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Visiting July 22-24 (3nights)

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Massachusetts
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Visiting July 22-24 (3nights)

My husband and I are going to NOLA July 22-24, the first real vacation without kids since they have been born and that's over 20 years so needless to say we are looking forward to it.

First off, the July date was unavoidable due to scheduling problems. Just about how hot/humid does it get? I'm quite worried about this but what can you do? Maybe afternoon naps?!?

So I've been reading the forums and plan on dining at the following based on recommendations:

Commanders palace

Mr. B - BBQ shrimp

K-Paul's

Muriel's

Galatoires

El Gato Negro

GW Fins

But there are too many since there is only 3 dinners and 2 or 3 lunches, so please help me pare down. Also which place would be as good if not better for lunch vs dinner. My husband loves seafood and we want local flavors and cuisine. Also since it's July, is there some food we should avoid because it's not as fresh?

Also we plan on stopping at Cafe du Monde for beignets!

Also my only plan is to do a swamp tour, will we see lots in July? And walk around French Quarter, not sure what else to plan. I'm kinda not into museums lately. I was thinking of the French Market.

What else?

We are staying at Hotel Mazarin, I hope that's a good lactation and hotel since it is highly recommended here.

Thank you for any advice, recommendations!

San Jose, California
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1. Re: Visiting July 22-24 (3nights)

We went in July last year and the humidity was bad but bearable, I did not find it to be a big deal.....and I live in CA where the humidity is low. It is hot. We got thirsty walking around so we stopped into bars etc for a cold beveridge as needed.

As for your restaurant list, we enjoyed Mr B's and I would definitely recommend it. Muriel's was good, but overall not a great experience for us (but the food itself was good). It is frequently recommended here. I have not tried the others, but GW Fins is on my list of places to try.

Are you looking for nicer restaurants for lunch? I would add Red Gravy as a breakfast or lunch option. We loved it. Also Emeril's is really good for dinner.

I am sure others will have some additional feedback for you.

Massachusetts
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2. Re: Visiting July 22-24 (3nights)

Thanks SueinCA. I will add Emerils to the list, which of his 3 restaurants did you go to in NOLA? When I searched, I notice he has 3!

The requirement for lunch or dinner for that matter is great tasting food! Something that we won't necessarily eat other than in NOLA! Does not necessarily have to be pricey or not.

Thanks again!

New Orleans...
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3. Re: Visiting July 22-24 (3nights)

I can comment on the heat. We are locals and sometimes spend a few days in the FQ w/ our teens in the summer. I think the way the heat is felt here depends on where you are coming from and what you are use to. Usually at that time of year, there will be heat advisories on the local news everyday (due to the combination of high humidity and heat so you body can't cool down). In my opinion, it is stifling if the sun is out and if you are walking around in direct sun (there really isn't much shade in the FQ). Last summer my girls and I decided to take a taxi to get to the Cabildo from the Sheraton because the day before, we were literally dripping in sweat from a 10 minute walk. I would plan more indoors things to do during the day. The heat can wear you out very fast. I have invested in some items from Coolibar - http://www.coolibar.com/

Also, for meals, you may not want to plan two heavy meals per day. I find that when we are in the FQ in the summer, all we want is a smoothie, cold drink, or snowball during the day (and there are some great snowballs stands in the Uptown area).

As for the swamp, it will be active. The warmer the weather, the more active the gators and wildlife are. I called the other day to ask about the wildlife and they said that it has become very active over the past 2 weeks.

Your hotel locations if very good.

Orlando, Florida
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4. Re: Visiting July 22-24 (3nights)

Muriel's, el gato, and Mr. B's for lunch...dinner commanders, k Paul's, and fins..I would drop Galatoires as do you really want to haul a coat and ties around in July? Whereas commanders you can feel OK with collared shirt and tie..

It is hot and humid and even do your swamp tour in the morning..drink lots of water on breaks in the afternoon as alcohol does not hydrate you. IMax, aquarium, harrahs, pool, nap, shop along Royal st. Decatur st, French market...go with the flow...checkout the music calendar a couple weeks prior to the dates at www.offbeat.com

Staten Island, New...
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5. Re: Visiting July 22-24 (3nights)

Personally I would only worry about the 2 full meals if I had a full breakfast. A nice lunch around 12-1, and a full dinner means beignets or very light breakfast if you want to avoid coming to dinner full

I know El Gato is very popular here but it doesnt quite scream local flavor/cuisine to me since thats what you are asking. I would be more of a regular if I lived there or visited many times.

Mr B's for sure. Pair the Shrimp with the Gumbo Ya Ya and finish with the bread pudding. There are arguably better BBQ shrimp around (Pascal's Manale, Bevi) but thats the closest

As much as I loved GW, I would sub it with Peche without hesitation. If you are not into seafood especially (you are hinting that you may be not)

Try not scheduling Commander's on a Sunday when Lafayette cemetery is closed. Another option is visiting it as part of a tour with Racantours

http://eatingwithziggy.com/

Mitchell, South...
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6. Re: Visiting July 22-24 (3nights)

I had a very good meal at Emeril's NOLA two days ago. Located on St Louis St right off Chartres in the French Quarter. I prefer it to his original place on Tchoupitoulas St. My self and two friends dined at 6:30 PM and sat upstairs with a window seat overlooking St Louis St. It filled up quickly after we arrived but we were not rushed. The service was outstanding. The food was very good. Agree with eating just two meals spread out. Then you don't feel bad about snacking on some pralines, chargrilled oysters, peel and eat shrimp etc during the day.

Massachusetts
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7. Re: Visiting July 22-24 (3nights)

Thank you all for your replies.

The heat and humidity sounds overwhelming whitenights12, thanks for the heads up. We will make due somehow, guess We're making up for the last few summers when we managed to go somewhere not hot and needed long sleeves!

Thanks for the various dining suggestions/replacements as well. Our hotel includes a continental breakfast so we'll see how much we end up eating for breakfast. It's hard to past up free food but I'm willing to for better food!

Good point Cajunyank, don't think hubby wants to wear a jacket if he doesn't have to! We will check out that calendar, too bad my kids can't join us this year, my son plays trombone for both classical and jazz groups and would enjoy the jazz music so much.

Are reservations for lunch necessary? If not, we can be more spontaneous!

Ziggy, I will read more details of your blog and maybe find out about the carrot and the police station! And SoDakMac, we will add Emerils NOLA to the list.

Thanks again, I'll have to look for some in door things to do now to beat the heat!

Mitchell, South...
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8. Re: Visiting July 22-24 (3nights)

The Hotel Mazarin is in a great location on Bienville St, just off Bourbon St but very little noise. Patrick's Bar Vin is a lovely quiet wine bar located on the first floor with a small courtyard that opens onto Bienville. The hotel also has a large central courtyard. Emeril's NOLA will soon begin Monday lunch service. Closed for lunch Tues and Weds.

San Jose, California
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9. Re: Visiting July 22-24 (3nights)

Personally, I prefer Emerils, the restaurant of his name. We did NOLA last time and the thing I did not like was it was so casual. There were people in there in shorts at dinner. You do not see that at Emerils. Also, the service did not compare, nor did the atmosphere overall. Just my opinion. But there are a ton of wonderful restaurants so it will be hard for you to choose. Not a bad problem to have!

We generally book dinner before we come into town to make sure we can get into the places we want to dine in, at the time we would like to dine. Without the reservation they could be booked or you could be eating at 10pm, so I suggest booking prior.

Generally, we eat a late breakfast or early lunch, then a late dinner. That is what works with our schedule. Another place to consider for breakfast or lunch on the casual/take out side is Johnny's po'boys. They have wonderful breakfast biscuits and some good po' boys. We have had good sandwiches and some not great, but it is a fun experience going inside. You can bring your sandwich to enjoy by the river.

And as others have said, it is hot in July. I would not plan to be outside all day. But I also wanted you to know that you should be prepared, but it is doable. We are back in August this year.

College Station...
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10. Re: Visiting July 22-24 (3nights)

Expect daily highs in the low 90's (F), and daily lows (immediately before sunrise) in the mid 70s, very damp, and a pretty good chance of a relatively short late afternoon rain shower. We have a trip scheduled for early August, so it's not enough to keep us away. If you can change your metabolism, best to sleep in two shifts, 2 to 5 PM, and 2 to 7 AM.

We prefer Commander's for lunch/brunch; better value, and it seems even more special to be so pampered at lunch time. However, while in New Orleans we often prefer to have our larger daily meal at brunch/lunch (remember the nap between 2 and 5); not only a better value, but it keeps us from being weighed down after dinner, allowing for late night music and carousing (staying up until 2).

Hotel Mazarin is very nice (no pool however) and has a good location (laughing at your typo). Although typically a swimming pool fan, have not been in a pool while in New Orleans for many years; either too hot or too much to do.

Edited: 28 April 2014, 17:59