NOLA - just returned

We spent a M-F in the Big Easy and hit some of the places recommended by Dopers in recent threads. Here are some impressions:

Old Coffee Pot - I had the Calla cakes and they were great. I would not have considered them but for people mentioning them here.

Cochon - great food at a reasonable price. The dish for which the place is named is delicious, as was the shrimp appetizer.

Erin Rose - nice little Irish pub with very friendly staff

Deanies - ended up going here rather than Mr. B’s for BBQ shrimp. More than one local said B’s was overpriced. The shrimp were delicious but a little difficult to peel.

Royal House - charbroiled and raw oysters. Very, very good.

Pat O’Brien’s - been there done that but it was worth going back for a tall, cold cocktail next to the fountain.

Cafe Du Monde - good coffee and beignets but that’s it. A group came in and sat next to us and wanted omelettes. They were gone tout de suite.

Places I didn’t see here included the Tropical Isle on Bourbon St. As far as I could tell it was the only place in the Quarter with Cajun music. Went there two different nights and the music was great both times.

Frenchmen Street- just outside of the Quarter, its where you can find excellent music and food. Most of the Bourbon St. places had cover bands playing popular music. Don’t get me wrong, they were good but I can hear that stuff at home. The Frenchmen street bands were NO style jazz and the musicians were top notch. The 3 Muses has the best mojitos I’ve ever tasted.

Other things to consider if you’re going - Take the free pedestrian ferry to Algiers and eat at the Drydock. Go on an airboat tour. Its a bit of a shuttle bus ride (20 miles or so) but well worth it. We saw lots of gators up close and learned about the changing ecology from our “born and raised on the swamp” guide. Really interesting. The swamp is a beautiful place but you wouldn’t want to be out there on your own! Take the Old New Orleans Rum Distillery tour. $10 including a short van ride to get there.

We had great weather - mid 80’s and pretty dry, and almost everyone we met was very friendly, tourists and locals alike. The only exception were one or two pan handlers in the Quarter. Beware of anyone who starts out giving you anything (beads/hat etc.) for free. It ain’t. I don’t know if I could live there but I could see spending more time getting to know the place.

As our rum tour guide said, “Don’t be shocked by anything you see in the Quarter. And you WILL see some things.”

This post makes me happy.

You did it right. Well done.

I’m glad you enjoyed visiting my hometown. I’m also glad it was a pleasant experience for you. How often do you plan on visiting here? It’s good to see you were willing to visit some places outside of the usual French Quarter vacation.

oooh I have never done a rum tour. or a swamp tour. sounds cool

I’m headed there tomorrow for a long weekend. I’m taking Amtrak out of ATL; it’s about 12 hours by train, but since it’s 8 by car and there are 5 of us going I think we’ll have fun. For three of our group its their first time, so I’m likely to be the unofficial guide. We’re arriving Thursday night, and leaving Sunday Morning. My ideal must hit locations are:
Camellia Grill
Maple Leaf

Jackson Square
Stanley Restaurant
Cafe de Monde

French Quarter
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop
Fritzel’s European Jazz Club
Pat O’Brien’s

**Sightseeing **
St. Louis Cemetery (Save Our Cemeteries)
WWII Museum

Marigny District
Blue Nile
Spotted Cat

Good Simple Breakfast place
Daisy Dukes

**If we have time
**St Joe’s Bar.
Swamp Tour
Chill at hotel.

Cajun isn’t really a New Orleans thing. Glad you had a good time and made it to the Rose. Just this morning my wife mentioned planning a trip down.

Enright3, not sure if you’re looking for opinions, but I’m feeling opinionated ;):

Jacques-Imo’s - Fun place, decent food, gets crowded though. Maybe get there when they first open.
Camellia Grill - Good food, but the bottom line is it’s just a diner. They did open one in the Quarter.
Maple Leaf - Awesome place for music. Things usually get going late.

Jackson Square

Cafe de Monde - Majorly touristy, but you have to go. If it’s too crowded, go to Cafe Beignet next to the police station on Royal.

French Quarter
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop - Can be okay, but gets a lot of the Bourbon St drunks.
Pat O’Brien’s - Ooof
I always push the Erin Rose on Conti. Just a small Irish pub with a cool staff and a good jukebox. It’s a nice escape when you’re tired of Bourbon St.
The Kerry on Decatur is a small, local heavy place with free live music.

WWII Museum - Very interesting. They have a 4d movie thing that’s pretty cool, just don’t do it with a hangover like I did. They actually have one of John Besh’s restaurants (American Sector) that had a pretty decent happy hour .

Marigny District
Blue Nile
Spotted Cat
Check out the Apple Barrel.

Good Simple Breakfast place
Daisy Dukes

If we have time
St Joe’s Bar - I know I’ve been there because I have a tshirt, but can’t remember anything special about it!
Swamp Tour
Chill at hotel - Why in God’s name would you want to do that!

I forgot to mention a band we saw at Mona’s (?) on Frenchmen. I think they were called the Original Bayou Billionaires or something like that. I can’t find anything on them via Google but, in any case, they were great. We heard a female vocalist singing “Bei Mir Bist du Schoen” as we approached. She looked like something from a 1950’s movie, only better. The musicians were awesome and they continued to play what I guess would be jazz/nightclub music from the period. You just don’t hear that style here in NJ so I’m not sure what you call it. Fast, upbeat, great solos…I can’t say enough about them. They play locally all the time so if you see the name - check 'em out!

Just in case you’re checking SDMB while on the road, I recommend these musical acts:


Don Vappie Trio - Snug Harbor, 2 shows - 8 & 10 PM, jazz
Tornado Brass Band - Preservation Hall, 8 PM, trad jazz
George French Trio featuring Ellen Smith - Hotel Monteleone, 9 PM, vocal jazz
Kermit Ruffins - Vaughan’s, 9 PM, jazz


Washboard Chaz Blues Trio - Spotted Cat, 6 PM, blues
Tim Laughlin and the Palm Court Jazz Band - Palm Court, 8 PM, trad jazz
Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown - Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse, 8 PM, jazz
Preservation Hall Jazz Masters featuring Leroy Brown - Preservation Hall, 8 PM, trad jazz
Debbie Davis - Three Muses, 9 PM, vocal jazz
New Orleans Cottonmouth Kings - Spotted Cat, 10 PM, small-group swing
Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys - d.b.a, 10 PM, Cajun

Washboard Chaz Blues Trio - Blue Nile, 7 PM, blues
Jazz Vipers - Spotted Cat, 10 PM, jazz
Rebirth Brass Band - d.b.a, 11 PM, contemporary brass band

If I were there I would be sure to see Don Vappie and the New Orleans Cottonmouth Kings, but I don’t know your tastes.

Moving thread for Cafe Society to MPSIMS.

Headed there on Thursday for an extended weekend. There is a stall in the French Market that has the best po-boys in town.

Also looking forward to touring the Old New Orleans Rum Distillery again!