NOLA / Cool Food / Risky Hotel
February 11, 2008 8:55 AM   Subscribe

Couple of questions about upcoming New Orleans Trip.

First trip to New Orleans in April, mostly to eat. I've picked out a lot of restaurants, many from previous Mefi questions. Is there a place to eat or something to do in April that is so good it could make you cry.

Bonus question: Is the Saint Ann Marie Antoinette Hotel gross, quaint, or well worth the cash?
posted by Classic Diner to Travel & Transportation around New Orleans, LA (20 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
I can't speak to the Saint Ann Marie Antoinette, but last August I stayed at a similar hotel (central Quarter location, townhouse style w/courtyard and pool) and would highly recommend it.
posted by lalex at 9:11 AM on February 11, 2008

If you're going to be in the Quarter, I especially recommend Fiorella's on Decatur. The po boy called the Paisano is excellent, and they make a great bread pudding. It's the one place I would take people that they would want to go back to again and again when they visited. And it's going to be super busy, but the baked potato at Port of Call is unbelievable.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:20 AM on February 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

Well everyone will tell you to get poboys. My absolute favorite poboys are at Parkway Bakery and Tavern. They are not downtown or on the streetcar line, but well well well worth it! They have new daily specials - Thursday is my favorite: Thanksgiving poboys! (Roast turkey, stuffing, etc).

I am crazy about this new "neo-Asian" place on St. Charles Ave, called HoShun . Not "New Orleans" food but you will be talking about it for days!
posted by radioamy at 9:22 AM on February 11, 2008

Jacques-Imo's, at the river bend, will make you cry.

The Camellia Grill, also at the riverbend, is another can't-miss. Go there for the chocolate pecan pie, which they'll warm up for you on the griddle. Be sure to get it a la mode. And if you've got lots of room in your tummy, order a milkshake and watch the awesome way the waiters hand you your straw.

Drink Abita Amber.

I used to love a place called Ted's FroStop, on the corner of Calhoun and S. Claiborne. I don't know if it's still there, as I lived in NOLA pre-Katrina. But he served up some great hamburgers with a special sauce that was something like 3/4 mayonnaise and 1/4 mustard. Ah, according to this, they're still open, but the giant root beer mug that has been its landmark for more than 50 years is now upside down.

Downtown, you need to check out Port of Call. Make sure you're not driving. I'm personally not a huge fan of their burgers, but I adore their drinks.

When you're on Bourbon Street, beware the Hand Grenade, a drink rumored to contain eight shots of Everclear in one Kool Aid-like serving. Beware, but take a sip of one anyway, as the guy who stands on the street every night preaching that the end of times is night will drive you nuts if you're too sober.

Finally, if you find yourself stumbling drunkenly along Bourbon Street late one night, stumble a little farther until you reach the Clover Grill. It's a gay burger mecca for revelers, and the servers, menu etc. are all hilarious and lovely and absolutely flaming. Tip: The bathroom is out the back door, through a courtyard, and in a shed.

Oh, and if you rent a car, you may want to stop at one of the drive-thru daquiris. Not because the daquiris are any good, but because ... you can.
posted by brina at 9:29 AM on February 11, 2008

Gah. *night = nigh
posted by brina at 9:30 AM on February 11, 2008

In 2000 I stayed at Maison de Ville, which was rated one of the top ten small hotels in the world that year. And it was (other than the rats... yeah, harbour cities). Breakfast in the courtyard on silver service, with the tiny lizards in the foliage and turtles in the pond...

Hmm... where was I? Oh, the food. It was hard work finding a place we didn't like, actually. Right around the corner was the Court of Two Sisters, which was incredible, both for the food and the ambience, although there was the not-so-subtle vestiges of racism still present (waiters were white, servers were black).

Po'boys... beignets... the coffee... anything with andouille sausage... man, it's hard to go wrong. Now you've got me daydreaming, damnit. Gotta go back.

New Orleans is the only city I've been in that had its own soundtrack. Man, I miss that place.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 9:34 AM on February 11, 2008

Chase away a hangover with beignets and 'coffee and chicory' at Cafe Du Monde (1039 Decatur Street).

Be sure to have a Muffuletta for lunch at Central Grocery (923 Decatur Street).
posted by ericb at 9:38 AM on February 11, 2008

Go to Elizabeth's for breakfast. It is nice walk through the Marigny and Bywater, and the praline bacon is fabulous.
posted by sulaine at 9:39 AM on February 11, 2008

Though I realize you'll want beignets at Cafe Du Monde and brunch at Commander's Palace, I failed to mention a few other restaurants that are NOLA staples, even if they don't specialize in all things Creole.

The first is Juan's Flying Burrito on Magazine, which advertises itself as a "Creole taqueria." I'm not sure where the Creole comes in, but it's a fun place to go just the same.

Then there's Lebanon's a local favorite, on S. Carrollton at the riverbend. Yes, another uptown restaurant, and a Lebanese one at that. People like to say their falafel is the best this side of Israel; their hummus is divine; their stuffed grape leaves are to die for, and their gyros are delightful.

When you're shopping on Magazine, head in to Rue de la Course, a NOLA coffee shop that is the subject of some contention. There are those of us, like me, who favor PJ's Coffee and Tea for their granitas -- like mainlining iced caffeine. But Rue does boast a lovely ice cream coffee milk shake, and the grumpy baristas will give you the evil eye for ordering one. Which is why you should.
posted by brina at 9:46 AM on February 11, 2008

Trip advisor on the Saint Ann Marie Antoinette.
posted by dzot at 10:21 AM on February 11, 2008

Best answer: We really liked the Prince Conti Hotel which is about two blocks up Conti street from the hotel you mentioned. The local bar at Conti and Dauphine (Deja Vu) became our base of operations, if you're looking for a quiet(er) place to have a quick drink.
posted by cabingirl at 10:45 AM on February 11, 2008

Croissant D'or is excellent for breakfast.
posted by wsg at 11:06 AM on February 11, 2008

I'm certainly no foodie, but one of the best meals I've ever had was at K-Paul's Kitchen on Chartres.

For a quick lunch in the Quarter, definitely stop by Johnny's Po Boys. I had a soft-shell-crab po boy last week and mmmmm, was it delicious!

Seconding the Muffuletta at Central Grocery.

If you're drunk in the Quarter at night, get a Lucky Dog.
posted by nitsuj at 11:19 AM on February 11, 2008

I was just there in October. Just in case you had not seen it, there is an older thread on NOLA that is still applicable, so check it out...

We spent most of our time in the French Quarter, so all of my chioces are there. Mother's was good, but not necessarily worth the wait. Court of Two Sisters was overrated and expensive in my book. Red Fish Grill is good. Cafe Du Monde rocks, but if you want to take the coffee/chicory home, buy it at Cafe Du Monde, not anywhere else - it is cheaper and fresher there. Cresent City Brewhouse is good. Arnaud's is good for some upscale dining. La Bayou was good as well.

No personal experience with your hotel, but if you like peace and quiet and sleeping at a reasonable time, you will want to stay away from any hotel located on or adjacent to Bourbon Street, which it appears your hotel may be. Other hotels in the French Quarter may be a better choice. Trip Advisor is a great website for hotel recommendations.
posted by internal at 12:36 PM on February 11, 2008

Oh yeah, one other thing. If you don't like freezing cold A/C, bring a long sleeve shirt or sweater to tie around your waist or whatever. I was astounded at how cold most of the buildings were inside.
posted by internal at 12:42 PM on February 11, 2008

Though I realize you'll want beignets at Cafe Du Monde and brunch at Commander's Palace, I failed to mention a few other restaurants that are NOLA staples, even if they don't specialize in all things Creole.

Regarding Cafe du Monde, everybody eats there, it's a tourist joint, and nothing special. If you're looking for chickory and beignets, I suggest Cafe Beignet, which is just a few blocks down, much less crowded, serves better food (and a wider selection), and has a great ambiance.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:22 PM on February 11, 2008

We were in NOLA about a month ago, our version of this question is here. We had lots fun based on the answers in that thread.

We stayed at Le Cirque hotel on Lee Circle. It was cheap, clean and a nice place to stay. We weren't looking for a fancy hotel though.

It's hard to find bad food in the French Quarter. Some highlights for us were Bayona ($$$), The Oceana Grill ($) and The Gumbo Shop ($$). All good enough for epicurian epiphanies. Cafe du Monde was packed and wasn't so much fun. As Astro Zombie suggests, try Cafe Beignet. We enjoyed out visit.

We had a blast doing a course/demo at the New Orleans School of Cooking too (~35$@). The chef's a real character and is a local historian too. It's well worth the time.
posted by bonehead at 1:38 PM on February 11, 2008

Take a walk along the Mississippi River.
posted by theora55 at 2:57 PM on February 11, 2008

Coop's Place on Decatur.
posted by brundlefly at 4:34 PM on February 11, 2008

I drive a cab in New Orleans and chaperoning vacationing MeFites around is the closest I get to a meet-up...send me some MeFi mail and I'll hook you up with a secret numerical code that, when entered into your cell phone, will contact me. Do try to get in touch before you're actually in New Orleans...I lead a complicated life and can't make any promises.

(This offer is good for anyone else reading this, too, even if the thread is archived. Send me some mail, be a MeFite in good standing, and I'll take care of you. Contact Jessamyn for a reference.)

Confidential to RadioAmy: hi!
posted by Ian A.T. at 11:50 PM on February 11, 2008 [3 favorites]

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