Tuesday, February 14, 2012

5 types of places to eat in New Orleans for less than $20 (as recommended by New Orleans: City Guide

List by Tosca

"Great restaurants are, of course, nothing but mouth-brothels. There is no point in going to them if one intends to keep one's belt buckled."
- Frederic Raphael

This book right here? This book - New Orleans: City guide by Adam Karline and Lisa Dunford - is going to be my food bible over the next two weeks! Big words? Well, yeah, very possibly so. True words, though. On my first trip to New Orleans I did the usual tourist-y thing and visited all of the usual foodie places that came highly recommended (by, well, books, websites, tv shows, etc.). Over the weekend, though, I kinda thought I'd like to do the places that maybe tourists don't really know about, only I wasn't quite sure how to go about finding these places. Luckily (?) I'd requested a whole heapload of books about the city, and one in particular - THIS ONE! - got me thinking that maybe I turn this in to a challenge, instead. And so, being a complete dork about lists, obsessed over coming up with a process. Of sorts. What I ended up with, instead, was writing down everywhere people could eat a meal for up to $20 (lunch, breakfast or dinner). I'm not entirely sure how do-able this list is, but I'm darn sure going to have fun finding out. OH! I don't intend to try them all because, hey, impossible, but I figure I'll do as much as I can (one dish at each, even if it's just a coffee, or a beignet, MMM BEIGNET!) and, at the end of my trip, choose the 5 best. Bon appetit!

Warning: I'll be kinda/sorta posting while away (recommendations from the book, my impressions and photos), so I hope this'll be okay, otherwise you might want to avoid the blog for the next few days

Honourable mention:
  • Deli: Verti Marte, 1201 Royal Street - meals $3.50 - $8.50
  • Fried chicken: McHardy's, 1458 N Broad Street - chicken pieces per box $5
  • Grill: Clover Grill, 900 Bourbon Street - dishes $3-$8
  • Takeaway: Cajun Seafood, 1479 N Claiborne Ave - take-out meals $3-$5
  • West African: Bennachin, 1212 Royal Street - mains $8-$16
  • Italian: Central Grocery, 923 Decatur Street - sandwiches $7-$10
  • Italian: Fiorella's, 1136 Decatur Street - mains $7-$15
  • Italian: Louisiana Pizza Kitchen, 95 French Market Place - mains $8-$16
  • Italian: Mona Lisa, 1212 Royal Street - mains $9-$14

  • Po'boys
    1. Johnny's Po-Boys, 511 St. Louis Street - $4-$10
    "A local favorite since 1950s, it's the only traditional po'boy joint around, all checkered tablecloths, hustle, bustle and good food served by good folks. Breakfast here is simple and declicious." (p156)

    Soul food
    1. Coop's Place, 1109 Decatur Street - mains $8-$17.50
    Soul food and Cajun. "But it's worth it for the food: rabbit jambalaya, chicken with shrimp and tasso (in a cream sauce - there's no such thing as 'too heavy' in New Orleans). This is rural, rustic and rich food served at an honest price." (p151)

    2. Dooky Chase, 2301 Orleans Ave - mains $6-$15
    Soul food and Creole. "Good if not great grillades, fried chicken and other standards stock the menu, but the absolute standout, and perhaps the best meal for any vegetarian visiting New Orleans, i sthe gumbo z'herbes. Served on Thursdays during Lent, this is the great New Orlans dish done green and gorgeous with mustards, beet tops, spinach, kale collards and Leah knows what else; even committed carnivores should give it a try." (p172)

    3. Lil Dizzy's, 1500 Esplanade Ave - mains $6-$10
    "The fried chicken is excellent, the hot sausages may be better and the bread pudding is divine. Our one gripe is against the gumbo, which was more like thin brown water." (p172)

    4. Willie Mae's Scotch House, 2401 St. Ann Street - mains $6-$13
    "Fussy chicken eaters aside, we still recommend dropping by here to soak up the community spirit." (p172)

    1. Alibi, 811 Iberville Street - mains $5-10

    2. Angeli on Decatur, 1141 Decatur Street - mains $6-$18
    "It served burger, pasta and pizza fare, but it's top-of-the-line stuff, especially if you need to layer your tummy after a long night out. Early music sets by solid live acts area good way to launch your evening, but bring cash - credit cards are not accepted. Good range of vegetarian dishes." (p151)

    3. Schiro's Cafe/Little Julie's India Kitchen, 2483 Royal Street - mains $5-$16
    "One menu at Schiro'sis typical New Orleanian greasy spoon, offering po'boys, blackened catfish, hushpuppies and gumbo; the other serves saag paneer (spinach curry with unaged cheese), tikka masala and vindaloo. Oh, and the other part of the business? A launderette. Schizophrenic Schiro's is set in a lovely grand dame of a Marigny mansion, perfect for a cheap meal and repose under the eaves. This is a good choice for vegetarians." (p159)

    1. Frady's One Stop Food Store, 3231 Dauphine Street - po'boys $8
    "This grocery store has inconvenient hours (look Frady's, we like to shop after we get off work), but it makes up for it with good produce and some very fine po'boys at the deli counter." (p159)

    2. La Peniché, 1940 Dauphine Street - mains $6-$14
    "The waiters are incredibly friendly; we'd gladly eat their seafood platters, fried chicken, steaks, chops and po'boys - none of it exceptional, all of it reasonably priced - off the floor if they asked. Alright, maybe not." (p159)

    3. The Joint, 801 Poland Ave - mains $7-$17
    "Knock some ribs or pulled pork or brisket (or all of the above - try the 'W special' for a good sampler) back with some sweet tea in the backyard garden and larn to love life (speaking of which, the Join does a mean peanut butter pie for dessert)." (p158)

    4. Yo Mama's, 727 St. Peters Street - mains $7-$14
    "...let's lay it on the line: peanut butter and bacon burger. Yep: looks like a cheese burger, but that ain't melted cheddar on top, it's Jif, baby (or Skippy, or Peter Pan...actually, we're not sure). Honestly, it's great. Somehow the stickiness of the peanut butter complements the char-grilled edge of the meat and, if you've got the backbone, a heaping mount of sour cream, butter and baco-bits on the accompanying baked potato." (p158)

    1. CC's Coffee House, 941 Royal Street - pastries $2
    "Community Coffee has been a staple in most Louisiana homes since 1919. This corner cafe is its French Quarter outpost, and it's a good spot for perching, caffeine sipping, net surfing and the rest. Its very sweet ice-coffee blends are a treat on hot days." (p152)

    2. Cafe Beignet, 334B Royal Street - meals $6-$8
    "In a shaded patio setting with a view of Royal St, this intimate cafe serves small meals over the counter. French-style omelets stuffed with ham, Belgian waffles and beignets are all a good start to the day, while quiches and sandwiches make up the simple lunch fare." (p156)

    3. Cafe du Monde, 800 Decatur Street - beignets $2
    "The main problem is, sorry to say, the tourists - this place is so crammed you rarely feel as if you're having anything like a romantic street-side shot o' caffeine and pastry. At least it's open 24 hours - you might be able to capure some measure of noir-ish cool as the drunks stumble past in the Edward Hopper-esque wee hours." (p152)

    4. Croissant D'or Patisserie, 617 Ursulines Ave - meals $3-$5
    "On the quieter side of the Quarter, this ancient and spotlessly clean pastry shop is where many Quarter locals start their day. Bring a paper, order coffee and a savory or sweet stuffed croissant and bliss out. On your way in, check out the tiled sign on the threshold that says 'ladies entrance' - a holdover from prefeminist days." (p152)

    5. Flora Gallery & Coffee Shop, 2600 Royal Street - coffees and pastries $3-$5
    "Flora is almost the perfect New Orleans cafe. If you could smoke inside, as in the old days, it'd be 10 out of 10. No offense nonsmokers, but this is just the sort of place - madcap art, antique store furniture, a vibe that jukes between folk and punk rock, lush gardens and a perfect Parisian bohemian atmosphere - that demands the accompaniment of clouds of tobacco smoke. Alas, the latter isn't there, but for the majority of you readers, that only makes the Flora better." (p159)

    6. Kahve Royale, 2001 Royal Street - coffees and pastries $3
    "Kahve is a bit more lo-fi than any other Marigny cafes. It's cash only and the entire place feels a bit like it was assembled on a shoestring. This, of course, is the romance of the place, the most rustically charming caffeine haven in the neighborhood. The friendly service obviously doesn't hurt." (p159)


    breve711 said...

    Jealous! This just made me hungry. Have a great trip:), looking forward to the updates

    catatonia said...

    It's full of win here. Although I still feel like I won't get to see everything else I never got to see first time around. That might be state of mind :) Lucky I'm coming back again in another three years heh