Conference Dinner on Thurs - need your input ASAP

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Susan Smith
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Conference Dinner on Thurs - need your input ASAP

Postby Susan Smith » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:55 pm

Hi all,

I need some input from you. I'm trying to choose a place for all us all to eat together on Thursday night as is our custom at these conferences. The hotel gave me a list (which I have posted in another thread in this section) and I am going through that list as well as some others that I have found on TripAdvisor and Yelp. Here's the issue: I want to choose a place that has real New Orleans food and not just burgers and pizza, but also has enough of a selection for everyone to find something. And it must be within walking distance from the hotel.

Many of the choices on the hotel list are primarily bars or they serve food selections that you can get anywhere. And many of the places that DO have traditional N.O. food don't have room for 18 people for dinner. So...the dilemma.

Here's a bit of a recap of some of those on the hotel list with real N.O. food on their menu:

Bon Ton Cafe (upscale), is in a historic building and has great reviews and a good-sized menu, but it's quite expensive. There ARE things on the menu that are "relatively" reasonable ($20-30), but being more upscale, you can also spend $30-45 on a steak like at Ruth Chris. They DO have room for us if we divide up into two groups. We would still be sitting near each other - most likely at adjacent tables.
Menu: http://www.thebontoncafe.com/dinner.html

Mothers sounds really fun, but they have first come, first served seating and it's cafeteria style where you order at a counter and then go find a seat. (That might be great for lunch if some people want to try it out. I do!)
Menu: http://www.mothersrestaurant.net/mothers_menu.html

CellarDoor is in a historic building (a house actually), and they are known for their craft drinks, but they also serve food. The menu doesn't have that many choices though and their online menu has no prices displayed (irritating)
Menu: http://www.cellardoornola.com/menu-1/

Luke - which originally was one of my first choices, can accommodate us in their private dining room only, but they want a $1000 guarantee for food, and since we are a "large" group, they would make us choose from a reduced menu. I don't know about you, but I want MORE choices, not fewer. Also, they are located inside a hotel so there isn't really much N.O. ambieance. I could check to see if we can get in there if we break up into 3 groups - as we did once in San Antonio.
Menu: https://www.lukeneworleans.com/menus/

Cochon - historic building, and some less common foods: Pig foot, rabbit, port cheeks, alligator, etc. Prices are reasonable.
Menu: https://cochonrestaurant.com/#cochonMenus

So... if you want to eat all together, I need some input. Please look through the menus. If you just want to take your chances in smaller groups with no reservations and go our separate ways, we could do that as well. A lot of places DO need reservations though for the dinner hour - even for smaller groups. If you know of another place, let me know!

Feedback please! If I'm making reservations for all of us, time is running out. I may email you all as well, but it would better to have a discussion here together.

-- Susan

Gabriel
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Re: Conference Dinner on Thurs - need your input ASAP

Postby Gabriel » Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:06 pm

There's a place called Buffa's that has really delicious new orleans food on their menu, though the version of their menu I found online is missing some things they serve.

http://www.buffasrestaurant.com

In particular I remember their Crawfish Etouffee was amazing. Also the place is highly recommended by New Orleans Natives that I know.


Otherwise of the choices you listed I'd choose Cochon or CellarDoor.

Gabriel

Susan Smith
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Re: Conference Dinner on Thurs - need your input ASAP

Postby Susan Smith » Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:24 pm

Hi Gabe,

I appreciate the input. Unfortunately, Buffa's is 1.4 miles from the hotel. Google Maps says it's a 28 minute walk, so that might not be walking distance for everyone in the group. But it would be a great place to go for lunch if you grab an Uber (or just put on your Nikes. LOL). I will add that to my list for possible lunch ideas. When I have my 2 hour lunch break, I definitely don't want to waste a moment by not having a place in mind! So it's good to decide some of these things in advance.

-- Susan

mluchterhand
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Re: Conference Dinner on Thurs - need your input ASAP

Postby mluchterhand » Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:28 pm

Looking at the menus, I could easily find something at any of the places you listed. I will be happy with whatever the group decides. If I was forced to make a decision I think I'd probably go with Cochon.
Thanks,

Matt Luchterhand

Susan Smith
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Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:24 am
Location: Southern California

Re: Conference Dinner on Thurs - need your input ASAP

Postby Susan Smith » Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:08 pm

Thanks Matt. I have heard from about 5 more people via email. It seems like most are interested in Bon Ton Cafe. But George had a good suggestion: We could get TWO groups together. Those who want to go to Bon Ton Cafe can do that. And everybody else can go to a second place. I will wait until more input comes in and post my "findings". If everyone is good with Bon Ton, I'll go ahead and make a reservation. I wanted to be sensitive to folks who didn't want to spend a lot. But I also know that people like to splurge when they are in a special town. So...

Thanks so much for your quick input. It's so helpful. We will be there during their Jazz Festival week and places are booking up quickly for reservations. I remember that we ran into this problem one year when we were in San Antonio during Fiesta week and we had to break up into groups in order to get into restaurants. Luckily, between lunches and dinners, everybody will have lots of opportunities to get to their favorite places.

-- Susan

Susan Smith
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Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:24 am
Location: Southern California

Re: Conference Dinner on Thurs - need your input ASAP

Postby Susan Smith » Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:54 pm

UPDATE:

Thank you all for your quick replies! I heard from about half of you and it was almost unanimous that Bon Ton Cafe was the first choice! I have made a reservation for all of us, but if there are some that would prefer NOT to go there, just let me know. We can have a second group and I am happy to make reservations for that group as well. This reservation is for 7pm on Thursday May 3rd. The dress code is "nice casual". Basically, no bare feet and no tank tops (or they will give you a shirt to wear!) Jeans are fine. Collared shirts are preferred, and polo shirts are fine. So maybe bring something other than a T-shirt for this one, but don't feel that you have to dress up (I know you won't anyway... LOL) Our usual style will work fine.

If you know that there is another place that you want to go for dinner on another night while you are there, you might want to make reservations if they take them. I hear that this Jazz Festival thing brings serious crowds! To help you in that, we will be dismissed at 5:00 on Thursday and Friday. I believe that the kickback reception is at 5:30. So you can pack up your laptop in time to have a drink in the bar before we go to dinner. Perfect, huh?

Oh, and if you would like to go out and hear some live music while you're there, maybe we could get a group going for that. (I don't know anything about the music places, but perhaps one/several of you could do some research and see what looks promising?)

-- Susan

gordon
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Re: Conference Dinner on Thurs - need your input ASAP

Postby gordon » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:27 am

Anywhere that serves hot dogs is ok with me.

Gabriel
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Re: Conference Dinner on Thurs - need your input ASAP

Postby Gabriel » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:43 am

LOL! I know how much you like Junk Food!

They'll have em, but in New Orleans they make them out of Aligators and they call them cajun sausages, and they chop them up and put them in your soup or stew.

Someone from New Orleans whom I met in Texas once told me the recipe for Jumbalaya. He said: "You jumble a bunch of stuff in a pot and lie about it." So i guess in a way thats kinda similar to the recipe for hot dogs anyway.


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