I'm afraid this is one of those "I'm out of town, where should I eat?" type of questions. However, I would like to avoid all the big-name, well published, everyone's-heard-about kind of New Orleans restaurants. It's more like "I'm craving 'X', where should I get it?"
Having said that, let me preface everything. I've always loved Cajun/Creole/New Orleans style cooking, having never stepped foot in Louisiana. I own several cajun/creole cookbooks, I make my own shrimp stocks, spice mixes, I've make 50+ minute dark roux, I have watched Emeril for years before he became such a big TV ass, and love going to cajun/creole restaurants in the cities I've lived in (unfortunately those would be LA and New York, which is NOT known for good cajun/creole restaurant). Now that I am coming over for this first time, I would like to really calibrate my tastes. I want to see what I have been eating and cooking SHOULD have tasted like.
I am coming over for Jazz Fest, and staying near the French Quarter, so I can't readily get very far from there. We've already chosen a few nicer, sit down, white tablecloth type restaurants which is why I don't want to go to those types of restaurants. I feel that these kinds of dishes can be found at more casual, neighborhood, everyday types of restaurant. Everyone outside of NOLA knows that if you want a muffaletta, you go to Central Grocery. But I want to ask you, the good people of New Orleans, where do YOU go when you really crave a good muffaletta? Hell, maybe the answer IS Central Grocery. But that's what I want to know. And that is what I am asking for the following dishes: "I'm craving 'X', where should I get it?" where 'X' is
1) gumbo (any kind)
2) etouffee (any kind)
3) jambalaya (any kind)
4) gulf oysters on the half shell
5) po'boy sandwich (more interested in shrimp or fried oyster)
6) barbecue shrimp
8) catfish/redfish court-boullion