How to have a fabulous evening in New Orleans you’ll never forget

This is New Orleans. Don’t let this picture mislead you. Two of the greatest restaurants in the world are in this picture.

new orleans-Pascals Manale-Charlies Steak House

New Orleans – A fantastic ‘Night on the Town’

I lived in New Orleans while attending graduate school at Loyola University.

Living there is not enough. You have to experience it to really appreciate all that the city has to offer. And as you’re about to see, the Big Easy, as it is sometimes called, will show you many different ways to enjoy life to the fullest.

The Big Easy is known for its amazing eating places. If you live there, you could eat at a different first rate restaurant every night, and never eat in the same place twice. If you visit there, you may have a problem, and a good problem. There are so many great places to eat, that you will be thoroughly confused. You know you want to try them all, but that’s just impossible.

I’m going to simplify this for you. When you dine out, who said you have to go to only one place? Remember, you’re in New Orleans. It’s time to go beyond the ordinary. We say, there are 4 parts to your meal, and we’re about to send you to the 4 greatest places in the world. When you go to the Crescent City, and decide to take us up on our suggestions, start about 5 PM. There’s a reason, which I will explain later. Take your time. Relax and enjoy the delicious food.

Before dinner, you must have an appetizer

new orleans-CasamentosMy favorite oyster bar has always been Pearl’s Oyster Bar. Unfortunately, it has closed. This is very unusual, because most of the eating places in the Big Easy have been there forever, it seems.

You’ve heard the saying, “When a door is closed, a window is opened.” I found a better place. Casamento’s on Magazine Street has been around since 1919. It’s a restaurant, but don’t go there for the main course. Go for the appetizer only. You can get a dozen oysters, a bowl of gumbo or oyster stew, crab claws or fresh calamari. Check out their menu, and the pictures will get you excited.

Casamento’s is the best oyster bar in New Orleans. Relax, enjoy your food, and remember, there are more goodies to come.

By the way, don’t let the picture mislead you. Most of the restaurants in New Orleans look like dumps. The people who live in the city will tell you, “In New Orleans, the worse a restaurant looks, the better it is.” That’s the trademark of the Big Easy, and one that gives it its natural charm.

Now for the main course

new orleans-Pascals ManaleWe’re not going to bounce you around the City of New Orleans. For the main course, we’re going to send you down the street to the corner of Napoleon Avenue and Dryades Street. The picture above is Dryades Street. About 50 feet behind me, while I was taking the picture, is Napoleon Avenue. You may not notice, but 2 of the greatest restaurants in the world are in the picture. Whichever one you choose for the main course will be a very good choice.

Pascal’s Manale

If you’re in the mood for seafood, there’s no better place than the one I’m about to suggest. Established in 1913, Pascal’s Manale has become one of the finest seafood restaurants in the world. The restaurant is know for their famous B-B-Q Shrimp, and let me tell you, it is very delicious. They have a menu on their web site, but it doesn’t appear to be the same menu you’ll get when you go there. But let me assure you, you will have a fantastic meal, and you won’t be disappointed. Of course not! Remember, this is New Orleans!

Charlie’s Steak House

new orleans-charlies steak houseThis place has a very special place in my heart, for 3 reasons. First, it’s the first restaurant that I dined at in New Orleans. Second, their steak is the best, and I mean the very best on the planet. Finally, I must admit, I’m a little prejudice, because my name is Charlie. But all kidding aside, I really mean it when I say that their steak is the best.

Charlie’s Steak House was established in 1932 by Charlie Petrossi. It won’t be hard to find. If you look in the picture above, Charlie’s is about a hundred yards behind Pascal’s Manale, on the left. I’m happy to say, it’s not going anywhere. If Hurricane Katrina couldn’t close them down, nothing will.

I’ve eaten there several times, and each time, Charlie’s sister, Dottye waited on us. What a sweet lady! The menu is very simple. But Dottye never showed us a menu. She just said, “We have a large T-Bone, small T-Bone, and Filet. We also have wedge fries, shoe string onion rings, cream potatoes, and salad smeared with French Market onions.” That’s all I needed to know. And let me add, I usually ordered the small T-Bone, and small, it was not.

new orleans-charlies steak house-2Since the last time I dined there, they’ve added many new items, including an 18 oz RibEye and 14 oz New York Strip. Check out their menu, and you’ll see how simple it is.

Whichever you decide for the main course, you will make the right decision. Having to make a decision on having the world’s best seafood, or the world’s best steak can be a problem, but what a problem to have!

Finally, both restaurants are a la carte. This means food is ordered as separate items, rather than part of a set meal. When you dine the way I’m suggesting, you want the restaurant for your main course to be a la carte.

While having your main course, relax, enjoy yourself. But don’t forget, we’re not finished. There are 4 parts to your meal. We’ve only covered 2, which means, there are 2 to go.

Dessert? Why of course. This is New Orleans.

new orleans-Angelo BrocatosBy this time, you should be feeling really good. You’re feeling relaxed, but not stuffed. If you’re not hungry, don’t worry. When you get to your next destination, and see what I think you’re going to see, I assure you, you will be.

It’s time to head over to Carrollton Avenue, and the world’s best bakery. I’d say it’s about a 20 minute drive.

Angelo Borcato’s is your next stop. Angelo came over from Palermo, and started this famous bakery in 1905. It was originally an ice cream parlor. Since then, it has become famous for its pastries, cakes, Italian cookies and cannoli. Check out the menu. This will make you want to get in your car right now and drive to Carrollton Avenue.

You’re will want to taste everything there. I recommend the Spumoni (see picture below). This is a wedge of tutti frutti, lemon and pistachio almond gelato, topped with sweet almond whipped cream. This seems heavy, but it’s light. This is important, and you’ll thank me for recommending this when you get to your next destination. Remember, you can always order other desserts and take them with you for later.

new orleans-Angelo Brocatos-SpumoniThere’s one thing you should remember. Angelo Brocato’s closes at 10:30 PM on Friday and Saturday, 9:00 PM on Sunday and 10:00 PM on Tuesday through Thursday. They’re close on Monday. This is why I recommended that you start this fabulous journey around 5 PM.

But you’re not done yet. I don’t know about you, but when I’ve just had an amazing meal, I’m always in the mood for a good cup of coffee. This is my idea of a nightcap. So, what would I do next? Do I order a cup of coffee from Angelo Brocato’s?

I don’t think so. Once again, this is New Orleans.

Time to head over to the French Market for some good old French Market Coffee

There are so many flavors associated with the Big Easy, but none quite like that scrumptious French Market Coffee.

It’s time to head over to the French Market and Jackson Square, on the banks of the Mississippi River.

new orleans-cafe du monde

This is the grand daddy of all the places I’ve recommended. Established in 1862, Cafe Du Monde is open 24 / 7, and closes only on Christmas Day.

This is the most famous place in New Orleans, and the place where everyone who visits the city wants to go. There’s nothing in the world like it. Here, you can have that delicious French Market coffee on the banks of the Mississippi River. When you go there, you’re going to want some beignets, take my word for it. That’s what they’re famous for. If you don’t think you’ll be hungry when you get there, you will be when you see the waitresses carrying them to the tables. That’s why I recommended a light dessert like the Spumoni at Angelo Brocato’s. There’s always room for the beignets. Again, remember, you’re in New Orleans.

Concluding Thoughts

Wow! What a journey I’ve taken you on! This is the way to dine out.

In New Orleans, this is the only way to do it. You’ve experienced the real flavors of the city in one evening. When you do this, stretch it out. Make every minute count. Enjoy where you are, every moment you’re there. While you’re at it, enjoy some of the best food you’ll ever taste in your life.

Gentlemen, take your wife or girl friend to New Orleans and together, go on this journey. Afterwards, she’ll say to you, “When you take a girl to dinner, YOU TAKE A GIRL TO DINNER!”


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