I'll be in New Orleans on Dec 27 for one full day. I'd love to get three good meals that day. Unfortunately, I'm somewhat on a budget. I can do one somewhat pricey meal, but the rest needs to be somewhat on the cheap. So what do you recommend? I always prefer stuff that samples what is good in a particular region, so unique to New Orleans is a plus. I have no problem going to delicious dives. I also tend to eat lighter breakfasts - so something quick and easy is a plus there. And finally, I'm staying in a hotel just outside the French Quarter, so nothing obscenely far away, please.
So, if you had one day to sample New Orleans cuisine, what would you do (on a budget)?
(Also, I'm a big fan of cocktails. Any truly oustanding bars I should check out at night?)