My girlfriend and I decided to go to NOLA for a long weekend, June 26-29. Being one who enjoys good food, I consulted a friend who is familiar with the city. He gave me some recommendations, and pointed me to the Chowhound boards. I figured I'd share some my experience, but first, let me qualify it: I'm fairly green to the world of chowhounddom, but I know what I like. With that said...
We got to town at about 4:30 on Thursday. We stayed at the Whitney (Wyndham) on Poydras. We had previously decided that we definitely wanted to eat at Jacques Imo's, so I figured Thursday would give us the best chance at a short wait. We arrived around 6:15, were told that it would be half an hour, but were called only 15 minutes later. The dining area was a little loud, but not uncomfortably so.
We had the fried calamari in garlic sauce to start. Definitely a good choice. The salad was simple and tasty, and had me ready for my entree. I had the blackened tuna (cooked medium, sides of potato salad and rb&r) and my girlfriend had the shrimp creole (side of mashed potatoes and rb&r). Both dishes were presented well and tasted, well, perfect. I simply didn't have room for desert after my meal, but left more than satisfied. Jacques' definitely lived up to my expectations.
Friday we went to Mother's for lunch. I'd eaten there before, about 4 years ago. I had a shrimp po' boy, which was very good. My only complaint is that the shell was left on one of my shrimp, but that didn't do much to sour the meal. I really would have liked to have tried Uglesich's or Domilise's, but with Mother's only two blocks away, we chose it for the convenience factor. And when a compromise involves eating such a tasty sandwich, I can't complain.
Friday night we decided to try Mat & Naddie's (chosen over Dick and Jenny's because we could make reservations). Even with reservations we had to wait about half an hour, but it wasn't unpleasant; we each had a drink and relaxed outside. We decided to forgo the appetizer and get straight to the entree. My girlfriend went with the stuffed pork chop (medium-well), and I with the filet mignon (medium). I believe we had sides as well, but to be honest I can't remember. Both entrees were very good (although I'm not much of a pork chop fan). Luckily, we still had room for desert: bread pudding and coffee for me, lemon cheesecake for her. I usually don't have room for desert, but in this case I'm glad I did. And my girlfriend is still talking about the lemon cheesecake.
I should say that the service in both Jacques' and Mat & Naddie's was very good, and I was happy to leave a nice tip as thanks. Saturday we ate at some place in the Quarter. The food was okay, although the fact that I can't remember the name should tell you something. Our waiter acted like we were a burden on him, even though we requested nothing more than food and one round of drinks. He got a tip that reflected that. I mention this only to say that meals like that only make the good ones seem great.
Since I hadn't won millions at the blackjack table on Friday, we decided to keep the price reasonable for our final dinner on Saturday. After a while we decided to just walk down to Mother's and get take-out. Again, it was a good meal. I am anxious to return and try the dozens of other places I've read about. Thanks to all y'all for the words of wisdom.