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New Orleans Recommendations


mjg
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I'll be in NO for a few days this week, and I'm looking for some restaurant recommendations. I'll be limited to relatively quick lunches. I'll have more flexibility at dinnertime, though I'd like to keep the price reasonable. The only other caveat is that places need to be within walking distance (or a short cab ride) of the Sheraton.

Please keep an eye towards places where I can get good gumbo, po' boys, and oysters. Thanks in advance for your recommendations.

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Mother's, on Poydras, for 'Po Boys.

Also I highly reccomend Casamentos. They close in early June, so you really want to catch them before they're done for the season. However it is a bit of a ride from the Sheraton. If you want good raw Oysters that is not so far away, definitely ACME Oyster House. Its a touristy kind of place but the oysters are pristine, so thats what counts.

Palace Cafe is also not that far from your hotel, and its a very solid restaurant. Bourbon House is also near you, as is Restaurant August, which if you wanted to have a very elegant lunch or dinner would be my choice.

Bon Ton Cafe is also not far from your hotel either. Definitely a lunch joint.

K-Pauls is not open for lunch yet but would also be a nice choice for dinner.

Have a look at this thread for photos of these places:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=85793

All of my complete New Orleans summaries are on my blog as well, see my signature below.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

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

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Thanks for all of the recommendations. One more question...where can I get a good Sazerac?

I like the Sazerac's at Herbsaint. Not too far from the Sheraton, although you might want a cab. You should also have dinner there. Not too expensive.

The bar at the Rib Room might also be good.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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i'm in new orleans this moment (sadly, leaving this afternoon). have sampled sazeracs extensively on this trip--the two best i had were at arnauds and cochon. (i don't even drink "brown liquor"---unless i'm here. but there's something about a sazerac!)

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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Thanks for all of the recommendations. One more question...where can I get a good Sazerac?

I like the Sazerac's at Herbsaint. Not too far from the Sheraton, although you might want a cab. You should also have dinner there. Not too expensive.

The bar at the Rib Room might also be good.

Yes, Herbsaint would be an excellent dining choice as well.

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 you do make it to Casamento's, their gumbo is very good. I think the warm weather has made the oysters too milky to eat raw (some people don't mind this, but I hate them that way), so I'd suggest a cup of gumbo and a fried oyster loaf. For my money, there is nowhere else in N.O. that even comes close to Casamento's for fried oysters. The softshell crabs are excellent too, particularly this season.

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For Sazeracs, both for the atmosphere and for the quality of the cocktail, I would reccomend Tujague's. They are prepared perfectly and the atmosphere at the old bar in the front is really nice.

And while you are there, you might as well have some gumbo. They have one of the more interesting examples around.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

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

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It is not as close as some of the other restaurant, but I think that Brigtsen's is a must stop when in New Orleans. I have not ever had a dish that I didn't completely enjoy. It is probably only a 10-15 minute cab ride there and it is a beautiful drive down St Charles. you would be able to drive by Tulane and Loyola Campus. Hope you enjoy your trip.

It is easier to change a menu than a growing season.

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I stayed at the Sheraton a couple weeks ago and had a great meal at Cuvee, which is about three or four blocks from the hotel in the direction away from the French Quarter on Magazine St. The hotel is on the corner of Canal and Magazine. Don't miss the chili glazed pork belly there.

Bill Russell

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I second the Cuvee recommendation. Bob Iacovone may well be the best chef currently running a restaurant in the city, though I don't agree with his penchant for pairing cheese with foie gras. Cafe Adelaide in the Loews Hotel is also very good -- right now it's basically Commander's Palace in exile.

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If you do make it to Casamento's, their gumbo is very good. I think the warm weather has made the oysters too milky to eat raw (some people don't mind this, but I hate them that way), so I'd suggest a cup of gumbo and a fried oyster loaf. For my money, there is nowhere else in N.O. that even comes close to Casamento's for fried oysters. The softshell crabs are excellent too, particularly this season.

I agree with everything above. Their gumbo is definitely one of the best ones I had during my last trip, if not the best one.

As to fried oysters.. I really like Crabby Jack's as well, but they are stylistically different.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

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

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Checking back in with a mid-trip recap of where I've been.

I checked into the Sheraton late afternoon on Wednesday, and quickly made my way to Mother's. Coming from Pittsburgh, where the Primanti sandwich reigns supreme (meat, cheese, slaw, fries, tomato on thick cut Italian bread), I've come to love sandwiches with depth and breadth of flavors. The Ferdi Special at Mother's was good, but...somewhat disappointing. Texturally it was a great sandwich: soft bread, mushy debris, crisp cabbage and pickles. Unfortunately, the flavor of each component didn't stand out. That's not to say it was a bad sandwich. By any measure, it surely beats 90% of the sandwiches in the world. I guess I was looking for something transcendent. This wasn't it.

The food at the hotel buffet at lunch was surprisingly good, though my measuring stick for such things is the utterly forgettable buffet food you tend to find in Pittsburgh establishments. Growing up in the North, you don't often see fried catfish, sweet potatoes, smothered green beans, and (thank the Lord) corn bread. So when you get these things, it's quite a treat.

For dinner this evening I went to Acme Oyster House. My half dozen oysters were impeccable, save a bit of grit that happened to sneak past the vigilant shucker. Along with the oysters I had a cup of tasty seafood gumbo and an Abita Light. I don't usually drink light beers, but that rule is trumped by the "local is always better" rule, so I went with it. The beer itself wasn't anything special, though it did complement the other foods quite well.

Proceeded down Bourbon St. to the Old Absinthe House for a Sazerac. This was my first Sazerac and I was, sadly, underwhelmed. The balance was off, it wasn't adequately chilled, and the twist was just the rind of a lemon ripped from a lemon wedge. Loved the ambiance, though.

I was still hungry later in the evening so I decided to walk over to the Palace Cafe. My faith in humanity has been restored. Service was efficient, friendly, and professional. Great space. Chicken and sausage gumbo, dark and rich, with ample chunks of meat. Fresh baked bread. And a spectacular Sazerac. I'll be heading back tomorrow night for some dessert and another one of those Sazeracs.

Tomorrow morning: Cafe du Monde, French Market, Gumbo Shop, and (time permitting) Bourbon House.

Thanks again to everyone for your recommendations.

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I was still hungry later in the evening so I decided to walk over to the Palace Cafe. My faith in humanity has been restored. Service was efficient, friendly, and professional. Great space. Chicken and sausage gumbo, dark and rich, with ample chunks of meat. Fresh baked bread. And a spectacular Sazerac. I'll be heading back tomorrow night for some dessert and another one of those Sazeracs.

That's great to hear. I know they have been working very hard over there to keep quality up since the storm.

Palace Cafe has introduced a new cocktails program recently so I know they mix a damn good drink. If you like Bloody Marys, try their "Bloody Bull" -- its a Bloody Mary with beef bouillon in it. Really does something. Its a classic New Orleans drink that originated at Commander's.

If you get dessert there DEFINITELY GET THE BANANAS FOSTER (click). Its like the only place in the city now where you can get a properly made one. The White Chocolate Bread Pudding is outstanding as well is the Strawberry Shortcake.

By the way, if you do go to Bourbon House (which is also owned by Dickie Brennan like Palace Cafe) I've been told their Barbecue Shrimp is really good. Mr. B's, his other restaurant he owns with his cousins makes -the- barbecue shrimp to die for, but that place isn't going to open again for months, its being renovated.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

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

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checked into the Sheraton late afternoon on Wednesday, and quickly made my way to Mother's. Coming from Pittsburgh, where the Primanti sandwich reigns supreme (meat, cheese, slaw, fries, tomato on thick cut Italian bread)

For sake of comparison, before you go home, Head over to Central Grocery on Decatur Street in the Quarter and pick up one of their muffalettas. Great to have on the plane. Buy two, in fact.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

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

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Abita Light. I don't usually drink light beers, but that rule is trumped by the "local is always better" rule, so I went with it. The beer itself wasn't anything special, though it did complement the other foods quite well.

Local is often better, but light never is. Try the Abita Amber (my favorite) or Golden.

Proceeded down Bourbon St. to the Old Absinthe House

Hideous tourist trap -- not recommended. I'm not a Sazerac fan myself, but I'm told that they are very good at the Napoleon House, Antoine's, and the Swizzle Stick Bar at Cafe Adelaide. [Edit: I see you had a good one at Palace, so maybe it's best to stick with what you already know you like.]

the twist was just the rind of a lemon ripped from a lemon wedge.

Er, I'm no expert as none of my favorite cocktails includes a lemon twist, but isn't that what it is supposed to be?

Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip!

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