New Orleans Restaurant - Reasonably Priced
Recovery Status for Fall 2006:
New Orleans is well on its way back to re-claiming its place as a fully functional tourist destination. The recovery was aptly demonstrated with decisions to hold Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest celebrations in Spring 2006 as usual, as well as by Tulane's "miracle" graduation ceremony that featured past Presidents Bush and Clinton. In fact, all five New Orleans universities—Tulane, Loyola, Xavier, the University of New Orleans, and Dillard—have reopened
All but a few of the 13 airlines that serviced the City are shuttling flights in and out of the City. Taxis, bus service and the street care are functioning. Touro, Tulane and Charity hospitals have all been reopened for months. It is reported at the close of summer 2006 that 103 out of 140 metropolitan area hotels are open, with over 70% of the original 38,000 hotle rooms available. Of these rooms two-thirds are open to visitors, while the remaining third is contracted to various agencies. Ninety percent of downtown hotels are open, however, the Fairmont and the Ritz Carlton continue to be closed for renovation. Both are expected to re-open by the end of the year. Remediation contractors in all the restored hotels conduct room-by-room assessments against EPA standards. After remediation work is completed, the clearance process includes visual inspection, as well as sampling for airborne fungal spores and ongoing monitoring. Restaurants are re-opening daily with any of the famous chefs back in their aprons, including Paul Prudhomme, Susan Spicer Donald Link and John Besh. Before any establishment serving food can be reopened it is examined by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for compliance with all regulations regarding water safety and food handling. To give you a better sense of the situation you should call ahead to your hotel and favorite restaurants to be sure they are ready for you or check on the site here for opening status. Air and water are safe for visitors (government air testing results). Harrah's Casino, the convention center and Riverwalk are open, as are museums including Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Contemporary Arts Center, the National D-Day Museum and the Aquarium of the Americas.
This page features casual places for great food at bargain prices. There are a couple of bargain places - Dick and Jenny's and Jacques-Imo's Cafe - featured among the best-rated restaurant's in the city. If you want to learn about great places in other price ranges, take a look at the restaurant overview page. If you want to read about hotels or about fun things to do in town, don't miss the Executive Summary page.
Sadly, Camellia Grill at the Riverbend is having a hard time re-opening after Katrina, much to the dissapointment of many in New Orleans.
Café du Monde – This 24-hour French Quarter coffee shop has a separate listing in the section Dozen Best Things to do in New Orleans because of the unique pleasure of enjoying beignets and chicory coffee in the early morning. The menu is restricted to simple breakfast food. The location between the river and the greenery of Jackson Square befits a local institution. A case can be made that no trip to New Orleans is complete without a visit to Café du Monde. French Market, Decatur Street at St. Ann. 504-525-4544 - www.cafedumonde.com. No credit cards.
Remoulade – This restaurant was opened on Bourbon Street by the proprietors of the famous Arnaud’s restaurant around the corner. Remoulade is a good choice for casual food both because of its central location and its affiliation with one of the great local kitchens. You can drop in during a day in the French Quarter for an inexpensive meal that includes a taste of the famous Shrimp Arnaud version of shrimp remoulade, a respectable sample of the local barbeque shrimp, the Arnaud recipe for caesar salad and other discount trade from the Arnaud kitchen. The quality of food is not the same as Arnaud’s. The more simple dishes (for example, shrimp remoulade) shine reasonably bright compared with the Arnaud’s kitchen; however, the more complicated dishes are noticeably heavier. The building and decor are classic New Orleans and the staple dishes are all represented - red beans and rice, po’ boy sandwiches, jambalaya, boiled shrimp and crawfish. Remoulade is a good utilitarian way to get to the heart of the local cuisine without breaking the bank or stopping too long for a formal meal. 504-523-0377. Major credit cards.
Casemento’s – Family-operated Casemento’s in the mid reaches of uptown Magazine Street is possibly the most authentic oyster house in America. Ignoring the advent of modern refrigeration, Casemento’s still closes in the summer months. Notice on your way in if there is a green wooden barrel in front, which is still used for oyster deliveries. The décor is basically bleached wall-to-wall tile, like a 1950s bathroom. The oysters are sweet and served with a special, time-honed respect. The menu items are classics and have remained unchanged for a generation and the patron is advised to request a full description of classics like “oyster loaf.” The street intersection (Magazine and Napoleon) is well known, but transportation arrangements or directions may be needed. 4330 Magazine Street. 504-895-9761. Reservations not accepted. No credit cards accepted. Closed Mondays and June through August.
Domilese’s - Like Casemento’s, Domilese’s bar/po-boy shop is a venerable local institution that offers rare and unique rewards for the intrepid tourist who seeks it out. These po-boy sandwiches are widely considered the best in town. Sitting at lunchtime in this old, local bar in an obscure corner of uptown New Orleans, sipping a Dixie or Abita beer, it would be fair to congratulate oneself for having found the mother lode of New Orleans casual cuisine. The gravy-slathered roast beef po-boy will be most familiar to the outlander, but the fried oyster, or spicy fried shrimp po-boy are also truly unique sandwiches available nowhere else. Note that a “dressed” sandwich is filled out with lettuce, tomato, pickles, sauce, etc. – you will be asked if you want your po-boy dressed, or if you prefer it with just the core ingredient. Many folks line up at Mother’s Restaurant on Poydras Street for an authentic local sandwich on local french bread, but since Mother’s has changed ownership, Domilese’s has clear title to the best-sandwich crown (see listing for Mother’s). Unlike Casemento’s on a main thoroughfare, Domilese’s is not easy to find. You will need a map and some patience for the one-way streets. The best approach is to stay on Tchopitoulas (“chop’ it tool as”) as you venture progressively further uptown, looking for a Winn Dixie plaza on your left. The nearest cross street for Domilese’s (Bellecastle), is just before you reach the plaza. 5240 Annunciation Street. No credit cards.
Jacques-Imo’s – This raucous, Creole/Caribbean soul food restaurant is a couple of doors down from the famous Maple Leaf Bar. The room is small, the wait can be long and the theme is casual. Still, Jacques-Imo rates some of the best food in town and the local New Orleans secret is rapidly escaping to a wider audience. Excellent for a casual night out in sequence with a visit to the Maple Leaf. The location off of Carrollton requires some transportation assistance, but the trip can be accomplished via streetcar, getting off at Oak Street, a few blocks after Riverbend. 8324 Oak Street, New Orleans, LA 70118. 504-861-0886. Dinner only, Tuesday through Saturday.
Acme Oyster House – This rollicking, neon-lit restaurant offers casual, better-than-average New Orleans bar food in a prime French Quarter location. It is also a favorite raw oyster dispensary. The décor is T.G.I. Friday’s meets New Orleans and the main focus is on the bar. Note the ATM machine in a shamelessly central location. The menu has New Orleans staples like red beans and rice and po’ boys of many varieties. During the crowded lunch the oyster bar doles out sandwiches cafeteria style. 724 Iberville Street. 504-522-5973. Major credit cards. No reservations accepted.
La Crepe Nanu – This creperie in the middle Garden District is across the street from a strip mall (near Upperline Restaurant), but locals rely on it for an inexpensive taste of France. For a slice of uptown life, many consider this a restaurant of choice. Transportation arrangements or good directions may be needed for the uninitiated although Crepe Nanu is only two blocks from the St. Charles streetcar line. 1410 Robert Street 504-899-2670. Reservations not accepted. No lunch served. Visa and MC accepted.
La Madeleine – This tidy, appealing chain of three restaurants offers a highly reliable pit stop. The theme is French provincial, often with a local twist. As soon as you walk inside you sense that you are on safe ground. The French Quarter and Carrollton locations are strategic so that you are likely to run into them just when you could use a sandwich, snack or cup of coffee. A full menu of bakery items from a wood-burning oven are on hand, a light, tasty egg breakfast is always available in the morning, and the lunch and dinner offerings change daily. Jackson Square location - 547 St. Ann Street. 504-568-9950; Carrollton location - 601 S. Carrollton Avenue. 504-861-8661. Major credit cards.
Mother’s – Mother’s is a small, casual favorite on a main Central Business District thoroughfare offering staples such as po-boy sandwiches, red-beans and rice, turtle soup and bread pudding. The central location attracts lines of people, but the restaurant has changed ownership in recent times and it is said that Mother’s is no longer deserving of the long-standing title of premier blue collar New Orleans lunch restaurant. 401 Poydras Street. 504-523-9656. No credit cards.
© Copyright 2006 Chris Cloud.
Last update: 9/5/2006; 8:34:47 PM.