Friday, March 4, 2011

Vendredi Gras

Since we all start calling days of the week by their French nomenclature this time of year, let's further the concept and take another look at a Parisian restaurant. No, this time, it will not be my hazy recollection of a long lunch providing a backdrop of some halfass opinion. Instead this week, take a look at how a professional criticizes a much recommended, but quite awful restaurant.

Everyone has had an experience in a restaurant like this. You go to a city, hell you live in New Orleans, and someone tells you to, "Go to (name of restaurant) for a real old school, (name of city where restaurant is) experience." You go, have an awful meal, leave a few hundred dollars poorer and feeling like you were just paddled by a school marm with a wart. The only thing more certain in the restaurant world other than overpriced wine, is that some restaurants make it solely on reputation and rich people who don't know any better.

Hopefully this won't happen to you anytime soon. Enjoy Mardi Gras. We will see you soon.


Kevin said...

In other words, this is the restaurant that visitors think only locals know about. I don't know what such a place would be called - it's not quite a tourist trap - but it's the sort of place someone from, say, Boston would recommend if he or she heard you were coming to New Orleans:

"Forget about all those tourist traps in the French Quarter! If you want to eat with the locals, Google [name of restaurant here]."

These sorts of restaurants could be good or could be bad, but are most often somewhere in the middle. What they often have in common is either a reservation book that fills up weeks in advance, or no reservation book at all, but instead a two-hour wait on the sidewalk.

The three New Orleans places that come to mind when I think of this sort of restaurant are Jacques-Imo's, Irene's, and Port of Call. If I had a dollar for every time someone found out I was from New Orleans, then got a sly look in their eye and said, sotto voce, "You ever heard of a place called Port of Call?"

(Amazing A.A. Gill fillet job there. Dinosaur boogers?)

Rene said...


Id have to say that Jacque-Imo's is the number one example of that. Perhaps in the entirety of the world, especially with anyone who ever went to, visited, or had a friend who went to Tulane.