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breakfast and self preservation in New Orleans

breakfast and self preservation in New Orleans

Jan 6th, 2009, 01:57 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 74
breakfast and self preservation in New Orleans

Katrina kept us from our first scheduled trip to New Orleans in 2005, but we have finally made new plans to visit. We will be there January 26-28.
We are staying at the Hotel Intercontinetal (amazing deal on priceline). Our dinners will be at Emeril's, K-Paul's, and Olivier's. Our lunches are at Commander's Palace, Acme Oyster House, and The Gumbo Shop. After dinner entertainment is to include Preservation Hall, the piano bar at Pat O'Brien's, and Bourbon Street.
We are looking for ideas for breakfast. We will do Cafe Dumond once but need a couple of recommendations for other good breakfast spots within walking distance of our hotel. We WILL NOT have a car and would prefer to walk to and from our destinations. Having read countless books and forums, however, you would think that you shouldn't walk the city at night without a machine gun. Is it really that bad?? After dark we do not anticipate being further east than Jackson Square and no further west than Emeril's on Julia Street. None of our destinations would be further than a nine block walk from our hotel. We would probably be heading back to our hotel between 11pm and midnight. Would you recommend cabs or should we be able to safely walk back to our hotel?? I understand that north of Rampart and east of Esplanade are considered the bad zones but we wouldn't be anywhere near there.

We would appreciate any and all thoughts. Thanks.
euclid is offline  
Jan 6th, 2009, 02:42 PM
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Consider taking the St Charles Ave streetcar (a must for a New Orleans trip anyway, to see all the gorgeous mansions in the Garden District) to breakfast one morning. Take the gentle and fascinating ride to the end near Carrollton Ave and jump off to have breakfast at the Camellia Grill, a Nola institution. Sit at the counter and maybe have a piece of fried pecan pie (it's vacation!) plopped on the grill to be heated and carmelized. Yum. Omelets and normal breakfast food is great too.

Walk off the calories by strolling around "Uptown", exploring Audubon Park (gorgeous) and Tulane, then hop back on the streetcar or call a taxi to speed you back to the Quarter for lunch.

Consider a stroll down Magazine Street for shopping. Cafe du Monde is also great for nighttime snack.

Be aware of your safety and don't walk down a deserted dark street, but if you keep to the tourist areas and keep your street smarts on alert you should be fine.
BlueSwimmer is offline  
Jan 6th, 2009, 03:18 PM
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We were there last year in late January (without a car) and had a great time. We stayed in the busy, tourisy areas at night and had no problems. There were police everywhere. We loved hearing music on the street and feeling comfortable dropping into the clubs to listen for a minute without paying cover or even buying a drink. I did keep some bills in my pocket for tipping the bands.

Loved Acme Oyster House! I think you will be able to wander into some neat little cafes for breakfast, although I got the impression that residents of New Orleans aren't really "morning people."

We ran into some rain and chilly weather, so bring an umbrellas and pack for layering.

Have a great time!
jayne1973 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2009, 03:55 PM
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BlueSwimmer...thanks for the ideas. We are indeed taking the streetcar to the garden district on our second day and having lunch at Commander's.
Jayne1973...how were the crowds when you went in January? Were there lines to get into the restaurants and clubs??
euclid is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 05:59 AM
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Euclid-- Lines were not a problem, and late January was the beginning of the Mardi Gras season last year. You'll probably find it even less crowded.
jayne1973 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 08:42 AM
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I am so, so sorry you won't be in N.O. on a Sat. or Sun.

Just in case others posters here are... Go to Elizabeths and don't forget the praline bacon.

bardo1 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 08:44 AM
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More specifically:


bardo1 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 10:04 AM
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We really preferred Cafe Beignet to Cafe du Monde. We've never had good service at Cafe du Monde- it was bad enough last time that we left after waiting a few minutes on a waitress (who was sitting behind a column in full view of the back half of the table area reading a magazine, and got crappy with another table who called her on it). It wasn't great the first time, but that was only a few months after Katrina so we didn't worry about it.

We went across the street to Cafe Beignet. The beignets were more expensive, but they were actually better, and everyone was nice.
cocontom is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 10:33 AM
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We usually use the to-go window at Cafe DuMonde and take our goodies up to the river and watch boats pass. They have always been very fast for us and we're getting the actual, real beignets.
ccolor is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 10:37 AM
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bardo -- we'll be in NO on a Saturday and Sunday and just might check out Elizabeth's for brunch. Is it walkable from the Fr Quarter? Are there usually lines with a long wait? thanks!
yestravel is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 02:03 PM
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It's a 5 minute - $7 taxi from the FQ and worth it. No long lines as it is not in a tourist area.
bardo1 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 02:17 PM
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I think that the danger to your average tourist in NOLA is overstated - and has been for awhile.

While it is a fairly high crime city, most of the crime is resident on resident - fueled by drug trade, gang activity, organized crime, and general poverty. Another factor is that a fair number of tourists come to drink heavily into the small hours of the morning - and we all know that wandering the streets smashed, esspecially in a strange city, makes a person a target.

So, take your normal precautions about dark alleys, walking alone, etc. and chances are you wont have a problem - esspecially if you aren't even out past midnight.
november_moon is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 02:47 PM
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We loved this place for lunch and dinner on our last trip...

gyppielou is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 03:11 PM
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I highly recommend taking the streetcar uptown to Camellia Grill for breakfast, lunch, etc. It's one of our favorite places and we always see tourists visiting with locals. The streetcar ride alone is worth going.......and walking around Audubon Park nearby is a must! You've listed some wonderful restaurants and activities.

As for the evening, I think you'll be fine. We walk everywhere but be alert and careful. Hope you have a wonderful time!
metry1 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 04:04 PM
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thanks, bardo--will add it to our list of eatin' places
yestravel is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 05:48 PM
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One caveat on deserted streets- always remember that the doorways are recessed, so the street may only look deserted. Stay in the Quarter where you see people and you should be fine.

One other fun spot is WINO on Tchoupitoulas. They have hundreds of bottles of wine available by the ounce, half glass and glass.
cocontom is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 05:59 PM
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Lil Dizzy's cafe is one minute from your hotel on Poydras St. in the Whitney building (the main street that runs through the CBD) and they have good breakfasts.

Luke Restaurant by John Besh is directly across from your hotel and has breakfast every day.

Cafe Adelaide, which I also love for lunch, is in the Lowe's Hotel on Poydras, and is open for breakfast. It's a really cool space, and probably only a 5-7 minute walk from your hotel up Poydras.

The Grill at the Windsor Court. Pricey but fabulous for breakfast. Really fabulous.

I'm not sure if you already have your other meals set in stone but I wanted to give you a couple of suggestions. I work in the CBD two blocks from your hotel, and eat lunch and dinner frequently in the city for work functions so I've eaten at most/all of the city's "best restaurants." Here are the restaurants that I think are great choices now in terms of providing quality food & ambience on a consistent basis. I also really like Emeril's on your list.

1. Restaurant August by John Besh (near your hotel)

2. MiLa (near your hotel)

3. Bayona (in the French Quarter)

4. Stella! (in the French Quarter)

5. Maximo's (in the French Quarter-recently re-opened after Katrina-wonderful atmosphere, great pasta, and excellent wine list)

6. Tommy's (in the Warehouse District right before Emeril's; this is operated by the people who run Irene's in the French Quarter-it has a great vibe, and excellent food and waiters--there is an adjoining wine bar)
mah1980 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 06:01 PM
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I just saw the rec for Wino. This is a fun place and really comes alive at about 6 p.m. on weeknights when the after work crowd hits. Another fun bar is the Swizzle Stick at Cafe Adelaide!
mah1980 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 07:09 PM
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We loved Tommy's vibe - the swizzle place at our Loew's Hotel - not so much. JMHO
gyppielou is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 06:36 AM
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I third the Camellia Grill idea....it is such an institution and add a street car ride through uptown would be fantastic.

While I do not agree that crime is "overstated" even for tourist, just be cautious and use your common sense. The Quarter has changed a lot over the years, many would say not for the better.

Finally, I would recommend that you change up your dinner choice of Emirals.

The last 2 times I've been to Emirals, I was very dissapointed. I thought the first time it was just a fluke, but the second time shortly after was the last straw.

This is unfortunate because it had been very good since the reopening especially under the close supervision of Emiral himself. It seems when Emeril spends a lot of time away from here, the quality goes downhill quickly.

Another option in place of Emeril's would be Cochon which is simplay amazing, or as others have stated, August, Stella or Bayonna.

August is probably one of the best restaurants in the city, perhaps the nation. Stella is back to its best, and Bayonna is excellent but a little slow if it is a busy night.

I am not sure about breakfast at Luke's but for lunch or dinner I would give it a thumbs down. I'm afraid Mr. Besh may be overextending himself with restaurants all over the region and quality is beginning to suffer a bit....however thankfully not at August which remains a gem.

mark99 is offline  

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