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Need your input on my NOLA dining plans


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Oh boy. Have you gotten your passport and your shots? This is pretty much another country and we have some very strict immigration standards. Please be prepared to show papers, proof of financial stability, and be ready to pass a language test.

Here is a question from the test:

Please describe where Commander's Palace is. You cannot use addresses or directional information including the words North, South, East, or West and you cannot say, exactly, that it is on the corner of x and x.

Good Luck.

LOL! Another country? No, Brooks, another PLANET!

Here's my take on the CP question:

Get off the streetcar and walk (all the while not believing there could be a prestigious restaurant in such a sketchy neighborhood) down to where Newcomb College used to be. Follow the scent of turtle and cloves.

As for cab ride to Elizabeth's, maybe ours was just pricier than usual since traffic was heavy for Jazz Fest. I liked the praline bacon and cheese grits. The strawberry french toast was yummy but HUGE -- kind of an amorphous strawberry bread pudding, really.

Bridget Avila

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm in NO - so far, Jacque-Imo's has been the biggest disappointment. Great alligator cheesecake and deep-fried po boy, but mushy fried chicken, way too salty "paneed rabbit", bland blackened redfish. Desserts were absolutely inedible. 2 hour wait on a Saturday.

Of the other meals I've had so far, Mr. B's and Elizabeth's are the highlights. The barbequed shrimp had a really delicious sea flavor. The strawberry french toast at elizabeth's was excellent, as were their shrimp and grits. Upperline had excellent roast duck and creme brulee. Central Grocery's muffalettas were great. Cafe du Monde's beignets were way too starchy-tasting - maybe the fact they're made from a mix is bad? Nowhere near as good as what i've had in France.

One thing that surprised me a bit about new orleans is that excellent specimens of N.O. cuisine in Boston (Magnolia's Southern Cuisine) and Washington, D.C. (Johnny's Half Shell) are as good as the New Orleans versions at the places i've tried.

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So, the fried chicken at Jacques-Imo's has gone down hill since Austin Leslie left, huh? For chicken fried under Austin's supervision (he's out in the dining room too much to be frying everything himself), you now have to go to Pampy's (2005 N. Broad), it's a more upscale place. Make sure they sprinkle the garlic and parsley on your chicken, if they don't, send it back. Jason will be posting a lot more about Pampy's in the next day or so. I also recommend the corn & crab bisque and the stuffed speckled trout (if they have it as a special that day).

However, we found even better fried chicken (don't mention this to Austin :wink:) at Willie Mae's (link). Go there tomorrow for lunch and get there early, I want you to go tomorrow so you can have the Monday only Butter Beans.

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A word on the whole "better" aspect -- Willie Mae's is a very small production place, and the quality of her fried chicken reflects that. Austin makes excellent fried chicken, among many other things he makes at Pampy's -- he just has to do it at the scale that a large restruant does it at.

Dunbar's which we went to on a previous trip is also another small-production fried chicken place, and they actually pan fry. They are also all-you-can-eat.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

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

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