with it in that bar is anyone's guess. It's so wrong.

Whew... that is pretty amazing, it has been a few years since I was there but I wouldn't have predicted that change...so antithical to the spirit of enjoying a grand classic cocktail--in a place that invented one, no less.

However when travelling to New Orleans, make sure to have a Sazerac there or somewhere else though...it's a great drink. We also had a good one at the Carousel Bar.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Maggie,

If they are going to be there on Friday, for lunch, they should go ahead and make reservations for Commanders Palace. It is the best lunch dining deal on the planet. Seriously good food and seriously cut rate prices. It is lovely, a great Friday to go (if they don't have any experience with large groups of men in seersucker and white bucks this would be a good opportunity for them-you don't see that much anywhere but New Orleans) as it is a popular "fmily lunch day" and the crowd is pretty great. Beautiful surroundings, great service, world class food, Twenty Five cent Martinis, what more could you ask. Everyone should go there once. This is a good chance.

...

I second the rec on Commander's Palace. It is a lovely tram ride out to the Garden District which will be beautiful right now. One of my nicest restaurant experiences was lounging in the patio area sipping a Mint Julep... This would be great for brunch (weekends) or lunch.

A great New Orleans cocktail experience is to go the Sazerac Hotel and order up an eponymous drink there.

I'll third the recs on Commander's Palace (click for photos) for lunch, and second on Jacques-Imos (click for photos) (although Austin Leslie, fried chicken kung-fu master is no longer there).

For brunch, go to Elizabeth's (click)

I know you were asking for lunch recs, but definitely do not leave the city without eating dinner at Upperline (click for photos).

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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If they go to Commander's, they must also get the turtle soup.

Great values for "true New Orleans experience" include the muffuletta at Central Grocery on Decatur, and varies items (po boys, red beans, etc.) at Mother's on Poydras.

It's also crawfish season, so they should get some boiled while in town.

There are a few threads in the Louisiana forum with lots of NO recommendations.

Bridget Avila

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After reading this topic yesterday, I bought tickets for a trip to New Orleans! I'm going to be traveling to NO (for the FIRST time!) in late April with my 15 year old kiddle. My two problems are that we'll only be there for 3 days and kiddle does not eat spicy food. She'll eat shrimp heads and fish eggs and snails, but she's even averse to a good garlic sauce, forget about any pepper or curry. 'It just ain't happening' as she is wont to say.

So far, my meal research has led me to Muriel's, The Coffee Pot, Three Sisters, Elizabeth's,Casemento's, Acme Oyster House, La Crepe Nanu, Zotz Coffee House (I've heard the bathroom is an adventure),Domilise's, Mandina's, Uglesich's and of course Cafe Du Monde for an early beignet and cafe au lait break, or a really late one. Now, mind you, we've only got 3 days, and really, it's 2 1/2 days worth of meals.....and I still haven't really chosen a fabulous dinner spot. After your trip, do you think you could post your results for everyone else's future edification....that is the betterment of future mastication for others? :biggrin: Thanks!

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You may want to check out another useful forum:

"Talk Food With Tom Fitzmorris" at neworleans.com

For brunch, go to Elizabeth's

Elizabeth's is up for sale. I'm not sure if it's closing, or simply changing hands. Make sure to call ahead before heading into Bywater: (504-944-9272).

.....when travelling to New Orleans, make sure to have a Sazerac there or somewhere else though...it's a great drink.

It certainly is. The Sazerac and the Ramos Gin Fizz are two New Orleans classics! Another beautiful spot for a drink is The Columns Hotel (Uptown, on St. Charles Ave. at Peniston).

The Victorian Lounge at The Columns Hotel

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Another beautiful spot for a drink is The Columns Hotel (Uptown, on St. Charles Ave. at Peniston).

The Victorian Lounge at The Columns Hotel

I'll go ahead and second a visit to the bar at the Columns; and selfishly so. I've been going there for years, but I have recently been hired as the new manager for the bar ("The Victorian Lounge"). Although my official start date isn't until next week, I will be bartending there this Saturday night, as well as Easter Sunday night.

I would be thrilled if they stopped in for a couple of bottles of champagne and a great view. Tell them to ask for me at the bar.

-Kevin

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I just got an update from the daughter: reservations at Commander's Palace (Friday Lunch) and Upperline, with, she hopes, a stop at the Columns. She sends her thanks to everyone here ("your friends") and promises to take copious notes and pictures.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Hi. Not a real seasoned NO visitor but spent a week there in Dec and hooked up with a friend who took me to a really nice place that doesn't get the attention of Commander's or many of the others mentioned above but I thought that it was fantastic food. It's the Bon Ton Cafe a few blocks off Canal on Magazine. I don't think that it's open on the weekend and doesn't really cater to the tourist trade. The food as I recall was pretty basic creole.

If the ladies want to blow a few calories I would recommend that they find Napolean House and split a Muffelata. I thought that it was many times better than the ones at Central Grocery.

JMHO

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If the ladies want to blow a few calories I would recommend that they find Napolean House and split a Muffelata.  I thought that it was many times better than the ones at Central Grocery.

Couldn't agree more with that assessment of the sandwich at Napoleon House. I was telling someone that yesterday, who of course, didn't listen. But North Carolina tourists can be pretty hardheaded. :wink:

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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...I thought that it was fantastic food. It's the Bon Ton Cafe...

Couldn't agree more! And order the Crabmeat Au Gratin, considered by many to be one of the city's great seafood dishes. (And Bon Ton's boozy bread pudding is justly famous.)

As for Muffulettas, I heartily concur with BobL and Mayhaw Man. Have your Muff at Napoleon House, then buy a jar of Central Grocery's olive salad to take home.

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My restaurant just hosted Gail Uglesich and her son John who authored the cookbook of their restaurant's fabulous recipes for Philadelphia's Book and the Cook festival. Two of the nicest folks you'd ever want to meet and their food is incredible. Sadly, father Anthony Uglesich is planning retirement soon and the restaurant will be closing. I'd go there before this institution shutters it's doors. It's lunch only, the line is around the block and it's well worth the wait from what I'm told and certainly if the recipes I tasted are any indication.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
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Here's my daughter's report on Day One-- I'm pasting from an email. And she made it to Napoleon House!

In terms of our time in New Orleans, please thank all your egulleteers for their fabulous suggestions.  And please tell Kevin we were dying to meet him but got stuck at Cafe du Monde eating beignets into the wee hours.  I love the du Monde cafe au lait better than any coffee I've ever had.  It alone is worth the price of a plane ticket.

DAY 1

We had lunch at Commanders Palace on our first day, and the recommendation was spot on.  It was great to travel from the Marigny to the Garden District by streetcar, watching the driver get out to switch tracks with a big long pole.  When we got to the restaurant, we made what I assume is the standard walk through the kitchen (with waiters shouting "Rovai!  Rovai!") and then were whisked through the courtyard and seated in big green-house like room overlooking the garden.  The service was comforting and professional, from the blushing garlic toast guy (Angela was flirting!) to the captain who anticipated when we were ready for our third 25 cent martini.  We ate shrimp in pepper jelly, turtle soup, seafood cassoulet, fish on a bed of smashed sweet potatoes (or something like that), and of course, the bread pudding soufflee.  Warm milk with our coffee was a nice touch.  We needed our walk through the Garden District after all this food.

Undaunted by our full stomachs, we returned to the Quarter and stopped at Croissant d'Or for pastries.  When Sarah met us at the Frenchman later, we surprised her with the sweets and a bottle of champagne for her birthday.  Then we all went walking again through the Quarter until we ended up at Napoleon House, where the stern bartender served Angela and me our first sazeracs.  Sarah took the recommendation of an in-the-know barfly and tried a Pimms cup.  That drink will be the next mojito.  If it's made with fresh citrus, it is the perfect hot-weather beverage.  We ate muffalettas and a variety of other snacks in the restaurant's gorgeous courtyard. 

Later, we wandered around some more until we saw the sign for the Hotel Monteleone.  The Carousel Bar did not spin as quickly as I had hoped (just once every 15 minutes) but I guess that's just the attitude of a stressed out Northerner.  Angela and I drank another sazerac. This time the friendly bartender showed us all the exotic ingredients (Herbsaint! Rye! Bitters!) that go into this fabulously medicinal beverage.  If the Pimms cup is the next mojito, the sazerac is the next Ensure.  It just has to be good for you.  Sarah, lover of all things light and fruity, ordered a Hurricane.  The bartender assured us that no powder mix was used in the making of this silly drink.  Since we never got to Pat O'Brian's, we can't compare it to the original.  It reminded me of the Hong Kong Bong at the Good Luck Bar in L.A., but without the dragon-shaped swizzle stick.

We braced ourselves for Bourbon Street.  I ordered a Corona from a "To Go" window, just because I could, and we watched a forty-five year old woman on a balcony show off her boob job to the curious crowd below.  We ended up at Fritzel's, watching an old Italian clarinetist and his very capable jazz band.  They were great and the Abita beer I was obliged to order wasn't so bad either.

After all this, we made our way to Cafe du Monde and sat under the big green and white awning.  Delivered to our table by a young man in a paper cap were two orders of beignets (3 per order with a bag of powdered sugar dumped over each plate), three small glasses of ice water and three perfect cups of cafe au lait.  No need to go any further, just back to the hotel for a soak in the hot tub and then to bed.

This is all I can tell you about today, mom!  I am tuckered out just thinking of all the eating.  I'll give you the details on Upperline tomorrow.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Great report! You raised her right, didn't ya?  :wink:

We both thank you. I talked to her briefly today and told her I want the details from Day2 before she gets wrapped up in her life and memory dims.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Thanks also for the very nice report. It sounds like they had a memorable and delicous time. Would be fun to hear of their day two!

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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