I am going back to New Orleans at the end of March and staying at the Columns Hotel in the Garden District that my grandmother used to manage in the 1950s. In preparation for the trip, I have been thinking about places for food and music. This four part series will start with food this weekend and continue with music next weekend. I have written about New Orleans music and food before but these prior posts were about musicians and recipes. They were:
I have been meaning to cover places to eat and hear music for some time for some time so here it is. I start with my own picks and then tomorrow, I am going to post more up to date suggestions for restaurants from Harmony St. Charles who writes a blog by the same name. With the exception of Herbstaint and Upperline, these places are all from my childhood and have survived as classics. I think they are the best of the standards and give you the old style New Orleans experience.
First two new ones:
Herbstaint referred to itself as “modern New Orleans,” with dishes like Shrimp and Green Chile Grits Cakes with Tasso Cream Sauce and Herbsaint, Tomato and Shrimp Bisque or Gumbo of the day. I have been there several times and always found it great It is located at 701 St. Charles in the warehouse district. (504-524-4114).
Upperline was recently written up in the New York Times, not that Yankees know much about New Orleans cooking, and I am interested in trying it. Like Herbstaint, it is newer Creole. One of the signature dishes is fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade. It is located uptown at 1413 Upperline Street. (504) 891-9822.
Now for the old ones:
Galatorie’s is old style Creole and has been around forever (1905). It is my favorite old style place and I have been many times. Brass rails, mirrored walls, waiters in tux. Standards include: broiled pompano, trout amandine and French bread so light you have to keep it from floating off the basket. Even though it is in the Quarter, locals still continue to go. It is located at 209 Bourbon Street (504) 525-2021 – Jackets are required for dinner and all day Sunday.
Commander’s Place is in the Garden District and this is where we took out-of-towners for upscale in the 1950s. It is classic New Orleans Creole. Better to go for lunch, its cheaper and you can see the neighborhood better. It is located at 1403 Washington St. (504) 899-8221.
Acme Oyster House is where my uncle used to go whenever he was in town in the 50s and I still try to get there to get the fried shrimp Po-Boys. Since It is in the Quarter, a lot of tourist will be there also but I still find it worthwhile, if just for the memories. It is located at 724 Iberville St. (504) 522-5973.
Arnaud’s is another classic Creole in the French Quarter (1918). I like their jazz brunch as it is good value for money. There is a three piece jazz combo than wanders around the tables. I always get some of their remoulade sauce to bring back but you also get it online at their site. It is located at 813 Bienville St. (504) 523-0611.
Café du Monde is where you get coffee and beigets and listen to the street musicians. Now it is very touristy, perhaps it always was, but I think it is still fun. It is located just off Jackson Square at 800 Decatur St. (504) 525-4544