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Restaurant Guide 

ALLIGATOR

Just like in the swamps, alligators are lurking everywhere on local menus. The ever-popular shrimp and alligator sausage cheesecake at Jacques Imo's features a rich, savory cheesecake served with a Creole mustard and tomato cream sauce. Mulate's Cajun fare includes an appetizer of alligator, with the meat fried, grilled, blackened or smoked to order. The alligator soup remains a favorite way to start a meal at Franky & Johnny's Uptown.

Alligator also stands up to all sorts of accompaniments. At Arnaud's, the alligator sausage is seasoned and served with smoked onion and apple relish and a housemade Creole mustard. Café Pontalba offers alligator either blackened or fried as an appetizer. The wild alligator soup at Bourbon House Seafood and Oyster Bar comes finished with lemon and sherry. Bull's Corner in LaPlace includes fried alligator tenderloin among its "Tastes of South Louisiana." Fried alligator strips are a popular appetizer at Carmine's in Metairie. From the smoker at Hillbilly Bar-B-Q comes an alligator sausage that you can order as just the link, or on a bun. The lunch menu at Savvy Gourmet includes an alligator soup. Ernst Café offers hot hor d'oeuvres, including alligator sausage in mustard cream sauce.

ARTICHOKE

Artichokes are popular starters around town. Cannon's offers an artichoke and spinach dip served with Parmesan cheese and tortilla chips. Carmine's prepares a seafood-stuffed artichoke. Grilled California artichokes are on the starters list at Gulfstream on The Avenue. Zeke's stuffed artichoke is a popular appetizer. Vega Tapas Café prepares an artichoke and goat cheese tartletta that comes with caramelized onions in a flaky puff pastry. Stuffed artichokes are a solid starter to any meal at Chad's Bistro. Marigny Perks has stuffed artichoke soup on their expanding menu. The "Little Bites" menu at Crazy Johnnie's Steakhouse features stuffed artichoke. At Assunta in Slidell, fried artichokes are topped with Romano cheese and a red sauce.

ASPARAGUS

Asparagus finds itself in good company in many dishes. Annadele's Plantation serves its grilled asparagus and crabmeat salad set on tossed greens and tomatoes with a Champagne vinaigrette. The goat cheese and asparagus salad at Mimi's Restaurant comes with endive, arugula and other greens tossed with a walnut vinaigrette. Little Tokyo in Metairie offers asparagus in a tempura roll. Among the many vegetarian crepes from Crepes la Cart, the white asparagus crepe comes with a hollandaise sauce.

AVOCADO

At Taqueria Corona locations around the metro area, you'll find avocado both as a starter — either in guacamole with tortilla chips, or sliced and served alone — and as the featured item in a salad that also includes tomatoes and lettuce in a spicy housemade dressing. Steve's Diner offers its stuffed avocado salad with a choice of chicken or tuna stuffed in half an avocado on a bed of greens with tomato wedges and toasted almonds. Royal Blend's California sandwich features turkey with Swiss cheese, cucumbers, sprouts, tomatoes and avocado.

La Carreta's Mexican guacamole mixes chunks of avocado with cilantro and tomatoes. At Landry's Seafood in the French Quarter, the avocado and lump crabmeat salad comes with pico de gallo and a creamy herb dressing. Tokyo Bistro serves avocado in sushi rolls. Fresh avocado halves are filled with vinaigrette dressing at La Crepe Nanou.

BEEF

Beef does some heavy lifting on both traditional and creative menus. The shepard's pie from Vic's Kangaroo Café combines ground beef with veggies in a red wine gravy and then tops them with garlic mashed potatoes and cheese. A traditional beef pot roast is one of the Wednesday specials from Café Reconcile. The ropa vieja (shredded beef) at Churros Café comes with sides of white rice and black beans. Lager's pub grub features Mom's Pot Roast, a Southern-style, slow-cooked roast served over garlic mashed potatoes. The 16-ounce prime rib at The Restaurant on board the Treasure Chest is served with a choice of fries or baked potato. Go-Go Gourmet has a grilled filet mignon sandwich, which comes with a horseradish and Dijon cream sauce on a choice of sourdough, multi-grain or ciabatta bread.

Inside K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen you'll find blackened beef tenders with a debris sauce, which features twin filet mignon cuts seasoned and blackened in a cast-iron skillet. Felix's Uptown offers a blue cheese-topped eight-ounce cut of filet mignon, served with sautéed baby spinach and braised potatoes. Café DiBlasi's Bracoloni is a half-pound steak stuffed with prosciutto, mozzarella and boiled egg, that's rolled, pan seared and simmered in tomato sauce. At Stanley, chef Scott Boswell puts a unique twist on the po-boy with his Korean barbecue beef po-boy with kimchee, a Korean version of pickled and fermented cabbage. Beef brisket plates from Bywater Bar-B-Que come with a housemade sauce, your choice of two sides and bread, including the popular jalapeno cornbread. In Mid-City, Lafitte BBQ offers beef brisket with their homemade sauce. The beef kabob from Salt & Pepper Restaurant in the French Quarter is flavored with cilantro, garlic, chiles and three types of pepper. At Christina's Empress of China, one of the house specials is the orange beef: tender slices of flash-fried beef cooked with orange peels in a sweet and peppery sauce. The teriyaki beef dinner at Ninja starts with ribeye in a teriyaki sauce and somes with miso soup, a house salad and rice. The Latin flavors from the Country Flame include empanadas, featuring spicy ground beef stuffed in a light, crispy dough. Besides sushi, Mikimoto serves a beef teriyaki and tempura combo.

BELL PEPPERS

Local restaurants show that there's more than one way to stuff a pepper. On the Wednesday specials menu at Joey K's, the bell peppers come stuffed with beef and shrimp. Mr. Ed's stuffed bell peppers come filled with crabmeat, crawfish and shrimp. On Fridays at Café Unique, stuffed bell peppers are featured with various soul-food staples. At both Langenstein's locations, you'll find stuffed bell peppers sold by the pound. The Praline Connection serves macaroni and cheese and greens with its stuffed peppers.

BREAD

Bread items break the mold at many area restaurants. The bruschetta pomodora a basilico from Ristorante da Piero translates into toasted Italian bread topped with sliced tomato and basil marinated in extra virgin olive oil with garlic flavor. Café Envie's appetizer choices include a bruschetta of pesto, tomato, mozzarella and basil toasted on ciabatta bread. Nirvana's Indian Cuisine features several bread choices, including poori, a deep-fried puffy wheat bread, and onion kulcha, which is stuffed with onions. NOLA's dinner menu offers an appetizer of wood-oven roasted pocket bread with garlic oil, basil and grated Parmesan. You'll find hot Mexican cornbread on the line at any Piccadilly Cafeteria. Basil, cheese and tomatoes on crispy bread form the bruschetta at the Napoleon House's Girod Bistro. One of Oak Street Café's breakfast options is a couple of buttermilk biscuits covered with white sausage cream gravy. Banana bread is among the pastries and muffins At Lorretta's Too/He — Brews in the Marigny. The Broken Egg Café does a version of French toast with brioche stuffed with pastry cream and strawberries or blueberries. Fisherman's Cove offers overnight shipping of their food, including the crawfish bread.

BREAD PUDDING

Bread pudding is the best thing since sliced bread judging by local menus. At Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Café, the "Blonde Stranger" is a New Orleans-style bread pudding served warm in a caramel-rum sauce and topped with toasted coconut. A white-chocolate bread pudding with rum sauce tops the dessert menu list at the French Market Restaurant. The House of Blues' white-chocolate banana bread pudding comes with Jack Daniel's creme Angels, whipped cream and a caramel "halo." Mimi's on Jefferson Highway offers a mix of wild berries in its bread pudding, which is topped with a caramel sauce. A warm, golden raisin bread pudding is a grand "finale" at the Rib Room. Schiro's Cafe's Sweet Sue's Saucy Bread Pudding is "made by someone who knows how." Café Pontchartrain at the Treasure Chest combines two Louisiana favorites into one in its Bananas Foster bread pudding. Louisiana Star serves bread pudding with New Orleans Rum sauce.

BURGERS

Le Citron Bistro prepares a buffalo burger topped with a chipotle cream sauce and served with French fries or a side salad. The Red Eye Grill's burgers come as a combo plate with fries and a soft drink. G B's Patio Bar and Grill uses freshly ground chuck for its burgers. Visit Shimmy Shack's "Burger City" for the Hot Shimmy: a half-pound burger of mixed hot sausage and ground beef. A favorite daily special at Stitches Bar and Grill is the bacon, mushroom and Swiss burger. The Beach House's Beach burger features a half-pound patty with beef that's ground in house and cooked to order. The famed No. 4 from Bud's Broiler is a charcoal-broiled hamburger topped with grated cheddar cheese, chili or hickory-smoked sauce. The Clover Grill allows you to build your own burger — cooked under a hub cap, of course — with options to add bacon, mushrooms, eggs and chili. Fat Harry's Cajun burger is a blend of ground beef and hot sausage charbroiled and served with fries. Hard Rock Café in the French Quarter is known for more than just T-shirts: the varied burgers are famous as well.

The Mighty River Burger at Frank's Marina Grill pours it on with sautéed mushrooms and onions, bacon, cheddar and Swiss cheese. During the lunch hour, Riccobono's Panola Street Cafe's Panola Burger comes with a choice of American, cheddar, Swiss or mozzarella. The mushroom cheeseburger is just one of the many popular burger options at Port of Call. Shoot for the stars with Slim Goodies Hollywood Burger: an all-beef patty topped with tomato, melted provolone cheese, avocado and mixed greens. Order in at Krystal on Bourbon Street for the combo No. 2, which combines four burgers with fries and a soft drink. Or, for delivery, try the quarter-pound bacon cheeseburger special. Jigger's grills its burgers until the wee hours. Burgers made to order are one of the many attractions at Oscar's on Metairie Road.

The Big Tex burger at Dot's Diner is appropriately excessive: two patties with full fixings plus chili, cheddar cheese and Mexican sport peppers. Cooter Brown's has an 8-ounce ground sirloin burger with blue cheese and bacon. Regular and veggie burgers are available at the St. Charles Tavern. The Columbia St. Taproom and Grill crafts their own homemade burgers. Mr. G's Senior burger at Guillory's Grocery is a burger topped with chili, cheese and grilled onions served on French bread. The all-American cheeseburgers at Hurricane's Sports Bar & Grill come fully dressed. Ground Pat'I offers an applewood-smoked bacon cheeseburger and a Swiss-mushroom burger. For a traditional burger that's served fast but still homemade, Lee's Hamburgers offers The Works, a big cheeseburger dressed with all the fixin's and served with onion rings or fries.

CALIMARI

Fried calamari is a good host to a variety of sauces and accompaniments. Fausto's Italian take on the appetizer of fried calamari translates into calamari fritti. The calamari platter at Crabby Jack's is a plate lunch special that comes with salad and your choice of French fries, coleslaw, potato salad or dirty rice. Jack Leonardi also cooks calamari at his first restaurant, Jacques Imo's, with a fried calamari appetizer that comes with a spicy garlic sauce. The Bombay Club's Asian take on calamari finds the squid golden fried and tossed in a sweet and spicy chile sauce and served with wasabi sour cream. Harbor Seafood & Oyster Bar prepares blackened calamari as an appetizer. Ordering Calamari Creole as an appetizer at Bacco brings you calamari that's dusted in a lightly seasoned flour, flash fried and served with crumbled feta cheese and a spicy marinara sauce. Lemon grass calamari salad is a zesty mix of calamari slices in a chopped lemon grass and spicy lime dressing at Café Equator. Landry's Seafood's fried calamari appetizer combines a marinara, remoulade and sweet red peppers for extra flavor. Miyako Japanese Seafood & Steakhouse's hibachi cooks up tuna, calamari and steak in one dish. The Calamari Tempura at Asian Pacific Café is deep fried squid cooked with the restaurant's special light batter.

CATFISH

Fried catfish is the one constant in a constantly changing list of daily specials at Café Reconcile. Bull's Corner's Catfish Bucktown places pecan-crusted, fried catfish under Gulf shrimp sautéed in a meuniere sauce and serves it with lemon herb rice. The catfish come either fried or blackened at Beck-N-Call, which adds macaroni and cheese and green beans to the entree. Coffee Cottage Café's pecan catfish is bathed in buttermilk, tossed in seasoned corn flour, fried and served with a roasted red pepper sauce along with a side of roasted corn grits. Middendorf's lakeside location has been drawing hungry people since 1934 with its famous fried thin catfish fillets. Mulate's Cajun Restaurant's Catfish Mulate offers the fillets lightly floured and topped with crawfish etouffée and served with chicken and sausage jambalaya, sautéed vegetables and a twice-baked potato.

The fried catfish salad from Adam's Catfish House places the fish and relish, onion, mayo and egg on top of a bed of lettuce. Fried tidbits of freshwater catfish with Alzina's special sauce are a popular appetizer at Bon Ton Cafe. The combination plates at Chun Lee Restaurant include a spicy Szechwan-style dish of fried catfish and vegetables. Ralph & Kacoo's offers Catfish Acadiana: catfish stuffed with crabmeat, oven broiled, served with the house Lafitte sauce and topped with hollandaise. The shrimp and catfish combo plate is a popular lunch at Legend's Patio Bar & Grille. Breaux Mart seasons their catfish with lemon pepper and then offers it baked or fried. Crawfish Lafayette at St. Charles Tavern presents grilled catfish topped with crawfish etouffée. Over at Hobnobber's Café, the catfish fillet is topped with crawfish sauce. Fried catfish or shrimp fill baskets at the Treasure Chest's Pointe Deli on weekend nights only.

CHEESE

Table One offers brie cheese baked in phyllo dough and served with baby lettuce tossed in a balsamic dressing, green grapes and toasted almonds. At Café Banquette, cheese appears on the appetizer menu with French fries and in mozzarella sticks. The deux fromages sandwich from La Boucherie offers a choice of bread, any two cheeses and comes grilled or cold. Laurentino's Restaurant offers a number of tapas dishes, including the semi-cured Manchego cheese on Catalan garlic-tomato bread with Mediterranean olives. The fondues from The Melting Pot bubble up a rich blend of Gruyere and Emmenthaler cheeses melted with a white wine base, a touch of garlic and lemon juice and finished with cracked pepper, nutmeg and Kirshwasser brandy. Prepared tableside, the fondue comes with French, rye and pumpernickel breads, Granny Smith apples and vegetables for dipping.

Start your meal at McAlister's Deli with the chili cheese dip, which comes with sliced jalapeno peppers and chips. Choose either mozzarella or feta for fried cheese sticks at Pizza Florence. Bayona's lunch menu includes a starter of a goat-cheese crouton with mushrooms in Madeira cream. Besides pizza, Theo's makes a grilled cheese sandwich with mozzarella, cheddar and Parmesan cheeses and spices. Mimi's in the Marigny has a hot tapas menu that includes flash fried goat cheese croquettas. Order Queso Fundido at Taqueros Coyoacan for melted cheese stuffed with chorizo or vegetables and tortillas on the side. Pontchartrain Vineyards offers a cheese plate to accompany their wines. Paradise Café provides the old standby of grilled cheese with either bacon or tomato. Goat cheese croquettas at Fiesta Bistro feature a crunchy outside and a melting inside of goat cheese with rosemary and thyme. The Original Coffee Pot Restaurant offers blintzes stuffed with three cheeses plus either sour cream and strawberries or apples and cinnamon.

CHICKEN

The evening menu from Bistro Moise offers a main course selection of White Trash Chicken, in which the meat is braised with catsup and Coca Cola. Byblos Market's chicken shwarma marinates a chicken breast in spices, lemon juice and garlic. The inventive Italian cooking at Andrea's includes the chicken ‡ la grande: half of a roasted chicken served with rosemary and roasted garlic in an olive oil herb sauce. Bennachin's African fare is illustrated in such dishes as the Fifey Fifingo, which is a baked chicken leg quarter stuffed with spinach, fried plantains and coconut rice. One of the salad choices at Bennigan's is Kilkenny's Country Chicken Salad, in which hand-breaded, crisply fried chicken slices are placed over garden greens topped with diced eggs, shredded Colby cheese, fresh tomatoes, bacon and the housemade smoky honey-Dijon dressing. Common Grounds' chunky chicken salad gives you the foul with shallots, mayo and Tabasco and is available as a sandwich or over greens. The rotisserie chicken at Byblos features a marinated half chicken that's rubbed with a mix of herbs, slow roasted and served with garlic mashed potatoes and vegetables. Café Pontalba's paneed chicken finds a chicken breast dusted with a mild blend of Cajun spices, herbs, breadcrumbs and pan seared. The dish also includes the vegetable du jour, mashed potatoes and the housemade Creole Hunter sauce. The coq au vin at Flaming Torch stews the chicken in red wine.

Get excited for Caffe! Caffe!'s grilled Cesar pita, which combines Romaine lettuce, seasoned croutons, their signature housemade Caesar dressing, grilled chicken and Romano cheese in pita bread. China Doll infuses plenty of flavor into its lemon chicken entrée. Fong's Chinese features lemon chicken as well, with white-meat chicken glazed with a lemon sauce. The chicken is smoked for five hours at Hillbilly Bar-B-Que before it's picked and prepared in a salad with green onions, seasonings and Blue Plate mayo. La Boucherie's chicken cordon bleu wrap combines marinated chicken sautéed with mushrooms, onion, garlic, grilled ham and Swiss cheese before it's placed in the panini press and served. The chicken Marsala from Louisiana Pizza Kitchen features roasted chicken with red onions, mushrooms and Roma tomatoes in a Marsala wine and pesto cream sauce, served over fettuccini pasta with Parmesan cheese. Couscous is a bed for Moroccan chicken at Casablanca.

Mr. Roo's stewed chicken and rice comes with vegetables, a salad and bread. The Pollo Rustica from Nardo's Trattoria features sautéed chicken breast, sausage, peppers and potatoes in a basil and sweet vermouth sauce. Bywater Bar-B-Que's chicken sandwich puts grilled chicken breast, portobello mushrooms, Swiss cheese and bacon between bread. The fried chicken is always a favorite at Mr. Ed's. Fried chicken has always been a specialty of the house at Fiorella's near the French Market. Royal Blend's Old Metairie sandwich is chicken salad with avocado, bacon, lettuce and tomato. Chateau Coffee Café serves a chicken Cordon Bleu wrap with honey mustard. For lunch, Tiramisu Café 's lemon chicken is a chicken breast sautéed with white wine, garlic, lemon and capers. Aboard the Steamboat Natchez, guests can choose from pecan crusted chicken and baked chicken in praline sauce. The chicken tenders at Hurricanes Sports Bar & Grill come with fries and a choice of dipping sauces. Babylon International offers a traditional chicken shwarma. Besides barbecue, the Ugly Dog Saloon offers rotisserie chickens by the half.

COFFEE & PASTRY

Coffee cools off in summer. Cold dripped iced mocha from Café Satora is a cool afternoon pick up. From the coffee bar at Haagen-Dazs, sweeten the deal with the Aaffogata: vanilla or coffee ice cream covered with hot espresso. The Cappuccino Crunch at Hershey's Ice Cream Parlor ups the ante with pieces of toffee and Denali fudge placed in coffee ice cream. At Mojo Coffee House look for The Turtle, an espresso shot with caramel and chocolate syrups and steamed milk that's topped with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle. The espresso con panna shot at Urban Cup puts whipped cream in your life along with some caffeinated pep in your step. The Magazine Street cafe also prepares breve espresso (espresso with half and half). The iced coffee at Café du Monde was a welcome addition to the small traditional menu when it was added in 1988. Further along the French Market, you'll find the cappuccino freeze from Sarafina's. Slice offers an iced cappuccino as well. The iced coffee at St. John's Coffee House is of the organic, fair-trade variety. They also offer chocolate au lait for those with a sweet tooth. PJ's Coffee and Wine Bar has granitas as well as iced coffee. Espresso Express delivers caffeine in an array of frozen blended coffee drinks. Morning Call encourages visitors to pair coffee with their beignets. Nola Java offers a cool and creamy blended Kona Mocha. Area CC's offer a variety of espresso and cappuccino drinks. Bastille Computer Cafe has a special machine that brews individual cups of its nine varieties of coffee, right when you order it.

Good Earth Market & Café bakes its own muffins, scones and pastries. Marigny Perks has a pastry chef who creates muffins, Danishes, biscuits and brownies. The croissants at La Boulangerie range from plain to almond, raspberry and chocolate. Z'otz Coffee House believes a day should start with iced mochas and bran muffins. Homemade blueberry muffins are fresh at Planc Coffee and Tea, and the pastries and doughnuts are homemade at Henry's Bakery and Deli in the Marigny. Croissant D'Or Patisserie makes its flaky croissants on the premises daily to go along with its fresh coffee selections. The bakery at Dorignac's makes its own donuts, cinnamon rolls and other pastries.

CRAB

At his namesake Brigtsen's Restaurant, Chef Frank Brigtsen often offers the appetizer Gratin of Louisiana Stone Crab Thermidor, which features crabmeat topped with a crust of Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs and a variation of the classic sauce flavored with Dijon mustard and tarragon. Ninth Ward institution Jack Dempsey's prepares broiled plates with both King crab legs and Dungeness crab. In the CBD on Fridays, The Apple Seed Shoppe features a house special in which lump crabmeat is piled onto wilted lettuce, radishes, mushrooms and green onions with a choice of dressing. The crab salad at Alberta combines a julienne of Romaine lettuce with fresh tomatoes, avocado, applewood-smoked bacon, boiled egg, Roquefort cheese, jumbo lump crabmeat and a special dressing. Crab cakes with a seafood cream sauce over angel hair pasta, served with a garden salad and bread, are one of the chef's specialties at Seither's Seafood in Harahan.

The stuffed crab shells at Besh Steakhouse at Harrah's finds pasta shells stuffed with jumbo lump crabmeat in a garlic lemon fondue. Cross the street at Restaurant August, Besh's signature gnocchi appetizer is elegantly dressed in a crabmeat and truffle cream. The chefs of Café Adelaide go to Des Allemands for their Fleur de Lis Blue Crab Tart, which features blue crab, leeks and oyster mushrooms in homage to renowned Cajun chef John Folse's Bittersweet Plantation fleur de lis cheese. On the West Bank, Café DiBlasi's crab cake DiChristy tops pan-fried crabmeat with a shrimp and Creole cream cheese sauce. MedUSA Café's Mediterranean Crabmeat Pie is an entree dish of lump crabmeat rolled in phyllo dough, baked and then topped with creamy crabmeat and served with an organic, mixed salad. The Creole crab cakes at Pontchartrain Point Café place crabmeat, battered and fried in breadcrumbs, on a bed of penne pasta tossed in a spicy cream sauce and garnished with a remoulade sauce. Fury's offers crabmeat au gratin everyday.

Impastato's appetizer choices include Mickey Jackson's Crab Fingers: tender crab fingers sautéed in a sauce of lemon, butter, Italian breadcrumbs and parsley. Orleans Grapevine in the French Quarter offers a half-pound of hot Stone crab in a champagne dill sauce. A signature dish at Palace Café is the Crabmeat Cheesecake appetizer, in which crabmeat is baked in a pecan crust with wild mushrooms and served with a Creole meuniere sauce. Chad's Bistro provides a crab salad with smoked gouda, sun-dried cranberries, pecans and a citrus vinaigrette. When they are in season, you can order a half-dozen boiled crabs at Morton's Seafood. Fisherman's Cove offers crabs by the dozen, be they small, medium, large or jumbo. Surrey's Café and Juice Bar uses fresh lump crabmeat from Lafitte. The Deckbar and Grille offers crab balls, which are deep fried clusters of crabmeat stuffing.

CRAWFISH

La Peniche serves crawfish for breakfast with their Crawfish Scramble, which is a mix of scrambled eggs, crawfish and green onions with homemade biscuits. At Petunia's, the crawfish etouffée omelet is another morning treat that consists of New Iberia-style etouffée folded into a fluffy omelet smothered in Swiss cheese. For a crawfish appetizer, head down to Decatur Street to Fiorella's for their flaky fried crawfish pies. At Lager's you can the spicy, finger-size crawfish fritters are known as Crawfish Kickers. The crawfish pasta at the Coffee Cottage Café in Harahan is a tri-colored rotini pasta with crawfish served in a creamy pepper cheese sauce and also comes with three crawfish beignets and bread. One of the Gumbo Shop's pasta offerings comes with crawfish and spicy tasso in a reduced cream sauce. Langenstein's prepares a zesty crawfish bisque with fresh crawfish tails and stuffed heads in a rich savory sauce. The Crawfish Johnnie at Crazy Johnnie's is a combination of crawfish, onions and mushrooms in a cream reduction served over rice or croutons. Franky and Johhny's keeps it simple with a fried crawfish dinner platter complete with fries and a salad. The Palm Court Jazz Café jazzes it up with the Crawfish Nantua: crawfish tails flamed in a cream and brandy sauce. The Bon Ton Café serves its crawfish etouffée with parsley-buttered rice and in other Cajun specialties. At Parran's Po-Boys, the Shrimp and Crawfish Diane tosses the shellfish in a cream sauce with garlic, green onion and mushrooms and serves them on a bed of pasta.

Guillory's Grocery offers a crawfish burger served on a bun with fries. The crawfish pasta at Coffee Cottage Café features rotini pasta and crawfish in a spicy pepper cream sauce. The crawfish pasta at Wego Inn Café uses spiral pasta and a spicy Alfredo sauce. La Thai Cuisine puts crawfish in a more exotic and mildly spicy Panang curry sauce. At the Bulldog, Crawfish Banditos feature crawfish etouffée in whole wheat tortillas. Philip Chan's Asian Cajun Bistro stir fries crawfish in a wok and serves them with a spicy Asian chili sauce.

CREPES

Le Parvenu offers crepes to start and finish a meal with their Louisiana seafood crepe with fresh Chablis and dill sauce for an appetizer and their Le Parvenu lemon crepe with citrus sauce for dessert. Crepes ‡ La Cart offers more than 50 different varieties of breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert crepes, including the Crepe Atlantic which comes with smoked salmon, baby spinach, chives and cream. Muriel's Jackson Square offers a shrimp or crawfish goat cheese crepe that comes with a buttery sauce of chardonnay, onions, tomato and bell peppers. Petunia's St. James, a 14-inch crepe stuffed with crabmeat, shrimp, bell peppers, cheddar cheese and onions, is one of six specialty crepes on the menu. Bambu's Asian fusion approach extends to the Bambu Bananas Foster crepe, which has coconut ice cream and slices of banana with caramel sauce wrapped in a crepe and topped with chocolate sauce and whipped cream. One of the crepes at La Crepe Nanou combines lump crabmeat and creamed spinach. Clementine's Belgian Bistro counters with a crepe stuffed with fresh baby spinach, goat cheese and Parmesan cheese. The savory Vietnamese crepe at Thanh Thanh is stuffed with shrimp, pork, bean sprouts, onions and a fish sauce.

DESSERT

The New Orleans sweet tooth craves just as many flavors and varieties as the rest of the local cuisine's offerings. The Flauta Dulce from Taqueria Corona is a vanilla cheesecake with banana rolled into a flauta and served with strawberry sauce. Brennan's serves its original Bananas Foster with the richly sweet brown sugar and rum sauce prepared tableside. A traditional New Orleans favorite — doberge cake — is offered in chocolate, caramel and half-and-half versions at Gambino's Bakery. Dessert heavyweight Ben and Jerry's has invented many wackily named ice cream flavors including the Dublin Mudslide, an Irish cream liqueur ice cream with chocolate chocolate chip cookies and a coffee fudge swirl. Le Citron Bistro keeps it short and sweet with the rich chocolate Jack Daniels cake ‡ la mode. Bank Café has a pineapple upside down cake with tropical fruit and basil ice cream. Feelings Café will make you feel real good with the peanut butter pie. Chevy's sweetens meals with the Ooey Gooey Chewy Sundae or their flan with caramel sauce. Fortuna's adds a twist to a New Orleans classic with their beignets stuffed with fruit.

Phoenicia offers the Middle Eastern Namoura, a combination of mixed coconut, farina and yogurt with orange water and syrup. Aladdin's provides a Mediterranean treat called Moamul, a pastry made of farina, sweetened with rose water, filled with ground walnuts and topped with powdered sugar. Fellini's offers a bananas Foster dessert pie. The Loop Pizza Grill in Mandeville hand dips its ice cram shakes and adds Oreos or Butterfingers.

The Longbranch in Abita Springs mixes two classics together with their Banana Pudding Brulee, a créme brulee topped with whipped cream and cat tongue cookies. Morton's Steakhouse goes over the top with hot chocolate cake, key lime pie made fresh daily, souffles of lemon, chocolate or raspberry, and grand marnier. Shula's Steak House bakes a chocolate soufflé for two. If you're looking for a late night treat in the Quarter, Krystal's has a hot apple turnover. The Chocolate Chocolate Tower may put you over the edge at Outback with its layers of moist chocolate cake and smooth chocolate filling with a raspberry sauce. Creole Creamery offers a variety of dessert combinations including the Skyscraper, a tall creation of cookies and cream, chocolate and vanilla layered with caramel, hot fudge and crushed Oreo cookies served with whipped cream and a cherry. Sophie's Gelato proves that fruit and indulgence mix well in their banana split, a large piling of three scoops of gelato of any flavor, with any two toppings like almonds or caramel topped with whip cream and a cherry. The Mile High Pie at Café Pontchartrain is a rich mountain of Neapolitan ice cream enveloped in a light vanilla meringue, topped with dark, rich, gooey chocolate sauce, served with whipped cream and a cherry atop the peak. At Emeril's the banana cream pie with banana crust is a massive concoction drizzled with caramel sauce and chocolate shavings.

The chocolate hazelnut truffle at Tommy's Cuisine on Tchoupitoulas Street is an elegantly chilled bittersweet chocolate mousse with cream anglaise, topped with roasted hazelnuts and whipped cream. The Melting Pot rounds out their menu by dipping fresh Louisiana strawberries in a decadent chocolate fondue. The New Orleans Grill at the Windsor Court tantalizes with the almond créme brulee with roasted rhubarb, wild strawberry jus and rhubarb sorbet with almond macaroons. And who could forget the French Quarter favorite beignets at Café Du Monde. Flora Gallery & Coffee Shop touts its homemade baklava. Nola Java offers king cake year round. The tiramisu at D. Lamarque's is topped with coffee liqueur syrup. Morning Call serves their beignets any time of day, breakfast or dessert. Laurel Street Bakery bakes all of their own cakes, pies and muffins. Still Perkin' takes pride in its gigantic cookies. If cakes like chocolate ecstasy and New York cheesecake sound alluring, head over to Rue de la Course for coffee and dessert. Haagen-Dazs ice cream is a late night indulgence at the Treasure Chest Casino's Pontchartrain Café.

DUCK

At Drago's, Duck Fingers are a breaded and fried crispy cousin of the traditional chicken appetizer. Among the entrees at Austin's in Metairie is the orange glazed duck: a deboned half duck covered with a fresh orange glaze complimented by wild rice and yams. It's nothing but traditional French preparation at Herbsaint Bar and Restaurant for their version of duck leg confit, which is a Muscovy duck leg confited and pan seared until the skin is crispy, then served over dirty rice with a citrus gastrique. In Ponchatoula, Donnell's pan seared maple leaf duck breasts are set on a bed of crispy potato croquettes and wilted spinach, finished with a blackberry-casis glaze. Iris makes its duck confit duck with citrus salt and rosemary and serves it with baby greens, sweet baby beets and a sherry vinaigrette. Calas Bistro and Wine Cellar offers pan-fried duck breast served with a pepper jelly sauce and cornbread dressing.

The Red Maple Restaurant's signature dish is the Duck Maple, a pan-seared duck breast served over cranberry wild rice with a brandy apricot glaze. Duck in pomegranate walnut sauce from Cleopatra's offers a Middle Eastern version of the bird that comes in a naturally sweet and sour pomegranate sauce with finely crushed walnuts. Bacco's roast duckling is a tasty half duckling infused with honey and orange, roasted and served over an andouille polenta cornbread cake with baby vegetables and a rich duck reduction. Jean Lafitte Bistro's roasted duck is a fitting entrée in their elegant dining room as they prepare the dish with maple syrup in a lingonberry sauce served with wild rice. At the Palace Café, enjoy the view of Canal Street and indulge in their pepper-crusted duck with foie gras.

D. Lamarque serves sliced Muscovy duck breast with seared foie gras over stir-fried vegetables and noodles, with the whole dish topped with a semi-sweet and spicy duck glace. Duck is sautéed with onions and peppers and topped with provolone cheese on the panini sandwich at Tout de Suite Café. The smothered duck at Juniper is served over Cajun dirty orzo with sweet potato casserole. A whole roasted duck is served with creamed sweet potatoes and a port wine reduction at the Water Street Bistro in Madisonville.

EGGPLANT

Eggplant is the slice of life in many local dishes. At Vega Tapas Café, the Eggplant Napoleon presents baby eggplant layered with fresh mozzarella, arugula and oven-dried tomatoes, drizzled with sun-dried tomato and basil pestos. At Petunia's, it's eggplant for breakfast in the Eggs Melanzana dish featuring eggplant rounds breaded with Italian breadcrumbs and deep fried, covered with grilled tomato and grilled sliced ham, topped with homemade hollandaise and a shake of Parmesan. Byblos eggplant and crab cake appetizer comes lightly fried, topped with lump crabmeat and a creamy Parmesan sauce. Seither's Eggplant Harahan comes fried with stuffed crab in a seafood cream sauce. Austin's serves fried eggplant and sautéed shrimp drizzled with a Creole remoulade for their eggplant and shrimp Napoleon. Panasia offers a spicy eggplant dish of sautéed eggplant, mushrooms, bamboo, onions and bell pepper with basil. Thai Pot Authentic Thai Cuisine in Covington combines Thai eggplant with chicken, pork or beef, coconut milk, basil leaves, bamboo shoots and bell pepper.

The eggplant sandwich at Mona's is fried eggplant topped with onions, tomato, lettuce and feta cheese served on fresh sesame breed. Abita Brew Pub's Seafood Stuffed Eggplant Pireau is stuffed and baked eggplant topped with their shrimp herb cream sauce and comes with smashed potatoes and sautéed vegetables. The purple plant finds it way into pasta at Brick Oven Café in their rigatoni with eggplant that comes topped with a light, fresh marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese. Donnell's fried eggplant medallions are topped with a shrimp, tasso and sweet pepper cream served with angel hair pasta and vegetables. TeCoRo's Eggplant Plicato is paneed eggplant layered in a creamy sauce of sun dried tomatoes, artichoke, mushrooms and green onions topped with melted mozzarella cheese served over linguini pasta. Eggplant is baked with meat in the classic Greek dish Mousaka at Mr. Gyros in Matairie.

Harbor Seafood and Oyster Bar in Kenner puts eggplant front and center in their stuffed eggplant pirogue, which is a fried eggplant half stuffed with eggplant and crabmeat dressing, topped with crawfish cream sauce. Venezia's Eggplant Vatican is their own interpretation of a fried eggplant shell filled with crawfish and shrimp in a crabmeat cream sauce. Nasu Yaki is the Sake Café's version of baked eggplant. Jezz's Kitchen at Dorignac's Food Center offers seafood eggplant: eggplant combined with lump crabmeat, shrimp and crawfish tails. Coscino's Pizza cooks eggplant Parmesan with an old fashioned deck oven. The eggplant Napoleon at Anselmo's layers fried eggplant medallions with provolone cheese, mushroom and crawfish sauce atop angel hair pasta.

EGGS

Café Fleur De Lis gets things started right with their namesake omelet, the Fleur De Lis Omelet, which is three fluffy eggs stuffed with sautéed crawfish tails, pepperjack cheese, green bell peppers and onions topped with a Louisiana Cajun crawfish sauce. MelonHead Café offers a scrambled egg sandwich or a vegan scramble sandwich using seasoned tofu as an alternative. At Café D'Cappucino try the Eddie Breakfast, a hearty combination of eggs, hash browns, bacon or sausage and toast or a biscuit. True Brew offers a traditional breakfast of eggs, bacon, toast and such, cooked the way you like it. Café Envie's Eggs Envie nods to French influence by arranging a mini omelet filled with brie topped with ham on a toasted croissant. Café Pontchartrain looks to Acadiana with their Cajun Omelet, a blend of smoked sausage, bell peppers and green onions seasoned with the chef's blend of spices served with home fries, muffins, biscuits or toast. The Court of Two Sisters' Seafood Orleans Omelet is the restaurant's signature combination of crawfish, crabmeat, shrimp, onions, green peppers and garlic in a cream sauce.

Deja Vu Restaurant hopes you remember the Deja Vu Omelet. It serves the fluffy three egg omelet 24 hours a day, and it comes with crispy bacon, breakfast sausage, ham, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, cheddar cheese and a side of toast. Paul's Café prepares eggs to order. Riccobono's Panola Street Café goes south of the border with huevos rancheros, fried eggs on tortillas with black beans and salsa. Float on the White Cloud Omelet from Petunia's, a parsley-flecked egg white omelet filled with asparagus or broccoli. The Broken Egg Café in Mandeville features the egg in several tasty varieties, including the Eggs Blackstone, an English muffin topped with grilled tomatoes, two poached eggs, creamy hollandaise, baked bacon crunch and chives. The Broken Egg Café offers a variety of special omelets.

Riccobono's Peppermill places two poached eggs atop blue crab cakes laced with hollandaise. At Stanley, the namesake Eggs Stanley serve poached eggs with smoked ham, cornmeal crusted oysters and Creole hollandaise. Russell's Marina Grill cooks a more conventional eggs Benedict. Verti Marte's Western omelet contains ham, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions and cheese. A six-ounce sirloin is accompanied by eggs, grits and toast at Jukebox. The migas, eggs wrapped in tortillas, and huevos rancheros, fried eggs under black beans and salsa, at Bluebird Café offer spicy breakfast options. Henry's Bakery and Deli puts a soul food spin on its breakfast platters of sausage, eggs and cheese. The breakfast sandwiches at Ted's Frostop include sausage and bacon with egg on a biscuit or French bread.

ENCHILADAS

The Enchiladas Queretaro at La Carreta combines grilled chicken breast with four cheeses and adds beans, salsa verde sauce, avocados and fresh pico de gallo. Try the seafood enchiladas stuffed with shrimp and crabmeat topped with sour cream and avocado at Casa Garcia. The Enchilada Riviera at Taqueria Corona is any combination of chicken, beef, shrimp or cheese wrapped in a soft corn tortilla topped with melted cheese and served with guacamole and sour cream. At Juan's Flying Burrito, the large selection of enchiladas includes shrimp versions. The Heff-Weisson Smoked Chicken enchiladas at the Bulldog on Canal Boulevard feature marinated chicken and sautéed pico de gallo in whole wheat tortillas topped with a hickory barbecue sauce.

ESCARGOT

Table One's Escargot Bourguignonne are French Burgundy snails in a classic garlic butter sauce with shiitake mushrooms and Roquefort crostinis. At Chateau du Lac, the Les Escargots Sancerre features six escargot in sancerre cream sauce with caramelized leek compote. Chef John Harris sautées escargot in a Calvados cream at Lilette. Up the street at Alberta, the escargot are served with gnocchi and mushroom ragout.

FAJITAS

Serrano's Salsa Company offers several fajita dishes assembled with marinated beef, pork tenderloin, chicken, portobello mushrooms or Latin grilled vegetables served on a bed of sizzling onions with verde rice, refried or borracho beans, cheese, pico de gallo and sour cream. Sizzling broiled shrimp fajitas at George's Mexican Restaurant are served with pico de gallo and guacamole. At Roly Poly, go vegetarian with fajitas packed with melted cheddar and jalapeno jack cheese, spinach, tomato, mushrooms, onions, green pepper and fajita sauce. At Adobe Cantina and La Carreta, the fajitas come with fresh flour tortillas and a selection of shrimp, chicken and steak all in one order. The Blue Tomato on Jefferson Highway offers a fajita combination of steak and chicken as well. The Fajita Steak Tampiquena at Superior Grill pairs mesquite-grilled skirt steak and a cheese enchilada served with sides of flour tortillas, black bean or tortilla soup, pico de gallo and guacamole.

FISH

At GW Fins, the wood-grilled pompano comes with a four-melon relish and grilled bananas. Cajun spices and the housemade zydeco sauce add flavor to Gulfstream Restaurant's grilled red snapper topped with rock shrimp and served over mashed potatoes. The Fish Marigny is the fish of the day at Snug Harbor that comes topped with Gulf shrimp in a Creole cream sauce. The recently opened Calas Bistro and Wine Cellar in Kenner presents pan-fried fish meuniere served with shrimp and roasted pecans. La Louisiane's fish en escabeche is a Gulf fish marinated in the traditional Spanish style with leeks, onions, carrots, white wine and sherry vinegar and comes with lemon fingerling potatoes and roasted garlic-parsley oil. RioMar marinates sliced Gulf fish and shellfish in citrus marinades to create several different Latin American versions of ceviche. Jacques Imo's offers grilled mahi mahi with shrimp and a pistachio sauce served with asparagus. The roasted Gulf fish at Cochon comes roasted skin-on in a wood burning oven, served with roasted sweet onions. Adam's Catfish House doesn't mess around with their whole fish platter including three fresh catfish still on the bone. 7 on Fulton's pan-seared Gulf grouper comes with a zesty shellfish and chorizo southern style paella with saffron sauce. The Bourbon Street mahi mahi at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. comes charbroiled with Cajun spices in a bourbon sauce with shrimp and mashed potatoes. Crabmeat and capers or crawfish and shrimp top many of the fish specials at Adolfo's in the Marigny. At Begue's Restaurant, the pan-seared tilapia with truffle corn pancakes and winter vegetable ragout is complemented by a beurre rouge. The China Orchid uses tilapia for its Hunan Whole Fish, which comes lightly battered and fried and served with Chinese noodles. Juniper has pecan-encrusted tilapia topped with brown crabmeat meuniere sauce. Columbia Street Taproom and Grill offers several fish dishes, including blackened wahoo and fried trout meuniere. Fish tacos at the Bulldog come with a chipotle aioli.

FROG

Herbsaint fries its frog legs with fresh fine herbs. Middendorf's serves frog legs as a side order. Arnaud's Frog Legs Provencale come crisply fried and topped with Pernod-infused garlic-herb butter. The Marigny Brasserie serves Buffalo frog legs with greens and a housemade blue cheese dressing as an appetizer.

GUMBO

There are as many ways to make gumbo as there are cooks, or at least as there are restaurants. At Zydeque, Debris Gumbo comes with chicken, andouille and smoked pork served with potato salad. Dick and Jenny's gumbo comes with smoked rabbit, duck and sausage with Louisiana popcorn rice. Mother's offers the rich Mae's file gumbo. Johnny's Po-Boy Restaurant offers gumbo as part of the Cajun combo with a bowl of seafood gumbo, red beans and rice, shrimp Creole and French bread. Southern Po-Boys makes a classic chicken and sausage gumbo. The Gumbo Shop offers two different kinds of gumbo. The Seafood Okra Gumbo comes with onion, bell peppers, celery and a sautéed tomato blended with shrimp and crabs in a thick roux served over rice. The Gumbo Poopa at Acme Oyster House comes in a French bread bowl with a touch of rice. Music is in the air as both The Palm Court Jazz Café and Snug HarborJazz Bistro serve traditional gumbos. Bozo's makes a spicy chicken and andouille gumbo.

Jezz's Kitchen at Dorignac's Food Center has been dishing up a traditional house gumbo for 15 years. Ernst Café offers a smoked duck gumbo. The Creole gumbo at Liuzza's by the Track adds sauteed shrimp and oysters just before serving. Breaux Mart's Thursday special is seafood gumbo. Chicken and andouille sausage gumbo is the preferred variety at the Chartres House Café. The gumbo at Café Beignet brims with smoked and andouille sausage and shrimp and okra.

ICE CREAM

Wasabi offers five different exotic ice creams including plum ice cream, ginger ice cream and red bean ice cream. At Broussard's, the Profiteroles au Chocolate Marion stuff vanilla ice cream into Italian puff pastries and top them with chocolate brandy sauce and almonds. Crepes La Cart offers three ice cream crepes including a rum raisin ice cream crepe that comes with vanilla ice cream, rum, chantilly cream, raisins and coconut. Haagen Dazs not only offers all the ice cream a kid could want, but also a drink for grown ups called the Baristo. It's a frosty blend of light ice cream and espresso that flavored with mocha, coffee or dulce de leche.

The Cookie Doughlicious at Hershey's Ice Cream Parlor in Covington is a combination of vanilla ice cream with chocolate chips and chunks of cookie dough. Mojo's Frozen Custard offers gourmet ice cream made with the finest ingredients. At Adobe Cantina, the fried ice cream is a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream with crunchy corn flakes, cinnamon and sugar whole-wheat chips fried on the outside. Flip Flop and Fly, a reverse root beer float with a dash of root beer gelato, is only one of many creations at Sophie's Gelato. The Tchoupitoulas at Creole Creamery is a monstrous sundae full of eight scoops of ice cream and eight toppings of your choice served in grand fashion with whipped cream and cherries. Ben and Jerry's soothes all tensions with their Chocolate Therapy, a blend of chocolate ice cream with chocolate cookies and swirls of chocolate pudding. The fried ice cream and banana flauta at Vera Cruz is topped with strawberries and chocolate sauce. Deanie's Seafood calls their Nectar Soda Float a New Orleans "original." Ice cream floats can also be found at The Grocery.

JAMBALAYA

The Pirate's Jambalaya at La Louisiane is a treasure of tender chicken and andouille sausage with rice, herbs, bell pepper, onions and Creole tomatoes. Jerry's Jambalaya at Mother's is available everyday. Vic's Kangaroo Café makes a hearty chicken and sausage jambalaya. At the Olive Branch Café, jambalaya is reconfigured with smoked sausage, seasoned chicken breast, onions and bell peppers simmered in a roasted garlic cream sauce tossed with penne pasta. The Cajun jambalaya at Café Maspero's in the French Quarter is studded with shrimp, chicken, vegetables and smoked sausage off the grill. Loretta's Too/He — Brew's Friday lunch special rounds up fried fish, jambalaya and potato salad.

LAMB

At Dominque's, a lamb dish presents a grilled double lamb chop with Merguez sausage, lamb confit, goat cheese and three potato terrine,and a chorizo spiced tropical ratatouille with lamb jus. The Babylon Café's rosemary lamb chops are marinated with rosemary and olive oil and grilled. The lamb osso bucco at La Louisiane offers Colorado lamb braised in a rich tomato-based sauce scented with orange zest alongside pan-crisped polenta. At Elizabeth's, the classic oven-baked lamb chops are served with mint jelly. The lamb loin at Bayona comes with goat cheese and herbs with a zinfandel sauce. The Creole lamb chops at Café Amelie are served with a scotch bonnet mango sauce.

In case you hadn't heard, the Orleans Grapevine has a Dijon mustard and herb crusted New Zealand rack of lamb served with curried couscous, steamed asparagus and a mint-infused demi glace. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Zea's has a special Rotisserie Provimi leg of lamb served with a mustard mint demi glace. Café Volage features lamb in a succulent osso buco or the lamb shank with a rosemary mushroom demi glace. A chef's favorite at Aladdin's are the Middle Eastern style lamb chops. The rack of lamb at Alberta is seared and oven roasted and served with mint potato gratin and cardomom demi glace. The gyros plate at Byblos Market comes with beef and lamb mixed together along with hummus, salad and rice. At Casablanca, lamb is an option to top their Moroccan cous cous and garden vegetables.

Taqueros Coyoacan offers diners a roasted chile poblano stuffed with lamb and baked in banana leaves. The grilled 16-ounce lamb chops are seasoned with rosemary and Middle Eastern spices at Lebanon Café. The array of Indian dishes at Taj Mahal includes rogan josh, a slowly braised leg of lamb seasoned with cinnamon and curry leaf. Adolfo's pan-roasts lamb chops with garlic butter, rosemary and mint.

LASAGNA

Lasagna, perhaps the ultimate Italian comfort food, is a specialty at Ditali's Pizza in Belle Chasse. Nicole's Italian Cuisine claims a 100-year-old family recipe from Italy baked with three meats, five cheeses and noodles layered with homemade red gravy. Gio's Pizza and Spaghetti House features a heavenly four-layer meat lasagna with stuffed ricotta and mozzarella cheeses along with angel hair pasta and Gio's red gravy. The twice-baked Lasagna Della Casa at Tony Moran's comes carefully prepared with meat, ricotta and mozzarella cheeses and creamy spinach baked together. The Olive Branch Café prepares a lasagna layered with beef, seasonings, marinara sauce and cheese. Tiramisu Café layers its lasagna Bolognese with ricotta, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses plus meat sauce and béchamel.

LIVER

Whether from the chicken or the cow, this delicacy is a favorite of particular palates. At Café Degas, the sautéed calf's liver gets plenty of savory company from apple-smoked bacon, celery root remoulade and a caramelized onion bordelaise. Also channeling the flavors of the French countryside is the calf liver at Chateau du Lac in Kenner, which is served with a creamy Roquefort sauce and potatoes. Veal liver is given the French Creole treatment at Galatoire's Restaurant, available with a selection of traditional sauces and garnishes in this grande dame's grand dining room. Meanwhile, Carmine's Italian & Seafood Grill features a classic liver and onion combination as a daily special. The fried chicken livers take a downhome turn at the Praline Connection in the Faubourg Marigny, where they're served with pepper jelly. Southern fried chicken livers get a similarly spicy pepper jelly sauce at Elizabeth's Restaurant in the Bywater. At Gulfstream, the new concept at the former Houston's location on St. Charles Avenue, look for the crispy chicken liver salad, paired with pickled beets, m‰che, goat cheese and tomato.

LOBSTER

This seafood delight hails from far-away waters but is becoming increasingly popular at local restaurants. Music is on the menu at the Beach House in Metairie, and so are boiled lobster dinners in the New England tradition. Maine lobsters hot from the steamer are a specialty at Cannon's Restaurant, where they're paired with the classic sides of potatoes and corn. For lobster with an Asian flair, try Kim Son's salt baked lobster with spicy black pepper sauce. At Horinoya, lobster turns Japanese in a deep fried tempura version served with vegetable tempura over rice. Drago's Restaurant is a lobster destination in Fat City, where among the most popular of its many preparations is the Lobster Marco, stuffed with shrimp and mushrooms in cream sauce over pasta. GW Fins prepares lobster dumplings as an appetizer, with tail meat and white fish mousseline inside the soft noodle casing. At Zo in the W Hotel, the lobster is first poached in butter and then served with artichoke hearts in a red wine reduction. Sake Café Uptown offers a lobster feast including a boiled tail, claw sushi, lobster roll and lobster fat salad. Chef Philip Chan serves lobster tails in a mild Cantonese sauce with stir fried mushrooms, garlic, ginger and scallions at the Asian Cajun Bistro.

MIRLITON

Mirliton is the main ingredient of a casserole made with shrimp and green apple as an appetizer at Marigny Brasserie. Diners at Kenner's Le Parvenu Restaurant often start with the mirliton bisque made with crab and shrimp. At the Red Maple in Gretna, the crispy fried mirliton is a lunch and dinner entrée, paired with a tour de force of Louisiana ingredients including shrimp, lump crabmeat, andouille sausage and fried oysters plus bordelaise sauce. Chef Jack Leonardi treats the mirliton to his own trademark brand of rich regional cooking with a fried version joined by fried oysters and oyster-tasso hollandaise at Jacque Imo's Café. Over at his lunch joint, Crabby Jack's, the mirliton is stuffed with a rich seafood dressing as one of the daily specials. For just a taste of the vegetable, La Cote Brasserie offers a mirliton shrimp ragout as a side dish on its dinner menu.

MIXED GRILL

Diners with a taste for meat but indecision over just what type can console themselves with mixed grill plates. The tandoor oven at Nirvana Indian Cuisine gets a workout with a mixed grill for two combining chicken, lamb and shrimp. Assembling your own fajitas puts you squarely in charge of your meal at Nacho Mama's Mexican Grill, and the mixed grill fajitas lay out an arsenal of chicken breast, skirt steak and jumbo shrimp along with onions and peppers. Mr. John's Ristorante, the Uptown steakhouse with a new Italian focus, prepares a singularly decadent mixed grill, or grigliata mista, with Italian sausage, lobster tail, shrimp and filet. The mixed grill at Assunta includes a grilled lamb chop, a portion of grilled ribeye with pizzaiola sauce and pork loin topped with onions, mushrooms and artichokes in a white wine sauce.

MUFFALETTA

One of New Orleans' best-loved sandwich traditions, the muffaletta is well represented around town in both classic versions and more contemporary interpretations. A half or whole muffaletta made with Genoa salami, ham, Mortadella, provolone and housemade olive salad arrives at Mark Twain's Pizza Landing. Hugh's Wine Cellar in Mandeville heaps the Boar's Head ham, salami and provolone high on its hot muffaletta loaf along with a portion of Boscoli olive salad. The Royale muffaletta at Metairie's Café Royale piles the traditional ingredients on pillowy focaccia for an update on the classic. Danny & Clyde's lightens up its traditional version by swapping those Italian cold cuts for lean turkey. Magazine Po-Boy Shop loses the bread altogether with its muffaletta salad made with salami, Swiss and Parmesan cheese, Italian dressing and olive salad all over romaine lettuce. In the French Quarter, Café Maspero keeps the seeded Italian bread but trades the meat for an extra serving of olive salad and melted Swiss on its veggie version. Meanwhile, the Camellia Café on the Northshore makes a seafood muffaletta with either fried catfish or fried shrimp. Oscar's in Metairie retains the traditional meats, adds Monterey jack cheese and declares its muffaletta the Oscarletta. Over at Mike Serio's Po-Boys and Deli — the sandwich shop and LSU sports shrine — muffalettas follow the playbook with a traditional version served to the downtown lunch crowd. Vegetarians are welcome in the Central Grocery, as evidenced by the veggie muffalettas. Robert Fresh Market can create a sandwich tray of mini-muffalettas. Hugh's Wine Cellar declares their muffaletta the best in Mandeville. The Napoleon House's Girod Bistro deems its Italian muffaletta as the house specialty. Zara's Market does a traditional muffaletta.

MUSHROOM

From the steak of the vegetable world — the mighty portobello — to modest mushroom caps stuffed decadently with seafood and sauce, local menus offer plenty of choices with the favored fungus. A mushroom strudel with a variety of mushrooms folded into a phyllo pastry package with sauce begins the bistro menu at Chateau du Lac in Kenner. The baked mushrooms are stuffed with crabmeat and topped with hollandaise as an appetizer at Smilie's. The Uptown sushi spot Kyoto presents a Far Eastern version of stuffed mushrooms with its shiitakes generously packed with a flavorful stuffing. The regional Italian cuisine at Ristorante de Piero puts mushrooms to good use in its insalata di funghi prataioli — a salad of fresh mushrooms with arugula, Parmesan cheese, olive oil and lemon. Hookah Café in the Marigny takes a fresh approach with its wild mushroom salad, lightly sautéing the mushrooms before plating them atop fresh spinach, tomatoes and goat cheese croutons. The vegetarian star of the menu at Covington's Étoile Restaurant is a Napoleon of portobello and eggplant with julienne squash, zucchini and bell pepper, further fortified with crispy polenta cake, goat cheese and balsamic reduction — plus a truffle-infused olive oil for good measure. Whole Foods Market makes another convincing case for the giant mushroom as either a first course or a meatless entrée with its succulent grilled portobellos in a rich roasted garlic-balsamic marinade. Mushrooms even make a stand at Port of Call, a restaurant best known for its burgers and steaks that also serves ‡ la carte orders of mushrooms in wine sauce — plus, of course, mushroom burgers. The portobello burger at Good Earth Market & Café is a whole mushroom cap on a dressed bun.

The grilled portobello salad is a favorite specialty at Liuzza's by the Track, where they serve the mushrooms on a bed of mixed greens with blue cheese and fruit du jour all tossed in a light roasted almond balsamic vinaigrette. New York Pizza represents one borough with the Queens pizza, a combo of spinach, mushrooms, artichoke hearts and feta cheese. In the Marigny, 13 puts portobello mushrooms in a sandwich.

MUSSELS

Whether done in the style of French, Belgian, Italian, Spanish or Asian cooking, mussels are abundant at a wide range of restaurants around town. Mussels are a major specialty of the French Uptown bistro La Crepe Nanou, served in a white wine cream broth with a pile of French fries. Steamed mussels with French fries in a smoky tomato broth get a fiery twist at the Bank Café thanks to a spicy aioli dipping sauce on the side. Iris, the new Carrollton restaurant, steams their mussels in white wine, coconut and curry for an Asian twist. Similarly, the Pelican Club serves clay pot coconut and curry mussels and goes one step further with fresh mint, cilantro and pineapple plus garlic bread for dipping. Tommy's Cuisine in the Warehouse District does mussels the Italian way, steaming them in white wine and sautéing them with caramelized garlic, Roma tomatoes and fresh basil. For a Spanish take on the subject, the tapas at Laurentino's Restaurant present steamed mussels draped with a chilled vinaigrette sauce. Meanwhile, green mussels are a specialty at Tennou Sushi Bar in Harvey, where they are broiled with a tobiko sauce as an appetizer.

The mejillones ‡ la brava at Mimi's in the Marigny finds Prince Edward Island mussels in a spicy garlic and tomato broth. Clementine's Belgian Bistro serves up the star of its country's cuisine in a dish of steamed mussels served in a cooking pot with a white wine cream sauce and Belgian fries. At the Louisiana Star appetizer mussels are served in a dill white wine cream sauce. The Mussels and Shrimp Ortega at Ristorante Civello features the shellfish in a tarragon broth atop linguine.

NOODLES

Few cooking staples are as well traveled as the noodle, which traces its roots back to Asia but turns up in endless variations in cuisines around the world. The menu at Semolina pays homage to that dynamic, including its rendition of pad Thai with rice stick noodles tossed with shrimp, mushrooms, tofu, peanuts and bean sprouts. Thai Pot Authentic Thai Cuisine's pad Thai is made with classic Thai noodles, chicken, eggs and bean sprouts and is served with a side of ground peanuts and ground chilies. The Camellia Café's egg noodles combine Italian and Americana with strips of filet simmered in a rich Marsala sauce. The Tea Garden in Metairie heads back toward the traditional with its crispy Singapore noodles with Asian vegetables, chicken and beef in a brown sauce. The drunken noodles at the Basil Leaf have a saucy name, but deliver classic Thai flavors with chicken, shrimp, broccoli and mushrooms in a spicy basil sauce. Noodles fuel the soup that eats like a meal at Gretna's Hoa Hong/Nine Roses, where the hearty pho dac biet combines rice noodles with meatballs, beef tendon, tripe and flank steak in a beef broth. Noodles head from turf to surf at Little Tokyo with the Japanese restaurant's yaki udon of pan-fried noodles with seafood and vegetables. And they chill out at Horinoya, the downtown Japanese restaurant, with zaru soba — cold buckwheat noodles with a dipping sauce. Thai Pad Woon Zen is Café Equator's version of clear noodles with chicken, shrimp, bean sprouts, shiitake mushrooms, onions and zucchini. Christina's Empress of China gives a salute to the explorer who fostered the noodle's early international acclaim with its Marco Polo noodles featuring shrimp, chicken and beef with stir-fried vegetables all in a spicy black bean and garlic sauce. Jasmine Cafe's Sweet Heart Noodle is a spicy stir-fried rice noodle dish loaded with vegetables.

ONION

Onions are often eaten with soup spoons in New Orleans restaurants. Verona Restaurant in Harahan makes its onion soup with six different types of onions while the potato king Spudly's Super Spuds tops its cheesy onion soup with mozzarella. The Ground Pat'i Grille and Bar also proudly serves a French onion soup made in-house from scratch. For French flair without the broth, La Provence in Lacombe begins its classic repasts with a tarte ‡ l'oignon — an onion tart with gruyere cheese and black pepper. Ye Olde College Inn may be in new digs just next door to its old location, but the kitchen still turns out the landmark's famous onion rings, fried golden and stacked high. Smilie's in Harahan also gives classic fried onion rings their due as one of the restaurant's most popular appetizers. Onions go green and head south of the border at Taqueria Corona, where cebollitas — or charbroiled green onions — are served by the bunch sprinkled with seasoned salt. The "bloomin' onion" sprouts at many tables at the Outback Steakhouse, cut into bite sized pieces, fried and served with a dipping sauce. Applebee's takes its own stab at the fried onion appetizer market with its crispy onion peels. Cooter Brown's calls Ôem Killer Onion Rings for a reason.

OYSTERS

Raw, fried, baked, broiled, poached or simmered — no one does oysters quite like the cooks of south Louisiana and local restaurants showcase some of the most original preparations anywhere. Drago's Restaurant caused a sensation by charbroiling freshly shucked oysters with its distinctive sauce, and now other takes on this bubbling hot version appear on more and more menus. Charbroiled oysters are now a highlight of the menu at Alexander's Food and Spirits, the new Uptown spot on Magazine Street, and they're also a mainstay at the Saltwater Grill on South Carrollton Avenue. Begue's Restaurant at the Royal Sonesta Hotel serves its namesake oysters Begue's on the half shell but not raw — rather, they're lightly fried, crusted in garlic and set atop creamy leek confit. Nearby, at the Desire Oyster Bar, the Buffalo-fried oysters deliver the familiar spicy Buffalo sauce cut with creamy blue cheese dressing. Oysters make friends in Acme Oyster Bar's fried "peace maker po-boy," which combines oysters and shrimp with Tabasco-infused mayonnaise for an argument-ending sandwich. Folks hop over to Mr. Roo's Deli & Catering in Metairie for a classic rendition of the fried oyster and shrimp platter, served with fries, vegetables, salad and bread. Fried oysters get a different sort of accompaniment at the Savvy Gourmet, where the Uptown culinary hot spot pairs its Louisiana oysters with king oyster mushrooms in a salad with celery heart, broccoli, sprouts and Creole mustard vinaigrette. For oysters with an Italian accent, diners at Vincent's Italian Cuisine order the sautéed oysters with green onions, garlic and red and black pepper in olive oil. Meanwhile, JoAnn Clevenger's Upperline Restaurant pays homage to the Bywater's Restaurant Mandich with its oysters St. Claude, served fried with a spicy sauce of lemon, garlic and paprika. The Slidell Creole restaurant Bealer's features oysters Louisianne, covering fried oysters in sautéed artichokes, mushrooms, green onions and lemon pepper sauce. Gulfstream Restaurant's oysters St. Charles uses creamed spinach as a bed for crispy fried oysters topped with hot sauce and aioli. Diner fare at La Peniche gets a serious upgrade with oysters La Peniche, which pairs fried oysters with grilled tomatoes and hollandaise sauce on a toasted English muffin. One of the most famous local dishes, oysters Rockefeller, was invented at Antoine's in 1889, when the landmark restaurant was already nearly 50 years old. The somewhat newer — since 2005 — Abita Springs dining destination Longbranch does its own version with oysters Rockefeller "deconstructed" — butter-poached oysters on wilted spinach with bacon chips and licorice root. The oysters Riccobono from Riccobono's Peppermill combines oysters, mushrooms, garlic, Italian cheese and a sprinkling of breadcrumbs for a dish that's baked en casserole until bubbly.

PASTA

Ever-popular pasta proves a worthy foundation for all kinds of meals at New Orleans restaurants. Salvatore Ristorante in Metairie has a gratifyingly substantial shrimp pasta primavera with an array of vegetables joining the shrimp over angel hair pasta with Romano and Parmesan cheeses. The Asiago chicken pasta doesn't hold back with the cheese sauce or the basil pesto garnish at Bennigan's Grill & Tavern. Bravo's Pasta Woozie with wood-grilled chicken, fresh spinach and Alfredo-style sauce has its fans exclaiming "fantastico!" It's cheese times four with the manicotti quattro formagio at Nardo's Trattoria, where housemade pasta sheets are filled with a blend of Italian cheeses and topped with tomato basil sauce.

Two large homemade meatballs dominate the pile of angel hair pasta at Gio's Pizza and Spaghetti House in Metairie. Shrimp and sausage pose together in Mona Lisa Restaurant's Mardi Gras pasta, which adds a spicy red sauce over linguine. Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant does a noodle-based jambalaya with its Cajun pasta — andouille, chicken and shrimp in a tomato cream sauce on fettuccini. Local seafood gets its due in the frutta del mare at Pascal's Manale, which piles oysters, crabmeat, shrimp and scallops over pasta in a light marinara sauce. The seafood pasta at Roux Bistro in the Sheraton New Orleans adds crawfish, shrimp and crabmeat to the Parmesan cream sauce over its angel hair pasta. Another local seafood favorite turns up at TeCoRo's Italian Restaurant in Kenner with the barbecue shrimp pasta.

Orzo, the grain-shaped pasta, stands in for rice in the curried seafood "paella" at Fire! A Restaurant in the Lower Garden District, which adds a kick of spicy chorizo sausage to the curry-seafood broth, calamari, shrimp and mussels. Try the linguini with vongole at Tony Moran's Restaurant on Bourbon Street for the classic combination of garlic, shallots, olive oil and clams over pasta. Felix's Uptown puts out a seafood-centered shrimp pasta with penne tossed in a vodka-infused tomato cream sauce. For earthier flavors, the cannelloni from Vincent's Italian Cuisine are stuffed with baby veal, pureed spinach and Parmesan cheese before being baked with Alfredo sauce and topped with red gravy. The spinach manicotti at the Original Italian Pie are stuffed with spinach and three cheeses and smothered in marinara. Giorlando's does spaghetti and meatballs in their own sweet sauce made from scratch. Semolina brings the cheese count back up to four with its marinara quattro formaggi, combining Parmesan, Fontina, provolone and Bleu cheeses with Alfredo sauce over penne pasta. Zara's Market's housemade meatballs can be found in spaghetti or on a po-boy. Anselmo's pasta puttanesca serves penne pasta with mushrooms, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, olives and capers with a choice of shrimp or chicken. Shrimp penne pasta with smoked andouille sausage and artichokes is a frequent daily special at Streetcar Bistro. At Water Street Bistro, grilled shrimp are served over pasta prepared in extra virgin olive oil with Roma tomatoes, garlic, capers, leeks, artichoke hearts and topped with pine nuts and fresh basil.

PIZZA

The playing field is wide open for sauces and toppings on local pizza pies. Pizza Florence in Metairie makes a garlic-lover's delight with a garlic sauce, roasted garlic, onions, mozzarella and sliced tomatoes. Whether late night or early evening, the ovens at the Balcony Bar on Magazine Street turn out specialty pizzas like the Balcony Deluxe with pepperoni, Italian sausage, ground beef, onions, mushrooms, green peppers, black olives and mozzarella. Pizza by the slice from Warehouse District Pizza comes with original or spicy sauce and toppings like meatballs, fresh tomato and garlic. The Mysterious Stranger is a familiar favorite on the specials list at Mark Twain's Pizza Landing, bringing spinach, feta and Canadian bacon or hot sausage together on one pie. Café Roma delivers its version of the classic Hawaiian pizza with pineapple, green peppers, ham and red sauce. Dia Roma Café's artichoke pizza begins with the Kenner restaurant's secret garlic butter sauce and builds from there with mozzarella and feta, fresh mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and, of course, artichoke hearts. Big slices of portobello define the mushroom pizza from Fresco Café, which also has roasted red peppers, spinach and feta on a garlic herb sauce.

Pizza is the canvas at Mona Lisa Restaurant in the French Quarter for the namesake Mona Lisa special combo of Italian meats, a mix of vegetables, jalapeno peppers and anchovies. Just about everything goes into the Louisiana Pizza Kitchen's special Kitchen Sink pizza, which ties all its meat and vegetable toppings together with marinara sauce. Vegetables rule the roost in the Garden Feast pizza from Reginelli's, with fresh spinach, roasted eggplant, red peppers and a spicy red pepper sauce. Try either a thin-crust New York-style spinach pizza from Ditali's Pizza on the West Bank or a meat combination pie on their thicker crust variety. Meanwhile, the Eccentric lives up to its name at Theo's Neighborhood Pizza, combining chicken, garlic, Anaheim and jalapeno peppers, yellow squash, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and four cheeses. Rotolo's Pizzeria on Decatur Street cures the blues with its specialty pizza of artichoke hearts, fresh baby leaf spinach and feta cheese. The Original Italian Pie takes Alfredo off the pasta and uses it as the sauce for its grilled chicken Alfredo pizza with plenty of mozzarella and green onions. Mama Rosa's does an all-vegetable pie with black and green olives, onions, roasted garlic, spinach and artichoke. Papa John's adds spinach and tomato to its version of chicken Alfredo pizza. Slice on St. Charles offers both thin and thick Sicilian crust pizza by the slice or pie.

Isabella's Pizzeria's Four Seasons Pizza comes in four sections divided by dough ropes: one with green onions, roasted red peppers and caramelized onion; the second with garlic, tomato, basil and a herb sauce; the third with spinach, tomato and feta; and the fourth with shrimp, crawfish and roasted garlic. Uptown, Roman Pizza delivers a barbecue chicken pizza with mozzarella, sliced chicken breast, onion and mushrooms with a barbecue sauce. The Bucktown Boil pizza at Deanie's Seafood puts together a blend of shrimp, crawfish and crabmeat topped with mozzarella. The Loop Pizza Grill's portobello mushroom pizza rounds up portobellos, pesto, roma tomatoes, smoked bacon, asiago cheese, and caramelized onions. On the way home from Bourbon Street, pop into Mango Mango for a slice of pepperoni or cheese pizza. Or you can order up a pie while dancing or bowling at Mid City Lanes Rock 'N' Bowl.

PO-BOYS

Few foods are as richly treasured in New Orleans as the po-boy, and the variations are seemingly endless. The po-boy gets the royal treatment at Metairie's Café Royale, where the namesake Royale po-boy combines roast beef, ham and turkey. Southern Po-boys in Jefferson also cures indecision with its combination of shrimp and oysters on its half-and-half seafood po-boy. Another classic combination enters the fray at the Come Back Inn II in Kenner, which makes the Joe-Don po-boy with home-cooked roast beef in thick gravy set over grilled Chisesi ham and melted Swiss. The Johnny's special at the French Quarter landmark Johnny's Po-boy Restaurant also combines hot roast beef, gravy, grilled ham and melted Swiss and American cheese. Classic po-boys are offered at Crabby Jack's, but so are offbeat specialties like paneed rabbit and roasted duck po-boys. The Cellars of River Ridge offers some similarly creative takes on the classics with its shrimp remoulade po-boy with a white remoulade sauce cradling spicy Gulf shrimp. An Italian vegetarian option comes from Magazine Po-boy Shop's eggplant Parmigiana po-boy served hot with red sauce and Swiss cheese. New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp with plenty of butter and pepper are served po-boy style at Sortez Café.

A po-boy by a different name shows up at the local franchises of the popular Subway Sandwich Shops on their meatball marinara sandwich with Italian meatballs and a tangy red sauce. Get an early start on the day with an eggs benedict po-boy served for breakfast at Stanley, complete with poached eggs, smoked Canadian bacon and Creole hollandaise on toasted French bread. Gattuso's in Gretna touts its Dirty Bird po-boy as "sloppy" with its copious piles of roast beef, smoked turkey and melted cheese. The Chamber is a similarly loaded specialty po-boy at Koz's in Harahan with not only roast beef, ham and turkey but also American and Swiss cheeses, Italian dressing and hot mustard. To conserve napkins, the New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood Company in Metairie offers its One-Handed po-boys in which the French bread is not sliced but rather stuffed with barbecue shrimp, oysters or crawfish. Hickory-smoked barbecue beef is a specialty at the Country Flame, which uses it in po-boys dressed to order. A mainstay of the plate lunch, a hamburger steak with grilled onions and gravy becomes a po-boy at Parasol's Restaurant and Bar. Danny & Clyde's goes strictly traditional with its French fry and gravy po-boy, a feast of carbs that has been sustaining hungry locals for generations. Another old-time recipe receives careful preparation at the Savvy Gourmet in its beef debris po-boy with plenty of tender meat, gravy and cheddar. The recently resurrected Parkway Bakery by Bayou St. John has long been famous for its roast beef po-boys, which are still made with beef slow cooked for eight hours. Also popular is the fried shrimp version. And Mike Serio's Po-Boys pulls no punches with its roast beef po-boy, served the classic way and dressed to order on loaves with crispy crust.

Ham, luncheon meat, bologna and salami are the four meats behind the Four Meat Special po-boy from Short Stop Po-Boys. The pulled pork sandwich from 13 puts plenty of spice on the meat to bring out its full flavor (the same goes for the side of cole slaw). Beef brisket po-boys are available at Deckbar & Grille in Jefferson. Meatloaf graces French bread in a po-boy at Streetcar Bistro downtown. Out at Frank's Marina Grill, oysters, bacon and Swiss cheese come together on French bread.

POMPANO

Harvested from local waters and prepared according to traditional recipes, pompano makes celebrity appearances on the menus of several landmark Creole dining palaces. In particular, the pompano meuniere amandine is one of the classic butter-rich, almond-studded preparations for which the 101-year-old Galatoire's Restaurant is famous. Antoine's Restaurant serves its grilled pompano Pontchartrain with a decadent pile of lump crabmeat sautéed in butter. At Broussard's, the pompano Broussard's is prepared with a mustard caper sauce, scallops and shrimp all wrapped up in a puff pastry shell.

PORK

Pork is the real squeal at barbecue joints and fine-dining restaurants alike. It gets the Cajun treatment at Zydecue Cajun Barbeque in the French Quarter, showing up as tender cochon de lait in a sandwich or on a platter. Pulled pork is also the big player at Abita Bar-B-Q on the Northshore, where it is served with two sides and bread. Cochon's chef Donald Link brings a specialty from his native Lake Charles to the Warehouse District with the boudin balls made in-house from rice and pork sausage that are breaded, fried and served with pickled peppers and mustard. At another new Warehouse District hotspot, 7 on Fulton, chef David English grills a Niman Ranch pork chop and pairs it with green beans, Louisiana crawfish tails, tasso and Creole mustard. Ralph Brennan's Red Fish Grill takes a jaunt onto dry land with its pork medallions stuffed with brie cheese and applewood-smoked bacon over creamy mushroom fettuccine. For those who live for pork, Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse broils its 14-ounce center-cut pork porterhouse. Café Atchafalaya puts a root beer glaze on its andouille and cornbread stuffed double porkchop. The double cut pork chop at Jackson is complemented by both a roasted red pepper aioli and a port cranberry coulis.

Cuban-style roasted pork is served at Churros Café, where it is teamed with the traditional Cuban rice and beans dish congri as well as yucca. Another Cuban-style specialty, carnitas, is on the eclectic menu at the Blue Tomato, served with rice and beans. Serrano's Salsa Company also cooks up its own carnitas dish, marinating the pork in orange and lime juices and roasting it with garlic, spices and grilled onions. At the gourmet-to-go Sortez Café in Algiers Point, the pulled pork sandwich is prepared Columbian-style with garlic aioli and Swiss cheese before being pressed and served hot. Lafitte's BBQ takes both pulled pork and pork ribs from the pig and serves it with their own barbecue sauce. Café Amelie offers a cochon de lait sandwich on its lunch menu. Papanini's offers a barbecue pork wrap with pork, bacon, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and onion. The lechon (roasted pork) from Azul's features slow-roasted pork marinated overnight with bitter oranges, garlic and a "mojo" sauce served with Cuban-style black beans and jasmine rice.

The mushu pork at Jung's Golden Dragon lets diners wrap shredded pork and vegetables in mushu pancakes. Chinese roasted pork is joined by chicken and shrimp as the three features in Fong's Triple Treats, a chef's special combined with Asian-style vegetables at Fong's Chinese Restaurant in Kenner. The sweet and sour pork special at Trey Yuen on the Northshore is a popular lunchtime choice, served as a combo with an egg roll and fried rice. For a starter, La Thai Cuisine offers spring rolls of shrimp and pork.

POTATO

Call it a "pot-a-toe" or a "pah-tot-oh," but don't call it boring. Donnell's Restaurant in Ponchatoula dresses its baked potato with Gulf shrimp and crawfish sautéed in a garlic-Parmesan cream and topped with a blend of cheeses. Kosher Cajun Deli and Grocery in Metairie pulls directly from its Kosher mission statement for traditional potato latkes with applesauce. Slim Goodies Diner Uptown takes a distinctly nontraditional approach to latkes with its "Jewish Coonass" breakfast combo, topping a pair of the potato cakes with spinach, eggs and crawfish etouffée. Chef Erik Veney makes a delicate potato gnocchi appetizer at Muriel's Jackson Square tossed with asparagus, wild mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. Galatoire's Restaurant continues the Creole tradition of soufflé potatoes, those light-as-air pockets of hot and salty goodness. Potatoes are treated to another classic Creole preparation in Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse's Pontalba potatoes, combining diced and roasted potatoes with sautéed garlic, caramelized onions, wild mushrooms, ham and scallions. McAlister's Deli puts a southwestern spin on the baked potato with its Spud Olé, covered with chili (or vegetarian chili), cheddar, Swiss and sliced jalapeños and red onions on the side. The Super Duper lives up to its name at Spudly's Super Spuds, loaded with crabmeat, shrimp and crawfish plus cheese sauce, grated cheddar and chives. The same type of aromatic smoke that cooks the meats at the Texas Bar-B-Que Company works its magic on the smoked potato, a whole spud stuffed with chopped beef, barbeque sauce and melted cheese. The waffle-cut fries at Jigger's Bar and Grill prove especially effective at cradling the melted cheese and sauce with their chili cheese fries, while the Tavern's sweet potato fries bring a different type of potato to the game. Meanwhile, Parasol's Restaurant and Bar ups the ante by ladling its cheese fries with some of the roast beef gravy that has helped make the Irish Channel watering hole famous.

The potato taco from Barracks Street Café places scrambled eggs, salsa, cheese and potatoes in a flour tortilla. Dot's Great Grilled Hash Browns at Dot's Diner offer options of onions, cheese, ham, hot peppers and country gravy with your spuds. The "Awesome" Stuffed Potato from Verti Marte is the stuff of local legend. Café Beignet offers hash browns spiced up with andouille sausage and onions. At Wolfe's in the Warehouse, truffle tossed potato chips are sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and chives and served with toasted black pepper leek cream.

QUAIL

A rich assortment of stuffings, glazes and sauces give big flavors to a little bird in quail dishes. The Longbranch in Abita Springs prepares its quail stuffed with grilled sweetbreads along with quinoa, scallions and a French-style barbecue sauce. Nearby, the Abita Brew Pub fries its quail, then stuffs it with boudin and dresses it with a blueberry glaze made from the brewery's Purple Haze beer. Chef Danny Trace at Café Adelaide packs his quail with a Chilton peach and foie gras stuffing, glazing it with bourbon and molasses and serving it all with a sunny-side up quail egg. The Uptown cottage restaurant Dick & Jenny's puts Marsala apple cider sauce on sautéed Mississippi quail and serves it with a smoked mushroom bread pudding and greens. Quail gets an Asian spin at La Cote Brasserie, where it is crusted in wasabi and paired with baby bok choy, Japanese eggplant and Szechwan tomato puree.

QUICHE

Quiche — real men eat it, and they can be glad they do thanks to some fine local renditions. The Hookah Café bubbles up a version with tomatoes, sautéed spinach and goat cheese in a phyllo pastry cup. The quiche of the day is always a good bet at the Marigny's Café Rose Nicaud, which has both vegetarian and carnivorous options including a salmon quiche. Whole Foods Market prepares a deep-dish quiche worthy of a Chicago pizza, with fillings including wild mushroom and spinach, leek with goat cheese or the classic Lorraine, which blends cheese, bacon and seasonings. La Madeleine's French specialties include quiche Lorraine (eggs with ham, bacon and Swiss cheese in a pastry shell) and the quiche Florentine (spinach and Swiss in pastry shell).

QUESADILLA

Quesadillas offer a simple recipe with endless variations on ingredients. The Sun Ray Grill's California quesadilla starts with a tomato-infused tortilla and adds sautéed shrimp, tomatoes, onion, cilantro and a cheese mix. The house special quesadilla at Juan's Flying Burrito agrees with the New Orleans definition of "dressed," adding lettuce and tomato to a tortilla shell stuffed with cheese and a choice of meats. The shrimp and bacon quesadilla is a specialty of both the Uptown and Metairie locations of Nacho Mama's Mexican Grill, which revs up the recipe with red and green bell peppers inside the mix of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. Customers at Harahan's Shimmy Shack make a straight line for the chicken quesadillas with sour cream and salsa. Café Banquette offers a similarly classic chicken quesadilla. Try a barbecue pork or fajita steak quesadilla from Chevy's Fresh Mex, served with pico de gallo, sour cream and guacamole. Vera Cruz's Caribbean quesadilla comes filled with lobster, steak, chicken, mango, jack and cheddar cheeses and is served with teriyaki-honey barbecue dipping sauce. The Italian quesadilla at Wow Wingery comes with garlic and herbs. At Coffee Rani on the Northshore you'll find the crawfish and pepperjack quesadilla which includes sauteed crawfish, pepperjack cheese, green onions and tomatoes on a tortilla. Several quesadilla combinations can be found at Flora Gallery & Coffee Shop. Nearby at 13, the quesadillas feature roasted peppers and cheddar cheese.

RABBIT

The other, other white meat at a growing number of local restaurants is rabbit, usually treated to rich preparations. Chef Paul Prudhomme serves a battered and deep fried rabbit from Crickhollow Farms with a spicy Creole mustard sauce at his landmark K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen. The rabbit is braised in ale and plated with mushrooms and field peas on a bed of bacon grits at One Restaurant & Lounge. Nearby at Jacque Imo's Café, rabbit tenders are a popular appetizer, fried golden brown and spiked with Creole mustard sauce. The smothered rabbit with white beans and rice is the Thursday house special at New Orleans Food & Spirits.

RAVIOLI

Don't judge a book by its cover and don't judge ravioli until you've taken a bite. The lobster and shrimp ravioli are a don't-miss entree at Ralph Brennan's Bacco, where the seafood stuffed pasta is tossed in a champagne butter sauce garnished with caviar. Begue's Restaurant at the Royal Sonesta Hotel offers its own rendition of lobster ravioli, this time with a porcini mushroom sauce, truffles and fried leeks. The Bank Café in the Marigny stuffs its ravioli with eggplant, house-made ricotta cheese and a light marinara. Ravioli con granchio — or crabmeat ravioli, tossed in Asiago cream sauce — is one of the new Italian choices in the recently revamped menu at Mr. John's Ristorante on St. Charles Avenue. And proving that ravioli need not always be Italian, the French country kitchen at La Provence in Lacombe prepares its own ravioli with green olives and cheese in a sage velouté. Verona Restaurant in Harahan makes its own statement by frying its ravioli for an offbeat appetizer. The housemade crabmeat ravioli at Nuvolari's Ristorante is sauteed in an herbed olive oil.

RED BEANS AND RICE

No dish in New Orleans is quite so common or demanded as red beans and rice. It's a specialty at Paul's Café in Pontchatoula, served daily with a mild pork sausage, and also in the heart of the French Quarter at Café Maspero, seasoned with ham and smoked sausage hot from the grill. Monday is the day to catch the traditional, home-cooked red beans at Petunia's Place in Mandeville and Monday is also the day red beans appear as the special at Café Reconcile, the nonprofit lunch spot in Central City. The French Market Restaurant prepares its red beans with both deeply smoky ham hocks and slices of andouille sausage. The Saltwater Grill introduces a little green to its red beans with a side salad. The late-night, any-time diner Rosey's (formerly Huey's 24/7) offers its red beans with a choice of grilled smoked sausage or fried chicken tenders. The Palm Court Café prepares its red beans with its special garlic chicken while Zeke's in Metairie offers a choice of sausage, grilled pork chop or grilled chicken breast as the meat for its version. Galley Seafood fries catfish to accompany its red beans, along with a salad and garlic bread. New in the Uptown area, the Urban Cup Café prepares its red beans and rice as a salad — combining red beans, cucumber, celery and red onion with three types of rice and dressing it all with red wine vinegar, olive oil and spices. On daytime cruises, the Steamboat Natchez offers red beans and rice with smoked sausage. At Ted's Frostop, the red beans come with hot or smoked sausage. The Monday red beans at Acquistapace's Supermarket come with pork sausage and cornbread

REDFISH

Blackened redfish became a dining sensation in the 1980s and since then local chefs have come up with many different preparations for this popular Gulf fish. The Riverbend café Dante's Kitchen serves its redfish "on the half shell" — that is, a filet cooked with the skin on to lock in moistness — and adds crabmeat and soft herbs. Redfish is sautéed and topped with a crawfish cream sauce at Oceana Grill in the French Quarter. The seasoned Bywater fry masters at Jack Dempsey's put their redfish through the paces for towering fried seafood platters. The Restaurant at the Treasure Chest offers redfish with a Creole seafood sauce. The Italian Fausto's Bistro on Veterans Memorial Boulevard prepares redfish limone with a garlicky penne bordelaise. Redfish is grilled at Pontchartrain Point Café and paired with a buttery beurre blanc sauce and vegetables. Crescent City Brewhouse pan-sears its redfish St. Louis and plates it with fried oysters before smothering both with a New Orleans-style barbecue sauce of butter, pepper and Worcestershire. Andouille-crusted redfish with shoestring potatoes and Creole meuniere sauce is a staple on Emeril's menu in the Warehouse District. The Ruby is Ralph and Kacoo's broiled redfish filet with crabmeat stuffing, lump crabmeat and hollandaise sauce. At Ralph's on the Park, redfish gets a traditional treatment with a classic meuniere sauce, toasted almonds and lump crabmeat, all garnished with steamed carrot ribbons. Café Pontchartrain's redfish entree comes with a Creole sauce and includes a side vegetable. The redfish at Café Atchafalaya is topped with a crawfish cream sauce.

RIBS

The crowning glory of barbecue, ribs give aficionados plenty to chew over both on the plate and in debates over which preparation technique is best. At Hillbilly Bar B-Q in River Ridge, ribs are hit with a dry rub of seasonings and smoked for hours over hickory brought in direct from Kentucky. The House of Blues smokes full racks of baby back ribs with Jim Beam BBQ Sauce and serves them with mashed sweet potatoes and turnip greens. The Hard Rock Café prepares a full rack of west Tennessee-style baby back ribs basted in a hickory barbecue sauce and cooked to fall-apart tenderness. Ribs are seasoned with a mixture of 12 spices and slow-smoked at the Fox & Hound English Pub & Grill, where they are available by the half or whole rack. Corky's Ribs & BBQ offers a choice of wet ribs with its patented barbecue sauce, dry ribs with a rub of seasoning or a combination of both. Café Pontalba opens its doors to the heart of the Quarter on Jackson Square and offers highly-seasoned, blackened ribs. Chef Donald Link gives beef short ribs a gourmet turn at Herbsaint, braising them before they are floured and seared for a crispy exterior and served over a potato pancake with a natural jus reduction and horseradish créme fraiche. Center-cut pork ribs are drizzled with Thai red curry and pineapple barbecue sauce for the Siamese Riblets at Sun Ray Grill.

RICE

While typically a pillowy platform for creamy red beans, rice unites the Paella Valenciana at Laurentino's, a delicious marriage of chicken, andouille, calamari, shrimp, mussels, and vegetables with saffron rice. You'll also find saffron rice at Salt Ôn' Pepper, a po-boy and Pakistani restaurant in the French Quarter. The Biryanee has a bed of basmati rice with saffron and Indian spices and a choice of chicken, beef or goat. There's no need to choose at Chun Lee Restaurant in Jefferson; the Chun Lee Special Rice comes with chicken, pork, and shrimp. Fiesta Bistro does a classic Spanish paella with shrimp, scallops, mussels, calamari, chicken and clams in saffron rice. Over at Nacho Mama's, side dishes include two kinds of beans and two of rice: Spanish rice or lime-cilantro. Sapporo gets creative with its low-carb menu; snow crab, shrimp, asparagus, green onion, cucumber and lettuce wrapped in rice paper and served with chef's special sauces. The Original Coffee Pot restaurant offers a revised version of calas, a once common Creole breakfast of rice cakes served with maple syrup.

SALAD

Eat your greens! Sarafina's in the French Quarter features a Gallatine Alley Salad, a spring greens mix tossed with hard-boiled egg, pepperoncinis, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, red onions and provolone cheese with a choice of dressing. At the Apple Seed Shoppe, a natural foods restaurant in the CBD, the Diet Rite Salad is a healthy mix of lettuce, spinach, celery, red cabbage, tuna, bell peppers, broccoli and cauliflower with an oil and vinegar dressing. At Bravo!, the namesake chopped salad combines greens with cucumbers, red onion, tomatoes, olive, feta cheese and Italian dressing. Crabby Jack's lets diners build their own salads with a variety of crisp greens and more than forty accompaniments. Out in Metairie, stop at Caffe! Caffe! for the grilled chicken and avocado salad, which also includes gorgonzola cheese, walnuts, orange slices and red onions with romaine lettuce and a housemade mango vinaigrette. On the Northshore, Hugh's Wine Cellar offers its famous chicken salad plate; tender white meat chicken with celery, green onion, almonds and black olives on a bed of romaine lettuce. Additions include hearts of palm, avocado, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and alfalfa sprouts served along with feta dressing. Back in the French Quarter, La Boucherie Coffee House and Café has a traditional cobb salad filled with chicken, blue cheese, bacon, avocado, hard-boiled egg, carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes. Obee's Soup-Salad-Subs offers downtown workers an array of salad choices, including the antipasto salad, a garden salad topped with salami, ham, and provolone. Whether in Metairie or on lower Magazine Street, Puccino's offers fresh garden salads for lunch, including the Chicken Pecan Bleu served atop romaine lettuce sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and dressed in the house vinaigrette. At Vianne's Tea Salon and Café in Mandeville, try the paneed chicken served over organic greens with tomatoes, cucumbers, mandarin oranges and peanuts. Lemon Grass Café puts a local twist on a traditional Caesar by topping it off with cornmeal-crusted fried oysters. At Chops Bistro, the house salad features cane sugar bacon and apples tossed in a citrus vinaigrette and the iceberg wedge is dressed with blue cheese and cherry tomatoes. Outside the Warehouse District, Fire! A Restaurant gets fancy with a crab, strawberry and orange salad on a bed of frisee and spinach tossed in a guava vinaigrette and topped with crumbled goat cheese. Strawberries and goat cheese are paired again at Red Fish Grill and are accompanied by baby mixed greens and spiced pecans. At Legend's Patio Bar & Grille, grilled or fried chicken is served on a bed of lettuce. Koz's in Harahan is noted for its sizable chef's salad, piled high with ham, roast beef, turkey and cheddar cheese on mixed greens.

Welty's Deli creates the signature Welty's Chicken Curry Salad of chicken mixed with celery, mayo, green onions, Granny Smith apples, walnuts, curry and golden raisins over mixed greens and tomato wedges. Planc Coffee & Tea puts a down-home touch to its chicken salad. The Garden District Salad at Still Perkin' combines Romaine lettuce, baby leaf spinach, dried raspberries, feta cheese, sweet red onions and a toasted pecan vinaigrette. Blueberries, almonds, Parmesan cheese, tomato, cucumber, avocado, a honey-vinaigrette and a choice of chicken or seared salmon are the ingredients for the Spring Salad at Tout de Suite Café in Algiers. Messina's Italian Salad at Jazz Seafood and Steakhouse follows the same recipe used for more than 30 years: Romaine lettuce, balsamic vinaigrette, mozzarella and olive salad. Head to any CC's for the summer fruit salad. St. John's Coffee House offers a roasted chicken salad. The Southwestern chicken salad from Chateau Coffee Café features grilled chicken, corn, salsa, black beans, cheddar jack cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, tortilla chips and a Southwestern-style ranch dressing. The Thai Salad at Café Royale adds a zesty ginger sesame dressing and spicy peanut sauce to romaine lettuce, tomatoes and grilled chicken.

SALMON

Meauxbar Bistro on Rampart Street offers several entrée salads, including one topped with cold, poached salmon served with remoulade sauce and sautéed potatoes. At Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Café, try the "Prince of Tides" Jerk Salmon, one of the featured seafood favorites: the salmon is spiked with Jamaican jerk seasoning and served alongside roasted vegetables and garlic mashed potatoes. In Covington, Annadele's Plantation has a tempting soy barbecued salmon fillet with ginger tempura fried rock lobster. Fear not the dreaded Reaper nor the Salmon Mousse at Feelings Café. This delectable spread is further enhanced with the salty-sweet of caviar. For smoked salmon lovers, Hugh's Wine Cellar has the Lox Lover wrap; smoked salmon, dill spread, tomatoes, red onions, fresh mozzarella, and crisp romaine rolled up in an herb tortilla. The pan-seared salmon fillet at the Rib Room is topped with a basic beurre blanc and served with angel hair pasta. Babylon Café in the Riverbend keeps things light and simple with grilled salmon seasoned with lemon juice and spices and served on a bed of sautéed vegetables. Among the lunch specials at Phoenicia Restaurant in Metairie, you'll find the bronzed salmon kabob — marinated and grilled salmon served with hummus and rice. Nuvolari's Ristorante's salmon piccata places the fish with sauteed asparagus and a potato and is finished with a lemon-caper-butter sauce.

SANDWICH

Beyond po-boys, there are sandwiches of all sorts around town. The Fleur-de-Lis Panini, from Café Fleur de Lis is a pressed focaccia sandwich with thin-sliced roast beef, pepperjack cheese and onions. Roast beef, ham, and cheese hit one out of the park on the Grand Slam from Corner Café . On Thursdays, Stitches Bar & Grille features an open-faced roast beef sandwich on French bread smothered in Swiss cheese and served with fries. At Angeli, the Angeli Special layers mozzarella cheese, spinach, bacon, lettuce and tomatoes dressed with pesto sauce. The Metairie Country Club is a perennial favorite at Café Latte II with ham, turkey, bacon, melted Swiss and American cheeses and dressed with lettuce, tomato and honey mustard. The Black Forest at the Fox & Hound English Pub and Grill caps a mouth-watering mixture of turkey, bacon and Monterey Jack cheese with honey mustard served — uniquely — on a pretzel roll. While Hooters is well-known for its wings, sandwiches deserve special mention as well, especially the Cuban sandwich — a toasted "stogie" roll filled with layers of pork loin, ham, pickles and spicy mustard.

At the Kosher Cajun New York Deli and Grocery, you can't go wrong with either the J&N Special (extra lean corned beef and pastrami on rye with mustard, horseradish and coleslaw) or the Rachel, a turkey twist on the traditional Reuben (served on rye with sauerkraut and Russian dressing). The Baja Tortilla Rolls at Lucy's Retired Surfer's Bar are filled with sautéed chicken, black beans, avocado, salsa and cheese served with sour cream. Choose from basic and exotic offerings at Mojo Coffee House. The basics include a build-your-own choice of ham, turkey, Swiss and/or cheddar cheeses. "The Magazine" features ham, brie, pears and Creole mustard on a six-inch roll. To order the Zorba the Greek Panini, head out to Metairie and Mojo's Frozen Custard. This pressed sandwich contains grilled chicken, tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta cheese and fresh greens lightly dressed in the house Greek vinaigrette.

Check out Obee's Soups-Salad-Subs for breakfast or lunch. The croissant breakfast sandwich offers ham, sausage or bacon served with scrambled eggs and cheese on a hot, buttery, fresh-baked croissant. For lunch, the Spicy Bird is an Italian sub with turkey, capicola, pepperoni and cheese. At Rotolo's Pizzeria in the French Quarter, the Vieux Carre sandwich is toasted French bread topped with seafood in cream sauce, roasted corn and cheese. Schiro's Café and Bar tempts with its croissant sandwich (grilled chicken with ham, bacon and Swiss cheese) as well as its panini (choose from ham and cheddar, turkey and Swiss or grilled chicken and feta). The gyro sandwich at Babylon International adds hummus and salad to the meat. Vianne's Tea Salon and Café has an elegant afternoon high tea with gourmet tea sandwiches such as cucumber and herbed cream cheese, chicken salad with pecans and grapes, curried egg salad and smoked salmon and sliced egg with fresh dill. The Cellars of River Ridge beckons with its fresh mozzarella sandwich served on ciabatta with basil pesto, sliced tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette. Among the sandwiches at Fellini's Café, the Fellini Special inclues grilled chicken, red peppers, red onions, mozzarella, lettuce, tomato and marinara sauce. The Club Croissant at Camellia Café piles ham, turkey, applewood smoked bacon, Swiss and American cheese on the sandwich. A variety of po-boys are available till 3 a.m. aboard the Treasure Chest in the Pontchartain Café.

Hugh's Wine Cellar's Hot Pastrami on Rye Dawlin' puts hot pastrami on toasted rye with melted Gruyere cheese, horseradish coleslaw and tomato with Hugh's mustard. Some PJ's Coffee locations offer grilled paninis. The pressed Cuban sandwich is a favorite at The Grocery. Espresso Express' roasted chicken panini includes fire-roasted chicken, onions and peppers plus Monterey Jack cheese and ranch dressing. La Boulangerie offers a number of choices for a ciabatta-bread sandwich: roast beef, turkey, tuna, turkey and brie are all available. Paradise Café has several sandwich options served on croissants. Giorlando's cooks its own beef for the roast beef po-boys. Acquistapace's Supermarket offers turkey, ham and hot or cold roast beef sandwiches. The Roman Special at Roman Pizza features pepperoni, ham, salami, black olives, onions, tomato and lettuce dressed with mayo and Creole mustard.

SAUSAGE

Not simply a foil for red beans, sausage stands up for itself at a number of establishments. The Texas Bar-B-Que Company offers a smoked sausage platter featuring five-hour smoked beef-and-pork sausage glazed with barbecue sauce and accompanied by baked beans, coleslaw and bread. Skip the burgers at Bud's Broiler and try the charcoal broiled smoked sausage topped with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, mayonnaise and hickory smoked sauce. Start your day right at Café D'Cappuccino with Big Will's Wrap — egg and cheese with your choice of sausage or bacon. The Louisiana Pizza Kitchen offers a trio of sausages for an appetizer sampler (andouille, Italian, and alligator accompanied by caramelized onions) as well as an Italian sausage wrap, which adds sauteed bell peppers and onions, mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce. Go traditional at Chef Duke's Café Giovanni with Italian sausage and peppers over spaghetti marinara. Reginelli's list of calzones includes Sergio's Special — sausage, green peppers and onions with mozzarella and ricotta cheeses, rounded out with tomato sauce. At Short-Stop Po-Boys, it's suggested you try the red gravy with the Italian sausage po-boy. Oak Street Café follows traditional methods when preparing its boudin; the seasoned meat and rice sausage is served warm and with slices of French bread. Begin the evening at Lilette with the Boudin Noir Lilette. The appetizer comes with a housemade spicy mustard and cornichons. Find Italian sausage on the Big Apple from New York Pizza, along with pepperoni, onion, Canadian bacon, black olives, mushrooms, green peppers and minced garlic. Smoked sausage stands up to barbecue at the Ugly Dog Saloon.

SCALLOPS

At Zoe, start with the seared sea scallops served with creamy corn grits and a ragout of chanterelle mushrooms and heirloom grape tomatoes. Basil Leaf in the Riverbend offers basil-crusted sea scallops as an entrée and accompanies them with sautéed shrimp and vegetables in a Thai rum sauce. The fondue entrée at The Melting Pot offers scallops for dipping, along with lobster, filet mignon, duck, shrimp, salmon and fresh vegetables, plus strawberries and chocolate for dessert. Among the appetizers at Lemon Grass Café, try the seared diver scallops with grilled Japanese eggplant and drizzled with sweet chili sauce. Morton's Steakhouse tantalizes with broiled sea scallops wrapped in bacon and served with an apricot chutney. At the Pelican Club bacon-wrapped scallops are served with white shrimp, butter bean succotash and a beurre blanc flavored with Louisiana oranges. Five Happiness Chinese restaurant offers a sizzling dish of scallops sautéed with snow peas, baby corn and mushrooms, served with white or brown rice. Azul's Restaurant's diver sea scallops pan-sears the scallops in sesame oil, tops them with lump crabmeat in a Spanish saffron sauce and then drizzles it all in a white truffle oil.

SEAFOOD PLATTER

Food! Glorious food! Gloriously fried! At the Corner Café in Metairie, be sure to bring a friend or a doubly-big appetite. The seafood platter for two comes with two cups of gumbo, stuffed jalapenos, and hush puppies along with a mountain of fried shrimp, oysters, soft shell crab and popcorn shrimp. In the French Quarter, the Déjˆ Vu Bar and Restaurant serves one pound of seafood (shrimp, oysters, crawfish, and catfish) as well as French fries and bread. Around the corner on Bourbon Street, Desire Oyster Bar's Seafood Platter features the usual suspects (shrimp, oysters, catfish) plus soft shell crab, homemade hush puppies and baked potato. Mulate's takes it even further with its Cajun Seafood Platter — crawfish tails, shrimp, catfish, oysters and frog legs. It also includes a stuffed crab, jambalaya and French fries. At the Ponchartrain Point Café, the seafood platter comes with an array of shrimp, oysters, catfish strips and stuffed crab. In Kenner, stop by Kenner Seafood for eat-in or take-out (fresh fish also available). Upgrade the seafood platter with frog legs or soft shell crab. It's impossible to pass on the soft-shell crab at Galley Seafood Restaurant. The fried platter combines the crab with catfish, shrimp, oysters plus a house salad and side dish. At the Dry Dock Cafe, the seafood platter arrives with shrimp, oysters and catfish, plus fries, coleslaw and tartar sauce. At Deannie's the giant seafood platter offers enough shrimp, catfish, oysters, soft shell crabs and crawfish balls to feed four people. The seafood plate at Café Maspero includes catfish, shrimp, oysters and calamari and is served with fries and a salad. Common Grounds' seafood plate gives you a choice of a two- or three-combo with shrimp, oysters and catfish and comes with a side salad, French fries and toast.

SHRIMP

As if jumbo Gulf shrimp wasn't enough, Crescent City Brewhouse has broiled shrimp stuffed with Louisiana crabmeat, seasoned with jalapenos, green onions and bread crumbs. The Alpine offers New Orleans-style barbequed shrimp, which means the little critters are cooked in a buttery pepper sauce with rosemary and garlic and then flamed with white wine. Of its many shrimp dishes, Andrea's Scampi Fra Diavolo o Caterina features sautéed jumbo shrimp flamed with brandy and served with a filet of tomato sauce or white wine garlic butter sauce atop linguine. Transporting visitors to the Greek coast, Café Latte II serves a large salad it calls Shrimp Mediterranean, chock full of shrimp sautéed in Greek dressing, arranged over cabbage, carrots, artichoke hearts, feta cheese, tomatoes, beets and red onions. China Orchid Chinese Restaurant has a shrimp with lettuce wrap, containing shrimp stir-fried with snow peas, mushrooms and bell peppers in an oyster sauce.

Galatoire's personifies tradition, as evidenced by their shrimp remoulade — the tomato-based sauce is enhanced with Creole mustard, horseradish and garden herbs. Thanh Thanh wraps chilled shrimp in spring rolls with vermicelli noodles. Deannie's barbecued shrimp are available as an appetizer or entrée. The garlic shrimp tapas at Laurentino's sautees Gulf shrimp in roasted garlic olive oil, cayenne pepper, Spanish paprika and then flames them with sherry. Mimi's Restaurant offers Shrimp Victoria — grilled jumbo Gulf shrimp served with a linguine tossed with house-cured pancetta, roasted red peppers, peas, mint and shaved Parmigiano Reggiano. Bozo's shrimp salad is an appropriate summer dalliance of peeled shrimp over a bed of greens covered amply with Italian dressing. Wood-grilled barbeque shrimp dipped in a spicy butter sauce and served over rice can be found as a dish at Muriel's Jackson Square. Nicole's Italian Cuisine has Sauteed Shrimp Aglioli, a traditional Italian presentation of sautéed shrimp with olive oil, garlic and a special blend of seasonings. A visit to Pascal's Manale wouldn't be the same without a taste of the Original Pascal's BBQ Shrimp. Restaurant Des Familles, in Crown Point, has Shrimp Diane — fresh Gulf shrimp sautéed in a garlic butter sauce with mushrooms and green onions served on a bed of angel hair pasta. II Tonys' shrimp pasta Mediterranean also involves angel hair pasta, but with fresh Roma tomatoes, capers, olives, garlic, fresh basil and spices (not to mention lightly seasoned shrimp). Ordering Cane River Country Shrimp at Upperline means a diner receives a sauté of shrimp, mushrooms, garlic and bacon deglazed in a pan with shrimp bisque then served over crispy grits. Fury's provides a no-nonsense offering of fried shrimp with French fries. Bubba Gump is proud of Bubba's Far Out Dip, a dip of spinach, red pepper, artichokes, Monterrey Jack cheese and shrimp.

The shrimp remoulade at Welty's Deli puts Gulf shrimp with parsley and green onions with sides of mixed greens, tomatoes, a boiled egg and remoulade dressing. Inside Harrah's, Bambu's Asian cuisine includes the honey wasabi shrimp, in which the taste emerges from a blend of honey, wasabi and pecan-battered fried shrimp. The shrimp curry at Coffee Rani features grilled shrimp on a bed of Romaine and iceberg lettuce with raisins, apples and a tangy curry dressing.

August Moon's lemon grass shrimp is a Vietnamese dish of jumbo shrimp cooked with onions and lemon grass and served on top of vermicelli noodles. Jung's Golden Dragon serves shrimp honey pecan in a sweet sauce garnished with crunchy honey pecans. For a combo of shrimp and vegetable tempura, Jipang in the CBD lightly fries the assortment. The Market on Esplanade offers lemon grass shrimp for take out. Hobnobber's Café adds fries to the shrimp platter. Verti Marte puts a Gulf spin on the Shrimp Philly, served like a cheesesteak with peppers and onions. Asian Super Buffet offers shrimp broiled or battered as well as in many traditional Chinese dishes.

SOFT SHELL CRAB

Smilie's fries soft shell crabs and tops them with a meuniere sauce. The Tennou Sushi Bar offers a soft shell crab dinner of lightly fried soft shell crab with ponzu sauce. Of the many seafood dishes available at Kenner Seafood Restaurant, the soft shell crab bordelaise is popular. K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen has a stuffed soft shell crab with shrimp Indian Bayou pasta — the crab is stuffed with seafood Bienville dressing and crabmeat Creolaise, then seasoned, battered, deep fried and served with shrimp in a corn and cream sauce on pasta. Muriel's Jackson Square counters with two large soft shell crabs augmented by a red bean and popcorn rice salad, dashed with Caribbean jerk sauce. Soft shell crab is the New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood Company's signature dish, served covered with a creamy crawfish sauce over crawfish rice. Soft Shell Crab Foster at Restaurant Des Familles is a lightly battered and fried soft shell crab topped with sautéed green onions, artichokes and mushrooms. From the Chinese repertoire, Five Happiness offers deep-fried soft shell crabs with a choice of garlic, brown, Kung Pao or black bean sauce. The "swamp spider" at Wego Inn Café is a golden fried soft shell crab. And the surf option at Keith Young's Steakhouse is also a soft shell crab.

SOUP

Gyoza soup is a chicken broth with dumplings and vegetables soup at Wasabi. Bistro Moise has a cream of black and green olive soup. Bank Café offers a choice of cold curried carrot or crab and tarragon créme fraiche soups. Urban Cup Café has a wide selection of soups, including chicken and wild rice, miso and split pea. China Doll Chinese Cuisine highlights Cantonese Crab Corn along with their special soup. Come Back Inn II serves a variety of soups daily, including the Crawfish Boil Soup, which contains crawfish, potatoes, corn, sausage and all the fixings expected from a crawfish boil. Acropolis promises a smooth and zesty roasted garlic and potato soup. When searching for Tuscan roasted garlic bread soup, seek out the Herb'an Spice Company at the Cellars of River Ridge. Kim Son offers Canh Rau Thup Cant Dau Hu (vegetable and bean cake soup). Café Pontchartrain serves a sweet corn and crawfish bisque. On the Northshore, The Dakota does a jumbo lump crabmeat and brie soup. La Madeleine's tomato basil soup adds a dash of cream to enrich its taste and texture. Oyster and artichoke soup is a favorite at Morton's. The seafood noodle soup from Pho Tau Bay puts a combination of shrimp, squid, imitation crabmeat and fish cake in a broth with a choice of glass, egg or rice noodles. Columbia Street Natural Foods offers a different natural homemade soup everyday. Tom Kar is a zesty coconut broth soup with galangal and lemon grass served in either chicken, shrimp or seafood versions at Panasia.

SPINACH

Stop by Robert Fresh Market to pick up the crowd-pleasing spinach dip. Ruth's Chris prepares its spinach au gratin with creamed spinach topped with melted sharp cheddar cheese. The spinach salad with baby spinach, bacon, egg, mushrooms, red onions and croutons is one of Papanini's salads. Vietnamese spinach sautéed with garlic is a menu option at Hoa Hong/9 Roses. Jama Jama Macondo (spinach, fried plantains and coconut rice) is an exotic choice at Bennachin. Café Rose Nicaud's Spinach Delight merges fresh spinach, tomatoes, pecans and feta cheese. Dixie Gyro offers its diners a plate of spinach pie with the spinach lightly seasoned and stuffed between layers of filo dough, then baked. Also in the spinach pie business is Mona's Café. At Dia Roma Café, spinach lasagna entails three layers stuffed with spinach and cheese and covered with Alfredo sauce. Chez Nous is offering spinach vichyssoise, a cold soup containing potatoes, cream and spinach. The spinach and feta panini at Café Satora puts spinach, feta, mozzarella, tomato, extra virgin olive oil and herbs on panini bread and presses the sandwich. Spanikopita is a Greek pastry of spinach baked in airy phyllo dough at Mr. Gyros in Matairie.

STEAK

G&B's Patio Bar and Grill serves a hand-cut, choice ribeye. Trois Mignons at Dante's Kitchen means three beef tenderloin filets served on caramelized onion mashed potatoes, topped with pork debris and cheese sauce. Alexander's Food and Spirits has a 14-ounce carpetbagger steak — a ribeye stuffed with a half-dozen oysters and then char-grilled. The Alpine's garlic filet mignon is an aged center-cut topped with a herbed natural reduction butter sauce containing minced garlic. Bealer's Restaurant cooks 16-ounce porterhouse steaks over an open flame and grills them to order. Besh Steakhouse at Harrah's offers a 30-day aged prime New York strip. Filet Norton at Bull's Corner is a char-grilled filet mignon on a marinated and grilled Portobello mushroom topped with Danish blue cheese and garlic sauce. The Café Rani Cowboy Steak is a 10-ounce steak rubbed with chipotle and cumin, accompanied by a barbeque black bean relish. The Embers special is an eight-ounce filet mignon with jumbo barbeque shrimp topped with a rich demi-glace sauce. Not on the menu at Embers, but still noteworthy, is the 48-ounce porterhouse for two. Keith Young's Steakhouse offers 14-ounce ribeyes or juicy filet mignon's

The carne asada at La Macarena is prepared by marinating a 12-ounce ribeye in a traditional Salvadorian sauce. Mimi's Restaurant seasons their New York strip with a salsa verde comprised of green herbs, vinegar, garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Over at Morton's Steakhouse, the meat is USDA Prime aged beef. The signature is a 14-ounce double cut filet mignon, served with house-made Bearnaise or in an Oscar and Diane presentation. A grilled spice-rubbed eight-ounce filet can be found at Roux Bistro. Shula's Steakhouse lays down the gauntlet to join the 48-ounce Porterhouse Club. Argentine chimichurri sauce compliments the grilled hangar at RioMar.

Duke's Filet at Chef Duke's Café Giovanni is a six-ounce filet in brandy foie gras and green peppercorn sauce. The New Orleans Grill at the Windsor Court's prime Angus dry-aged tenderloin is accompanied by bone marrow custard with braised celery root, as well as a red wine sauce and candied shallots. The Bombay Club serves its filet mignon with a classic bordelaise sauce. Gordon Biersch offers its Bistro Filet with crab-stuffed shrimp. The Flaming Torch does a 14-ounce New York strip au poivre. Every third Saturday of the month, it's steak night at Pontchartrain Vineyards, where you're sure to find a bottle to match the grilled filet mignon. Blue Moon Tavern offers a Thursday through Saturday special of a 12-ounce ribeye served with a salad and fries. Beef echoes throughout chef John Besh's pan seared filet of beef served with marrow stuffed morel mushrooms with oxtail jus at Restaurant August. It's Steak Night on Thursday and Friday at Tchoup-N-Joe's with a ribeye as the main attraction along with mashed potatoes and garlic-infused French bread.

SUSHI

The Sashimi (slices of fish without rice) and the Sushi Combination at Kyoto includes five pieces of chef-selected sushi, a California roll, different types of fish and miso soup. Wasabi's sushi selection includes wasabi tobiko, sea eel, white tuna and fresh salmon. Tennou's unagi eel sushi and its Metairie roll are crowd pleasers. Sapporo Japanese Restaurant offers customers the opportunity to cook on a barbeque grill, or eat chef-prepared items like smoked salmon and yellowtail sushi. Little Tokyo of Mandeville allows substitutions on their assorted sushi plate, which includes 10 pieces of sushi, a hand roll and a sushi roll. Over in Metairie, Little Tokyo offers a sushi bar special of smoked salmon with cream cheese tempura. Rounding out the Tokyo tour, Tokyo Bistro on St. Charles heralds its Caviar Brothers sushi. Miyako has a sushi bento box lunch special, which includes California, tuna and crab rolls.

Sake Café in Metairie makes its crunchy roll with shrimp tempura, snow crab, avocado and seaweed with eel sauce on top. Tuna, salmon and yellowtail are available independently or together as sashimi at Mikimoto. Asian Pacific Cafe's rainbow roll puts crabstick, cucumber, asparagus and avocado inside the paper and raw fish outside. The tuna spring roll at Jasmine Café puts vermicelli noodles, grilled noodles and lettuce inside a rice paper roll. The Uptown Sake Café's chirashi sushi rests a selection of sashimi slices and shrimp atop a bowl of sushi rice. Jipang in the CBD offers an array of tuna and spicy tuna rolls. The Asian Super Buffet offers a wide range of sushi rolls and nigiri sushi (fish on top of sushi rice). Ninja's Nina roll is a large affair, combining tuna, salmon, shrimp, eel, smelt roe and four different kinds of vegetables.

SWEETBREADS

Frank Brigtsen sautées sweetbreads and serves them with potato leek cake, shiitakes, capers and lemon roasted garlic sauce at Brigtsen's. Iris poaches sweetbreads in red wine Courtbouillon, presses them with sage leaves, dusts them with flour and then pan fries them. Alberta presents sweetbreads with rosti potatoes and roasted garlic Marsala. The sweetbread preparation at Galatoire's involves poaching them with bay leaves and peppercorns, tossing them in flour, sautéing them in butter and covering them with a French caper and butter sauce.

TAMALES

The Blue Tomato offers a tamale platter served with beans and rice. Carreta's pork tamale is the real deal. Corky's Ribs & BBQ serves hot tamales with chili and cheese. A new item emerging from the La Macarena kitchen features sweet corn tamales. At George's Mexican Restaurant, the tamale plate pours chile con carne over tamales and serves them with rice, cheese, lettuce, tomato and onions.

TOMATO

Ye Old College Inn serves a tomato and purple onion salad topped with crumbled blue cheese and balsamic vinegar. The Shrimp and Fried Green Tomato Napoleon at Café Pontchartrain features shrimp in tasso sauce between slices of a fried green tomato. Iris' starter menu includes smoked tomato soup. K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen deep-fries and layers its green tomatoes and pairs them with sautéed, barbequed Louisiana shrimp. Upperline Restaurant invented fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade. The version at Ralph's on the Park has the green tomatoes pan-fried, topped with shrimp and a homemade remoulade. Fresco Café offers Mediterranean spicy tomato dip, comprised of tomatoes, walnuts, feta cheese and herbs.

TROUT

Trout Salvatore at Chef Saul's Salvatore Ristorante is a sautéed affair, topped with lump crabmeat, shrimp and mushrooms in a cream sauce. The Trout Etouffée at Embers includes a sautéed fillet of trout topped with Louisiana crawfish tails in a Cajun etouffée sauce. One Restaurant and Lounge conjures an oat-dusted ruby red trout selection. II Tonys believes in local products, as evidenced by its Louisiana speckled trout amandine. The venerable Antoine's appetizer list offers trout that is grilled or fried with crawfish or shrimp tails in a white wine sauce. Li'l Dizzy's nod to the Baquet family is found in the Trout Baquet, in which the restaurant grills trout and covers it with lump crabmeat and butter sauce. Trout amandine at Galatoire's relies on an ages-old recipe. At Wolfe's in the Warehouse, chef Tom Wolfe serves ruby red trout with a smoked tomato sweet vermouth sauce and herb-roasted fingerling potatoes. The Trout Tchoupitoulas at Joey K's is a specialty that comes lightly floured and pan-fried, topped with shrimp, lump crabmeat and served with zucchini, squash and new potatoes.

TUNA

The lunch menu at Steve's Diner offers an open-faced classic tuna melt and blackened tuna salad with sesame seeds, cucumber, avocado and wasabi dressing. When entertaining a lunch date on the patio of Café Rani, the classic tuna nicoise includes pepper-crusted tuna steak over greens with asparagus and new potatoes. Little Tokyo of Mandeville has a Burning Man Roll — sesame spicy tuna on the inside; pepper tuna, avocado, green onion and hot sauce on the outside. Tuna Steak Neptune can be found at MedUSA — the plate features a tuna steak with spinach, tomato and a garlic butter sauce. Oceana Grill's grilled tuna "La Boheme" places barbeque shrimp on top of the tuna. The Asian tuna salad at Zea presents seared rare sashimi tuna, crispy noodles, almonds and a peanut vinaigrette. Étoile Restaurant sears their sesame tuna rare with bok choy, pickled ginger, sweet-chili and honey vinaigrette. Grilled yellow fin tuna awaits at Go-Go Gourmet. The yellowfin Two Ways at Dominque's offers sashimi tuna stacked with pineapple chips and a tuna empanada. Tuna carpaccio, a sushi grade piece of tuna flattened and seasoned delicately with lemon juice, oil and salt, whets the appetite at Meauxbar Bistro. Avocado puree separates a couple of tuna tartare versions in the Tuna Two Ways at Jackson in the lower Garden District. The seared ahi tuna entree from Russell's Marina Grill comes in a light sweet-and-spicy plum sauce. Parran's Po-Boys of Metairie offers a po-boy of marinated and grilled yellowfin tuna.

TURKEY

The weekend lunch special at Warehouse District Pizza is roasted turkey with dressing, gravy and yams. Melonhead combines melted brie with roasted turkey to create Turkey Brie. The turkey leg plate at Abita Bar-B-Q is serious eating. Café Unique offers a soul food take on turkey necks and wings. The main draw of the Cali Burger at Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar and Restaurant is the grilled all-white meat turkey patty. One of Puccino's signature house sandwiches is the turkey, bacon and cheddar panini. Amidst all the bottles, Martin Wine Cellar offers a sandwich of California oven-roasted turkey, havarti cheese and assorted vegetables. Roly Poly grills the Hickory Cristo, a wrap with smoked turkey breast, brie and Swiss cheese, spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes. Like turkey with coffee? A turkey sandwich is offered at select PJ's Coffee locations. CC's offers a turkey hoagie, as well, and the turkey sandwich at Rue de la Course comes on seven-grain or Black Forest bread. A popular sandwich at Laurel Street Bakery is the smoked turkey and provolone, which comes with caramelized onions. Turkey and Swiss with tomatoes is a popular sandwich at Café Luna.

VEAL

The veal osso buco at Ristorante Civello is accompanied by gorgonzola polenta. Paneed veal scallopini is where it's at when dining at Le Parvenu. The costoletta di vitello (veal chops) at Brick Oven Café include the Liberta, a veal chop stuffed with cheeses, mushrooms and Marsala sauce. Broussard's offers veal tenderloin slices with crabmeat in a mustard dill béchamel. At Café Degas, braised veal cheeks are a delicacy. When calling on the Court of Two Sisters, ask for veal Oscar — baby white veal cutlets covered with lump crabmeat, tasso, hollandaise and asparagus. Chops has a 14-ounce pan seared veal chop. Venezia II's veal supreme involves veal with shrimp and crawfish in a dill cream sauce. Café Volage does a slow cooked veal osso buco, which entails braising the veal and then baking it slowly with sauces. Brennan's tops its Veal 417 with pearly chunks of crabmeat and hollandaise. The veal chop with sweet and hot peppers at Ruth's Chris features a veal steak marinated overnight in a blend of pepper, vinegar, garlic and onions. It's then broiled and served sizzling with hot and sweet peppers. Camellia Café offers paneed veal cutlets made with seasoned Italian breadcrumbs and served with a choice of sides.

VEGETABLES

The Slice approach to primavera pasta involves sautéing vegetables with minced garlic and red pepper infused oil. Vegetables are stir-fried at the Tea Garden. For burger loving vegetarians, Angeli's serves a veggie burger. Beck-N-Call Café offers a vegetable sandwich with grilled portobello, tomatoes, mixed greens, carrots, alfalfa sprouts and mozzarella. Order Mu Sui Vegetables at Trey Yuen Cuisine of China and receive four Chinese pancakes filled with stir-fried egg and assorted vegetables. Chez Nous does a Southern-style squash pecan casserole and smothered turnip greens. The vegetarian appetizer at Cleopatra is Dolmeh — grape leaves stuffed with vegetables, lentils, rice, herbs and spices. Refuel's chilled roasted vegetables are augmented with crumbled feta, assorted lettuces and balsamic vinaigrette. The gardeners at Martin Wine Cellar place grilled squash with zucchini and portobello mushrooms on a ciabatta roll and then add grilled tomatoes, spinach, gruyere cheese and arugula-kalamata olive pesto. Subway's trademarked veggie delite is described as a "salad sandwich." The vegetarian pizza at Café Roma involves mushrooms, black olives, tomatoes, green peppers, onions, green olives and tomato sauce. In the same realm, Papa John's has a garden fresh pizza with green peppers, onions, mushrooms, olives and Roma tomatoes. Taj Mahal prepares many traditional Indian vegetable curries such as the dal makhani, a dish of cardamom scented butter-whipped lentils flavored with curry leaves. One of the steamed vegetable patties prepared at Pho Tau Bay includes deep-fried tofu topped with roasted peanuts, fried shallots and green onions. Café Luna's vegetarian toast features Swiss and cheddar cheese, black olives and tomatoes. The sautéed vegetable entree at Lebanon Café features eggplant, red, green and yellow peppers, squash, cauliflower, broccoli and carrot. The smoked gouda cheese and veggie sandwich at Columbia Street Natural Foods also includes lettuce, carrots, avocado, onion and tomato on whole wheat bread. The Market on Esplanade offers grilled vegetables such as eggplant and squash. Byblos makes a lemony hummus and serves it with warm pita bread as an appetizer. Surrey's Café & Juice Bar offers both carrot and beet juices.

WAFFLES

Clover Grill serves their waffle hot with a side of sass. Rosey's 24/7 has two Belgian-style waffles on their 24-hour breakfast menu. Refuel tops Belgian waffles with a choice of caramel apples, banana nut, blueberries or strawberries. The Broken Egg Café serves waffles for breakfast or dessert, topping them with whipped butter, powdered sugar and syrup. Li'l Dizzy's Café serves waffles topped with strawberries or bananas and a side of bacon, sausage or ham. One of the Belgian-style waffle choices at Riccobono's Peppermill comes topped with apple slices, raisins and cinnamon. Strawberries and whipped cream accompany the waffles at Jukebox.

WINGS

Gattuso's funky chicken wings are deep fried and tossed in traditional hot or tangy homemade sauce. The Balcony Bar's appetizers include barbeque and Buffalo wings. Applebee's has boneless Buffalo wings in the classic, hot or barbeque varieties, plus a choice of 10- or 20-piece orders of Buffalo chicken wings. Emeril is not afraid of the chicken wing craze — the appetizer menu at NOLA offers Miss Hay's Stuffed Chicken Wings with Hoisin dipping sauce. The Red Eye has a hot wings combo, which includes a soft drink and fries. Boneless Buffalo wings and jumbo chicken wings are featured prominently at the Fox and Hound, with six seasoning levels to choose from. Fat Harry's believes in frying buffalo wings crispy, then drenching them in hot sauce. Buffalo wings are a great way to start a meal at the Ground Pat'i Grille and Bar. Hooters has the wings game cornered in 10, 20 or 50 piece increments and seasoned across the taste spectrum from mild to 911. The wing sampler at Wow Wingery offers 25 wings and five sauces, which include such globetrotting flavors as the Asian (teriyaki), Bombay (coconut curry) and Buffalo. The specialty wings at Barracks Street Café include choices of garlic herb, lemon pepper and Jamaican jerk varieties. Sides of celery sticks and blue cheese come with the Buffalo wings at the Dry Dock Cafe. Mid City Lanes Rock 'N' Bowl counts Buffalo wings among the limited fare it offers to those who are looking for music and fun at the Mid-City venue.

ZUCCHINI

Moussaka at Acropolis means thin layers of eggplant, zucchini and potatoes sautéed in olive oil, combined with ground veal, topped with a creamy sauce and then baked. The Piccadilly Cafeteria includes zucchini romaine salad as one of its sides. Impastato's offers an Italian version of fried zucchini. Another Italian specialty is the primavera at Mama Rosa's with zucchini, yellow squash, red onion, artichokes and mushrooms topped with a white or red sauce and feta.

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