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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.
 
Steve
 
    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
(504) 523-2078
_http://www.mrbsbistro.com/_ (http://www.mrbsbistro.com/) 
 
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).
 
Drago's
2 Poydras Street
(504) 584-3911
_http://www.dragosrestaurant.com/_ (http://www.dragosrestaurant.com/) 
 
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.
 
GW Fins
808 Bienville Street
(504) 581-3467
_http://www.gwfins.com/nola/_ (http://www.gwfins.com/nola/) 
 
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.
 
Cochon
930 Tchoupitoulas Street
(504) 588-2123
_http://www.cochonrestaurant.com/_ (http://www.cochonrestaurant.com/) 
 
"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.
 
Rio Mar
800 South Peters Street
(504) 525-3474
_http://www.riomarseafood.com/_ (http://www.riomarseafood.com/) 
 
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).
 
Muriel's
801 Chartres Street
(504) 568-1885
_http://www.muriels.com/_ (http://www.muriels.com/) 
 
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 
fish).
 
Jacques Imo's
8324 Oak Street
(504) 861-0886
_http://www.jacquesimoscafe.com/_ (http://www.jacquesimoscafe.com/) 
 
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
(504) 525-1486
_http://www.gumboshop.com/_ (http://www.gumboshop.com/) 
 
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.
 
Mother's
401 Poydras Street
(504) 523-9656
_http://mothersrestaurant.net/_ (http://mothersrestaurant.net/) 
 
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.
 
Central Grocery
923 Decatur Street
(504) 523-1620
_http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=122_ 
(http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=122) 
 
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.
 
Frank's
933 Decatur Street
(504) 525-1602
_http://www.franksrestaurantneworleans.com/_ 
(http://www.franksrestaurantneworleans.com/) 
 
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
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Check out Swazoo Koolak's Web Jukebox at
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