Here's Jeff's FOOD list! (Yeesh is anyone staying for the
presentations?). BTW, the most difficult thing I found was a decent cheap breakfast near
the hotel. (Cafe Du Monde is a bit of a walk, not very healthy and on
FRiday and Saturday VERY slow.
From: [log in to unmask] on behalf of Jeff Lichtman
([log in to unmask]) Sent: Sat 5/08/10 5:43 PM To: [log in to unmask]
I'm not going to try to give a complete explanation of the food scene
in New Orleans. It's a huge topic and there are plenty of guide books
that cover it well. I will limit my comments to recommendations of
some of my favorite restaurants. I'll start by saying that New
Orleans has food that's as distinctive as the rest of the city's
culture, and that when I'm there I tend to go to the places that
represent this. So, for example, the city has some very nice Italian
restaurants, but I prefer to eat at places that serve local
specialties (such as Creole cuisine). I should also point out that I
generally don't go to the really fancy jacket-and-tie places.
Here we go:
Mr. B's Bistro
201 Royal Street
Mr. B's is owned by the Brennan family, which owns many of the best
restaurants in the city, including Brennan's, Commander's Palace,
Bacco, Bourbon House, Cafe Adelaide, Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse. . .
Whenever I'm in New Orleans I go to Mr. B's and have some Gumbo Ya
Ya, which is one of the best gumbos in the city. They also have
excellent BBQ shrimp, which are actually shrimp cooked in a peppery
butter sauce (not what one normally thinks of as BBQ).
2 Poydras Street
This place is best known for its charbroiled oysters. The atmosphere
isn't great and many of the other dishes are mundane, but the
charbroiled oysters are so good that there's little point in ordering
anything else. On this visit I sat at the oyster bar and watched them
cook, which was an experience in itself - the flames shoot up so high
it's a wonder that the cooks have any eyebrows left.
808 Bienville Street
This place has the reputation as being one of the best seafood
restaurants in the city, which is saying a lot. I went there on the
first night of Jazzfest, and the food and service were both
outstanding. I had wood-oven roasted drum (a local fish), and it was
perfectly cooked and delicious. This place is a bit pricy, but still
a good value for the money, in my opinion.
930 Tchoupitoulas Street
"Cochon" is French for "pig," which tells you what their specialty
is. The food is high-end Cajun. Cajun food is usually rustic, but
this place has taken traditional country cooking and refined it. They
make almost everything in-house here: they cure their own meats
(including hams) and make their own pickles. People with
unadventurous palates might be put off by some of the menu items,
such as fried pig ears with cane syrup mustard. Cochon does have more
ordinary things, such as smoked beef brisket with horseradish potato
salad. I went to Cochon for lunch and had a potato and green onion
soup topped with peanuts and the boucherie plate. Both were excellent.
Cochon has a new lunch place around the corner from the main
restaurant called Cochon Butcher. I haven't eaten there, but people
have told me it's also great.
800 South Peters Street
RioMar specializes in seafood and Spanish tapas. It's one of the few
places I go to in New Orleans that doesn't fit into any of the New
Orleans food traditions. They serve the best ceviche I've ever had.
On this trip I went there for lunch and had ceviche, marinated
eggplant with manchego cheese and caper berries, and a tuna empanada.
All were excellent, and it was a bargain - less than $15 not
including the tip (I should mention that I didn't order anything to drink).
801 Chartres Street
Nice location and atmosphere, just off Jackson Square in the French
Quarter. Contemporary creole cuisine. I recommend the crawfish and
goat cheese crepes appetizer and the pecan-crusted puppy drum (a local
8324 Oak Street
This place serves creole food in a really fun atmosphere. It's a bit
far from the French Quarter - you can get there on the St. Charles
streetcar or by cab (or by car if you have one). Jacques Imo's is
very hard to get into during Jazzfest, but I imagine it's easier when
there isn't a major event happening in the city.
The Gumbo Shop
630 Saint Peter Street
This place isn't as upscale as the ones I've listed above. I went
there for the first time on this visit and had a very good dish of
red beans and rice (a New Orleans staple), with sides of gumbo
z'herbes (pretty good) and turnip greens (very good). This is a good
place to go if you're looking for reasonably-priced creole food.
401 Poydras Street
This place is not upscale at all - you stand in line to order your
food, which you then pick up when your name is called. It's a good
place to get a po-boy (a traditional New Orleans sandwich), and their
creole food is good, too. I like their jambalaya and their crawfish etoufee.
923 Decatur Street
This is the place that claims to have invented the mufuletta, which
I've heard described as an antipasto sandwich. It consists of a
round, flat loaf of bread cut in half and filled with salami, ham and
provolone, all topped with something called olive salad - a
combination of chopped olives, capers and pickled vegetables. When I
go to New Orleans I usually get a mufuletta on my last day to have on
the way home.
933 Decatur Street
This place, which is only a couple of doors down from Central
Grocery, also makes mufulettas. The main difference between the two
sandwiches is in the olive salad - Central Grocery's has more olive
oil and is saltier. Frank's has the advantage of being open at night
and on Mondays.
- Jeff Lichtman
[log in to unmask]
Check out Swazoo Koolak's Web Jukebox at