Come on everybody take a trip with me... Down the Mississippi, down to New Orleans...

Well, not really. I mean, I AM taking a trip to New Orleans over Memorial Day weekend, there won’t be room in the car for anyone more than Mrs. Chef, Chef Jr., and me.

I’m posting in hopes that some of you Dopers can provide me with some suggestions on:

a) places to eat

b) fun things to do with a kid in tow

We are going to have jazz brunch at the Court of Two Sisters (just like Mrs. Chef and I did on our honeymoon nearly ten years ago - blush), so that’s locked in, but I’d welcome any helpful hints.

Oh, gosh, haven’t there been two or three New Orleans threads in the past few months? Try a search.

Failing that, though, I highly recommend a graveyard tour and the jambalaya at the Gumbo Shop. Nothing else I did there could be done with a child along, unless you wanna see the inside of the local jail.

How old is Chef Jr? Damned if I can think of anything to do with a kid down there, either.

Eating, though, eating’s a different story.

Have one of your fancy dinners at Brigtsen’s (yes, that’s the way it’s spelled) way out by the levee. Best dirty rice I had down there, ever. They call it “Modern Louisiana” cuisine, but I called it damn fine cookin’.

Have a po’ boy at Mother’s…the special baked ham po’ boy with everything on, including “debris.”

Don’t miss getting a muffuletta sandwich at the Central Grocery, but get there early, 'cause they start lining up by 10:30 AM.

(VB Code fixed - Euty)

[Edited by Eutychus55 on 05-17-2001 at 07:29 PM]

There is a National Park office in the French Quarter. They give a GREAT walking tour (history, architectiure) and, the best part, it’s free. It’s done on a first come first served basis and the tours are limited to 30 people (I think).

I’ve only been to N.O. once so, forgive my rudimentary directions. The office is in the French Quarter, about as far towards the Mississippi as you can go.

Well, I think this link will do a better job. That link doesn’t have any specific info about the walking tour, but I’d call for info. I guarantee that Chef Jr. will get a kick out of it.


Glad to hear you’re comin’ down this way. As a proud parent of three and two-thirds littles (7, 4, 2, and due July 7th), I can assure you that there’s plenty to do in our fair city that’s fun for both big and little people.

In no particular order:

French Quarter

Beignets at Cafe DuMonde. Essentially fried-dough heaped with powdered sugar. Don’t wear black, don’t try to keep the little person (LP) clean. Walk to the back window so the LP can watch them make the beignets.

Across the street and down-river from Cafe DuMonde are Progress Grocery and Central Grocery. It’s a toss up as to which makes the best Muffaletta (sp??) sandwich in New Orleans.

The Aquarium of the Americas at the foot of Canal Street is worth a visit. Call ahead to find out when they feed the fish in the big tank, and arrange to go then. Our L.P.'s think it’s great fun to watch them feed the sharks. Also at the foot of Canal is the IMAX theatre.

From the Aquarium, you can take the John James Audubon on a cruise upriver to Audubon Zoo. Be sure to let the L.P. play on Monkey Hill and buy him a Roman Candy from the horse-drawn cart near the sea lion exhibit. If I were you, I’d buy a one-way ticket on the JJA, tour the zoo, walk across the street and stroll through Audubon Park to St. Charles Avenue and ride the streetcar back to Canal Street. It’s a long day, but a favorite.

Near the F.Q. is the Louisian Childrens’ Museum. If you have a childrens’ museum in your home town, don’t bother (it’s good but not THAT good). Of course, it’s air-conditioned, which is nice.

Also, not too far from the F.Q. and on the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line is Bravo’s Italian restaurant. They serve great Italian food. Bonus: the LP can sit at the pizza bar, play with some pizza dough, and watch the chefs make pizza in the wood-fired pizza oven.

City Park

There is a kid-sized amusement park in City Park with a small roller-coaster, tilt-a-whirl, bumper cars, etc. Call ahead to make sure that it’s open and not reserved for a private party.

Also at City Park is Story Land, which has some kid-sized Mother Goose-inspired play structures.


For great, '50s-style diner food, go to the Camellia Grill at Riverbend (where St. Charles Avenue ends and South Carrollton Avenue begins). Cash only, no reservations. Breakfast is their specialty. Call ahead to find out when they open and get there early to beat the crowd. Go on a weekday if possible.

Near the Camellia Grill is Williams Plum Street Snowball Stand. From Riverbend and going towards the lake on S. Carrollton, turn right on Plum; go three blocks. Nothing like a big cup of flavored, sugared ice to slake the heat!


Try Mandina’s Restaurant at 3800 Canal Street for an authentic, New Orleans neighborhood restaurant meal. Get the turtle soup appetizer and the creole catfish if they’re serving it. Again, cash only, no reservations. Go early.

After supper, go up to North Carrollton Avenue, turn right, go one and a half blocks to Angelo Brocato’s Italian ice cream parlor (it’s on the right side of N. Carrollton). They hand make their gelatos, ices, pastries, and candies. Yum.

We’ve found that the D-Day Museum while good, is a bit graphic for our little people. YMMV, however.

Ditto on Eve’s suggestion for the Gumbo Shop.

Lastly, have fun!

Forgot to mention, Story Land is probably not worth a visit by itself if Chef Junior is much older than nine or ten. It’s a fun addition to a picnic or trip to the amusement park, but not a destination in-and-of-itself.

Mother’s is famous for its good food, but last time we were there we found the help a bit overzealous about Mother’s other claim to fame: treating you like Mom would. We were loudly chastised for leaving our menus in the wrong place and for trying to push two tables together so we could talk with some folks we met while in line. YMMV.

Thanks for the advice, everyone - you’ve given more suggestions than we’re likely to be able to fit in, since we’ll only be there for a couple of days.

For those who asked, Chef Junior is 7 years old. Hey, Ivorybill,, what do you think about getting your thundering herd together with the three of us at the Aquarium/zoo/etc. on Memorial Day? It’s your chance to meet one of the SDMB’s true legends (snicker) and show off your hometown… City Park/Story Land sounds promising, too.

So far, I’ve tentatively penciled in some of the places we’ll be eating. If you know of any reason why the Chef family and these restaurants should not be joined in holy gastronomy, speak now or forever hold your peace…
[ul][li]Saturday lunch: Port of Call - it’s been recommended by several people for its outstanding burgers.[/li][li]Saturday dinner: Tujagues Restaurant - again, enthusiastically recommended by several people we know.[/li][li]Sunday Brunch: Jazz brunch at The Court of Two Sisters - this is a nostalgia thing… Mrs. Chef and I did jazz brunch at C.O.T.S. on our honeymoon.[/li][li]Sunday dinner: Still thinking about it. Maybe Galatoire’s or Antoine’s… Mrs. Chef wants at least one fancy dress-up meal. Of course, we may do a swamp tour or something touristy like that on Sunday afternoon, in which case we may want something more low-key, like the Gumbo Shop (I remember my late grandfather once raving about that place).[/li][li]Monday breakfast: Café du Monde - anyone who likes Krispy Kremes as much as Chef Junior will dig beignets.[/li][li]Monday lunch: TBA - maybe the Gumbo Shop if we didn’t do it the night before.[/li][li]Monday dinner: I’m leaning towards Mulate’s because the food looks scrumptious on their Web site, a friend of mine recommended it, and they have Zydeco music on Monday nights - which Chef Junior likes. Also, a lot of restaurants apparently are closed on Mondays, and Mulate’s is open that night.[/ul][/li]
Whew! With so much eating going on, how will we find time to wedge in anything else? More importantly, who cares?

BTW, we’re staying at the Pelham Hotel, which I’m told is near the Harrah’s casino (guess we can’t take Chef Junior THERE - too bad, thanks to his Pokémon game he’s gotten pretty good at the slot machine) and a block or two from the Aquarium.

Keep those recommendations coming, folks.


A rendezvous at the zoo on Memorial Day would suit me and mine. Of course, if you’ve a serious preference for city park, I’m game for that as well. A bonus of zooing it means you’re quite close to the venerable Plum Street Snowball stand - - our 7 y.o. would be there every night if she could. Send me an email and I’ll get you our phone number, etc.

I see no major problems with your restaurant selections. You’re going to get great food at all of them. You’ve selected some of the pricier spots in town, but hey! you’re on vacation, after all. The only potential drawback is likely to be a limited number of house-provided distractions for Chef Junior. You might want to bring crayons or other things to help him pass the time.

Also, for some authentic N.O. jazz, y’all might enjoy Preservation Hall in the F.Q… There’s a rotation of bands that play though. A small cover gets you in. At first you have to stand in the back, but you get up front rather quickly as folks head out. They’re serious about no flash photography.

You’re packing hats, cool clothes, and sunscreen, right?

I’ve done Antoine’s and Galatoire’s and Arnaud’s and I’d say that, of all the old-guard N’Awlins places, the best grub was dished up at Commander’s Palace. I can still taste the boudin blanc from their Creole charcuterie…

*Originally posted by Chef Troy *
[li]Monday breakfast: Café du Monde - anyone who likes Krispy Kremes as much as Chef Junior will dig beignets.[/li][/quote]

Don’t sneeze! You’ll cover everyone in a 10-block radius with sugar. I was the only one who ducked in time…

Mulate’s is particularly good (the one in Baton Rouge was one of my favorites in college, and the one in N.O. is better), and the zydeco is usually excellent.
Have a good trip, Cheffie. I’ll raise a glass of mead to you down at Scarborough.

You want to meet at the zoo rather than doing the whole aquarium-riverboat-zoo thing? We can help defray costs if that’s a problem…
Oh, and I tried to email you but the SDMB says you’re unlisted… so YOU send ME an email, ok?

zigzag snapping fingers a la “Men on Film”
Honey, ALL my clothes are cool clothes. grin
Seriously, yes, we’re bringing all that stuff - I’m even wearing my straw fedora.

Ugh, I can’t believe I’m up at this ungodly cow-milking hour…

Mufelatas at Central Grocery <insert picture and sound effect of plnnr doing the Homer Simpson glazed look-with drool coming from the corner of his mouth> Damn, thems good eats.

Oh, I nearly forgot: pack an entire suitcase full of insect repellent and anti-itch stuff! The 'skeeters down there will eat you alive.

And for laffs, try the New Orleans Wax Museum—it’s one of the most hilariously awful I’ve ever seen!

I suggest that Chef pay a visit to the New Orleans section at Digital City for kid-friendly destinations. I had copied some stuff to post yesterday but had to restart my PC and lost it all! :frowning:

While in the French Quarter, stop by Mama Rosa’s at 616 N. Rampart (across from Armstrong Park) for some great pizza. Digital City also lists some attractions outside the city, such as the Wildlife Museum in Kenner. If you decide to venture out that way, stop in the Cajun Catfish Restaurant at 521 Central Avenue in Jefferson (near the corner of Central and Jefferson Highway). They have the best dill pickles I’ve ever tasted! I was in there with my parents and a family friend once and we couldn’t get enough of those pickles, the four of us ate two plates of 'em.

Should you get up to N. Rampart Street (upper boundary of the F.Q.) do yourself a favor and stop by The Funky Butt and get Chef Junior a bumper sticker or a tee-shirt. He’s too young to go inside (too bad; they get GREAT jazz players in there) but he’ll be the coolest seven year old around.

Our path from here to there will pass through Lafayette and Baton Rouge. Just in case we’re running behind on Saturday, can anyone recommend some lunch places in those two cities?