Just wanted to thank N.O. hounds for your help and advice.
We couldn't get into some of the top places I wanted to go, plus we had a budget, but we managed to go to Luke for a casual dinner, NOLA (much to many hounds' dismay, but I really did want to try an Emeril restaurant), EAT for Sunday brunch, Cafe du Monde for b'fast, and tons of Jazzfest food.
Luke was good, but not completely memorable. Oysters to start, my friend had mussels as her entree and I went with shrimp and grits and finished off with espresso profiteroles. I don't know how grits are supposed to taste, but these were extraordinarily bland. The shrimp and everything else was good, but nothing mind-blowing.
NOLA was better than expected. I was too full from Jazzfest to order a full entree, but I had their BBQ shrimp appetizer and thoroughly enjoyed it. My friend ordered shrimp and grits and they were better than Luke's (although $10 more).
EAT was awesome. I had the Eggs Dauphine and they were fab. I love the decor, too. Coffee was super cheap (maybe b/c I'm from NY where even the dingy brunch places charge $3).
Jazzfest food - We tried jambalaya, shrimp/sausage gumbo, crawfish bread, crawfish monica, soft shell crab po'boy, crabcakes, and mango freeze in 2 days. I didn't love the crawfish bread, but everything else was great. The soft shell crab po'boy was the standout.