I will be staying in New Orleans for five days, at the Hotel Monteleone. I've never been to the city before and I'll be with a group of people who are in the same boat, and most of them are foodies. We're all graduate students, so we can't go to high end places but I'm open to anything reasonable, or especially worth it.
Can you recommend places to eat that are not too too far away from the hotel? If something is a must-eat, I will go out of my way to try it, but it would be cool to be able to walk around. High on my list are po'boys, soft shell crab, and oysters. And anything else you tell me I need to eat!
One other request: can you recommend a nice cafe to sit and read at? I will probably spend one afternoon doing this for a few hours.