Thanks to many on this board my friends and I had a great time in New Orleans. We stayed at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, 500 Canal St. 504-525-2500. Located between Camp & Magazine St.
Tip for out-of-towners: Airport shuttle (shared ride van) go to hotels for a fee. $13 single inbound/outbound walkup or voucher. Prepaid is $12pp one way. for rsvp: 504-522-3500. Taxis for 1-2persons is $28 from airport to hotel.
Checked into hotel then went to Central Grocery Co. 923 Decatur St. M-S 8am-5:30pm, Sun 9am-5:30pm. Cash only. Bought a half muffaletta for $6. Tried a 1/4 and it's really salty and greasy. Still liked it though.
Then went to Acme Oyster House. 724 Iberville St. ate a half dozen oyster $3.99 and crawfish $8.50/lb.
Oysters are ok, it's missing the briny salty taste that's found in California but it's so cheap.
Crawfish-a bit salty and spicy, but lots of work to get at and messy. Good.
Got a hurricane at Pat O'Briens. $6 in a togo plastic cup, it's Huge. I liked it, but only drank a tiny bit of it. When friends showed up they drink maybe 2 hurricanes (they didn't think Pat O'Briens was very good and said other places make it better) and other drinks-next day they were very ill. 718 St. Peter St in the French Qtr.
3/17/04 St Patrick's Day. I was able to catch the Downtown Irish Club Parade. Supposedly it started at 6:30pm but I didn't see them come down Decatur until 9pm. Fun!! Got lots of beads and a few kisses on the cheek.
Saw the cake guy and mentioned to him I saw him on the Food Network. I got a slice of Red Velvet Cake $3. Had it for breakfast and it's very moist and the frosting very rich and creamy.
Ate the other 1/4 of the muff then did a walking tour of the French Qtr by the Frommer's book New Orleans 2004.
Took the St. Charles street car ($1.25ea way) to the Rink for Garden District/Cemetery walking tour. $15 cash/travelers' check only/2hr tour.
Dinner: Brigtsen's. 723 Dante St. 504-861-7610. Got the early bird special $16.95 (it's served 5:30-6:30pm T-Th). We took the St Charles street car to the restaurant.
warm rolls w/ butter-good. They are not homemade, but finished at the restaurant.
sheephead fish (white flaky fish) w/ mash potatoes & green beans. Good
Banana bread pudding-good. Good meal, great price.
Cajun Swamp Tour $37 w/ coupon from website. ($42 without)Cash only, even with credit card depost. Very strange. Just ok, wanted more gators and strange creatures.
Lunch: Napolean House. 500 Chartres St. 504-524-9752. M-Th 11am-12am, F-Sat 11am-1am. Casual, good atmosphere. We sat in the patio-very nice and relaxed. I like their muffaletta much better than Central Grocery. It's served warm, not as salty, and not greasy. We got a whole one about $11 and I had half. I got side of jumbalaya $2.50 w/ sandwich-ok. Pimm's cup-nothing special $5.
Dinner: Emeril's. 800 Tchoupitoulas (@ Julia St) it was walking distance from hotel but since the guys were dressed up w/ jacket decided to cab it though we walked back to the hotel.
It's an expensive meal, I think it was $70pp for us.
They have great service and good homemade rolls and their cornbread is Great. I had the bbq shrimp, seafood gumbo, salad, and banana creme pie. I liked it all. The banana creme pie is huge and not very sweet. I was still very full from lunch so I didn't really order a meal-ate everything but couldn't finish the banana creme pie.
Sat. 3/20 (Bday)
Breakfast: Mother's. 401 Poydras St. Cash only, no rsvp, cafeteria style service, no tipping allowed.
Had a wait maybe 20 minutes, line was long from the outside, then u have to wait inside too. Tried the Ferdis-huge sandwich w/ debris (roast-beef drippings), ham, cheese, roast beef, lettuce, mustard. Tell them it's your birthday and they sing the bday song!
side of bisquits-looked really good, but just ordinary.
tried husband's grits w/ debris-ok
hubby got a side of blackened ham (the burned-sugar coating from baked ham)-just ok
Lunch-still too full to eat but friends and I went to Domilise Sandwich Shop. 5240 Annunication St. Cash only. M-Su 10am-7pm. This is the place for Sweet bbq beef po-boys. Everyone's favorite. Next would be fried oyster po-boys, fried shrimp po-boys. I liked Diet Barq's soda-it doesn't taste like Diet $1.25
Cab ride needed, but we did walk back in the heat. They went to D-Day Museum but I went back to hotel.
Dinner:Gabrielle. 3201 Esplanade Ave. 504-948-6233. Ordered off the $45pp menu. I tried mozzeralla(sp) salad-ok, duck-a bit dry for me, I love roasted Chinese duck (w/ blackened skin-didn't eat but husband liked), dessert was creme brulee-not the best I've had but ok. Service was very slow and waiter made a $40 mistake on our bill. Ouch, but he corrected it! It's stil a moderate-expensive restaurant. I think they have a special cheaper price but not on Sat. darn.
Brunch: Felix's. Iberville St near Acme. Wanted to eat on the balcony but they don't serve oysters there so had to go back down to the roomy main dining area. Got 2 dozen oysters-a dozen for me, dozen for hubby. Like Acme not much flavor, some mud on oysters. We added salt to ours and hot sauce. But cheap!!
Ben loved the turtle soup-taste like beef he says.
Crawfish Etouffee-Delicious! Expensive though $11.50 or so.
gumbo-good but needs more spices.
Ate lots of beignets and cafe au lait and hot chocolate at Cafe Du Monde!!-open 24 hrs!! You can shop there for gifts and it's the cheapest prices compare to the stores nearby. I think Cost Plus in Calif sells the beignet mix(didn't check the price at the store just saw in an ad) and 99Ranch ($4.99) sells the Coffee w/ Chicory. Might be more expensive in Calif but then you don't have to lug it home.
food Gifts: Leah's Pralines-714 St Louis St (between Royal & Bourbon) 504-523-5662. Best in the City many say. I liked the pecan brittle, praline pecans, heavenly hash(marshmallows, chocolate and pecans on the top), chocolate pecan brittle (in the glass case w/ other chocolates). Credit card ok.
Oh, don't forget to ride the Free Ferry ride for Peds (cars pay something $1 maybe) to Algier's Point. Leaves every 15 min weekday, 30 minutes weekend.
New Orleans is a fun city and good food. Easy to get around.