Writer’s Note: New Orleans is my favorite city in America. Over the next 18 days and nights, I’ll be here and will share with you what I love about this special place. With the final WSOP Circuit stop of the season now happening at Harrah’s New Orleans (May 8-20), followed by the WSOP National Championship (May 22-24), many poker players and their colleagues will be coming into town, as well. Hope to see you in the Big Easy!
The title of today’s article was originally going to be — “Top Ten New Orleans Restaurants.”
There’s no way to narrow down all the incredible restaurant choices in this fine city to merely a handful. So instead, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite restaurants with some special menu recommendations — all the way from fine dining down to cheap eateries. I’ve also included a section on restaurants that I think are a bit overrated, which should probably be avoided (assuming you share my tastes).
First things first. I can’t stand nouveau cuisine. Hate it! Listen up — I want to eat my food, not stare at it. Too many pretender-chefs seem to think food presentation is more important than the things that REALLY matter such as taste, texture, and temperature. Sticking with the “T’s,” when it comes to dining, nothing beats tradition. Which is why New Orleans is my taste bud’s mistress.
In New Orleans, food is part of the culture and tradition of this city. I love the New Orleans restaurant scene because most of the places are private and/or family owned. Corporations haven’t taken over and ruined everything yet. Food is a reflection of what lives in the Delta — both plants and animals — not just another means of profit. No other city in America has as many old-style family owned and operated restaurants as New Orleans. Here, you’re likely to see the owners either hanging out in the dining room or working the kitchen. To me, that makes this place really special.
Warning: One tip — Don’t dress in shorts and a t-shirt. Many of these places have a dress code or at the very least you will look and feel out of place. People or New Orleans also tend to dress better than normal when going out. Keep this in mind when you’re dining at one of the most expensive places.
In order to appear on the following list, each restaurant selected has to have what I call a “wow” factor. The food, service, and experience must be exceptional. I’ve dined at each of these places more than once, so I know each of these choices is consistently reliable.