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On 5/14/2019 at 12:32 PM, Ericandblueboy said:

Taking the kids to the Crescent City in August.  Dinners will be at Herbsaint, Gianna, La Petite Grocery and Brennan's.  Looking for a great brunch spot for Saturday (not looking for egg dishes).  The place has to be casual (i.e., allows shorts and sandals).  

Mopho is fun and different, definitely no egg brunch things; if it’s the 3rd Saturday then you will be in great luck as that is spit roasted lamb day! (Its pork the other saturdays...)

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It’s not that hard to get a good shrimp poboy. Bevi is very popular, very casual.  But if you are anywhere near a local chain called “New Orleans hamburger,”  which is basically a fast food joint, they have very good fried seafood Poboy’s.  If you want to go to Bucktown, you can also enjoy a Poboy at Deannies or R&O. 

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Nice white pizza at Sofia's in the Warehouse/Arts district (Julia street)

High Hat Cafe, Freret street. The table liked fried chicken, fried catfish, cubano sandwich. Shrimp and okra gumbo (recommended by trusted neighbors from my hometown, Abbeville)

Martin's Wine Store and Cafe, cubano sandwich (wish we could get one as good as that over here!). Baronne Street in Garden District

Herbsaint, fried oysters, spaghetti with guanciale and deep fried poached egg. Ooohs and ahhhss at the table.

Upperline, duck breast with foi gras (single best dish of the week was the tenderest fois gras!) , sweet potato pudding, turtle soup (dark and complex, not like the one at Commander's Palace), lamb shank osso buco style (wife's best dish)

Bayona, best dessert (coffee panna cotta with candied pistachios and strawberry sorbet), veal sweetbreads

I will write about what we had in Lafayette and environs in the SW Louisiana thread.

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Going to look down through all these food recs, I think I am going to NOLA with a girlfriend as a bday thing.  There look to be all sorts of good hotels with decent prices (Yeah, yeah everyone else is heading to cooler temp destinations, but we figured we could sweat in humidity in DC or sweat while in humidity in NOLA, so we will take our battery powered misters and rock out....)  I haven't been in years.  Anyone stay at the Lowes there and have an opinion?

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If you go down soon I recommend the Ogden Museum of Southern Art near Lee Circle. Wow! Vernacular art by African American painters (as if I know anything about that!). We saw this 3-D interactive projection that your shadow became part of the art. Can't explain.

Something I did not know til now. The Enterprise car rental place on Baronne where we dropped off our rental is like a 5-10 minute walk to Lee Circle and the WWII museum and the  trolley!

Have fun! We stayed at Hampton Inn on St Charles and relaxed with trolley rides mostly.

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On 6/3/2019 at 2:49 PM, ktmoomau said:

Going to look down through all these food recs, I think I am going to NOLA with a girlfriend as a bday thing.  There look to be all sorts of good hotels with decent prices (Yeah, yeah everyone else is heading to cooler temp destinations, but we figured we could sweat in humidity in DC or sweat while in humidity in NOLA, so we will take our battery powered misters and rock out....)  I haven't been in years.  Anyone stay at the Lowes there and have an opinion?

Hit me up- sam@linkrestaurantgroup.com

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On 6/3/2019 at 3:49 PM, ktmoomau said:

Going to look down through all these food recs, I think I am going to NOLA with a girlfriend as a bday thing.  There look to be all sorts of good hotels with decent prices (Yeah, yeah everyone else is heading to cooler temp destinations, but we figured we could sweat in humidity in DC or sweat while in humidity in NOLA, so we will take our battery powered misters and rock out....)  I haven't been in years.  Anyone stay at the Lowes there and have an opinion?

We're staying at Loews 8/7-8/11 (haven't been before).  When are you thinking about going to NOLA?

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Trip Report:

Evening 1: Compere Lapin- we sat at the bar and the bar stuff was really nice and engaging.  I had jerk chicken with coconut cream corn pudding.  I mainly wanted this dish because my family likes creamed corn and I wanted to see how they made it without dairy.  The corn was very good, the chicken had some spice and was good, but was also just chicken breast in some ways.  The fried pig ear starter, and dirty rice arrincini were great little bites.  My friend had the snapper which was very good.  This was all a very good, well composed meal.  The cocktails were good, I had a frozen gin fizz.

Day 2: French Market for Bloody Mary's from the pavilion (added extra hot sauce, were great), raw oysters, and a po-boy.  The po-boy was ok, it was a soft shell and just was a little small, and not fried, just steamed.  I love a soft-shell, this one just lacked a little flavor and was a little wet.  Raw Oysters and bloodys were on point.  We then saw Jackson Square the Cathedral, the Ogden Southern Museum (I thought it was very cool, but in between some exhibits in many spots right now, so it felt a bit light on art).  We went on a Dark History Tour with Jonathan Weiss.  He was very theatrical, and that was fun, we went to various places with a stop at Lafitte's blacksmith for to-go drinks.  Then we had dinner at Antoine's and they gave us a tour after.  We had the oyster sampler and escargot, which were both just classic and really tasty.  I then had broiled fish topped with a crawfish tails sauce, the fish was a touch overdone, not terrible but about 1-2 minutes too long, but the sauce was excellent.  Asparagus on the side.  While this place is an institution, the food remained really good. That night we went to Frenchmen street and listed to live music at the Spotted Cat and 30/90.  Lots of good music over there.

Day 3: Cemetary Tour of St. Louis- this was very hot, but good information.  We then went to the Hermann-Grimma House which was very pretty and interesting, although our tour guide had to be somewhat new.  We then chilled at the Napoleon House with drinks, got a muffaletta, gumbo, jambalaya and cooled off a bit.  After that a storm was rolling in so we rode the trolley through the Garden District.  After the storm passed it was time for Saba. 

Saba was just delicious.  I am always impressed when you can make vegetable dishes taste that good.  We started with the brussels sprout hummus- brussels on top of hummus sounds odd, but this was truly delicious and worked well together flavor wise, I can't put my finger on exactly what was with the brussles sprouts, green chilles and carmelized onion, in some sort of light sauce to add a little acid.  We also got three little tastes of feta with lots of corriander pods and preserved leeks, beets with sumac onions, tahini and dill, and wood roasted okra on garlic sauce- these were just perfect to eat with the hummus and REALLY good pita.  The okra was addictive, I could eat it like popcorn.  The feta was a really good feta.  It was all very, very good.  I ordered lamb kefta kabob with Israeli couscous and confit tomato.  The lamb was fantastic, with appropriate punch of lamb flavor that also wasn't gamey.  They couscous soaked up the really nice acidic tomato sauce, and it was very saucy, but not in a thick sauce way.  I also had the charred eggplant,  amba, soft-cooked egg, sumac onion.  This dish was so freaking good.  I have really been into charred eggplant (in China we had some good versions too) and this was just really good texturally, and the flavors were just delicious.  We also had the zucchini shakshuka, which was really tasty, as well.  And the hanger steak, which was the most tender hanger I have ever had a bite of with muhammara, charred peppers, herbs.  We had a couple cocktails each, and these were delicious, as well.  I had a cold brew cocktail that was almost like liquid bananas foster for dessert.  I ended up buying the cookbook as I was really impressed with the fact that the dishes seemed simple, but had a real complexity that I just couldn't in my mind say- oh you just do this and this and this, like I can do with other dishes.  I would highly recommend Saba.  Uptown is a really cute part of town, I could have spent more time there. After Saba we went to St. Joe's bar and had a few drinks.

Day 4: We walked Magazine Street to Turkey and the Wolf.  This was fun, we picked up some iced chickory coffee from French Truck, saw lots of cute houses, etc.  Turkey and the Wolf makes your trashy, but good meal dreams come true.  I had a great brunch cocktail.  The bologna sandwich was crunchy, gooey from the melted cheese and mayo, crispy and just awesome over the top.  The taco was in the same vein of just terrible trashy, with pig ears, american cheese, homemade tortilla, head cheese and delicious. The devilled eggs were pooled in delicious hot sauce, and the cabbage salad had an obscene amount of sunflower seeds, it was so crunchy and good- I want to remake this to take to picnics, the fried pig ears will be the challenge.  This was kind of in a strange area with not a lot around, it was pretty steady with people despite being an off Monday.  After that we went to the WW2 museum, perfect timing to dodge a big rain storm... will continue after lunch. 

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To continue- the WW2 museum was very cool.  The new section has just incredible digital exhibits that are very thoughtful.  It is of course so sad... I thought they did a good job of incorporating areas that look and feel like you are in a place.  I didn't like that the experience was broken up in terms of time, but I know how the museum expanded so in a way that makes sense.  It is very hard to present so much information on so many different fronts, I thought they did try to make it not too overwhelming.  I also appreciated the amount of seating areas where you could listen and watch the experiences.  

After that we needed a pick me up mentally, so we went to the Carousel Bar and I drank Pimm's Cups while circling.  I didn't realize the bartenders have to crawl in and out to get in.  For dinner we had been debating pretty much all Herbsaint restaurant group places- Gianna, Peche, Herbsaint or Cochon.  We decided to go to the Mother source and just go to Herbsaint.  We ordered a bottle of wine.  We had the baked asiago and fried oysters to start.  I thought the fried oysters were fantastic, some of the best I had ever had.  I think just due to freshness and because Louisiana oysters tend to be bigger and a little more rich in taste- it made for a really good fried oyster.  And you of course cannot dislike baked cheese, I just don't think it is scientifically possible.  We were sent out fries that were just really good shoestring fries with aioli.  For dinner I had Louisiana Jumbo Shrimp with Stewed Peppers, Coconut Milk and Basmati Rice, I had been debating gumbo, so shrimp and rice in sauce was perfect.  This was really good, the shrimp may have been some of the most perfectly cooked shrimp I have had in a while, my friend doesn't love shrimp, but the texture of these were really good and she obliged to try them. The fries in the sauce weren't terrible either.  My friend had the special, which I believe was snapper, and the sauce on that was equally delicious, I could have mopped it up.  For dessert  we had the banana tart, which was like a banana chess pie and was tasty.   

 

All in all, we really didn't have a single bad meal, although I would have traded my po-boy at the French Market for another po-boy in hindsight.  We also had great cocktails, listened to good music.  The Intercontinental was in a really nice location and was nice, but the staff all seemed fairly young, and wasn't exactly up to my other terribly high Intercontinental standards (I mean the Intercontinental Bali is just...extra.), but I think this is likely a property they took over, and it isn't a resort property.  It really was perfectly nice, and all the hotels were super full from a herbal life convention, which I think just put a strain on things. But it isn't one of their premier properties.  I would stay there again though as it was affordable and in a really great location, I like their toiletries, the room was really comfortable and they are very nice in general.  

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On 5/14/2019 at 1:32 PM, Ericandblueboy said:

Taking the kids to the Crescent City in August.  Dinners will be at Herbsaint, Gianna, La Petite Grocery and Brennan's.  Looking for a great brunch spot for Saturday (not looking for egg dishes).  The place has to be casual (i.e., allows shorts and sandals).  

Departing tomorrow.  Made a last second swap of Restaurant Rebirth for Brennan's.  It's hot and I'm traveling with kids so I don't want to go Brennan's, which is more dressy and less interesting menu-wise.

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5 hours ago, Ericandblueboy said:

Departing tomorrow.  Made a last second swap of Restaurant Rebirth for Brennan's.  It's hot and I'm traveling with kids so I don't want to go Brennan's, which is more dressy and less interesting menu-wise.

Do they still have that amazing kids museum?  I spent hours there as a child, it was so cool.

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15 hours ago, ktmoomau said:

Do they still have that amazing kids museum?  I spent hours there as a child, it was so cool.

 

15 hours ago, ktmoomau said:

Do they still have that amazing kids museum?  I spent hours there as a child, it was so cool.

 The museum is moving to new digs in city Park, but I am not sure if it is officially open yet.

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It doesn't open until the end of August.  Too bad Eric...

I cannot even try to tell you how cool that museum was to 7?? year old me.  I still vividly remember it, and I only went once- there was a place where you could ride a bike and they had a skeleton that rode the bike at the same speed and you could see how your bones worked/interacted.  There was a bubble station where you could make giant bubbles.  They had a giant stuffed person, with organs you could pull out and look at.  They really did it all in a non-creepy way, that you just learned in a cool interactive way. 

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It’s the dog days of Summer.  Our hotel, Loews, is nicely air conditioned but there’s no cold water.  The water from the faucets are warm - like 90 degrees, which is the temperature outside 24 hrs. a day.  The only other complaint about Loews is that we can hear the boat horns at night, because the hotel is only a few blocks from the Mississippi in the Warehouse District.  

We landed on Wednesday and our first lunch was at Meril.  We had some crispy chicken livers, crispy turkey necks, fettuccine nero with crab meat, and linguine and clams.  The food was generally good (pasta cooked al dente) but the turkey necks and clam pasta were both on the acidic side.  I hadn't heard of turkey necks before so I had to try them - they were meatier than I expected.  You can get most of the meat off the neck bone with a knife and fork.  

That afternoon we boarded the Creole Queen and cruised the mighty Mississippi for a couple of hours.  That evening we went to Herbsaint, where I bitched about the bitter tasting gumbo (got a replacement soup).  The jumbo shrimp with stewed peppers, coconut milk and basmati rice and grilled zabuton steak were both nicely cooked.

On Thursday, we did a full day walking tour of the Garden District and French Quarter, with lunch at Cafe Reconcile included.  Cafe Reconcile is a nonprofit for rehabilitating ex-convicts.  Their boudin egg roll was interesting and they also had fried turkey necks.  Unfortunately they don't serve any alcohol.  After a morning of sweating, I could've used a beer or wine.

The worst food ever was at Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House, the place I picked for dinner for Thursday night.  I had a nice brunch there a couple of years ago but on this night , everything on the chilled, fried and grilled seafood platters were over cooked.

Friday had us taking a tour of the Jean Lafitte swamps.  There are gators everywhere.  They come swimming towards the boat because they love marshmallows, which the captain feeds them with a stick, inducing them to surge out of the water..  Afterwards, we had lunch at Dian Xin, an authentic small plate Chinese joint with some dim sum as well as excellent xiao long bao and other non-Cantonese dishes.  They didn't have booze when we were there but they said the license is coming.

That afternoon, we took a break at Brennan's.  They have champagne by the bottle at good prices.   Too bad I couldn't suck down a bottle because the kids wanted to browse the shops in French Quarter.

That evening we went to La Petit Grocery.  The clams with kimchi, miso butter, and white wine sauce was excellent.  Another great dish is the turtle bolognese, with al dente bucatini and minced turtle ragu (which tastes like beef).  The paneed rabbit was just good.  Best meal of the trip.

Saturday morning had us at Zara Little Giant Grocery for po-boys and muffuletta.  We also had Johnny's po-boys on Sunday.  To be honest, I didn't think the shrimp po-boy was really distinguishable between Zara, Johnny's and Cafe Reconcile - they all used the same sized shrimp, cooked perfectly and had the same seasoning.  We did get sick of eating fried shrimp in general.  We really didn't like the roast beef po-boy at Zara and Johnny's.  The beef was shredded and more stewed than roasted and the sauce was more like gravy than au jus.  

Saturday evening, after a day at the zoo and the aquarium, was spent at Restaurant Rebirth.  We had gnocchi with wild mushrooms and crawfish hushpuppies to start, both were flavorful but a little too salty.  The best dish was Duck Bejeux - pan roasted Magret duck breast with duck confit bamboo dirty rice.  The double pork chop was tender but could've been better if brined for more flavor.  

Our direct flight at noon on Sunday was canceled by United for mechanical issues.  They initially put us on a connecting flight through Houston arriving at Dulles after midnight.  I called and said that's not acceptable.  I had to ask if they can book us on another airline - we ended up flying American which got us back to Reagan at 10 p.m.

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I was in NO for a conference a couple of weeks ago, and snuck away for a few good dinners to offset corporate conference food.  Herbsaint was definitely our top meal.  We haven't been to NO in quite a while - two visits ago, our best meal was at Root, with August as our second best (yes, Root was that good, too bad it's now gone).  Didn't make it to Elizabeth's for breakfast this time around, sadly.  I also got lunch delivery to my hotel from Juan's Flying Burrito, which was pretty good.

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On 3/19/2019 at 9:57 PM, frogprince said:

The Galley in Old Metry and Harbor Seafood out in Kenner (brah) also fall into this most noble of restaurant categories; indeed, ask any industry folk and I would wager that most spend their hard earned time off in establishments such as these (if they choose to go out to eat at all but that’s a whole different topic...)

The crawfish at both are exemplary, also the gumbos, fried things, honestly you can close your eyes and point and it’ll be fantastic (but defitnely the crawfish). 

Yall can find me at either, sometimes both, on my hard earned days off

Harbor Seafood is generally my first stop upon arrival at the airport!

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I’m in my hometown with friends. We are not doing a proper eating tour (finicky eaters, one of whom is scared of spicy). However, I offer the following brief reviews:

Liuzza’s by the track is still reliable. Great turtle soup and fried catfish. Anything fried here is a winner. Tiny, cramped, worn. I love it. 
Napoleon House makes a decent muffaletta, a great Pimm’s cup and the patio is delightful. 
Marjie’s on Broad near Canal is a treat - Louisiana classics with Asian touches, smoked meats, pig knuckles, ears etc. The restaurant is In an old house; it is casual and unpretentious. Prices are good. Portions are generous. Big flavors. 
The Sculpture Garden in City Park continues to amaze. This is a must-do (it’s FREE). The Audubon Zoo is fantastic even if you are not a zoo fan. The setting is magical, among centuries-old live oaks. It’s well curated with lots of shade and places to sit. Take a picnic and make a day of it. 

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18 hours ago, dcandohio said:

I’m in my hometown with friends. We are not doing a proper eating tour (finicky eaters, one of whom is scared of spicy). However, I offer the following brief reviews:

Liuzza’s by the track is still reliable. Great turtle soup and fried catfish. Anything fried here is a winner. Tiny, cramped, worn. I love it. 
Napoleon House makes a decent muffaletta, a great Pimm’s cup and the patio is delightful. 
Marjie’s on Broad near Canal is a treat - Louisiana classics with Asian touches, smoked meats, pig knuckles, ears etc. The restaurant is In an old house; it is casual and unpretentious. Prices are good. Portions are generous. Big flavors. 
The Sculpture Garden in City Park continues to amaze. This is a must-do (it’s FREE). The Audubon Zoo is fantastic even if you are not a zoo fan. The setting is magical, among centuries-old live oaks. It’s well curated with lots of shade and places to sit. Take a picnic and make a day of it. 

Loved Marjie's Grill the one time I was there. Your description is just right.

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On 3/5/2020 at 2:51 AM, Marty L. said:

Loved Marjie's Grill the one time I was there. Your description is just right.

Fabulous restaurant, run by even more fabulous folks, Marcus and Caitlyn. And yes they are dear friends of mine, Herbsaint alums both

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On 6/4/2020 at 6:16 PM, DonRocks said:

I've had muffalettas from both Central Grocery and The Italian Store, and after having the one from Central Grocery, I've never again gotten one from The Italian Store.

I can only imagine how much sodium is in Central Grocery's version, but The Italian Store's comes across as having double the salt.

Central Grocery ships their muffalettas, btw.

Best way to eat a muffuletta is to be in N.O., and buy one before you fly home. Have it the next day after all the olive juices have soaked into the bun. You're welcome (don't you hate when people append that smug coda?). 

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2 hours ago, Kibbee Nayee said:

This thread gave me a strong hankering for a Muffuletta from Central Grocery, so I ordered it from Goldbelly.com and hope to have it next Tuesday.

Can you order just one?

I’d cancel that order, and put it back in on Monday - one day is fine, but if that sandwich languishes for three days, the bread will be toast.

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14 hours ago, DonRocks said:

Can you order just one?

I’d cancel that order, and put it back in on Monday - one day is fine, but if that sandwich languishes for three days, the bread will be toast.

I think it's prepared on Monday and arrives on Tuesday. I'll report condition and quality here after I tear into one.

They don't offer a single Muffuletta on Goldbelly. They have 2-pack (feeds 6-8, or just me), 3-pack (feeds 10-12), 4-pack (feeds 14-16), or 5-pack (feeds 16-20), plus various sizes of their olive spread.

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4 hours ago, Ericandblueboy said:

I like the muffuletta from Central Grocery but I wouldn't even wait more than 10 minutes for one, definitely wouldn't pay $109 for 2.  I can wait until I go back to N.O. for a good muffuletta.

If you like to venture outside the touristy areas, Nor-Joe Imports in Old Metairie makes a very good muff.

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Even though the reason I had to travel here is sad, it’s nice to be back in the land of good food. 
Rosedale‘s, by Susan Spicer, continues to operate on all cylinders. Spacious outdoor patios, casual environment and a casual menu. This is close to city Park if you are going to the sculpture garden, which I highly recommend. I had shrimp Creole that was served on rice with two perfectly fried planks of eggplant… Ethereal. 
http://rosedalerestaurant.com

If you are in the central business district, we got excellent Indian street food from Tava in the Auction House market, which is a lovely small food hall. Minimal outdoor seating of 4 small tables. https://www.auctionhousemarket.com

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We were talking the other day. NOLA is going to be the first trip as soon as we can go somewhere else.

10 hours ago, dcandohio said:

Even though the reason I had to travel here is sad

I am glad you are able to have both sad and appreciation at once.

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2 minutes ago, saf said:

We were talking the other day. NOLA is going to be the first trip as soon as we can go somewhere else.

I am glad you are able to have both sad and appreciation at once.

My mother would’ve wanted us to go out to eat! She loved restaurants and good food. Growing up here, you don’t necessarily appreciate it because you are steeped in it, but when you go away and you realize other places are so, so different, begin to crave your motherland.  
 

Every time I come back, I have such renewed respect for everything that is New Orleans, and especially the resilience of the people, because they are freaking rockstars. 

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