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Restaurants & Bars

New Orleans

Best meal deal anywhere

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Best meal deal anywhere

Visitor | Feb 1, 2004 09:05 AM

For some jaded old hands it may be "boring", but for newbies and maybe most normal people the best overall fine restaurant deal anywhere has got to be Commander's Palace for lunch. Prices for a selection from 5 appetizers and 3 entrees is from $13 to $15. The entrees generally include a fish, beef or lamb, and pork dish. All of it is outstanding, properly prepared to please the palate of even those who think traditional Louisiana food is often overrated or overspiced. (I prefer the meat dishes, especially their lamb or pork). You really don't need wine -all-you-can drink martinis are an unbelieveable 25 cents each! (Stick to the classic gin or vodka, though other varieties are available). The desserts are extra - $6 to $8. I liked the pecan pie ala mode with chocolate even better than their bread pudding souffle. (They even threw in free coffee with dessert, perhaps a mistake, though the usual price is only $1.90. Like everything else, the coffee is great) The greeting is warm and the service is attentive, friendly, and unpretentious. Arrive early - you actually walk through the kitchen to the bar, watch and perhaps talk to the chefs on the way, and see the very nice patio, which is great for eating in good weather. I like the pleasant decor - no chandeliers or other pretentious nonsense. Upstairs in the trees overlooking the garden is very nice, as is the main room, which is great for people-watching. The clientele is refined yet not stuffy. You don't have to dress up as you do for dinner (which I have not experienced but must be great, though at twice the price), but thankfully no shorts, jeans or t-shirts. It's easy to park on the streets nearby if you don't want valet parking.

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