Hi NOLA hounds,
This will be the first meal of my third visit in two years to your fair city. This time around I am with a group of 7 people, between the ages of 25 and 60, celebrating my dad's 60th birthday from this Fri-Mon. We're going to one day of Jazzfest (it'll be the first time in N.O. for a few us, including the birthday boy, so they'll want to see as much as possible in their limited time, besides...I'm sticking around for the following week and another day the festival--so my personal music and food needs are not in any danger) and going to spend the rest of the time eating and drinking and walking about. I've already got Cochon reservations for Friday night (been twice before, have had varied service but great food) and figure we will try for a mid-afternoon lunch at Galatoire's on whatever day we are not at the festival.
It seems very important to me--as the effective guide to these folks--that our first meal in town should be more than merely utilitarian place holding for the feast at cochon later that night. Our flight lands at 11am, assuming 2.5 hours for getting downtown and checking in to the Monteleone; I figure people will have their minds set on hunger around 1.30-2pm. First meals in food centric cities are a difficult proposition--you don't want to go all out right away--and at the same time it can really start things off on the wrong or right foot if chosen well (or poorly). My impression is that for this first meal people will want to follow my lead (as the quasi-expert in the group) but they are also going to want something fast and casual (and maybe not too far from the quarter or Garden district--given that having sated their hunger they will want to get down to looking at some famous and beautiful stuff.) I was thinking Johnny's for Po-boys (I've never been--always ate my po-boys further afield) but wonder if anyone can think of something with a little more punch--given our timing, numbers and the aforementioned importance of the first culinary impression.
Hopping into a cab is not out of the question, nor is a sit-down meal, but I don't think reservations are wise when you are at the mercy of airlines and acts of God.
930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130
209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130