I will be visiting New Orleans between 2/12 and 2/17 (with perhaps a day trip out of the city) and was hoping I could get some very basic reccos on places to eat. I've only been to New Orleans once, and it was for just 18 hours, so I didn't get far!
To try to narrow my query a bit, I suppose I'm looking for guidance on two things:
1) As a rule, I generally try to avoid touristy places -- but that said, are there any touristy places that I just shouldn't miss? As an example, I went to some sandwich place (Momma's? Big Momma's?) that had a hero (maybe a Po-boy, but I don't want to misuse the term) with oven scrapings that I really enjoyed. And I really want to try beignets, and suppose I'll go to Cafe du Monde unless some Hounder steers me elsewhere.
2) This is the harder one -- where are a few places that I should go to try to begin to understand the grammar of New Orleans cooking? Put differently, what do you think I need to try during three or four days of eating opportunities? Gumbo? Po-boys of different varieties? Fried chicken? I'd love to hear your thoughts. By way of example, if you were coming to New York City (where I live) and were asking the same question, I'd steer you to very precise places to try real bagels and bialies, hot dogs, pizza, deli, knishes and any number of things that are distnictly NYC.
By the way, on my first brief trip I managed to make it to Uglesich's, which fairly put me over the moon. I'm told it closed.
My general mantra is, show me the first place the returning soldier goes when he comes home on leave. That's where I want to be.
Sorry -- this is a bit longer than I'd intended. I really, really appreciate your guidance.