New Orleans is an excellent place to gain weight, but with so many options of decadence, it’s wise to have an idea of which restaurants are worth indulging in. In preparation of your trip to New Orleans, here is a list of places I ate, in order from best to worst:
1. Eat (French Quarter)
There is no better brunch in New Orleans. The pain of waiting to be seated outside (which is unfortunately common in the city) is immediately remedied by a cute atmosphere and stunningly delicious food. The must-have item on the menu is their Banana Fritters, which are fried, rolled in cinnamon and sugar, and served with chocolate and peanut butter dip. I could have eaten those for the entire meal, but I had also ordered Eggs du Provence. Served in a skillet with a truly massive biscuit on the side, it was the savory complement to our sweet appetizer.
2. The Rum House (Garden District)
Chosen because it was across the street from a store wherein we got hungry, our chance meeting could not have been more perfect. The service was quick and friendly, and the food was delicious. Their “Two Dat” combo is a steal, giving you two tacos and two sides for just $11.95. I had the Jerk Chicken and Lamb Vindaloo tacos with sweet potato chips and coconut mango rice. Every single bite was perfection. The sweet potato chips were especially wonderful, thinly sliced and crispy in a way sweet potatoes rarely are. If we had found The Rum House earlier in the trip, we might have gone twice.
3. Another Broken Egg Cafe (Garden District)
The food was great, but not spectacularly special. What bumps Another Broken Egg Cafe up my list is the excellent service provided. Our waitress was friendly, offering menu suggestions and asking about our trip to New Orleans. When Michal asked for a vanilla iced coffee, which was not on the menu, our waitress experimented and created one just for her. Even more impressive, after fifteen minutes she returned to our table to apologize. She had forgotten to put in our order, so she gave my friend another iced coffee and myself a mimosa in return. When we got the check at the end of the meal, we found out she had also refused to charge us for my coffee and Michal’s first drink. Needless to say, she got a big tip, and the restaurant won me over.
4. District (Garden District)
This cute hipster coffee shop (tagline Donuts. Sliders. Brew.) is a great place to stop for an afternoon’s rest. Their coffee is great, but their donuts are what make them special. Because we were eating an obscene amount of food every day, Michal and I decided to split a honey peanut butter donut. It was delicious, and every other option looked equally mouth-watering. If you are in the area, make sure to check their Instagram in the morning to see what their daily special is!
5. Café du Monde (French Quarter)
This is a classic for a reason. You don’t deserve to be in New Orleans if you don’t stop for beignets at least once (they are open 24/7), even though you are signing on for a sugar coma. I recommend going during a weekday or avoiding meal times, because this place is packed! It doesn’t have the flair of some more creative restaurants (like Eat), but they do what they do extremely well. If you like pastries, sugar, and coffee, this is an experience you cannot forego. Don’t buy extras to eat later, though–the beignets do not keep well.
6. The Praline Connection (French Quarter)
Located on the less-hectic Frenchmen Street, The Praline Connection offers good food, if not anything particularly outstanding. Their roast beef po-boy was good, and I did enjoy eating alligator for the first time with their fried alligator sausage. The service was quick, and the old-fashioned atmosphere (complete with waiters in black hats) was quaint. However, in a city filled with extraordinary restaurants, this one felt just a little bit ordinary.
7. Samuel’s Blind Pelican (Garden District)
The only truly bad restaurant we visited, Samuel’s Blind Pelican was so awful I didn’t even take a picture. Our experience went from bad to worse, beginning with our being ignored for thirty minutes before we flagged down a waitress to take our drink order. After those arrived, we waited another forty minutes for our appetizer. Our truffle fries arrived only after we asked about them, and we didn’t get our meals until we asked for them too. The food was decent, but nothing worth the wait. It was 10:00 p.m. before we got our food, and I wolfed down as much as possible while Michal demanded to see the manager. When she told him we shouldn’t have to pay for our food, he snarkily said, “You could have mentioned that before eating half of it,” then took the plates out from under us. The service was infuriating, and when a creep from the bar immediately approached us, we wound up walking out. We had heard good things about Samuel’s Blind Pelican, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. It was awful, start to finish.