Some things in life need to be shared.
Earlier this year prior to meeting my mom for our annual trip, I did a little research on happy hours and dining specials in New Orleans. Over the span of three and half days, we hit the following restaurants: Dominica, Sucre, St. James Cheese Shop, Creole Creamery, La Boulangerie, Delmonico, Port of Call, Stanley’s, Laurel Street Bakery, Angelo Brocato’s and Mandina’s.
I promise we did more than just eat.
Figuring that many others might be interested in drinking on the cheap in the Crescent City, I am sharing the list I complied. I’m sure my list is not comprehensive. Since we stayed in the Garden District, I focused on places nearby or in the French Quarter that also offered good food. Enjoy.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any additions or edits.
Cure | Uptown
Deal: $5.50 classic cocktails, 40% off bottles of wine on Thursdays
Happy hour: daily, 5 – 7 p.m.
The Bulldog | Mid-City and Uptown (two locations)
Deal: 50¢ off pints, $1 off pitchers, half-price house wines and 2 for 1 mixed drinks
Happy hour: Monday – Friday, 2 -7 p.m.
The Columns | Upper Garden District
Deal: $4 house white, red wine and champagne by the glass, $3 well drinks, $5 martinis, $1 off all beer
Happy hour: daily, 5 – 7 p.m.
Commander’s Palace | Garden District
Deal: three course lunch special, $0.25 martinis (limit three)
Lunch hours: Monday – Friday, 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Coquette | Garden District
Deal: $20 three course lunch, happy hour with small plates and drink specials
Lunch hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Happy hour: Tuesday – Saturday, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Le Petite Grocery | Garden District
Deal: $5 feature cocktail, $6 vodka martinis, $5 wine, appetizers
Happy hour: Tuesday – Friday, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Rum House | Garden District
Deal: $2 beer, $4 margaritas and sangria, $5 mojitos and specialty drinks, $2 tacos on Tuesdays
Happy hour: Monday – Friday, 3 – 6:30 p.m.
Salu | Garden District
Deal: half-price mussels and flatbreads, $2.50 classic margaritas, mojitos, sangrias, $3.50 – $5 specialty drinks, $2 beer
Happy hour: Monday – Friday, 4 – 7 p.m.
Emeril’s Delmonico | Lower Garden District
Deal: small plates, half-price wine and drink specials available at the bar
Happy hour: Monday – Friday, 5 – 7 p.m.
Domenica | Central Business District
Deal: 1/2 price pizzas, $7 small plate menu, half-price wine, beer and well drinks
Happy hour: every day, 3 – 6 p.m. in the restaurant (not just the bar)
Luke | Central Business District
Deal: $0.50 oysters, half-price wine, beer and specialty drinks
Happy hour: Monday – Friday, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Antoine’s Bar | French Quarter
Deal: $20.12 three course lunch specials, $0.25 martinis
Lunch hours: Monday – Saturday, 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Hermes Bar (Antoine’s) | French Quarter
Deal: food and drink specials
Happy hour: Monday – Sunday, 4 – 7 p.m.
Mr. B’s | French Quarter
Deal: drink specials such as $1.50 Bloody Marys, lunch specials
Lunch hours: Monday – Friday, 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Cafe Adelaide | French Quarter
Deal: lunch specials and $0.25 martinis (limit three)
Lunch hours: Monday – Friday, 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville | French Quarter
Deal: food and drink specials available at the bar
Happy hour: daily, 5 – 10 p.m.
(If you want to expand the location of your search, try checking out this article Top Happy Hours in New Orleans.)
The food is finer than football in Oxford.
During the first year I moved down to the South, my husband and I traveled to Oxford once to compete in the Rebel Man sprint triathlon. We managed to cross the finish line and eat out at a couple places, but time was limited and our focus wasn’t on food.
Since then, the University of Mississippi mascot has changed from Colonel Reb to a black bear and the football program has grown rockier than Lindsay Lohan’s career.
We virtually have no reason to wander that direction, but I found myself back up there this past September for a mixed doubles state tennis tournament. Although my primary purpose was tennis, I managed to squeeze in a few good meals.
Between two days, I ate an undocumented but nice dinner at Boure and lunch at Ajax Diner twice. Sadly I missed the team brunch at Big Bad Breakfast and left before hitting City Grocery, Snackbar, Taylor Grocery or Ravine. Five reasons to go back.
For our initial team meal before the matches started, we met up at Ajax Diner on the square. Once you walk into Ajax, it’s every man for themselves because they have open seating. We scrambled to piece together tables for our party of thirteen in a jam packed dining room.
Ajax features salads, sandwiches and po’boys, but I’d say their main specialty is plate lunches. They feature soul food and Southern staples such as red beans and rice with andouille sausage, pot roast, fried catfish and meatloaf. And throughout these two years in the South I’ve never been tempted to order a vegetable plate, until I saw their menu. They have twenty items under the Veggie category, even if that does include cheese grits.
I decided on the Chicken and Dumplings plate lunch, selecting turnip greens and upgrading to macaroni and cheese for the two side items. I wished there were more discernible pieces of chicken, but like most versions the meat was integrated into the gravy. The macaroni and cheese was creamy and the greens had a smokey touch. The portions are generous and a large square of jalapeno cornbread came perched on the plate, well worth the $11.
On the second day, we played hard and finished our final matches at a strange time, leaving us hungry and tired mid-afternoon. I tried to go to City Grocery (closed, and too sweaty for the dining room) and Bottletree Bakery (rented out for a private party) but ran out of luck. Then I found myself back at Ajax.
They were still doing a brisk business at off hours which only speaks well of their food. Feeling dejected from our losses I went with the Chicken Fried Steak plate lunch, ultimate comfort food worth the extra calories.
Next to a large chicken fried steak I got mashed potatoes, cucumber and tomato salad, more turnip greens and a homemade lemonade. I was extra worn out but everything on the second go around tasted extra delicious. The tangy cucumber salad and fresh, sweet lemonade cut the richness of the brown gravy drowned potatoes and meat. In fact, I tried not to eat the entire piece but couldn’t stop myself from cleaning my plate. This meal almost made up for our disappointing loss on the tennis courts.
If comfort food isn’t your dish, then there are plenty of other options to choose from. I would really have loved to try the Hot Tamale Pie at dinner.
Oxford is a small college town home to Ole Miss football, William Faulkner and some great Southern eats.
118 Courthouse Square
Oxford, MS 38655
Dish tease posts are short clips about new restaurants or specific dishes from places I’ve already written about. You can view all Dish Tease posts by selecting the category on the Post Subjects drop down menu.
During the previous week I had eaten at Soulshine, Georgia Blue, Babalu, Walker’s and attended wine school at Table 100. I ate a lot of good food and had a couple new experiences. It was a full five days.
Needless to say I have a lot of draft posts regarding these meals. Until I find the time to fully develop the stories, here are three gratuitous photos of two dishes from Babalu’s menu.
On this night I resisted snapping more shots of the infamous guacamole, but couldn’t help myself when it came to the Street Corn or Chicken Enchilada Special.
The Street Corn is a delicious starter with a spicy kick, slathered with mayo and rolled in cotija cheese. It’s available on a stick or cut off the cob, for those who might worry about neatness. Since I’m not one to shy away from the possibility of getting messy (it’s inevitable), I opted for the stick.
The Chicken Enchilada Special was bathed in a green chili and tomatillo sauce which gave it a distinct tang. The fresh salsa topping included pineapple which made the flavors a little too sharp because I couldn’t eat it all. I would order the pork enchilada special over the chicken.
Read my previous story about Babalu.
Babalu Tacos & Tapas
622 Duling Avenue
Jackson, MS 39216
Referring back to the NOLA trip with my mom, on Sunday we drove to Slidell for a swamp tour and headed back to the city for dinner. The original plan was to eat po’boys at Domilise’s, but we were disheartened to pull up and see it’s closed on Sundays. Minus one point, Domilise’s.
Tired of driving and growing hungrier by the minute, we defaulted to Slice. It was the next best option because it recently got a Serious Eats mention, a friend works there and it was close by. Three points, Slice.
Cruising through Central City near the Garden District (?), we found Slice a few minutes from Domilise’s. Entering a long, narrow building we made our way to a booth.
A waiter came to take our drink order and I kindly inquired about my friend. Sporting a confused face, he said no one by that name works there and he must be at the other one. Other one? Naturally, there are two Slice locations, it was the second sad revelation of the night.
Now, our waiter must not have liked the look of us, or maybe my friend, because we hardly saw him throughout our meal. He brought us water and we waited. We ordered drinks and we waited. He brought my mom her Strawberry Abita, but forgot my Diet Coke.
As the name foreshadows, among the many menu items you can order a whole pizza or a single slice. We had to flag him down to place our order. Each of us got a half House Salad and slice of a specialty pizza, the Special for me (yes, a Special specialty) and the Veggie for my mom.
We waited, but tell me, how long does it take for two side salads and slices of pizza? Minus one point, Slice.
The salads were delivered and for some reason a different waiter brought us a side of dressing, a tangy vinaigrette with chunks of blue cheese. I liked that the dressing itself wasn’t creamy, but instead was dotted with bits of Gorgonzola.
The individual pizza slices are big enough to enjoy as a meal when paired with the salad, otherwise I could have taken down two. The crust is thin, crispy and dusted with cornmeal. Toppings generously covered the cheese, which was sparse in some places. It was slightly undercooked for my taste, not nearly golden brown, but it tasted good I wasn’t about to send it back.
Our waiter never returned to refill drinks or check on us. The other waiter (who brought us salad dressing) noticed we were finished eating and had been sitting awhile. He rang up our check, dropped it off and went to hunt down our guy. Minus another one, Slice.
If you want to take a gamble on the service, the pizza at Slice is worth exercising some patience. Inevitably, we declined dessert. A better place was on the horizon.
Next up, Sucre.
1513 Saint Charles Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70130
and if I had unlimited funds,
and if my metabolism would allow,
I would have lunch at Steve’s Downtown Deli once a week.
I’ve only eaten two meals there and it already holds a soft spot in my heart…or stomach…either way.
Steve’s close proximity to the newspaper makes it a favorite among the Clarion Ledger staff, and it’s only fitting two friends (previous CL employees) suggested it. My initial visit was months ago and we’ve had long standing plans for a repeat. The stars aligned, the time was right and we went back for seconds last week.
By 11:30 a.m. a line rapidly forms to the door, so I’d advise arriving early to beat the rush. Armed with this knowledge we headed downtown with high hopes for a short wait. Anticipating this lunch for awhile, I already knew what to order. They offer a daily plate special and on Fridays it’s a Black Bean and Pulled Chicken Burrito, Corn Rice Pilaf, and Cantaloupe Salsa. I also got a cup of Senegalese Peanut Chicken soup.
Good soup is hard to find.
Soup is one of the items I judge a restaurant by because few places make soup from scratch (1) that taste good (2). I’ve had plenty of watery, thin, bland versions or others that come from a bag, can, or box. The Senegalese Peanut Chicken soup is none of those things. This soup has pieces of tomato, chicken, and some sort of greens in a peanut, coconut milk broth (my guess). Although not very thick, it’s full of flavor; a unique taste experience. The soup has been established as a regular item on the menu due to it’s popularity. I cleaned my cup.
The Chicken Burrito special is more like a chicken soft taco (if you want to get technical), nevertheless it’s stuffed with black beans, cheese, and topped with salsa and sour cream. The chicken is moist, the salsa has a smokey element and it’s a generous portion. The yellow rice is slight sweet (I’m guessing from the corn) and the cantaloupe salsa is more like a small salad: melon, tomato, and jalapeno on spring mix. I cleaned my plate.
One of my friends ordered exactly what I had, another got the Brisket Wrap Sandwich Special, and another got a sandwich I can’t remember at the moment. The Brisket Wrap was bursting with meat and coleslaw, it was my back-up choice maybe my first next time.
Steve’s is a city deli serving consistently good food, adding charm and life to Jackson’s downtown area. It has fairly fast service despite a steady crowd. I’d like to go back for the quiche, or Tuscan Chicken Pot Pie, or muffuletta, or one of every daily special. Thankfully I don’t work downtown, otherwise my wallet and hips would be in imminent danger.
Steve’s Downtown Deli
125 S. Congress St.
Jackson, MS 39201