I am a chef and I worked in New Orleans for two and 1/2 years. I am real into New Orleans food and spent lots of my time looking for great places to eat in New Orleans. So here is my input:
NEVER! get a muffalata from the central grocer - i have tried them more times than you can count and have never had one that even compairs to Di Martinos on the west bank (on carol sue). People can say whatever they want but the mufalata at the central grocer is less than bad.
for a good deal in the french quarter try masperos on decateur ( across from the old brewery )
Ugliches is amazing - one of the best finds in the city
Go to Tony Mandinas on monday for the awesome red beans
also try a frenchulata at Liazuas (spelling?) in mid city
The diville bistro in Metarie is awesome! real inspired culinary work.
Check out Dragos in fat city for the grill roasted oysters
I have had some great dishes at barataria bay in Metarie also.
There is a great seafood boiling house on the west bank called Capt. tonys (i think it is on manhattan)
I have never had ANYTHING bad at mothers (but i do have a regular girl that waited on me there, i was a regular and i did slip her extra $ when i went in) but it has been a while sence i have been there.
that is all for now -