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NeoPatrick Apr 11th, 2013 04:52 AM

New Orleans Tasting tours
I know several have recommended walking/tasting tours. The main one that sounds good is by Culinary History Tours. But the three hour tour is at 2:00. So clearly it lasts till 5. At $92 for two, it's sure not cheap, but that isn't really the main issue. It sounds like quite a lot of food, but it seems too late for lunch, and with a 7;30 reservation at Bayonna, I really don't want us to ruin our appetite. How does this work -- or is there another, perhaps better tour I'm missing? I've done a similar tour in New York, and loved that it was late morning and over noon, so it also served as lunch, but doing one and ruining one of our only three New Orleans dinners, seems somehow counter productive.

I've delayed on this and it's for this weekend, so hope it's not too late.

NeoPatrick Apr 11th, 2013 04:54 AM

Ooops. Forgot a point. Perhaps Sunday afternoon is a possibility as we could do a brunch, then do the tour and a lighter dinner late that night (we don't have a Sunday night reservation). Is the tour less effective on Sunday -- like are some of the restaurants or businesses closed so we'd miss something?

iceeu2 Apr 11th, 2013 05:07 AM

Can't speak to this particular tour(it certainly gets great reviews), but we enjoyed our morning at New Orleans School of Cooking. Some people sitting at our table, had been on a tour with Tastebuds the day before and said they really did enjoy that tour.

NeoPatrick Apr 11th, 2013 05:14 AM

I think the cooking school would be fine for me. But Peter really isn't into cooking. The idea of walking through the quarter, visiting various restaurants and trying a number of NO specialties, which we probably wouldn't get to sample otherwise in our limit schedule sounds more like it.

Tastebud Sounds pretty good (but doesn't hit Antoines or Tujaques, which seemed more fun) and is at 1 instead of 2, but unfortunately it is all sold out through next Monday, so that's out.

Any more suggestions?

Lookin_Glass Apr 11th, 2013 07:44 AM

I suggest if you order oysters, order them slow. We are big cold water oyster fans from the NE. And enjoy the subtle differenc between an Island Creek, a Wellfleet , a Ninigret. . . A few years ago at Drago's we ordered 1/6 dozen each of raw and grilled and tried one each and left the rest under a napkin. Really hated them, and I had anticipated ordering a dozen each. However we did love paneed oysters at Irene's and a NE based oyster lover enjoyed the grilled ones at Acme.

iceeu2 Apr 11th, 2013 12:20 PM

Different strokes for different folks!! We went to Luke for 50 cent happy hour oysters on the half shell and loved them. What, pray tell is a paneed oyster? Can't believe you didn't like Drago's grilled oysters.
Neo, what if Peter found out that when they serve the food at NOSC, it is also all you can drink Abita beer? Lots of history stories while they are cooking.
Where all are you going to partake in that great NOLA cuisine?

NeoPatrick Apr 11th, 2013 12:53 PM

We are booked Friday night at NOLA, Saturday night at Bayona, and Sunday night at Bombay Club (mainly because of the atmosphere -- quiet private booth with live entertainment). We have a late lunch on Monday at Cochon before we fly home late in the afternoon.

If we arrive tomorrow in time, we'll do some oysters at Acme (or Felix if necessary) at the bar before dinner. Have to do Cafe du Monde one morning, and probably no big breakfasts. Lunch is undetermined on Sat and Sun.

Peter's not much of a beer drinker (not much of a drinker, period) so that's not gonna win him over). Actually though he might be more open to the cooking school thing than I was thinking.

Lookin_Glass Apr 11th, 2013 12:59 PM

If there's a long line for seating at the Cafe Dumonde - there is an often unnoticed take out line on the far right. You can be in and out of there in record time with your coffee and beignets to enjoy on a bench above at the Riverwalk. Have fun - happy mini honeymoon.

NeoPatrick Apr 11th, 2013 01:01 PM

Aw, Lookin_Glass, you remembered.

NeoPatrick Apr 11th, 2013 01:09 PM

OK, iceeu2, quick, give me some ammo to talk Peter into the cooking class. I looked at the website, there are openings for Saturday morning and the price is right ($29) -- plus it sounds like a good and traditional lunch.

Fun? Entertaining? Laugh a lot? No hands on, right? Just a demonstration?

starrs Apr 11th, 2013 01:57 PM

We took the tour and loved it. I'll upload the pics to a Facebook album for you in the next few days. As I said on another thread, I'd been to most of the name restaurants over the years on expense account, entertaining key customers and/or hosting special events (during conferences). Even though I'd been to the restaurants as a guest, seeing the restaurants, learning more about the history and even going into the kitchen was truly great. Then to sample each restaurant's speciality was a plus. You have a sample at each place - I think we had three shrimp at Remoulade's - but the cumulative effect is that you won't want a big meal within a couple of hours of the tour. I've taken the Foods of NY tours and I enjoyed this tour as much as the original FONY Greenwich Village tour. It's a good way to see NOLA, learn some more history, try out several restaurants and find new favorites to return to. The tour does end with a cooking demonstration by the Cajun Cooking school on making a roux and the lady cooking our day was a delight. Check out the verve reviews - virtually all five stars.

NeoPatrick Apr 11th, 2013 03:07 PM

Thanks, Starrs, but the tours are all sold out for the weekend.

There are still some openings for the cooking school on Saturday -- half of us aren't sure though. LOL

iceeu2 Apr 11th, 2013 04:34 PM

Patrick, if for no other reason, it is worth the price for the bread pudding and pralines!!! Plus, if you are lucky, your table may get to lick the pan from the praline makings! Our table got to do that. And, with crawfish in season now, what a great time to try their etouffe'. Let's see, does he like biscuits? They bring out a basket of biscuits with molasses early in the class. And, how great does that shrimp and artichoke soup sound?

iceeu2 Apr 11th, 2013 04:40 PM

And, yes, it is fun, entertaining, informative! It's especially fun, if you get at a table with fun people!

NeoPatrick Apr 12th, 2013 04:24 AM

OK, no cooking class. Peter had a good point. He's never been to New Orleans. Our flight arrives at 5 PM today. Getting to the hotel and checked in -- around 6 (this is if the New Jersey storms don't delay us -- flying from the little Trenton/Mercer Airport).

So we'll do a cocktail and some oysters. We'll go to dinner, and probably an early evening. So can we see us getting up tomorrow and spending the whole morning in a classroom instead of out exploring New Orleans which he'll be anxious to do? I don't think so. If Frontier continues fares like $58 each way for non stops -- we'll be going back. Then we'll do the cooking class or the food tour.

ccolor Apr 12th, 2013 04:33 AM

Enjoy the French Quarter Fest - I think you're going to find so many places to stop and snack at that you and Peter both will be satisfied. So much to see, so little time.

At $58 each way I'm afraid I'd be in da Quata once a month.....hmmmm, probably a good thing we don't have that option!

Have a wonderful time, please let us know what you think of NOLA.

iceeu2 Apr 12th, 2013 05:30 AM

Have fun!!!

ccolor Apr 12th, 2013 05:30 AM

If you're interested, here's a nice site about the FQF:

NeoPatrick Apr 12th, 2013 06:27 AM

Wow, ccolor, who knew? Back when we booked this in January I went to several New Orleans event websites and couldn't find a thing special going on. I kept wondering why hotels were SO expensive this weekend, and so many sold out months ago. I had booked the Hyatt French Quarter at a great Senior rate ($260) compared to over $400 general, but that hotel sold out months ago. Glad I did it, because even and Travelzoo keep alerting me to specials -- all NOT so special in price!

I've been there four times. Last time was just a month or so after Lee died and I was doing get aways by myself to drown my sorrow. This weekend is going to be SO much more fun!

ccolor Apr 12th, 2013 08:14 AM

Now that you mention it, I remember when you went after Lee's passing - even the ambiance of NOLA can't make up for some circumstances, can it?
However, going with Peter this weekend can only be a wonderful time. Has he been there before or are you taking a Quarter virgin with you? *smile*

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