Well, my eyes are burning from obsessively reading this board for weeks but I finally laid out a plan!
If you want to offer comment/coaching, keep in mind:
1) I'm a "food optimist." Reading this board quickly reveals 2 camps. F.O.s approach meals looking for things to enjoy while "food critics" set a certain bar and experience meals through how precisely they measure up. Neither is right or wrong, just different personality types.
2) I'm not looking for Super-Sizing, but I do hate places who starve you in the name of cuisine!
3) I only can afford 1 trip a year, so I'm far from "over" traditional N.O. food. New twists are welcome, but I'm not looking for inovative reconstructions.
4) I'm more fun/eclectic than formal, though am brining a date and am going for a little more upscale this trip BUT . . .
5) I LOATHE PRETENSION!!! A snooty waiter just begs me to start an existential rant on how in the midst of the assumed infinte expanses of time and space my knowledge of wine/entree pairings is quite insignificant.
Thursday: Hotel at 5ish. Dinner at Galatoires, with a possible Sazeracs/Pimm's Cups somewhere before, now that I've been enlightened/tempted.
Fri: 10:30 at Uglesich's. I was advised not to do lunch during fest, but also not to miss Ugie's before closing. So go early to miss crowd/still make Fest at reasonable time.
Rest of day at Fest, snacking at booths. Maybe late apps at Redfish or dinner at Irene's, but figure will be sucked in by 1st night of music.
Sat: lunch at Festival
8:00 dinner resv. at Brigtsen's. (hate to miss fireworks, but only night that works. Wait at Gal's probably HUGE Fest nights)
Sun: 11:00 brunch at Commander's Palace
Have resv. but may cancel, depending on how things go. I could spend all day every day at Fest, but probably not my date. But if we want early fest, will cancel and do diner at Irene's or try to sneak in G.W.'s or Mr. B's. Otherwise, brunch and then snack at Fest rest of day.
Mon: 2 Muffaletta's from Central Grocery. One to eat in airport (1:22 flight), and one to sit and worship for days, debating on whether to eat or frame.
Sorry so long. but I'm quite excited and appreciate everyone's input! My first 2 trips to NOLA I fell into bad tourist traps due to lack of info. Got some better info. after that, but now C.H. has been like hitting the lottery!