TechEd North America Thread

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Must Have Food in NOLA?

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  • Harjit

    This will be my first trip to New Orleans and my first TechEd conference.  I like to try some local food particularly cajun, and the crawfish boil looks interesting. 

    I would love to have some suggestions for myself and for others who want to explore what NOLA has to offer.  Any must visit restaurants or food outlets?  Any must try dishes? 

  • mattgrif

    Great question, I'm interested to know this too since I'll be there Saturday in time for late Lunch/or a Dinner.

  • Duncanma

    @mattgrif: I'm a big fan of lots of restaurants in NOLA... One nice one, where you can try crawfish is the Red Fish Grill

  • Harjit

    @Duncanma:Thanks for the tip. I'd love to try the crawfish experience.

  • Harjit

    @mattgrif:Maybe, we can get together for lunch or dinner on Saturday. I'll be spending the day visiting sights and places, especially to photograph.

  • JinPatel

    In no particular order, some things to definitely try down in NOLA:

    - Big * Beer
    - Hurricane
    - Po Boy
    - Muffaletta
    - Crawfish aka mud-bugs
    - 190 Octane / 190 Antifreeze

  • MikeRigsby

    @Harjit Same deal for me. First time in New Orleans and first TechEd. Unfortunately I won't be in till Sun afternoon so my time for enjoying the local sites and food will be limited.

  • Harjit

    @MikeRigsby:We can always try to plan a late evening food spotting adventure.  Smiley

  • wkempf

    If you're going to get a Hurricane, get the real deal at Pat O'Briens (sit on the patio). You also should make it to Café Beignet for breakfast at least once (get a coffee and a Beignet). If you're with a group, getting a King Cake could be fun (that's traditionally Mardi Gras faire, but I'm fairly sure you can find it any time). The traditional dishes are Mud Bugs, Jambalaya, Gumbo, Blackened Catfish and Red Beans and Rice. There are more restaurants worth going to than one could possibly list ( Lots of famous chefs came from New Orleans and still have restaurants in the French Quarter, including Emeril Lagasse ( Some of the best places I've been to there are hole in the wall places only the natives would know about. If you do ask some natives, be aware that any place that takes you to the other side of Lake Pontchatrain will require a good hour or more travel time, both ways.

    Po Boy's and Muffaletta's are basically subs, and you'll find places that sell these literally on every block. Heck, some of the gas stations sell them. Yes, they are traditional and there are some really good ones, but unless you've got a lot of spare time and have a native available to take you to their favorite shop, I don't think it would be worth seeking these out.

    You'll want to save some time to walk Bourbon Street, but be sure you know where to stay there. To far in either direction and you get into some, err, interesting parts of town. Not that all of Bourbon Street couldn't be described that way, but there's a big difference between the interesting shops and the "interesting residents". It can be dangerous, especially for tourists, to stray off of the main parts of Bourbon Street.

    If you're there for an extended stay, a swamp boat tour is worth the price, but you'll really need a full free day for stuff like that.

  • mfifer

    (Emeril came from the Boston area Big Smile)

    Jacques Imo's Café is one of my NOLA faves...


  • davidbs

    Gordon Biersch is awsome......

  • wkempf

    , mfifer wrote

    (Emeril came from the Boston area Big Smile)


    That depends on what you mean by "came from". Yes, that's where he was born/raised, but his first meaningful experience as a chef was in New Orleans. From a culinary POV, New Orleans is where he came from.



  • mfifer

    (let's test posting with a food post!)

    16 hours ago, wkempf wrote


    That depends on what you mean by "came from". Yes, that's where he was born/raised, but his first meaningful experience as a chef was in New Orleans. From a culinary POV, New Orleans is where he came from.

    Being from Boston, we'll go ahead and claim him Wink

    Regardless of origin, his restaurants maintain a high level of consistency and quality and I'd definitely recommend people try them if the chance arises. (My fave is Tchoup Chop in Orlando FWIW).

    Also speaking of Tchoupitoulas Street in a roundabout way, there's a small restaurant called Dick And Jenny's that I've had great food at.  Bacon and Filet Mignon gumbo was the gumbo du jour!  Talk about over the top awesome!

    I'm getting hungry now!  Smiley

    -=- mf

  • MikeRigsby

    Just testing to see if posts are working.

  • khaos13

    Domenica was one of my favorites last time.  Great place with really good food.  Don't ignore the pizzas, they are great.  My opinion is to stay away from Bourbon street.  It's vile in every way.  It smells bad and is plain disgusting.  Unless you want to get drunk go to other areas in the French Quarter.

  • wkempf

    @khaos13: Bourbon Street is an experience. There's no doubt it won't be to everyone's taste. If you offend easy, stay far away. However, if you don't have fine sensibilities there's lots to see and speculate at on Bourbon Street without "wanting to get drunk". Marveling at the diversity of the human creature is enough to make it worth seeing (once), provided you can stomach it. I'll agree you shouldn't visit it blindly, though. It's dirty, smelly, very adult with a lot of open bars and "questionable" activity. If any of that is off putting to you, stay clear.

  • DBegley

    The New Orleans Convention and Visitor's Bureau has put together a list of recommended places to eat here:

    For my personal recommendations, I would recommend:

    1. Café Du Monde for Beignets (a square piece of dough, fried and covered with powdered sugar)

    2. Jacques Imos Café It is extremely eccentric. So be prepared! Shrimp to Alligator is on the menu(the decor is funky and you might even get to eat in the pickup truck parked in front of the café). Book in advance. 

    3. NOLA Restaurant by Emeril It is Casual, Funky and in French Quarter. Southern Cajun, Vietnamese and Southwestern influences using Louisiana products.

    4. Commander's Palace It is expensive, so this is a recommendation if only you have budget for it and want a special experience. It is in the Garden district and I believe a jacket is required for the dinner time. No shorts or t-shirts, or open-toed shoes for men. You can take the St. Charles Street Car to get there (I did and it was a really nice way to get there and back). It is fine dining and maybe something to consider if you are coming in early and want to do Sunday brunch!

    5. Pat O'Briens for a Hurricane. It has a piano lounge and the show starts at 6 PM. It gets packed when an event is in town, but it is worth the trip just to try the authentic hurricane.

    Enjoy! Let me know if you make it to any of these places and tell me what you thought!


  • khaos13

    @wkempf:Yes, it was an experience.  The guys in the cart driving down the road spraying all the standing water are a big turn off.  Never mind the proprietors of the less reputable establishments yelling disturbing things at you.  I tried the Vegas thing to ignore the porn peddlers.  This just made the Bourbon St. proprietors yell directly at me.  I really don't like being singled out being an introverted geek.  And then my clueless co-worker thought it'd be a good idea to talk about that on Facebook which ended with my wife being fairly upset with me.  I can't post the things yelled at me by the proprietors on here.

    I did eat at a small restaurant just off Bourbon St. that was pretty good.  Based on my old receipts it must have been Oceana Grill.  Pretty good local style food.

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