from the moment the plane touched the ground, i was ready to eat in new orleans. literally. i made a reservation for two hours after we landed. no wasting time here!
first stop was commander's palace in the garden district for lunch. we ate in the garden room (be sure to request this!) and enjoyed their three-course $32 prix fixe. they also have a $16 and $22 two-course prix fixe, along with an a la carte menu. best thing though? 25 cent martinis at lunch. if you want to be a lady who lunches and get some bang for your buck, this is the spot.
that night we went to galatoire's with my parents (and i wore my favorite outfit of the vacation, just a little fyi). it was quintessential new orleans and great food. they let you bring in your to-go cup from whence you came (which, is like, amazing and so weird), and ask if you prefer a certain waiter due to the large amount of regulars that frequent this place. the fish here is divine, but no need to be a fish lover - i heard the steak was great, too. for a true taste of new orleans fine dining, this is one of the places to be.
down the road is arnaud's, where the bridal luncheon was held, and also where the mardi gras museum is located, mentioned in my post yesterday. on bourbon street like galatoire's, it has similar food and ambience. a huge restaurant made up of a maze of rooms (at least the upstairs), it's a great place to have a group meal if you come to new orleans with some friends or just a one on one date.
for something more casual head to pat o'brien's for new orleans' signature drink, the hurricane. one of these is best enjoyed after a delicious burger from yo mama's, which is across the street. the menu is crazy and i went all out - the peanut butter bacon burger. you may think i'm crazy or pregnant, but i assure you i'm neither (well, definitely not the latter). it was so, so, good. try it when you go, or any other crazy combination they come up with. be warned, the bathroom contains some, shall we say, adult images, so this may not be a place for kids (or at least make them pee somewhere else). i told you this city had character, right?
the stuff i didn't get to? green goddess, mother's, central grocery and herbsaint. green goddess for an off the beaten path breakfast, including black truffle grits that my friend tina indulged in, mother's for an over-priced but delicious po' boy, central grocery for a true new orleans muffelatta and, if there's any money left in your wallet, a nice dinner at herbsaint. a little more quiet and focused on cuisine then say galatoire's or arnaud's.
basically, you can't go wrong in this city. here's to going back one day and doing it all over again!