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Restaurants & Bars

New Orleans

A concise report of a short trip


Restaurants & Bars 6

A concise report of a short trip

Bob. B. | Aug 6, 2003 12:35 PM

With just 24 hours between arriving at the airport Monday afternoon, and departing Tuesday, and having to pack in 3 hours of work, I had to be prepared. Careful review of the board was a start.

For dinner Monday evening I decided on Jacque Imo's. I telephoned on Friday, Aug. 1, with important questions: Can a single diner order from the full menu at the bar? [yes]. Are you open Mondays? [yes.] I printed maps off the internet, checked with the desk clerk at my hotel about taking the streetcar, then did take the streetcar uptown, getting off just past the Carrolton turn, and walking through a neighborhood to find Jacque Imo's. Unfortunately, although I had asked the prior Friday if they were open Mondays, I didn't specify whether they were going to be open on the NEXT Monday, Aug. 4, because I found a sign saying they were closed until September.

Disappointed, but ready to do some walking, I found I had the adress for Frankie and Johnny's, and set out in that direction expecting to have a sizeable appetite when I arrived about 30 minutes later. But after just a few minutes of walking I saw the sign for Cooter Brown's. Prior inquiry on this board about where to find boudin in N.O. had returned advice to go to Cooter Brown's, so I stopped and had a hot grilled boudin and a draft. Following Calvin Trillan's advice, who sang the praises of boudin in the New Yorker about two years ago, I ignored the crackers, silverware, and creole mustard and other condiments offered, and simply sucked the sausage out of the casing. It was a good sausage, but I can't sing praise like Trillan. I'll give boudin another try if I'm ever in West Louisiana.

Thus fortified, I continued on my walk toward Frankie and Johnny's at 321 Arabella near Tchoulipitas, which took me through Audobon Park and several pleasant residential neighborhoods. Frankie and Johnny's was a neighborhood joint, long on po'boys and fried stuff. I had a cup of alligator soup (unremarkable) a bowl of seafood gumbo (excellent, briny, all the seafood cooked beyond recognition except the crab, but still delicious) and finished with bread pudding (unremarkable).

Breakfast the next morning at Mothers. I was early enough to get the black ham, a favorite, with grits.

For lunch with two companions we went to Mandina's, which was very enjoyable. The highlights were the turtle soup and the bread pudding. In between, I had trout meinure (help me with the spelling here) which was crispy good, but better was my companion's grilled shrimp. My other companion declared the seafood gumbo better than Mothers, but no one in our party had both Mandina's and Frankie and Johnny's seafood gumbo, so no comparison could be drawn.

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