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Summer Restaurant Guide 

From Alligator to Zucchini

Gambit Weekly's Summer Restaurant Guide has all the ingredients for a season of dining out. From fish to fowl, crpes to waffles, eel to veal, the Alligator to Zucchini guide surveys popular dishes using your favorite foods. When you find a dish or restaurant that interests you, flip to the directory beginning on page TK for information about restaurant hours, reservation policy and price range.

Alligator

The swamp reptile may get a bad rap in the Everglades, but New Orleanians know the best way to deal with the scaly beast is to turn it into a meal. Alligator meat gets souped up in a flavorful broth at Franky & Johnny's. At the Harbor Bar & Grill in Metairie, it is blackened and served as an appetizer. Pat O'Brien's Courtyard Restaurant's Alligator Bites are deep-fried swamp tenderloin cuts coated with spicy corn flour and served with honey Creole mustard sauce. An alligator sausage po-boy is a classic mixing of local cuisines at the Parkway Bakery & Tavern. Tender pieces of farm-raised alligator are seasoned, grilled and served with jambalaya at Mulate's Cajun Restaurant. The Shimmy Shack in Harahan offers its own take on the po-boy with a sausage made from the swamp-dweller. Fried alligator meat gets Cajun heat from chili-garlic aioli as a starter at Cochon. The Praline Connection fries alligator sausage and serves it with barbecue sauce. Trey Yuen prepares alligator in a spicy Szechuan dish.

Artichoke

Although it's not native to southern Louisiana, this hearty vegetable is present in its fair share of dishes at Crescent City restaurants. The Louisiana Pizza Kitchen takes a break from Italian flatbread with its artichoke-stuffed ravioli. Italian Pie serves up a mouthwatering artichoke sandwich with mozzarella, feta cheese, vegetables and garlic butter. Redefining the dessert classic, O'Brien's Grille in Gretna tops its rich artichoke cheesecake with Louisiana oysters. At Semolina, artichoke cakes act as a bed for pan-seared jumbo shrimp topped with garlic-lemon-butter sauce. Vega Tapas CafŽ grills Roman artichokes and serves them with feta relish.

Asparagus

Asparagus spearheads many of its own dishes and plays supporting roles on other plates. A longstanding favorite is the asparagus topped with sesame sauce at Megumi Yakimono and Sushi Bar. At Kyoto, tender slices of grilled beef are wrapped around fresh asparagus spears and topped with teriyaki sauce. A choice of chicken or shrimp come sautŽed with fresh asparagus in white sauce at China Orchid. The mysterious-sounding Phoenix on the Summit at Raw reveals itself to be thin slices of white chicken rolled on asparagus spears and sautŽed in a special sauce with a touch of spice. Grilled jumbo asparagus with tomatoes, micro croutons and truffle vinaigrette is an appetizer at Begue's Restaurant at the Royal Sonesta.

Avocado

Whole or crushed, the humble avocado proves it's easy being green on local menus. The marinated avocado with cold tofu is a cool summertime meal-starter at Kanno California Sushi Bar in Metairie. West Indies CafŽ adds a chunk of avocado to its ceviche of white fish marinated in lime, cilantro and onions. The storied Napoleon House serves its shrimp remoulade with whole avocado fanned out on greens with toast points. A meal-size salad at Calypso Patio Bar and Grill tops off red onions, cucumbers, mozzarella and spinach with lump crabmeat and sliced avocado. Perfect for summer is the New Orleans Grill's chilled avocado soup topped with jumbo lump crabmeat and spicy corn and poblano salsa. Paradise CafŽ serves a salad of avocado stuffed with either chicken or tuna salad.

Banana

It would take an entire banana republic to supply New Orleanians with their dessert staple, but distinguished plantains make appearances as well on local menus. It almost goes without saying that Brennan's Restaurant is the place to go for its original creation: bananas Foster, prepared tableside with brown sugar and sliced bananas flamed in rum and served over vanilla ice cream. Cool off on a hot summer day with Cold Stone Creamery's Man-Go Bananas smoothie that has homemade sorbet mixed in. The sweet and savory fried green plantains make a great accompaniment to the classic Caribbean fare at Liborio's Cuban Restaurant. Petunia's fills its bananas Foster flambŽ crpe with vanilla ice cream and bananas sautŽed in brown sugar, rum and vanilla. On a menu filled with delectable brunch specials, the bananas Foster French toast at Surrey's CafŽ & Juice Bar comes stuffed with cream cheese and is served over brown sugar rum sauce. At Baru Bistro and Tapas, papacon con todo is a dish of whole green plantains flattened, fried and topped with chorizo, skirt steak or chicken, cheddar cheese and chimichurri sauce. The towering banana cream pie with caramel sauce and chocolate shavings at Emeril's Restaurant is vying to become one of New Orleans' best known decadent desserts. Miyako Japanese Seafood and Steakhouse serves a tempura fried banana for dessert.

Beef

Buenos Aires it's not, but the Big Easy has its fair share of standout dishes focused on beef. Pastrami (cured and smoked beef brisket) is served in a mouthwatering sandwich at the New York-style deli Stein's Market & Deli, where it is heated with sauerkraut, melted Swiss and homemade Russian dressing on rye bread. At Christy's Empress of China, beef is fried with orange peels in a sweet pepper sauce. The classic beef brisket sandwich at The Joint is topped with coleslaw and comes with a choice of several generous sides. Gretna's Pho Tau Bay serves up pho tai, thin-sliced beef over rice noodles in a light yet spicy beef broth. A signature dish at Korea House Restaurant is dol sot bibimbob, beef served over seafood, vegetables and rice in a stone pot served hot. Churros CafŽ's skirt steak is simmered with garlic and vegetables and shares a plate with black beans and rice. At Mr. Ed's Creole Grille, a plate of the popular homemade pot roast is topped with brown gravy and loaded with baked macaroni and vegetables. The Steamboat sandwich at Martin Wine Cellar's Bistro Deli is warm sliced corned beef and ham, smoked bacon, melted Swiss with Creole mustard on an egg-and-onion roll. Succulent Burgundy mushroom filet tips are draped over white rice or pasta at Sweet Fire & Ice in Metairie. Among Tony Moran's Italian specialties on Bourbon Street is the pasta Buffo Ballo, a hefty meatball in tomato sauce. Texas Bar-B-Que Company roasts its 100 percent lean brisket over hickory wood before smothering it in homemade barbecue sauce. Zöe Bistro at the W Hotel accompanies its braised Kobe beef short rib with mushroom ragout and a potato pancake. The beef brisket po-boy at Fat City Diner features homemade brisket that has been slow smoked over pecan wood and is served with barbecue sauce. Bennachin offers a unique African beef and peanut soup called domoda, served with rice. At Dante's Kitchen, Trois Mignon features three petite tenderloin filets respectively topped with pork debris, Stilton cheese sauce and marchands de vin sauce. For traditional Korean-style barbecue, guests at Gimchi can cook their own thin-sliced beef on tabletop grills or order it prepared by the chef. For an all-American approach, order a big 24-oz. porterhouse at Shula's Steak House. Where else but Lager's International Ale House would you expect to find a hearty Guinness stew with beef and vegetables? At N'Tini's Restaurant, the prime rib dinner is served with your choice of grilled asparagus, sautŽed vegetables, creamed spinach, mashed sweet potatoes or stuffed baked potato. At Mimi's in the Marigny, ground beef empanadas are served with a spicy red pepper aioli. Five Happiness serves spicy kung pao beef cooked with peanuts, dry hot peppers and vegetables. Drop by the Avenue Pub any time of day for mini beef tacos draped in hot cheese sauce. At Welty's Deli, the Reuben is piled high with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing. Wok-seared lemongrass beef is served over rice with herbs and a spicy sauce on the side at Doson Noodle House.

Bell Peppers

Dropped like confetti on pizzas or cooked down with onions and celery in roux, the bell pepper doesn't get to play the leading role often enough -- except in these dishes. Before chowing down on some of the homemade local favorites at Franky & Johnny's, start off with a plate of the popular bell pepper rings. At Mr. Ed's Seafood and Italian Restaurant in Metairie, the peppers come stuffed full of shrimp, crabmeat and crawfish. At eat New Orleans, stuffed bell peppers are served family style with Caesar salad and a choice of side item like curly fries, red beans and rice, jambalaya, grilled vegetables or baked mac and cheese. Breaux Mart offers seafood-stuffed peppers on its weekly menu of specials.

Bouillabaisse

Every coastal culture has its own version of a seafood stew, and this southern French dish gets revamped at a number of Crescent City restaurants. Popular Frenchmen Street hangout Hookah CafŽ fosters neighborhood pride with its Marigny Bouillabaisse, a combination of local fish and shellfish in white wine and seafood stock with vegetables. Andrea's Restaurant serves cioppino Mediterranean, an Italian-style seafood stew that is a close cousin to the French bouillabaisse. At Marigny Brasserie, the bouillabaisse features a mix of local fish and shellfish in saffron fennel broth served with a risotto cake. At CafŽ Minh, the bouillabaisse is a bowl of light seafood saffron broth filled with mussels, shrimp, scallops and fish with angel hair pasta. At Broussard's, the Louisiana bouillabaisse is filled with shrimp, scallops, mussels and Gulf oysters in saffron tomato broth with crabmeat and rouille croutons. At La Provence, chef Rene Bajeux serves his bouillabaisse with shrimp, mussels, clams, grouper, crabmeat and tuna in a tomato saffron broth. Begue's Restaurant at the Royal Sonesta fills its bouillabaisse with Gulf fish, shrimp, oysters, frog legs and tomato broth with fish stock.

Bread

Thanks to the po-boy and the muffuletta, locals have discerning tastes in bread and a variety of options to choose from. The Dry Dock CafŽ's bruschetta topped with tomato, basil, garlic and melted mozzarella is a quintessentially Italian way to start a meal on a warm summer evening. At the Old Coffee Pot Restaurant, Lost Bread (from the French pain perdu) is Creole-style French toast made with battered and grilled po-boy bread served with powdered sugar and maple syrup. Pepperoni's CafŽ offers a garlic cheese bread topped with melted cheddar and mozzarella and served with marinara sauce. Theo's Pizza on Magazine Street stuffs its signature bread sticks with jalapeno peppers and pepper Jack cheese. Commander's Palace tops its New Orleans-style pain perdu with Creole cream cheese, blackberries, candied orange zest and vanilla-sugarcane syrup. For fresh homemade bagels from plain to whole wheat to onion and garlic, head to Laurel Street Bakery. The pain perdu at N'Awlins Flava CafŽ features either chocolate or vanilla French toast served with two eggs and bacon. Italian bread sticks are baked with homemade dough brushed with garlic butter and served with a red sauce for dipping at Dia Roma CafŽ. Enjoy a variety of Indian dishes at Taj Mahal with naan flatbread cooked on the tandoor oven. At CafŽ 59 in Mandeville, French toast is made with croissants and served with scrambled eggs, bacon and fruit. Still Perkin' offers bagels with tomato-basil or chive cream cheese.

Bread Pudding

Bread pudding might once have been a way to revive old bread, but New Orleanians like the dessert so much that they won't wait for bread to age. Commander's Palace's understandably upscale take on the classic bread pudding is to reinvent it as a soufflŽ, which is punctured tableside so a waiter can spoon in warm whiskey sauce. The Steamboat bread pudding served on the Steamboat Natchez Dinner Jazz Cruise also is complemented by whiskey sauce. At the House of Blues, the white chocolate bread pudding comes with Jack Daniel's créme anglaise, whipped cream and caramel. Ye Old College Inn drizzles its version of the popular dessert with rum sauce. CafŽ Reconcile puts a home-style spin on bananas Foster bread pudding. Crescent City Steak House keeps its menu simple with bread pudding topped with brandy sauce.

Burgers

Burgers may never be considered traditional Cajun or Creole dishes, but they can be found on menus all over the city. O'Henry's Food & Spirits char broils its Original Steakburger over an open flame. Among 12 signature hamburgers, the New Orleans Hamburger & Seafood Company features the Gourmet Burger, brushed with garlic herb butter, grilled and served on a hand-shaped sesame seed bun. For those who crave the shape and taste but want to skip the meat, Igor's Lounge offers a popular vegetarian burger. Station 8801's 8-oz. Angus burger is flame grilled to order and served with chips, fries, onion rings or sweet potato fries. Igor's Buddha Belly Burger Bar spices up its Cajun burger with Crystal hot sauce and cayenne pepper. Igor's also offers a Cajun-style vegetarian burger made with grains, oats and cheese. The Angus beef cheeseburger at Fat Harry's can be served on a bun, French bread or as a wrap. At Easy Dogs, the new Easy Burger is a half-pound of Angus beef served with the eponymous Easy Sauce. Mr. Ed's Creole Grille throws several different burgers on the grill, and the Blues Burger with blue cheese served with fries or Creole potato salad is a popular choice. A half-pound chargrilled burger is made in-house at The Beach House with fresh ground chuck and is dressed to order. The Voodoo burger at CafŽ Freret will put a spell on you with its sautŽed onions and mushrooms covered in Bomb sauce and Creole mayo. Chops Bistro & Martini Bar's menu features 14 different burgers with a staggering array of toppings. The Jamaican burger at Sugar Park Tavern in Bywater is topped with curry sauce, sautŽed mushrooms and Swiss cheese. Tomatillo's Mexican burger comes with avocado, pico de gallo and jalapeno cream salsa. A Big Fat Greek Burger with feta cheese, olives and Greek vinaigrette is a big fat alternative to the traditional burger at The Times Grill. An over-stuffed baked potato accompanies the Beef Burger at Oscar's Restaurant & Bar. The Mojo Burger at Voodoo BBQ & Grill is dipped in Mojo Sauce and served with fries. Mano's Po Boys in Metairie features an 8-oz. hamburger deluxe, dressed to impress and served with fries. The French Burger at Burgers Gone Wild gets its name from the topping of sautŽed onions with Brie cheese. If you don't feel like building your own burger at Phil's Grill, the Fat City Burger is stuffed with cheddar then battered and fried before being tucked into a bun with a fried egg on top. Tucker's Tavern is still the undisputed king of the deep-fried burger with options like the Big Tuck, a patty stuffed with bacon, pepper Jack and American cheeses on the inside and served with cheddar and barbecue sauce on top. Bud's Broiler keeps it simple with charcoal broiled burgers served with toppings like hickory smoked sauce, grated cheddar and chili. CafŽ Banquette tops its namesake burger with cheddar cheese, bacon, grilled onions and barbecue sauce. Abita Brew Pub's Deep South burger is a 10-oz. patty topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, barbecue sauce, lettuce and tomato and served with French fries. Lake View Harbor offers an 8-oz. patty dressed with lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion served with a baked potato. People line up early in the morning and late at night for the thick burgers with baked potatoes served at Port of Call. Elizabeth's Restaurant sweetens the deal on its burger by topping it with housemade praline bacon and blue cheese. At Steve's Diner, an 8-oz. Angus beef patty is topped with bacon and cheddar, dressed with lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion and served on a grilled bun. Check Point Charlie serves its Cajun-seasoned burger around the clock. The surf and turf at Harbor Bar & Grill is more burgers and crawfish than steak and lobster, but the big cheeseburger is a favorite by itself.

Calamari

Squid may not be top on the list of local seafood chain, but it gets special treatment in some restaurant kitchens. Maximo's Italian Grill eschews the typical Italian restaurant-style fried calamari for a sautŽed version served with spicy red wine and tomato sauce. An Asian take is Szechuan calamari with vegetables in a hot and spicy sauce at Red Star Chinese Restaurant. Johnny's Po-boys includes calamari on its legendary French bread sandwich lineup. The papaya seafood salad at CafŽ Equator features calamari along with shrimp, fresh vegetables and cashews in a lime juice and garlic dressing. Calamari shares the plate with other seafood sautŽed with herbs, garlic and a seafood reduction in the frutti di mare at Fausto's Bistro. Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar & Restaurant fries New Zealand calamari and serves it up with two sauces. Chef Minh Bui gives a little Asian accent to his cornmeal-crusted calamari by serving it with sweet chili sauce at CafŽ Minh. Hoa Hong Nine Roses does a more traditional Vietnamese dish of curried squid called muc xao ca-ri. Vega Tapas CafŽ sears baby squid and serves it with almond-garlic dust and Meyer lemon.

Catfish

This bayou denizen's meaty flesh is popular when battered, fried, sautŽed or grilled. The fried catfish platter at Friar Tuck's Bar & Grill comes with hush puppies and fries. Johnny Trauth's Seafood Bistro brings together two local favorites when it stuffs its broiled catfish filets with crabmeat. The Black Cat is Pontchartrain Point CafŽ's signature blackened catfish. On Fridays only, RobŽrt Fresh Market in Metairie serves its cornmeal-crusted catfish with jalapeno tartar sauce and Cajun potato salad. The deep-fried catfish and shrimp platter comes with a generous helping of sides at Ground Pat'I Grille and Bar. Mr. Poor Boy offers grilled or fried catfish fillets on Fridays with potatoes and a vegetable. The deep-fried catfish at Mattina Bella gets a Creole makeover with creamed pecan meuniere sauce and a fresh vegetable medley on the side. The crab-stuffed catfish is a popular double threat at Sweet Fire & Ice. At Middendorf's, the catfish is cut thin, fried and served on platters or in a po-boy. Copeland's fried catfish platter also features crispy, thin fillets. At Herbsaint Restaurant, chef Donald Link pan fries catfish and serves it with shrimp, eggplant and rice dressing and tops it with chile vinaigrette. At Abita Brew Pub, it shouldn't be hard to find a beer to go with deep fried pecan-crusted catfish topped with honey-pecan sauce and served with smashed potatoes and sautŽed vegetables. Head to Breaux Mart on Wednesdays for a choice of crispy fried or lemon-baked catfish. At Adam's Catfish House, catfish salad sits in for tuna salad on top of a bed of greens.

Cheese

Local kitchens draw on a huge variety of cheeses from around the world to craft popular dishes. Mona's CafŽ fries soft haloumi cheese in olive oil, mint and garlic. The grilled cheese Trifecta at Phil's Grill stacks Swiss, American and provolone with tomato and bacon on Texas toast. Caribbean cheese fondue made of gouda and gran queso starts off the Big Night Out prix fixe menu at The Melting Pot. Tommy's Wine Bar complements its primary offerings with an artisanal cheese plate including fresh fruit. Freshwater mozzarella salad is a mouthwatering starter at Louisiana Pizza Kitchen, served with Roma tomatoes, sweet red onions, fresh basil and olive oil. Brie is wrapped in puff pastry and served with blueberries and balsamic reduction as a starter at Pellicano Restaurant. Ground country sausage spices up the queso dip served with tortillas at The Bulldog. Julie's Little India Kitchen at Schiro's Cafe & Bar offers traditional vegetarian saag paneer, Indian cheese with spinach, onions, garlic and masala sauce. Allegro Bistro's creamy Brie sandwich is not your average cheese and bread concoction. St. James Cheese Company offers many of its cheeses in dishes like the Manchego, pear and Louisiana blueberries salad. At Byblos, drunken halloumi features Cypriot halloumi cheese sautŽed in ouzo and olive oil and served with tomato slices and garlic sauce. At Brooklyn Pizza, the cheese calzone is a crescent-shaped pillow full of ricotta and mozzarella cheeses. Reginelli's Pizzeria serves a baked Brie mini calzone topped with sun-dried fruit chutney as an appetizer.

Chicken

A perennially popular choice for main dishes and sandwich fillers, the bird served in area eateries will keep you flying back for more. At Guillory's Grocery, Krispy Krunchy chicken, the affordably priced white or dark meat combo meals include a choice of side and a drink. Ruth's Chris Steak House takes a break from prime beef with its garlic-, herb- and cheese-stuffed double chicken breast. Along with the lilting sound of live traditional jazz, the Palm Court Jazz CafŽ serves chicken Ambrosia, sautŽed chicken breast with fennel and Pernod cream sauce served over pasta. Tujague's Restaurant fries its signature seasoned chicken without batter but with generous amounts of garlic and parsley. The chicken and three-cheese flautas at Chevys Fresh Mex are drizzed with chipotle aioli and served with jalapeno jelly for dipping. The roasted chicken Rosemarino at Tommy's Wine Bar is cooked in white wine, olive oil and rosemary garlic jus. Fong's Chinese and Cantonese Restaurant serves its signature General Fong Chicken with an option of hot and spicy or plain sauce. The Bayou Bird French bread sandwich at Southside CafŽ is topped with melted Swiss cheese and white remoulade sauce. Gretna's Tan Dinh offers a Vietnamese take on chicken with its lemongrass preparation served with sticky white rice, a vegetable and dipping sauce. A popular south of the border-style panini at the Shimmy Shack includes southwestern chicken with peppers, cheese and chipotle mayo. The chicken in Bruno's Tavern's sandwich is fried and tossed in buffalo sauce. The bird at Lil Dizzy's CafŽ is fried to order and served with spicy potato salad. Sukho Thai in the Marigny tops its minced chicken breast salad with onions, chilis and a spicy lime dressing. Tandoori Chicken ­ Singh Cuisine of India serves mild and spicy versions of tandoori chicken masala. Restaurant CuvŽe braises chicken in white wine coq au vin-style and serves it on top of a boursin cheese-stuffed Belgian waffle. Chicken Sue's fries its seasoned chicken in peanut oil and includes it in affordable dinner combos. Chef Duke LoCicero's CafŽ Giovanni bakes breaded chicken with four cheeses and serves it atop penne pasta. Bennachin's sisaysangho is a baked chicken leg quarter served with sautŽed spinach, fried plantains and coconut rice. Get the show on the road at the Hard Rock CafŽ with hickory-smoked chicken wings. For legendary fried chicken, head to the dining room of Willie Mae's Scotch House. The Happy Hen at Marigny Perks is a chicken salad sandwich on wheat, sourdough or croissant topped with lettuce, tomato and mayo or mustard. Julie's Little India Kitchen at Schiro's CafŽ & Bar prepares chicken tikka masala, a dish of chicken sautŽed with onions, garlic, ginger and the spice mix garam masala. Coop's Place prepares chicken Tchoupitoulas by serving grilled chicken over rice with tasso and shrimp cream sauce. CafŽ Arabesque's pollo calle ocho sandwich is a marinated and grilled chicken breast topped with sliced avocado, tomato, red onion and pesto sauce on roma bread. The chicken Rosemarino at Irene's Cuisine is a half chicken oven-roasted with garlic and served with white wine sauce. At Nirvana Indian Cuisine, the Flag of India represents the colors of the flag with a spread of butter chicken, shrimp kebab and saag paneer (spinach and cheese). Maple Street CafŽ prepares lemon chicken by cooking chicken breasts rolled with a mix of breadcrumbs, herbs and lemon zest. Zeke's serves Southern-style deep-fried chicken with French fries. At Beijing, the namesake Beijing Crispy Chicken is a sautŽ of lightly battered fried chicken, julienne carrots and celery in a sweet and spicy brown sauce. Taj Mahal serves chicken tikka masala, a dish of marinated and baked chicken, with tomato gravy. Moonlight CafŽ offers half or quarter chickens slow cooked in the smoker and served with a baked potato or sweet potato fries. McKenzie's Chicken in a Box serves well-seasoned fried chicken to go at its Gentilly store. At Buster's Place, chicken La Louisianne features two grilled chicken breasts topped with creamy mushroom and crawfish sauce. Langenstein's in Metairie uses a house blend of seasonings for its fried chicken.

Crab

It's good that Louisiana's coastal waters offer such a rich supply of crab, because crabmeat goes with just about everything in a Creole cookbook. La Thai Uptown combines its original jumbo lump crab cake with crispy soft-shell crab and lump crabmeat under a chili soy glaze. Surrey's CafŽ & Juice Bar sandwiches luscious local crabmeat and remoulade between toasted sourdough coated in melted Muenster cheese. O'Donnell's Restaurant in Ponchatoula accompanies its jumbo lump crab cakes with fire-roasted corn salsa. The seafood au gratin at II Tony's Restaurant makes for a filling appetizer with its Louisiana crab claw meat simmered with Gulf shrimp and topped with cheddar and Romano breadcrumbs. Antoine's Restaurant turns its crabmeat into a baked and browned casserole with cream sauce, light cheese and French breadcrumbs. The Cake CafŽ & Bakery loads your choice of homemade bread with crabmeat, melted Brie, bacon and sautŽed spinach. Seither's boils its jumbo soft-shell. The Creole crab cakes at Pontchartrain Point West End are served over a bed of penne pasta with spicy cream sauce. Vizard's Crabmeat Nelson mixes crab, crispy eggplant, crimini mushrooms and onions in a bŽarnaise sauce. The snow crab legs at King Buffet in Metairie are prepared Chinese style. On Johnny Trauth's Seafood Bistro menu, already overflowing with local seafood, the steamed or broiled king crab legs are a standout entrŽe. Orleans Grapevine sets its chipotle crab cakes over wilted spinach and caramelized oranges with remoulade sauce. Cristiano Ristorante's colorful ravioli Aragosta is crab-filled ravioli with lobster, mango and red onions in a coconut butter sauce. CafŽ Amelie tops its crab cakes with a refreshing and light citrus drizzle. Bourbon corn macque choux accompanies the seared ravigote crab cake at Calas Bistro and Wine Cellar. Crab cakes at Keith Young's Steakhouse are panko-breaded, flash fried and served with drawn butter on the side. The crab salad at CafŽ Degas mixes jumbo lump crab with baby arugula, shaved fennel, grapefruit, tarragon vinaigrette and crispy fried shallots on top. Crab cakes are sautŽed and served with remoulade sauce at Then, Now and Next CafŽ at the Four Points by Sheraton. At N'Tini's Restaurant, the crab cake Napoleon layers crab cakes with fried eggplant and serves it with a choice of side dish. Crab lovers should try their luck at the Buffet at Harrah's on Thursday nights when Dungeness crab is the special of the day. At The Creole Skillet, jumbo lump crabmeat cheesecake is enhanced by roasted garlic, artichoke and baby spinach. A refreshing dish for summer is the blue crab mango roll with cucumber for a little crunch at Asian Pacific CafŽ. At Peristyle, Louisiana crabmeat is tossed in a horseradish sour mayo with chives and served atop pickled red onions and chilled roasted beets and garnished with fresh herbs.

Crawfish

The local crawfish may be bigger and better than they were a couple months ago, but get them while you can -- the season doesn't last forever. The Palm Court Jazz CafŽ's elegant crawfish Nantua comes flamed in a brandy cream sauce. The Breaux Bridge crawfish tails in Ralph's on the Park's Vol-Au-Vent are sautŽed with Gulf shrimp in a crawfish cardinale sauce and then tucked into a light pastry shell. Pupuseria La Macarena serves a version of its hallmark hand-made thick corn pupusas with crawfish and shrimp. La PenichŽ smothers hot cheese grits in rich crawfish gravy of Louisiana tail meat and Creole sauce. Hostel New Orleans cooks local crawfish tails with corn in a traditional Sunday boil, then sautŽs them into cakes with a spicy Steen's molasses butter. At Bistro 38, chef Dominique Macquet's crawfish remoulade is served atop fried green tomatoes drizzled with basil oil. Ignatius Eatery & Grocery's crawfish etouffŽe features a thick and spicy roux. At Lazy River, crawfish bread is a French pistolette stuffed with cheese, crawfish and Creole seasonings. Pere Antoine makes spicy crawfish pies and tops them with crawfish etouffŽe.

Crpes

Light and airy crpes wrap up sweet desserts into savory treats at area restaurants. The popular Florentine crpes at Coffea Coffeehouse CafŽ feature genuine Breton buckwheat batter along with spinach, tomato, egg and ricotta. At Crpes ˆ la Cart, made-to-order chicken Florentine crpes are overstuffed with chicken, Swiss cheese and vegetables and topped with homemade dill-and-chive dressing. The chicken crpe Riviera at La Madeleine features roasted garlic, broccoli and tomatoes sautŽed with rotisserie chicken in a pesto sauce. At Petunia's, the St. Michael crpe combines chicken or ham with broccoli and cheddar cheese. Jazmine CafŽ puts a unique twist on the delicacy with vegetarian rice crpes loaded with broccoli, beans sprouts, tofu and onion. August Moon serves Vietnamese crpes, which fill rice-flour crepes with shrimp, pork, bean sprouts and sweet onions, and guests can add their own herbs, greens and nuoc cham sauce at the table. Finish brunch at Arnaud's Restaurant with crpes suzette, the classic citrus version flamed with orange liqueur. Muriel's Jackson Square serves goat cheese crpes topped with crawfish in Chardonnay sauce with tomato, onions and bell pepper. Clementine's Belgian Bistro makes savory versions like its goat cheese, baby spinach and Parmesan crpe. La Crpe Nanou serves dessert crpes with fillings like chocolate or strawberries and sour cream.

Dessert

For some, dining is a formality one puts up with to get to dessert. For sweet tooths, there are many desserts waiting at local restaurants. It's hard not to devour every bite of a meal at Brigsten's, but be sure to save room for the white chocolate and cherry vanilla créme brlŽe. At the Cake CafŽ & Bakery, the apple and goat cheese king cake keeps people coming back for more. The Camellia CafŽ in Abita Springs boasts créme brlŽe as one of its most popular desserts. The blue lagoon crpe at Crpes ˆ la Cart trades savory for sweet with blueberries, hazelnut chocolate, Irish cream and a touch of brown sugar. Top off an Italian meal at Impastato's Restaurant with Romano's blueberry banana pie. The baklava at Mona's CafŽ features thin layers of phyllo dough filled with walnuts and honey. The folks at Phil's Grill may know their way around a burger, but the apple pie beignets and bananas Foster bites show they've got dessert chops, too. A signature special at Slice Pizzeria is the blueberry and mascarpone turnover with sweet mint cream and candied pecans. The homemade chocolate-dipped strawberries at Vianne's Tea Salon & CafŽ in Mandeville are a sweet match for a soothing pot of tea. Where else but Copeland's Cheesecake Bistro would one expect to find sweet and creamy dulce de leche and praline cheesecake? CafŽ du Monde is always a good place to get a trio of airy beignets liberally dusted with powdered sugar. The French-style patisserie Croissant d'Or serves baked treats including a variety of petits fours and flaky croissants. Chef Miles Prescott puts an original twist on a local favorite at the Country Club by frying hot and crispy rhubarb beignets and serving them with housemade Louisiana strawberry ice cream. Gambino's Bakery bakes an extremely luxurious half-chocolate, half-caramel Doberge cake. Paillard's Restaurant serves a port-poached pear in a white chocolate shell with mango sorbet. At Laurel Street Bakery, the rich turtle cheesecake with chocolate ganache and praline topping is available by the slice or whole cake. Maurice French Pastries bakes a kugelhopf, a bundt-like ring-shaped cake made with candied almonds and raisins, and also available in other fruit flavors. Angelo Brocato's offers sweets like traditional Italian fig cookies. Houston's Restaurant serves apple walnut cobbler for dessert. Drop into La Boulangerie for freshly baked fruit tarts made with strawberries, blueberries or blackberries. Copper Monkey's Monkey Buns are beignets stuffed with bananas Foster and topped with powdered sugar. Rue de la Course offers chocolate- and almond-dipped biscotti for a simple treat with coffee. On the lighter side is CherryOnTop's frozen yogurt with fresh fruit. Good Earth Market bakes specialties like chocolate cheesecake and strawberry muffins.

Duck

Duck fans know there's no match for the bird's rich, smoky flavor. At the Bombay Club, the duck duet combines a duck breast cooked to order and leg confit. The rhubarb-glazed Muscovy duck at CafŽ Adelaide & the Swizzle Stick Bar features a sautŽ of baby bok choy, spring corn, shiitake mushrooms and crispy garlic. At Restaurant CuvŽe, the aptly named dish The Duck features Hudson Valley foie gras, walnut Danish blue risotto and pear glace. The breaded and fried duck fingers at Drago's Seafood Restaurant and Oyster Bar put an unexpected twist on finger food. The tandoori duck canapŽ at Martin Wine Cellar is rubbed with spices, seared, sliced and served with curry-spiced flatbread. Martinique Bistro delivers Steen's cane syrup duck with a strawberry rhubarb demi-glace. The roasted duck at Nuvolari's is served with green onion wild rice, sautŽed green beans and a Bing cherry and green peppercorn glace. The slow-smoked, blackened bayou duck at Oceana Grill is topped with homemade crawfish mushroom cream sauce. At One Restaurant and Lounge, crispy-skin duck breast is paired with grilled chicken sausage. The pepper-crusted duck breast at Palace CafŽ is matched with parsnip mashed potatoes, citrus confit salad and sauce au poivre. Served over wild rice with a blackberry reduction, the grilled duck breast at Palmettos on the Bayou is a favorite. The stacked duck at Hostel New Orleans features grilled duck breast with a mille-fuille of crispy potatoes, warm rillette and caramelized onions. At Tommy's Cuisine, duck Tchoupitoulas is roasted crisp and served with raspberry demi. The roast duck at Water Street Bistro in Madisonville gets a lift from a fig and port reduction and roasted pecans. The slow-roasted, pulled duck at Ye Olde College Inn is finished with a citrus fruit barbecue reduction. Cracklin'-crusted duck breast gets fancy perched on a truffled leek, mushroom and fig financier with a poblano and coffee glaze at Calas Bistro and Wine Cellar. Lüke Restauant's terrine of slow-cooked foie gras is served with toasted brioche and topped with a sprinkle of sea salt. Roux Bistro prepares a red bean cassoulet with duck confit and duck sausage. Stella! serves a round-up of duck prepared five ways including a spicy Szechuan-style seared breast, a lacquered thigh and leg and foie gras won tons. At Harrah's, Bambu serves duck roasted with a Cantonese-style barbecue sauce. Wolfe's in the Warehouse serves pan-roasted duck sausage on a crispy sweet potato nest with foie gras and a tarragon duck demi-glace. At MiLa Restaurant, duck is brined in sweet tea and then slow-cooked on the rotisserie. Wood-grilled breast of Moulard duck is sliced thin and served with chanterelle mushrooms, tasso wild rice and raspberry, lavender and honey reduction at Muriel's Jackson Square. At Peristyle, Four Day Duck is slow-roasted with Steen's cane syrup and served on bacon-braised southern greens with sweet potato spaetzle and Chambord beurre-rouge.

Eggplant

Eggplant may not have local roots like the mirliton, but it's popular with everything from local seafood to Italian and Mediterranean dishes. At Chow Down, Joanie's New Orleans eggplant casserole has flavors of garlic, bell pepper and green onion. Feelings CafŽ serves shrimp, crawfish, sausage and rice over a slice of fried eggplant topped with hollandaise sauce. Jung's Golden Dragon delivers its eggplant Szechuan style, with chicken or shrimp if you like. The eggplant St. John at Liuzza's Restaurant & Bar features eggplant medallions over angel hair pasta, topped with shrimp and artichoke sauce. At Mona Lisa, the eggplant Parmesan is baked with red sauce and served over linguini. Mr. Ed's Seafood and Italian Restaurant stuffs eggplant casserole with crabmeat and shrimp. Eggplant Carondelet at New Orleans Bistro in Lacombe has a rich crawfish cream sauce. The eggplant Palmettos at Palmettos on the Bayou comes in appetizer and entrŽe sizes, and features fried eggplant medallions with the restaurant's signature seafood sauce. The eggplant pizza at Pizza Florence is a veggie lover's favorite, with mushrooms, tomatoes and mozzarella and feta cheeses. Eggplant gets smashed with tahini, lemon and mint in the tasty baba ghanoush dip at Pyramids CafŽ. One of the most requested dishes at Tony Angello's Restaurant is the eggplant Tina, featuring thinly sliced, breaded and fried eggplant layered with marinara sauce and Romano cheese. Albasha Greek and Lebanese Restaurant makes its mousaka plate with layers of eggplant, potato and ground beef with creamy bŽchamel sauce. At August Moon, one of the vegetarian specialties is Szechuan eggplant, a mix of eggplant and scallions sautŽed in rich and spicy garlic sauce. Eggplant Parmesan is served in a foot-long sandwich dressed with lettuce and tomato at Dia Roma CafŽ. Venezia's eggplant Radison is half an eggplant that is hollowed out, fried and filled with crabmeat, crawfish tails and shrimp with cream sauce. Vincent's Italian Cuisine serves panŽed eggplant medallions topped with shrimp, crab and crawfish in Creole cream sauce. Fried eggplant sticks come with grated Parmesan and marinara sauce at the Alibi Bar and Grill. At Nathan's Restaurant in Slidell, roasted seafood eggplant features a Parmesan-crusted eggplant shell filled with eggplant, shrimp and crabmeat stuffing served on a bed of linguine marinara. Castle Cafe's eggplant sandwich is served on sesame bread with lettuce, tomato, onions and feta cheese.

Eggs

You have to break a few eggs if you want to make an omelet and get the day started. The eggs Benedict Bywater at Coffea Coffeehouse CafŽ -- a country-style biscuit topped with homemade pulled pork, bacon, poached eggs and hollandaise -- will sustain you throughout the day. It's easy to be overwhelmed by the brunch buffet at The Court of Two Sisters, but don't miss the made-to-order seafood Orleans omelet, featuring crawfish, crabmeat, shrimp, veggies and cream sauce. If you overindulged last night, head straight for "The Cure" at J'Anita's and recover with eggs, bacon or sausage, pancakes, toast, hash browns or grits, and biscuits and gravy. Start your day off right with the Saints special at Mano's Po Boy, featuring two eggs, two slices of ham and two slices of cheese on your choice of bread. The Greek omelet at Mattina Bella combines tangy feta and kalamata olives with spinach, tomato and mozzarella. The tomato, cheese and onion omelet at Melius Bar & CafŽ is a standout. At Oak Street CafŽ, enjoy piano music with your eggs Beauregard, over-easy eggs and sausage patties served with biscuits and smothered in white sausage gravy. The eggs Benedict at La Peniche stacks Canadian bacon and poached eggs with homemade hollandaise sauce. Show your state pride at The Ruby Slipper with the Louisianan omelet, featuring boiled Gulf shrimp, cheddar cheese and fresh thyme. The Bhansali omelet at Slim Goodies Diner is deliciously adventurous, with tomato basil risotto, caramelized onions, fresh tomatoes and Romano and Swiss cheeses. Louie and the Redhead Lady makes its Monterey omelet with two eggs, sausage, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and cheddar and tops it with salsa. At Dixie Gyro, the Greek omelet is packed with bell peppers, tomatoes, gyro meat and feta cheese. Albertine's at the Columns Hotel serves a version of eggs Benedict resting two poached eggs on puff pastry with prosciutto and Creole hollandaise and sautŽed garlic spinach on the side. CafŽ Freret leaves all the choices up to you with a three-egg omelet made with cheddar, Swiss or American cheese, onions, bell peppers, tomato or mushrooms and ham, bacon or sausage with grits or hash browns on the side. Riccobono's Panola Street CafŽ offers crab cakes Benedict, with poached eggs resting atop crab cakes with hollandaise sauce. Start the day at Brennan's Restaurant with signature eggs Hussarde, a dish of poached eggs over Holland rusks with Canadian bacon and marchands de vin sauce. At the New Orleans Breakfast and Pancake House, the Big House four-egg omelet is studded with sausage, bacon, cheese, peppers, onions and mushrooms. Steve's Diner piles scrambled eggs with sausage or bacon on homemade buttermilk biscuits. Good Earth Market starts the day with an egg, ham and cheese burrito on whole wheat tortilla. CafŽ Envie's eggs Envie is a Brie cheese mini omelet served with sliced ham on croissant. At Stop 9 Refueling Station, Chef Guillermo Peters serves traditional eggs rancheros, a dish of two fried eggs on top of tortillas with tomato sauce, sour cream and black beans.

Enchilada

Tacos are giving enchiladas a run for their money of late, but these dishes are still rolling. The homemade chicken enchiladas are a standout at El Gato Negro, served with tangy salsa, sour cream and rice and beans. Homemade green chili sauce distinguishes the pollo verde enchiladas at Juan's Flying Burrito, made with grilled chicken. The crawfish enchiladas at Superior Grill are topped with ranchero sauce, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses. The enchiladas potosinas at La Carreta feature grilled chicken breast and carne asada with four cheeses plus an enchilada verdes with avocado and pico de gallo.

Escargot

Many local restaurants feature escargot, where these dishes can be savored at a snail's pace. At CafŽ Degas, les escargots Bourguignons are broiled with herbed garlic butter and Ricard and served with parsley crostini. The escargot and Creole cream cheese gnocchi at Commander's Palace starts a meal on a delicate note, with roasted mushrooms, tasso, soft herbs and black truffle butter. At Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse in the Quarter, escargots are sautŽed with bacon, fennel and mushrooms and served with French bread. Iris Restaurant dresses up its escargot with wild mushrooms, artichokes and brandy sauce. Stuffed in mushroom caps, the escargot at the Steak Knife Restaurant & Bar are served simmering in garlic butter. Emeril's Delmonico serves escargot with red wine butter and grilled flatbread.

Fajita

Sizzling fajitas make a spectacle in a restaurant and an impression on your taste buds. At Jazz Tacos, the vegetarian fajitas are a rainbow of green, red and yellow peppers with sautŽed onions. The mixed grill fajitas at Chevys Fresh Mex will please meat eaters with a bounty of mesquite-grilled chicken breast, skirt steak, jumbo Gulf shrimp and baby back ribs with all the fixings. At Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville CafŽ, fajitas feature chicken breast, skirt steak, shrimp or portobello mushrooms served with sautŽed peppers and onions, black beans, flour tortillas, cheese, sour cream, guacamole and fire-roasted salsa. Fajitas rancheros at Country Flame offer a choice of shrimp, chicken, beef, pork or vegetables to roll in flour tortillas topped with spicy homemade salsa, guacamole, sour cream and cheddar cheese. La Casa Gomez serves its combination beef and chicken fajitas with guacamole and pico de gallo.

Fish

There's an ocean full of fish to sample, and local kitchens are drawing from waters near and far. The blackened Gulf fish topped with hollandaise sauce at Crabby Jack's will make you happy. Desire Oyster Bar ventures way beyond mollusks with dishes like blackened red snapper topped with lump crabmeat, capers and butter sauce. At Dominique's, the citrus- and sea salt-crusted wild striped bass comes with fingerling potatoes, sugar snap peas and tomato herb vinaigrette. Igor's Lounge makes a mean fish sandwich. Iris Restaurant takes pride in its kona kampachi sashimi appetizer, featuring sushi-grade Hawaiian yellowtail served with a salad of shoots, cucumbers, pickled ginger and blood orange vinaigrette. The fish sandwich at J'Anita's is redfish loaded with bacon, grilled onion, feta, romaine and Caesar dressing. Just in time for summer, the ceviche roll at Kyoto is fresh and cool with whitefish and veggies wrapped rainbow-style and topped with lime and cilantro vinaigrette. La Casa Gomez in Mandeville presents its pescado ˆ la Mexicana with roasted bell peppers and garlic butter sauce. The whole fish at La Thai Uptown is a catch-of-the-day served with spicy Thai shrimp basil sauce and jasmine rice. The choice is yours at Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar & Restaurant, where you can have fish tacos with fried or grilled grouper or served ceviche style. At Mandina's, the fresh fish amandine is lightly fried and topped with blanched almonds and Creole meuniere sauce. The grilled mahi mahi is an off-menu specialty at Mimi's Restaurant, served with lemon beurre blanc and heirloom tomato salad. Don't miss the grilled fish Orleans at Pascale's Manale, topped with shrimp and artichoke hearts and served with pasta. Serranos Salsa Company dresses its mahi mahi tacos with cilantro avocado salsa, pico de gallo, cabbage and sliced avocado. The fish tacos at Taqueria Corona come with spicy tartar sauce and crunchy red cabbage. West Indies CafŽ serves mahi mahi over mango and avocado salad with coconut rice and fried plantains. The grilled mahi mahi at Ye Olde College Inn is presented on a bed of wilted spinach and mashed potatoes topped with lobster beurre blanc. K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen lays off the blackening and bronzes its swordfish and then tops it with hot sauce. At Sun Ray Grill, the Cabo fish tacos feature beer-battered Gulf fish fillets served in grilled flour tortillas with red cabbage, onions and chipotle aioli. American red snapper is sautŽed and served with shrimp etouffŽe and lobster butter at GW Fins. Flounder is baked with seafood stuffing at Landry's. For an exotic shellfish alternative, try Bahamian conch fritters with spicy Cajun remoulade at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville CafŽ. Ignatius Eatery & Grocery's fish Magnolia features tilapia in white wine sauce with crawfish, bell peppers, mushrooms and garlic mashed potatoes on the side. Gautreau's serves halibut crusted with macadamia nuts. La Carreta makes ceviche with mahi mahi marinated in lime juice with tomatoes, cilantro and red onions. Hostel New Orleans is the place to find basil-crusted amberjack resting on a bed of wild mushroom risotto with sautŽed shrimp in a roasted red pepper and sun-dried tomato cream sauce. At Casablanca, a Moroccan-style fish tagine is a sort of casserole of tilapia baked with herbs, fresh garlic, bell peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and a special sauce and served with Moroccan rice and mixed vegetables. Etoile tops sautŽed grouper with lump crabmeat, roasted tomatoes, lemon and capers and serves it with wilted arugula and fingerling potatoes. Jamila's Mediterranean Tunisian Cuisine serves red snapper with roasted garlic, bell peppers, onion, chutney and tomato with vegetables on the side. Upperline Restaurant's signature Gulf Fish with Hot and Hot Shrimp is a grilled baby drum fillet served with jalapeno and shrimp on the plate and a tiny pitcher of very spicy habanero chili sauce on the side. Before a show at Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro, dig into fish Marigny, the fried fish of the day topped with Gulf shrimp and Creole cream sauce. At Annadele's Plantation, Gulf fish Gabrielle is a sautŽed fillet topped with shrimp, tomato and herbs in a light lemon beurre blanc with wild rice. Yuki Izakaya serves small plates of items like crispy grilled eel. At the French Quarter Bistro, Gulf fish Acadian is a blackened fillet topped with blue crab meat, Acadian seafood sauce and served with garlic mashed potatoes and a vegetable. At Broussard's, pompano Broussard's is a grilled fillet with a diver scallop and two Gulf shrimp in a phyllo shell accompanied by mustard caper sauce.

French Fries

Whether a side to a meal or a feast by themselves, French fries offer taste that's tough to resist. The German fries are a favorite at the Crescent City Steak House. Late nights don't get much better than the chili-and-jalapeno-topped deluxe cheese fries at the F&M Patio Bar. Friar Tuck's Bar & Grill mixes up the fry game with tasty sweet potato fries. At Jiggers Grill, it's tough to choose between the waffle fries, sweet potato fries and J.J.'s chili fries. Potatoes get a West Coast makeover at Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar & Restaurant, where the "Cali Style" cheese fries are loaded with melted Jack and cheddar cheeses. A trip to Melius Bar & CafŽ isn't complete without Melius fries, topped with Swiss cheese and brown gravy. At Muffaletta's Deli, pair your sandwich with the affordable basket of sweet potato fries. The Killa fries at Southside CafŽ are hot, hot, hot, packed with chili, cheese and jalapenos. Fry connoisseurs won't want to miss the French fry sandwich at Step Brother's Lounge & Restaurant. At The Delachaise, French fries are cooked in duck fat and served in a cone with two dipping sauces.

Frog

Whether prepared in a refined traditional French recipe or rustic Cajun preparation, frogs legs are hopping at some local restaurants. Diners at Ye Olde College Inn jump all over the golden fried frog legs, an appetizer served with creamy Creole mustard sauce. At Mulate's Cajun Restaurant, the tender frog legs are available grilled or fried. Chef Greg Picolo serves frog leg grillades with cheddar cheese grits at the Bistro at Maison de Ville. At eat New Orleans, fried frog legs are served with garlic mashed potatoes. Fresh fine herbs complement the fried frog legs at Herbsaint Restaurant. Before digging into boiled or fried seafood at Big Al's Seafood, start with the fried frog leg appetizer.

Gumbo

There are as many ways to make gumbo as there are cooks in the city, but here are a few versions to start with. The chicken and andouille gumbo at Chow Down is slow-cooked with Cajun-smoked andouille sausage in a savory dark roux. A natural specialty at the Gumbo Shop, the chicken and andouille gumbo is a menu staple. In addition to big-name music, House of Blues serves up some rocking food, including Cajun-smoked turkey and shrimp filŽ gumbo. Flavors of sausage, ham, shrimp and crab mingle in the Creole filŽ gumbo at Lil Dizzy's CafŽ. Mother's Restaurant is proud of Mae's filŽ gumbo, available in three sizes. The Gumbo Ya Ya at Mr. B's Bistro is a rich, country-style stew made with chicken and andouille sausage. Short Stop Po-Boys offers a choice of chicken and sausage gumbo or, on Fridays, seafood gumbo. The Rib Room makes its Creole seafood gumbo with Gulf shrimp, oysters and okra. The Creole gumbo at Liuzza's by the Track features chicken, smoked beef sausage, okra, onions and bell peppers in a dark brown roux. The best pot at Harrah's casino is the one chef John Besh uses to make duck and Jacob's andouille gumbo at the Besh Steakhouse. The seafood gumbo at the Galley Seafood Restaurant is loaded with oysters, shrimp and okra. Dookey Chase Restaurant is the place to pick up traditional Creole seafood gumbo.

Gyro

No matter how you say it, gyro meat is a tasty blend of beef and lamb. Bite into gyros and samples of hummus, feta salad, baba ghanoush, kibbe, falafel and grape leaves in the meza platter for two at Albasha Greek and Lebanese Restaurant. Acropolis Cuisine offers a traditional gyro of thinly sliced beef and lamb wrapped in pita with lettuce, tomato, grilled peppers and onion, and tzatziki sauce. Castle Cafe serves its gyro plate with tahini sauce as well as salad, hummus and pita bread. Dixie Gyro offers gyros with the standard beef and lamb mix or with chicken. Byblos Market in Metairie offers gyros for lunch.

Hot Dog

It's a mainstay of the kiddie menu, but you never really outgrow the appeal of a hot dog. The spicy Katrina dog at Easy Dogs is dressed up with homemade chili and slaw and cheddar fish crackers. With a side of curly fries, the gourmet hot dog is a favorite at Hooters. Diners keep coming back for the grilled hot dog and sauerkraut at the Kosher Cajun New York Deli & Grocery. Ted's Frostop loads its hot dogs with chili and cheese and serves them on a bun or po-boy bread. The New York-style hot dog at N'Awlins Flava CafŽ is topped with mustard, onions and sauerkraut.

Ice Cream / Gelato

Second only to swimming pools, this frozen treat helps New Orleanians survive the summer months. At Cold Stone Creamery, the founder's favorite is made-to-order, featuring brownies, pecans, fudge and caramel mixed with homemade ice cream. The artisan gelato and sorbetto at La Divina Gelateria is made from scratch using local creamery milk, Louisiana sugar and eggs. At Gelato Pazzo CafŽ, the fior d'arancia (flower of orange) gelato is made on the premises with orange zest, Stracciatella chocolate and premium dairy products. Follow up your lunch with an ice cream float or shake at Magazine Po-Boy Shop. At Yujin Japanese Restaurant in Covington, mango and plum wine ice cream offer a cool ending note for a meal. At the Bean Gallery, the homemade gelato selections include a sweet and creamy dulce de leche. Angelo Brocato's mie lat gelato is a simple honey and milk flavor. Caffeinate an ice cream craving at Ben & Jerry's with a Buzzachillo, a rich blend of coffee ice cream and milk. Hershey's Ice Cream Parlor specializes in sweet flavors like Moose Tracks and Cappuccino Crunch. Creole Creamery serves a wide range of rich flavors like red velvet cake and bananas Foster. SucrŽ blends rich ice creams like brown butter pecan, traditional gelati like pistachio and sorbets like mango and coconut basil.

Jambalaya

There's no shortage of good jambalaya in New Orleans. At DŽjˆ Vu in the French Quarter, the chicken and smoked sausage jambalaya is a specialty around the clock. Jerry's jambalaya at Mother's Restaurant comes with sides of potato salad, fries or greens. At Copeland's, jambalaya pasta is studded with shrimp, chicken, andouille and smoked sausage, peppers and mushrooms with penne pasta. Dorignac's prepares chicken and sausage jambalaya to go in portions for the whole family.

Lamb

Not that it would help anyone fall asleep, but New Orleanians could count their favorite lamb dishes instead of sheep given the variety on local menus. Attiki Bar & Grill's rack of lamb is a house specialty that's marinated in garlic seasoning before going on the grill. The "Study of Lamb" dish at Dominique's delivers a grilled chop with Merguez sausage and lamb confit. At Lola Restaurant in Covington, the lamb osso buco is a slow-braised shank served over wild mushroom risotto. The prosciutto-wrapped lamb chops at Palace CafŽ are stuffed with herbs and goat cheese and served on grilled ciabatta bread. At Pyramids CafŽ, the kafta kebab is a favorite, featuring fresh-ground lamb seasoned with parsley, garlic and onion. Rack of lamb is blackened with a well-seasoned crust at CafŽ Amelie. Ch#226;teau du Lac Bistro crusts its rack of lamb with mustard and serves it with grilled asparagus. Lamb carpaccio with mint pesto, quince vinaigrette, pistachios and molŽ rub is one of the original dishes at the Country Club in Bywater. Irene's Cuisine serves its rack of lamb with port wine and raspberry demi-glace. Tanzia Fassi is a Moroccan baked lamb dish with onions, prunes and sliced almonds served at Casablanca. At CafŽ Degas, the Dijon-crusted rack of lamb is served with hush puppies, honeyed baby carrots and rosemary demi-glace. Tagine, or stew, of lamb is prepared with lemon and garlic and served on top of basmati rice with almonds at Jamila's Mediterranean Tunisian Cuisine. At Elizabeth's Restaurant, lamb shank is braised in red wine with roasted garlic. Double-cut Silverado lamb chops are served with orange chanterelle risotto, minted pea puree and blackberry port reduction at 5 Fifty 5. Emeril's Delmonico serves a lamb duo of chops and garlic-fennel sausage with ratatouille and Yukon gold potato confit.

Lasagna

Lasagna gives the term "layers of flavor" a whole new meaning. New Orleans tomato gravy and fresh Italian seasonings give The Embers "Original" Bourbon House's lasagna its local flair. In addition to the classic, Pepperoni's CafŽ offers a vegetarian version sporting zucchini, eggplant and squash. Italian sausage and light homemade red sauce set the made-from-scratch lasagna at Nicole's Italian Kitchen apart. If mozzarella and ricotta are not enough, TeCoRo's Seafood and Italian Restaurant infuses its lasagna with four varieties of cheese. Semolina's Bistro Italia makes a traditional meat- and red sauce-layered lasagna bolognese.

Liver

New Orleanians are accustomed to giving their livers a hard time, but here are some excuses to work over others' livers. Kosher Cajun New York Deli & Grocery serves up chopped liver with crackers. CafŽ Degas takes it to the next level with sautŽed calf's liver prepared with bacon, caramelized onion bordelaise and sautŽed vegetables. Feelings CafŽ offers a chicken liver appetizer plate. At Flaming Torch Restaurant, veal liver is sautŽed and served with caramelized onions. Diners can liver it up at Elizabeth's Restaurant with calf's liver and onions in brown gravy topped with fried chicken livers. JŠger Haus German Bistro & Coffee House serves an appetizer of rabbit liver pate with a hint of cognac. The Praline Connection serves Southern-style fried chicken livers with pepper jelly.

Lobster

It's a long way from Maine to the bayou, but local chefs make lobster feel right at home. Grand Isle Restaurant's signature lobster Grand Isle is pound and a quarter Maine lobster served with shrimp, crab, roasted shrimp sauce and French fries. Hoshun lightens it up a bit with a mango lobster tartare. For the truly manly man, Drago's Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar offers the three-pound Super Stud Lobster. For an eastern flair, try Kim Son's lobster with ginger and onion. The Pelican Club signs up two other superstars of the sea with its lobster: diver scallops and jumbo shrimp. The crustacean goes Cajun at the Beach House, where a one-pound lobster is boiled crawfish style with potatoes and corn. The Lobster Le Parvenu is a scaloppine of lobster, breaded and sautŽed and layered with shrimp, crab and crawfish Thermidor in a cognac cream sauce. No violin cases allowed in TeCoRo's Seafood and Italian Restaurant, home of the fried, steamed or charbroiled Mobster Lobster, served with homemade crab dressing and topped with crawfish cream sauce. Morton's Steakhouse suggests getting your fix right up front with a Maine lobster cocktail. At Pellicano Restaurant, lobster enjoys a Caribbean twist, poached in butter and served with lemongrass, asparagus and corn succotash. Austin's Restaurant keeps it simple with a fried whole lobster tail. Lobster mac and cheese is served with grilled crostini as an appetizer at 5 Fifty 5. One of the most elaborate presentations of lobster is Takumi's grilled spiny lobster stuffed with shrimp and mushrooms and complemented by a king crab leg with sea urchin paste and wasabi steam rolls.

Mixed Grill

For some enthusiastic carnivores, a single meat just doesn't carry an entree. CafŽ Giovanni offers pork tenderloin, quail, rabbit, a lamb chop and sausage on its mixed grill plate. For an aquatic version, check out Maximo's Italian Grill's mixed grill of seafood. At La Boca, the Gaucho plate rounds up chorizo, beef skewers, sweetbreads and empanadas. The mixed grill at Tandoori Chicken ­ Singh Cuisine of India offers a choice of tandoori chicken, fish or shrimp, chicken tikka, botti kebab or sheekh kebab with lentil rice and naan.

Muffuletta

Central Grocery introduced New Orleans to the muffuletta sandwich piled high with ham, salami, cheese and homemade olive salad served on rounds of Italian bread. Many restaurants have put their own spin on the now classic sandwich. Brothers New Orleans CafŽ offers the original Italian or a seafood version featuring shrimp, oysters, catfish and stuffed crab. Milano's Pizzeria lightens things up with a muffuletta salad of romaine topped with salami, mozzarella and olive salad. Johnny's Po-Boys offers a seafood muffuletta among its sandwiches. Just Italy Deli & Market goes veggie with the Mama Bellini muffuletta, featuring marinated artichokes, homemade olive salad, roasted peppers, kalamata olives and feta cheese on whole wheat bread. CafŽ Freret heaps on the mortadella, ham, provolone, Genoa salami and olive salad in large or small portions. La Divina Gelateria serves up the muffalino panino, a grilled and pressed version of the classic. A signature homemade olive salad is what makes the hot muffuletta a favorite at the Napoleon House. Liuzza's Restaurant & Bar goes po-boy style with the Frenchuletta, all the classic ingredients on 13 inches of French bread. The Oscarletta is the incarnation you'll find served hot at Oscar's Bar & Restaurant. CafŽ Freret layers its muffuletta with mortadella ham, Genoa salami, provolone cheese and homemade olive salad. The muffuletta at Lazy River features salami, ham, mortadella, Swiss cheese and olive salad on herb focaccia bread. DiMartino's Muffulettas makes its namesake sandwich with sopresetta salami, ham, mortadella, Swiss and provolone cheeses and housemade olive salad.

Mushroom

If shrimp are the fruit of the sea, then mushrooms must surely be the fruit of the forest. Kyoto offers a mushroom salad with shimeji and shiitake morsels toasted and mixed with vegetables in wasabi sauce. Milano's Pizza features the big daddy of shroomsville on its portobello mushroom pizza. Portobello is also the key ingredient on Just Italy Deli & Market's Brigitta panini. Lola Restaurant keeps it vegetarian with the portobello Pisto, a medley of bell pepper, pimento, zucchini, onions, garlic, squash, eggplant, tomato and olive oil atop a portobello cap. Only The Bulldog offers Bockenstein Stuffed 'Shrooms, bock-beer-battered mushrooms stuffed with spinach and artichoke and served with Creole honey mustard. Grilled portobello mushrooms are served as a salad or wrap with greens, tomatoes, red onions, carrots, sprouts and freshwater mozzarella at Beck-N-Call CafŽ. Copper Monkey offers fried mushrooms stuffed with crabmeat as an appetizer or bar nosh. At Mimi's in the Marigny, mushroom Manchego toast tops slices of bread with savory mushrooms and cheese. At Dick and Jenny's, polenta pasticciata features sun-dried tomato polenta cakes draped with a ragout of smoked mushrooms and topped with Italian cheeses.

Mussels

You don't have to take steroids to get these mussels. Kim Son serves them up Vietnamese style with a black bean sauce. The Caribbean seafood stew at Elizabeth's combines mussels with shrimp and fish in a spicy coconut crab broth with root vegetables. At Martinique Bistro, you'll find them steamed in white wine with artichokes, leeks, garlic and Parmesan cream. Try O'Donnell's Restaurant's Prince Edward Island Mussels in a creamy crab fumet (concentrated stock) with a fresh spinach and jumbo lump crab salad. The Moules Marinieres is a large bowl of mussels served in a Muscadet wine sauce with onions, shallots and curly parsley at Ciro's Cote Sud. Sandro's Trattoria serves Sandro's mussels as an appetizer in sautŽed onions, garlic, butter and white wine. Mussels are just one installment of the seafood on Bourbon House's Plateaux de Fruits de Mer. At Lüke Restaurant, traditional moules et frites pairs Prince Edward Island mussels steamed with garlic and thyme with housemade fries. At Flaming Torch Restaurant, Prince Edward Island mussels are steamed in stock and white wine with shallots, garlic and curry. Wasabi mussels at Mikimoto are baked mussels topped with wasabi roe and mayonnaise. At Etoile, steamed mussels are served with dill and white wine cream sauce and sweet potato fries. Clementine's Belgian Bistro serves steamed mussels with white wine cream sauce and crisp fries.

Noodles

Local Asian restaurants make the most of a variety of noodles. Horinoya's Kitsue udon soba serves Japanese thick buckwheat noodles with sweet fried bean curd in a light broth. SautŽed Singapore thin rice noodles come with chicken, shrimp or pork at Jung's Golden Dragon. Lo mein is the house special at King Buffet. Pho Tau Bay serves Vietnamese vermicelli in with bun ga nuong cha gio. Rice noodles are sautŽed with scallops, shrimp and calamari in Basil Leaf's seafood pad Thai. The pad Thai at CafŽ Equator consists of rice noodles with chicken tenders, shrimp, green onions and egg in a sweet and sour tamarind sauce. Hip Stix Asian Fusion serves Siam street noodles, a dish of stir-fried rice noodles in coconut curry sauce with green onions, bell peppers, bean sprouts and either tofu, chicken, shrimp or beef. Trey Yuen Cuisine of China offers chow mein and lo mein with barbecue pork, beef, chicken, shrimp or vegetables.

Onion

The mighty onion can be added to any number of dishes but rarely gets its own spotlight. Phil's Grill gives it a little attention with crispy fried onion strings. For a cool summer starter, Laurentino's offers roasted shallots among its cold appetizer options. Lola Restaurant serves caramelized onions baked in a tart with chevre. Savvy Gourmet's gourmet-to-go menu changes regularly, but don't miss its savory five-onion soup. Diners at Mandina's Restaurant in Mid-City often start a meal with an order of it's wide-cut onion rings.

Oysters

If the world is your oyster, then try someone else's for a change. The Old Coffee Pot Restaurant's Rockefeller omelet rolls oysters up with fresh creamed spinach, cheese and herbs and tops it all with cream sauce. Step Brother's Bar & Grill spices it up with the Buffalo oyster sandwich. The baked oyster trio at Bourbon House features Rockefeller, Bienville and Fonseca (with red peppers, jalapeno, tasso and Parmesan) oysters for an appetizer. Desire Oyster Bar serves a barbecue oyster appetizer. Antoine's Restaurant's Oysters Foch are fried and placed atop buttered toast with pate de fois gras. Le Parvenu Restaurant features Chef Dennis' Original Oyster Doubloon: oysters minced with herbs and shaped into a coin, cornmeal coated and sautŽed under jumbo lump crab meat and served with beurre blanc. Fried oysters are served with a white remoulade sauce at Southside CafŽ. Red Fish Grill spices up its barbecue oysters with Crystal barbecue sauce. Ralph's on the Park lays P&J oysters on a bed of baby spinach with applewood-smoked bacon, jalapenos, sweet peppers and tomatoes, and tops it all with bŽchamel sauce to create baked oysters Ralph. Grilled oysters are topped with Brie cream, shiitake mushrooms and bacon at Mat & Naddies's. At Cooter Brown's Tavern, the oyster shucker is as busy as the bartenders serving dozens of bivalves on the half-shell. Arnaud's Restaurant created oysters Bienville, the baked oyster dish topped with shrimp, mushrooms, green onions, herbs and white wine sauce. La Petite Grocery serves Breton Sound roasted oysters with green chile bacon butter and manchego cheese. The evening bistro menu at Albertine's at the Columns Hotel serves a version of oysters Rockefeller with spinach, artichoke and Parmesan cheese on top of fried oysters. Riccobono's Peppermill Restaurant's namesake oysters Riccobono is an Italian accented dish of oysters baked with bell peppers, garlic and housemade breadcrumbs with white wine and olive oil. Zeke's serves chargrilled oysters on the half shell with housemade sauce and French bread. Fried oysters wrapped in bacon are served with meuniere sauce at New City Grille. Upperline Restaurant created oysters St. Claude -- fried oysters topped with spicy garlic sauce -- in honor the now closed Mandich Restaurant. The original Acme Oyster House is one of the French Quarter's most popular spots for a dozen raw oysters on the half shell. MiLa Restaurant's signature oysters Rockefeller "deconstructed" is a dish of delicately poached oysters accented with bacon, shrimp, a hint of anise and butter foam. Salvatore Ristorante serves charbroiled oysters topped with garlic, Romano and Parmesan cheeses. Diners head out to Mosca's for the namesake oysters baked with herbs and breading.

Pancakes

Pancakes offer a simple but hearty way to start the day. Oak Street CafŽ loads up its pancake platter with two fluffy flapjacks, two eggs any style and your choice of breakfast meat. Pancakes are the specialty at Dot's Diner which sweetens the batter with a choice of blueberries, bananas, strawberries or chocolate chips. Among the options at Betsy's Pancake House are stacks of flapjacks with blueberries and whipped cream. For a stack of banana walnut pancakes, visit Louie & the Redhead Lady.

Pasta

Soft pasta is the bedrock foundation on which just about every cuisine rests some of its most popular dishes. There's no shortage of variety in local kitchens. Ristorante da Piero stuffs house-made tortellini Romagnoli with ricotta salad and spinach. A featured variety at Tony Moran's Restaurant is the fettuccine carbonara with ham. Chicken Sue's baked macaroni comes loaded with cheese and covered with roast beef gravy on request. The seafood pasta at Pizza Florence is penne with shrimp and crawfish tails in rich Alfredo sauce. Stingray's Seafood and Grill dishes up its seafood pasta with shrimp, oysters, crawfish and crabmeat tossed with Alfredo sauce. Get decadent at CafŽ Lynn with a four cheese crabmeat cannelloni. Keep the vampires at bay with Tujague's garlic seafood pasta sporting mussels, oysters and shrimp. Pat O'Brien's offers a lighter dish for the summer months with a lemon vodka shrimp pasta. Before digging into dessert at Copeland's Cheesecake Bistro, try the angel hair pasta tossed with tomatoes, ribbons of fresh basil, garlic and white wine. Roux Bistro's seafood pasta combines shrimp, crawfish, crabmeat and crab fingers and tops them with garlic Parmesan cream sauce. CafŽ Rani makes its namesake Rani pasta with shrimp and eggplant. At Baru Bistro & Tapas, Mazorca is a dish of Columbian gnocchi with grilled corn and salty farmers' cheese topped with crunchy potato sticks. At Honey Dee's, chicken is topped with a rich Florentine Alfredo sauce and served with bread and salad. Shrimp Alfredo features jumbo shrimp and cream sauce over linguine at Then, Now and Next CafŽ at Four Points by Sheraton. Ristorante del Porto serves housemade cavatelli pasta with shrimp, lemon-braised artichoke, housemade guanciale (unsmoked bacon made from pig jowls), tomatoes and fresh herbs. Just Italy Deli serves spaghetti and meatballs with a red sauce studded with bits of roasted pork. Italian Pie bakes manicotti stuffed with mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan cheeses and topped with marinara. Applebee's serves grilled shrimp pesto Alfredo over fettuccine with shaved Parmesan cheese and sun-dried tomato focaccia bread on the side. Isabella Pizzeria's pasta cucina tops linguine with shrimp, crawfish, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, green onions and parsley.

Pizza

Pizza offers the best slice of life for many ingredients. Here are a few local favorites. Trumpet virtuosos and singing frogs alike are sure to enjoy Kermit's barbecue chicken pizza at Rotolo's Pizzeria. Wrap things up with a Supreme Pizza Turnover at Mo's Pizza. Take Stella out to Sugar Park Tavern for A Pizza Named Desire, featuring shrimp, andouille and jalapeno. Theo's Pizza offers Hippie Pizza with green peppers, onions, black olives, banana peppers, spicy tomato, mozzarella and fresh mushrooms, man. Taqueria Corona takes it south of the border with the ham Mexican pizza topped with salsa verde and guacamole. Simplicity is bliss at Sandro's Trattoria where diners will find the Neapolitan, a savory serving of Roma tomatoes, basil and mozzarella on focaccia. World's Healthiest Pizza defends its title with the superbiotic pizza, a prebiotic multi-grain crust topped with eight vegetables. Reginelli's Pizzeria piles on Gorgonzola, fontina, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses with red sauce and green onions on its Quatro. Mark Twain's Pizza Landing invites you overseas with the Innocents Abroad Pizza, on whose shores you'll find salami, tomatoes, Italian sausage, artichoke and basil. At Wit's Inn, the Wit's Works piles pepperoni, ham, Italian sausage, Roma tomatoes, green peppers, artichoke hearts, red onions and black olives -- and jalapenos and anchovies by request -- on top of hand-tossed dough with the house red sauce. At the Balcony Bar and CafŽ, the pesto bianca is a pie made with mozzarella, pesto sauce, Parmesan and feta cheeses, roasted garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. Brooklyn Pizza offers thin New York-style crusts under pies like its Special with pepperoni, Italian sausage, beef, Canadian bacon, onions, bell peppers, black olives and mushrooms. Rocky's Gourmet Pizza combines pepperoni, sausage, red peppers and jalapenos on its Wild Tchoupitoulas pie. Slice Pizzeria makes a thin-crust white pie topped with olive oil, minced garlic and ricotta, Romano and mozzarella cheeses. Sugar Park Tavern tops its Zephyr pizza with spicy housemade adobo sauce, tomatoes, mushrooms and fresh garlic. Thick Sicilian crust pizzas are served at CafŽ Nino. Isabella's Pizzeria's Four Seasons pie combines a quarter each of four popular gourmet pies. Bourbon Street revelers head to Mango Mango when they need a slice to keep them going.

Po-Boys

Any good po-boy should be easy on the wallet and rich in flavor. Parkway Tavern & Bakery, renowned for all varieties of po-boys, specializes in the hot roast beef variety. The Taste of Italy po-boy at Muffaletta's Deli stacks ham, salami, provolone and Parmesan on French bread with lettuce, tomato and house vinaigrette. Mahoney's Po-boys puts a sweet twist on an old favorite with its root beer-glazed Chisesi ham and cheese po-boy. While roast beef generally enjoys first chair in the world of hot po-boys, the Seafood Galley and Deli invites connoisseurs to enjoy a hot ham version. Keep the corned beef, sauerkraut and Russian dressing, lose the Rye and you have a po-boy-style Reuben at Magazine Po-boy Shop. New Orleans Hamburger & Seafood Co. is all about the numbers: shrimp po-boys come in shrimp counts of 60 or 80. For some brotherly love, order up a Philly cheese steak po-boy from Jigger's Grill. For those who think a half-and-half shrimp and catfish po-boy is just too exclusive, the Corner CafŽ adds oysters, stuffed crab and French fries to the party on the Seafood Platter po-boy. Mark Twain's Pizza Landing steps up to the plate with its slow-cooked roast beef seasoned with plenty of black pepper and garlic, and served in a po-boy. CafŽ Navarre's serves roast beef debris style on Leidenheimer French bread. The roast beef po-boy at Fat City Diner features homemade roast beef topped with gravy made from the drippings. Domilise's Po-boys is a favorite spot for many who like their sandwich loaded with well-seasoned fried popcorn shrimp. Walker's Southern Style Bar-B-Que is known for its cochon de lait po-boy dressed with cabbage and creamy Cajun sauce. DiMartino's Muffulettas serves its roast beef po-boy made with housemade slow-cooked beef served on crusty French bread. NOLA Grocery serves a po-boy of chicken patties made with breast meat, garlic, pepper and spicy Cajun seasonings. The Alibi Bar and Grill's meatball po-boy is topped with marinara and a choice of mozzarella, provolone, cheddar or Swiss cheese. At Guy's Po-boys, the roast beef comes dressed and dripping with gravy. Also popular for gravy-drenched roast beef po-boys is Parasol's in the Irish Channel. The cochon de lait po-boy at Good Earth Market is served on French bread with pickles and mayo.

Pork

"Pork fat rules," says chef Emeril Lagasse, but let's not forget the pork. NOLA Restaurant grills a pork porterhouse and serves it with brown sugar-glazed sweet potatoes and caramelized onion reduction sauce. La Casa Gomez lets patrons in on the family recipe of marinated pork roast with garlic and onions served with black beans, white rice and plantains. Panasia offers an Eastern-style bun thit nuong, charbroiled pork and lettuce. The souvlaki plate at Mr. Gyros is marinated and grilled lean pork served with oven-roasted potatoes, tzatziki sauce and pita bread. Smoked pork loin with peppercorn demi-glace is a popular entrŽe at Clancy's. Todaro's Restaurant marinates a 10-oz. pork chop in red wine, garlic, rosemary and thyme before cooking it and serving it with pear demi-glace. Brigtsen's pulled pork is served with a corn macque choux griddlecake and pepper jelly glaze. You'll find a tasso-cornbread dressing inside 7 on Fulton's blackened stuffed pork. A favorite at Southside CafŽ is the Pontchartrain Pig Sandwich, thinly sliced pork on Texas toast with Swiss cheese and barbecue sauce. Roast pork shares the stage with shrimp and chicken in the stir-fried Fong's Triple Threat at Fong's Chinese and Cantonese Restaurant. Roasted pork finds itself grilled and pressed along with ham, Swiss, mayo, yellow mustard and pickles on CafŽ Navarre's Cuban sandwich. For the sweet-toothed carnivore, Elizabeth's tempts with housemade praline bacon with brunch or in other dishes. Sweet and spicy barbecue pork fills a burrito option at Nacho Mama's Mexican Grill. One of the down and dirty specials on Savvy Gourmet's changing gourmet-to-go menu is the pork loin stuffed with dirty rice served over braised vegetables. For barbecue pork, head to Shane's Rib Shack for a platter completed with sides like baked beans, fries, collard greens, corn on the cob, mac and cheese or Brunswick stew. At Club 300 Jazz Bistro, the pork tenderloin with portobello mushroom is served with a red wine reduction and mashed potatoes. At Hostel New Orleans, Drunken Pig is actually a bit more refined than it sounds with a Drambuie-glazed pork chop accompanied by bourbon sweet potatoes and smothered Napa cabbage. Little Tokyo in Mid-City offers pork in traditional gyoza dumplings, or pot stickers, served with soy garlic dipping sauce. At 13 Monaghan, the pulled pork sandwich isn't made with barbecue pork but meat slow cooked with garlic and cayenne pepper and served on French bread with pickled cabbage coleslaw. Vietnamese-style charbroiled pork is served atop vermicelli noodles at Bambu at Harrah's. At Rocky's Gourmet Pizza, there's pork all over the Magazine Street Pizza topped with Italian sausage, pepperoni, tasso and mushrooms. Country Flame's puerco frito features tender pork that is marinated for days and then fried and served with yucca, rice, French fries or tostones. La Casa Gomez serves roast pork with black beans, fried plantains and white rice. Restaurant Filippo grills pork chops and serves them with garlic mashed potatoes and a vegetable medley. Lago serves pork wontons with Asian slaw and sweet chile sauce. Gimchi serves a Korean casserole of spicy pork, kimchi, tofu and broth called kimchi jigae. Ristorante del Porto grills a center cut pork chop and serves it with peach and pepper marmalade and a scallion potato cake.

Potato

Potatoes put the starch in many local dishes. Slim Goodies Diner keeps it kosher (sort of) with the Jewish Coonass, a pair of potato latkes topped with fresh spinach, two eggs, crawfish etouffŽe and a biscuit. O'Brien's Grill goes to sea with a potato-crusted fillet of mahi-mahi. Beat the heat with Obee's summertime cool and creamy baked potato salad. CafŽ Beignet keeps it on the bayou with Cajun Hashbrowns, sautŽed with andouille, bell pepper and red onions. Honey Dee's serves an old fashioned potato and gravy po-boy. The Boudreaux fries at Bruno's Tavern are sweet potato fries topped with roast beef debris, bleu cheese crumbles, pecans and golden raisins. McAlister's Deli stews up a pot roast potato smothered in homemade gravy. As if a jumbo sweet potato might not be enough, Cheesesteak Bistro stuffs its spud with grilled ham, pineapple, Swiss and cinnamon. Kanno California Sushi Bar's sweet potato croquettes are deep fried sweet potato cakes with Japanese barbecue sauce. Baking just doesn't cut it at the Texas Bar-B-Que Company, where the smoked potato is stuffed with chopped beef and topped with barbecue sauce, melted cheddar and chives. Yams take a sweet turn at K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen in the sweet potato pecan pie. At Salt 'N' Pepper, vegetarian samosas are crispy pastries stuffed with potatoes, cilantro and cumin. Satisfy late night cravings with 13 Monaghan's tator tachos, a potato version of nachos topped with cheese, jalapenos, black beans and salsa. At Moonlight CafŽ, Mud Spuds are potato skins loaded with smoked pulled pork, cheddar cheese, barbecue sauce, sour cream and chives.

Quail

There's no good reason a turducken couldn't accommodate a tiny and tasty quail, but the little bird doesn't really need the larger fowl. Grand Isle Restaurant serves barbecue quail with Creole meuniere sauce, creamy grits and collard greens. Chim cut muong is a marinated and roasted Vietnamese recipe for quail served at Tan Dinh. Cafe Lynn's quail is marinated in olive oil, herbs and lemon before being pan roasted. Maple Street CafŽ serves a pair of free range quail stuffed with Gorgonzola and roasted mushrooms and topped with Merlot demi-glace.

Quesadilla

Packed with flavor, inexpensive and served up quick, it's no wonder "quesadilla" is one of the first Spanish words native New Orleanians learn. To continue the language lesson, the spicy ground Mexican sausage called chorizo spikes up the quesadillas at Felipe's Taqueria. The tiny French Quarter cafŽ Jazz Tacos delivers big Central American flavors with its quesadilla mariscos filled with local seafood. The quesadilla Rio Grande at Metairie's Taqueria Rio Grande offers the option of fried corn tortillas stuffed with cheese and a choice of meats ranging from al pastor-style pork to beef tongue. For something a little different, the kitchen crew at Juan's Flying Burrito combines grilled Gulf shrimp, applewood-smoked bacon and pineapple salsa with cheese for its luau quesadilla. The Gulf Coast can get a taste of a West Coast quesadilla with plenty of pico de gallo, jalapenos and sour cream from Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar & Restaurant. The quesadillas are crowd pleasers at F&M Patio Bar and Grill, available with grilled onions and peppers and a choice of chicken or alligator sausage. Ernst CafŽ in the Warehouse District takes convenience food a step further with its quesadilla rolls, helping facilitate eating when one hand might be occupied by a beverage. Nacho Mama's Mexican Grill ranges far north of the border with its steak and potatoes quesadilla. Joe Perry's "Rock Your World" quesadilla is a chili-dusted tortilla with grilled chicken, Jack cheese and pineapple tossed in barbecue sauce at Hard Rock CafŽ. Duck quesadillas is a good side dish to nosh on while sampling the wide selection of beers at Lagers International Ale House. Rivershack Tavern offers a deconstructed hangar steak quesadilla, which is grilled hangar steak served with roasted chiles, tomatillo sauce and flour tortillas. Black bean and chicken quesadilla rolls are popular appetizers at Beachcorner Bar & Grill.

Rabbit

It has not quite earned bragging rights as the other white meat, but rabbit is nonetheless turning up on more local menus. Rabbit gets a gentle preparation at 7 on Fulton in the Warehouse District, where slow-braised leg meat and pan-seared rabbit hash cake are accompanied by rabbit jus and black truffle grits. At Bayona, chef Susan Spicer stuffs rabbit tenderloin with foie gras and pairs it with a panŽed rabbit leg and apple Riesling sauce. In Kenner, the northern Italian-style Ristorante da Piero serves a roasted McCloud's rabbit with Madeira, rabbit and sage glace and wilted heirloom kale, rosemary focaccia and grilled tomatoes. At the Windsor Court, the New Orleans Grill puts an Italian twist on rabbit with a saltimbocca preparation that wraps filets with prosciutto and sage. Marigny Brasserie also wraps prosciutto around its rabbit tenderloin, which is braised in sun-dried tomato broth and served over pappardelle pasta with spinach. Mississippi rabbit gets a local accent at Patois, where it is panŽed and served with butter beans, Swiss chard, pancetta and Creole mustard sauce. Also in a rustic vein, Cochon cooks and serves its rabbit and dumplings in a skillet. At Bistro 38, chef Dominique Macquet slow cooks braised rabbit and serves it over garlic linguini. Rabbit and sausage jambalaya is an old favorite at Coop's Place.

Ravioli

Some say ravioli is all about the pasta and others say it's all about the filling, but either way, it's a winning package of flavor. At the brewpub Gordon Biersch, ravioli are stuffed with goat cheese and finished with sautŽed mushrooms, spinach, pine nuts and fresh rosemary. The ricotta ravioli with light tomato gravy duels for patrons' attention with the sports memorabilia decking the walls at Impastato's Restaurant in Metairie. Maine lobster and Gulf shrimp come together as a memorable ravioli filling for one of the house specialties at Bacco, Ralph Brennan's French Quarter Italian restaurant. Around the corner at Carmelo Ristorante, the ravioli are stuffed with crabmeat and shrimp. A cream of sweet corn finishes the crabmeat ravioli at Lola Restaurant in Covington. At Cristiano Ristorante, the ravioli take on a Caribbean accent with a filling of lobster, mango and red onions. Bistro Daisy stuffs its ravioli with crawfish tails and mascarpone. At the Country Club, chef Miles Prescott makes fresh sweet pea ravioli served with cipollini onions, Gruyere cheese and pea tendrils. At Ardoise, crabmeat ravioli is one of the signature housemade pasta dishes. Meauxbar serves beet and ricotta ravioli with ginger sage beurre noisette.

Red Beans and Rice

Monday may be the traditional day for red beans and rice in New Orleans, but this locals' favorite can be found on a myriad number of menus any day of the week. At the Gumbo Shop, red beans and rice is served with smoked sausage. T. LeBlanc's Creole Kitchen puts its spin on the traditional recipe, slow cooking pots of beans and serving them with smoked or hot sausage on Mondays and Thursdays. The beans and rice with sausage or fried chicken has long sustained patrons at Fat Harry's on St. Charles Avenue. Home-style red beans and rice with a choice of pork, beef or chicken augment the barbecue options at the Metairie location of Corky's Ribs & Bar-B-Q. Robert Fresh Market offers red beans and rice as a Monday special complete with braised cabbage at the grocery store's take-out deli. In Abita Springs, Camellia CafŽ serves a traditional version of red beans and rice. Stick around for lunch at Betsy's Pancake House and order red beans and rice with either smoked sausage, hot sausage or a ham shank. The red beans and rice at Ted's Frostop are served with either smoked or hot sausage and salad and French bread.

Redfish

Blackened redfish was once so popular it threatened to deplete the entire species until the fish had to be protected by law. The fish appears in many local dishes, however, and is plentiful again. Jacques-Imo's CafŽ blackens its redfish and serves it with a crabmeat chili hollandaise. Redfish is fried and treated to Latin American accompaniments at Pupuseria La Macarena in Metairie. Nuvolari's in Mandeville chargrills its redfish fillets before adding a pecan, crabmeat and satsuma meuniere sauce. Redfish also makes an appearance between the two marquee dishes at Star Steak & Lobster House, where the redfish is sautŽed and topped with crawfish and mushroom cream sauce. The redfish Pontchartrain at the Pontchartrain Point CafŽ in West End is served with mushrooms and green onion lemon-butter sauce. Naturally, redfish gets its due at Ralph Brennan's Red Fish Grill, where fillets are grilled over hickory wood, topped with crawfish and lemon butter sauce and served with tasso and wild mushroom Pontalba potatoes. At Austin's Restaurant, redfish Pontchartrain features a grilled fillet topped with spinach and artichokes. Grilled skin-on, Redfish on the Half Shell is topped with crabmeat and soft herbs at Dante's Kitchen. Semolina's redfish Chauvin is a fillet topped with sautŽed shrimp in a spicy cream sauce, all resting on a bed of angel hair pasta with spinach, mushrooms and garlic. La C#246;te Brasserie serves pan-roasted redfish with grilled tomatoes, housemade pickles and jumbo lump crab ravigote. At Crescent City Brewhouse, redfish St. Louis tops a pan-seared fillet with fried oysters in barbecue sauce made with butter, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. The Alpine Bistro's redfish "Amer" tops a sautŽed fillet with crawfish and mushroom sauce. At Emeril's Restaurant, andouille-crusted redfish with Creole meuniere sauce is a big taste of local flavor. Nathan's Restaurant in Slidell broils skin-on redfish stuffed with shrimp and tops it with lemon butter sauce.

Ribs

Where there's smoke there's usually fire, but it's better when there also are ribs in the equation. Wet ribs at Abita Bar-B-Q in Abita Springs get a Cajun touch with the addition of boudin dressing as a Friday special. A dry rub of spices and hearty dose of smoke go into the St. Louis-style pork spareribs at The Joint in the Bywater, where they are served as a rib plate, half rack or full slab. Ground Pat'I Grille and Bar offers a combo plate of slow-cooked ribs and chargrilled chicken covered in housemade barbecue sauce. The chipotle-rubbed ribs at Tomatillo's on Esplanade Avenue are served with black beans and roasted corn. The mango barbecue ribs are available as either a half or full rack at Calypso Patio Bar & Grill along with side items and a salad. For something completely different, Korea House Restaurant serves Korean-style ribs marinated in spicy seasonings and cooked at your table over charcoal. Shane's Rib Shack offers whole and half racks of baby back ribs glazed with its house barbecue sauce and served with side dish options like baked beans, corn on the cob, mac and cheese or Brunswick stew. At the Crescent City Brewhouse, Brewhouse ribs are pork ribs slow cooked with barbecue sauce and served with potatoes and corn on the cob. Vega Tapas CafŽ applies Moroccan spices to its grilled pork ribs and serves then with sherry glaze. Lago braises beef short ribs and serves them with crispy onions, sweet potato bread pudding and red wine demi-glace. Applebee's serves its signature baby back ribs in honey barbecue sauce with coleslaw and French fries.

Rice

Rice goes with red beans and plenty of other complements at local eateries. At Sukho Thai in the Faubourg Marigny, the pineapple fried rice is a tropical favorite of jasmine rice fried in a wok with shrimp, pineapple, egg and vegetables. Lola's Spanish paella is prepared with Arborio rice, saffron, garlic and a choice of meat, seafood or vegetables. Big Easy rice is the kitchen's take on jambalaya at the Fox and Hound English Pub & Grille in Elmwood, where it accompanies dishes like the blackened mahi mahi. At CafŽ 59, Asian-Cajun fried rice is made with diced pork loin, bacon, peas and carrots and served with two egg rolls. The seafood paella at Liborio's Cuban Restaurant is a made with saffron and white wine.

Salad

The most popular way to go green during the summer is to look for the salad selections on the menu. The big turkey salad at Vianne's Tea Salon & CafŽ in Mandeville features organic greens topped with smoked turkey, egg salad, blue cheese crumbles, spiced pecans and a choice of housemade dressings. Royal Blend Coffee & Tea locations in Metairie and the French Quarter serve the Uptowner salad with baby greens, apples, fresh and sun-dried tomato, red onion and blue cheese. Chef Kevin Vizard prepares Palmyra Island salad with crabmeat and shrimp on romaine with a Creole cognac and chive dressing at Vizard's on Magazine Street. The spinach salad at Pizza Florence is popular thanks to its large portion of shrimp and a touch of garlic sauce. Ruth's chopped salad at Ruth's Chris Steak House is a classic mix of iceberg lettuce, spinach and radicchio tossed with red onions, mushrooms, green olives, bacon, eggs, hearts of palm and blue cheese. Maddie's Place in Metairie mixes its Greek salad with a blend of spinach and romaine, red onion, kalamata and black olives and feta cheese. At Nicole's Italian Cuisine, the kitchen prepares its Well Known Italian Salad with artichoke hearts, banana peppers, tomatoes and lettuce tossed with a special house dressing. The popcorn shrimp salad at Magazine Po-Boy Shop is made with homemade remoulade dressing and lemon and served with French bread. Vitality Juice Java Smoothie Bar combines the three C's -- grilled chicken, feta cheese and cranberries -- for its Fleur de C salad, served with a Vitality balsamic apple vinaigrette. The chicken curry salad at Welty's Deli is a popular choice for its blend of roasted chicken, celery, parsley, green onions, apples, walnuts, raisins and curry seasoning over greens. Jumbo boiled shrimp, grape tomatoes, cucumber and purple onions mix it up in the Peepaw salad at Seither's in Harahan. Before getting to the fondue at the Melting Pot, a popular starter is the tropical salad made with mangoes, hearts of palm, coconut-encrusted cashews and creamy citrus dressing over romaine and field greens. At Marigny Perks, the Barrista Special is a salad of greens, tomato, ham, Swiss and American cheeses served with a choice of ranch, honey-mustard or Thousand Island dressing. At the Audubon Clubhouse, the Audubon salad combines greens with Mandarin oranges, avocado, roasted almonds, blue cheese and blue cheese dressing. The Soprano salad at CafŽ Rani is a mix of pesto-crusted chicken, olives, artichokes, tomatoes, Swiss, mozzarella and provolone cheeses and Parmesan dressing. Maytag blue cheese is the highlight of a salad with strawberries and walnuts at St. James Cheese Company. Fried shrimp with remoulade sauce top a salad at Honey Dee's. The grilled chicken Tex-Mex salad at Bayou Coffee House & Wine Bar combines tomato, black olives and cheddar cheese with romaine lettuce tossed in spicy ranch dressing with chips and salsa on the side. Natz CafŽ's Flour Power is a salad of sliced strawberries, candied nuts, goat cheese and mixed greens tossed in balsamic vinaigrette. Lafitte's CafŽ serves its Cobb salad of chicken breast, bacon, diced eggs, blue cheese and avocado in a crisp tortilla shell. La Crpe Nanou prepares a traditional French salade Nioise with tuna, egg and potato over greens with black olives, green beans and anchovies. NOLA Beans serves its Bayou Bacon Spinach Salad of spinach and feta with warm bacon dressing and diners can opt to add grilled chicken. At Markey's, the BLT salad is a mix of romaine, smoked bacon, tomato, cucumber, carrot, scallions, blue cheese and choice of dressing.

Salmon

This easy-to-love cold water fish has spawned countless local dishes. The Gordon Biersch brewpub bakes a pecan-crusted salmon on a cedar plank with a dill cream sauce. Atlantic salmon with sweet balsamic glaze is grilled over hickory at Zea Rotisserie and Grill. Lightly salted and grilled salmon shioyaki is the centerpiece of a popular dinner entrŽe combination plate at Horinoya. Demand for rainbow rolls with salmon, tuna, avocado, roe and snow crab keeps the sushi chefs at Oki Nago busy. At Sushi Brothers on St. Charles Avenue, the Special Brothers roll features with salmon tempura and cream cheese wrapped in rice and topped with fresh salmon and avocado. Traditional lox and cream cheese bagels at Kosher Cajun New York Deli & Grocery are layered with thinly-sliced salmon. Forrest won't catch salmon in the Gulf, but Bubba Gump Shrimp Company still serves a salmon and vegetable skillet with capers and herb butter on top and jasmine rice on the side. At Hip Stix Asian Fusion, a salmon fillet rests on baby bok choy in a red curry sauce packed with scallops. Salmon croquettes is one of the tapas options at CafŽ Arabesque. Salmon goes Mediterranean at Semolina's Bistro Italia, which serves pan-seared salmon on a bed of sautŽed zucchini with pistachio citrus aioli. At Little Tokyo in Mid-City, salmon tataki is served in slices sashimi-style with ponzu sauce. Grilled salmon with barbecue sauce, black beans and vegetables is a popular lunch option at Blue Plate CafŽ. St. Charles Avenue Japanese Sushi Buffet serves entrees like salmon teriyaki with soup and salad. At CafŽ Envie, salmon and Swiss cheese quiche is topped with prosciutto.

Sandwich

The creativity of local sandwich makers is hardly constrained to the po-boy. Koz's in Harahan brings it all together with its chamber sandwich made with roast beef, ham, turkey, Swiss and American cheeses, Creole mustard, mayo and Italian salad dressing. The Milneburg is one of the Lakeshore Drive sandwich specials at Lafitte's CafŽ near the lakefront, combining grilled corned beef, pastrami, roast beef and Swiss cheese on toasted rye bread. The Old Metairie sandwich offers a fresh taste of chicken salad, bacon, avocado and tomato at Royal Blend Coffee & Tea. The Royal croissant is loaded with ham and white cheddar plus honey mustard dressing at CafŽ Beignet. The Ch#226;teau Coffee House and CafŽ features the Santa Fe chicken sandwich made with grilled chicken, salsa, avocado and a cheese blend on an onion bun. The roasted chicken panino with fire-roasted peppers and onions, Monterey Jack cheese and ranch dressing is a crowd pleaser at Espresso Express on the ground floor of One Shell Square. A 7-inch round panino filled with ham, roast beef, turkey, cheese and red pepper mayonnaise is the Royale special at CafŽ Royale. Welty's Deli offers its classic CBD club with ham, turkey and bacon stacked up on a choice of breads. Gelato Pazzo CafŽ on Oak Street prepares a caprese panino with fresh-milk mozzarella, Roma tomatoes and basil pesto on ciabatta bread. Another Italian sandwich is the hoagie at Stein's Market and Deli made with imported mortadella, Genoa salami, hot capicola, aged provolone and housemade vinaigrette on a foot-long roll. Puccino's in Metairie also offers an Italian-inspired sandwich with its Roman chicken panino made with herbed chicken, olive pesto, arugula, bacon and mozzarella on a choice of bread. The signature sandwich at Kosher Cajun New York Deli & Grocery is the J&N special, combining hot corned beef and hot pastrami, mustard, horseradish and coleslaw on rye bread. The traditional Cuban sandwich is the specialty of the house at Churros CafŽ, where the ham, roasted pork and Swiss are pressed on buttered French bread brushed with mustard. At the Audubon Golf Clubhouse, the Philly cheesesteak sandwich is served with onion rings. The Bean Gallery's prosciutto and asparagus sourdough panini includes prosciutto de Parma, grilled asparagus, fresh mozzarella and pesto sauce. The Cuban sandwich features roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and Creole mustard at Beck-N-Call CafŽ. CafŽ Banquette distinguishes its Prytania sandwich by pouring gravy on top of the stack of ham, turkey, roast beef and Swiss cheese. Cooter Brown's Tavern serves an Italian hoagie piled high with Genoa salami, smoked ham, Swiss and provolone cheeses, lettuce, tomato and an oil, vinegar and oregano dressing. La Boulangerie serves ham and Swiss cheese on a fresh baked baguette. Natz CafŽ also offers its Izzy salad -- ham, turkey, bacon, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and honey mustard dressing -- as a sandwich or wrap. Burgers Gone Wild spices up its options with a Wild Cajun Chicken sandwich. At Lafitte's CafŽ, the Privateer is a chicken breast fried with Italian breadcrumbs, tossed in Buffalo sauce, topped with bacon, cheddar, Swiss cheese and ranch and served on a toasted bun. At Just Italy Deli & Market, the Phillipo sandwich features garlicky roast pork loin, capicola and ricotta cheese. The Blue Mambo at Covenant CafŽ is a chicken breast panini with blue cheese and red onion. SucrŽ serves its parma ham and Gruyere cheese sandwich on croissant. At Stop 9 Refueling Station, the Cuban sandwich features roast pork, sliced ham, pickles and yellow mustard pressed on Cuban bread. Markey's prepares a Buffalo chicken sandwich by tossing boneless fried chicken strips in Buffalo sauce and serving them on a Kaiser roll with blue cheese dressing.

Sausage

New Orleans may be a little shy on chains, but there's no doubt we love our links. Voodoo BBQ & Grill keeps it real with its Cajun smoked sausage sandwich or po-boy. Argentine sausage takes center stage (with steak, chicken and shrimp) on the parrillada Don Victor at Don Victor's Fine Latin American Restaurant in Kenner. The sausage wrap at Mo's Pizza in Westwego swaddles a link of Italian sausage in pizza dough. The Cheesesteak Bistro in Covington branches out from its namesake to present a Polish sausage sub with onions, green peppers and provolone cheese. New at The Joint in the Bywater is a locally made Creole-style smoked chaurice sausage with garlic and jalapenos, served as a sandwich or a plate lunch. Get smoked sausage charbroiled and topped with lettuce, tomato, pickles and hickory smoked sauce at Bud's Broiler. At Emeril's Restaurant, housemade boudin and andouille sausage with beer-braised onions, whole-grain mustard and housemade Worcestershire sauce is a popular appetizer. Around the corner, The Creole Skillet serves a trio of andouille, boudin and alligator sausage with Tabasco barbecue and orange-mustard sauces. Also in the Warehouse District, NOLA Grocery serves a peppery boudin from Cajun country. Carnaval Grill & Bar & Churrascaria serves Brazilian linguica, a pork sausage full of herbs and spices.

Scallops

They're not found in marshy coastal waters like local oysters, but scallops are a very popular bivalve with New Orleans diners. The Tea Garden in Metairie matches its Hunan-style scallops with shrimp for a popular dinner choice. Chef Susan Spicer prepares a seared scallop with artichoke and lemon couscous, arugula and green olive tapenade as an appetizer at Bayona. Seared scallops are paired with roasted eggplant and garlic confit and finished with huckleberry and balsamic vinegar reduction at One Restaurant & Lounge. Zöe at the W Hotel in the CBD serves its seared scallops with creamy Tuscan corn grits and mushroom ragout. Scallops and beef are united by the house-special brown sauce at Red Star Chinese Restaurant on Earhart Boulevard. The Killer Scallops at Rock-n-Sake are sautŽed in garlic butter sauce and served over a bed of mixed greens. Scallops are doused with lobster sauce for a combination lunch at Christina's Empress of China, complete with fried rice and spring rolls. Sun Ray Grill loads a puff pastry bowl with shrimp and scallops that are pan-roasted with lemon and herb-infused olive oil. New Bedford sea scallops are wood-grilled and served atop wild mushroom risotto with mushroom butter at GW Fins. Paillard's Restaurant serves its pan-seared scallops with potatoes, haricot vert and white wine sauce. At Gautreau's, seared sea scallops are served with a cauliflower cream. China Rose serves scallops and shrimp cooked with Chinese vegetables and a light white sauce.

Seafood Platter

The seafood platter has been easing the mealtime decision-making process for years. The Corner CafŽ in Metairie compiles a seafood platter for two with two cups of gumbo, two side salads and a bounty of stuffed jalapeno peppers, onion rings, crab balls, hush puppies, shrimp, oysters, catfish, stuffed shrimp, popcorn shrimp and baby soft-shell crabs. French fries, salad and toast merely set the scene for a platter of fried oysters, shrimp, fish, stuffed crab and stuffed shrimp at Jan's Cajun Restaurant in Lafitte. At the Embers "Original" Bourbon House, the platter comes with shrimp, oysters, catfish and a stuffed crab. Grand Isle Restaurant prepares a refreshing chilled rendition, combining lump crab, crab claws, boiled shrimp and raw oysters with a variety of sauces. Lacombe's New Orleans Bistro starts its Satchmo Super Seafood Platter with a cup of soup and a salad before delivering fried shrimp, boiled shrimp, stuffed shrimp, fried catfish, fried oysters and a crab cake. For a lighter approach, II Tony's Restaurant offers a grilled seafood platter with shrimp, catfish, broiled oysters and crab cakes with a side of pasta and a soup of the day. Pontchartrain Point West End keeps it traditional with fried shrimp, oysters, catfish strips and a stuffed crab on its seafood platter. La C#246;te Brasserie's grand platter is a large-enough-to-share combination of chilled ceviches, seafood salads, raw oysters, boiled shrimp and mussels. At Louie and the Redhead Lady, the seafood platter is a mix of catfish, shrimp, oysters, soft-shell crab and a mini crab cake served with potato salad, vegetable and salad. The seafood platter at Lake View Harbor rounds up a catch of catfish, shrimp and oysters to go with a crab cake and choice of French fries or baked potato. At Big Al's Seafood, Big Al's Combo is a big bundle of fried catfish, oysters and soft-shell crab. The 3 Combo seafood platter at Kjean Seafood features shrimp, catfish, oysters, lettuce, tomato, buttered bread and choice of French fries or potato salad. Camellia CafŽ's seafood platter includes fried oysters, shrimp, catfish, stuffed crab, stuffed shrimp, hush puppies and two side dishes. Morton's Seafood Restaurant serves a Seafood Boat filled with fried shrimp, oysters, catfish, french fries and a salad on the side.

Shrimp

Jumbo shrimp may be an oxymoron, but shrimp are the little crustaceans that could in many local dishes. The Beef Connection in Gretna goes to the sea for its rendition of New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp in butter and pepper sauce. Stir-fried spicy prawns make a popular shrimp dish at China Orchid in the Riverbend, complete with snow peas, mushrooms, asparagus and steamed rice. Madisonville's Water Street Bistro prepares grilled Gulf shrimp with olive oil sun-dried tomatoes, olives, garlic, capers and other vegetables over linguine. The citrus shrimp salad at Mimi's Italian and Seafood Restaurant in River Ridge is a refreshing combination of shrimp, dried berries, honey-glazed nuts, sweet onions and local citrus drizzled with honey and sour cream dressing. RioMar simply marinates shrimp in citrus juice and adds tomato for its Ecuadorian ceviche, garnished with popcorn. Perched on the bayou in Crown Point, Restaurant des Familles serves shrimp in lemon, butter and garlic sauce with mushrooms and green onions over pasta for its popular shrimp Diane. Mandina's offers a classic rendition of shrimp remoulade made with boiled shrimp over lettuce with the kitchen's signature remoulade sauce. Crazy Johnnie's Steakhouse puts its own spin on barbecue shrimp with its "giant dippin' shrimp" in a rich butter sauce with plenty of French bread. Don Victor's Fine Latin American Restaurant gives local shrimp Central American flavor in its camarones de Guatemala with roasted tomato sauce. The shrimp Jalisco are stuffed with asadero cheese and jalapenos and wrapped with bacon at Serranos Salsa Company. The sizzling shrimp brochettas at Superior Grill are stuffed with poblano peppers and cheese and wrapped in bacon. CafŽ Adelaide and the Swizzle Stick Bar's Grand Isle shrimp and grits dish is finished with a golden tomato sauce piquant. Classic head-on barbecue shrimp are a signature dish at Mr. B's Bistro, served with French bread for dipping in the buttery sauce. Stingray's Seafood & Grill in Kenner prepares its Shrimp Feast with fried shrimp, boiled shrimp, stuffed shrimp, grilled shrimp and shrimp Creole. Shrimp are cooked in a rich butter sauce with garlic and seasonings for Jan's sautŽed shrimp at Jan's Cajun Restaurant in Lafitte. Shrimp Creole over rice is a specialty dinner at Koz's in Harahan. Covington's Seafood Galley and Deli prepares a traditional boiled shrimp salad. The shrimp remoulade over a bed of chilled lettuce is one of the most popular dishes on the iconic menu at Galatoire's Restaurant. New Orleans black bean barbecue shrimp put a southwestern spin on the local classic at Mat & Naddie's. Boiled shrimp are tossed with pesto sauce and bowtie pasta and served atop Caesar salad at Wit's Inn. For a traditional and hearty shrimp etouffŽe, head to CafŽ Reconcile for lunch. Shrimp take a spicy ride on top of charbroiled Cajun mahi mahi with bourbon sauce at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. Though it's called shrimp Arnaud, Arnaud's Restaurant serves the dish with its signature tangy remoulade sauce. New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp are served over mashed potatoes at Allegro Bistro. Traditional shrimp remoulade gets a new look as a sandwich at Cellars of River Ridge. Fazzio's Bang-Bang shrimp are fried popcorn shrimp in a sweet and spicy sauce. Monterey shrimp at Adobe Cantina and Salsa feature grilled shrimp with California vegetables, Spanish rice and cheese dip. Nirvana Indian Cuisine offers Malai Jhingha Kebab, a dish of roasted prawns with cheese and cashew sauce. Gulf shrimp sautŽed with garlic, tomatoes, mushrooms, scallions, Parmesan cheese and a touch of cream wake up on a bed of grits to start the day at Blue Plate CafŽ. At China Rose, the lomi lomi dish features fried shrimp, pineapple and water chestnuts wrapped in bacon, all served on a bed of sautŽed vegetables. Liuzza's by the Track makes its barbecue shrimp sandwich by sautŽing shrimp in butter pepper sauce and stuffing them into a hollowed out pistolette. At Beijing, General Tso's shrimp features flash-fried jumbo shrimp sautŽed with carrots, onions, red and green peppers in a tangy sauce. Riccobono's Peppermill Restaurant bakes shrimp-stuffed mirlitons. Five Happiness serves moo shu shrimp with crepes, plum sauce and a choice of white or brown rice.

Soft-Shell Crab

Soft-shell crabs shed their old shells and find themselves in many exciting local dishes. Wasabi Sushi & Asian Grill on Frenchmen Street gives soft-shell crab an Eastern spin with sautŽed bell peppers, onions, jalapenos and Japanese seasoning. The soft-shell crab at Tommy's Cuisine is served with linguine, fresh basil and Roma tomatoes in a Reggiano crawfish sauce. Soft-shell crab Foster is fried and topped with artichoke bottoms, green onions and mushrooms cooked in butter and wine at Restaurant des Familles. Sweet chili sauce and shrimp fried rice augment the soft shell crab at Basil Leaf. Soft-shell crab stuffed with shrimp, crawfish and crabmeat and finished with Creoleaise sauce is the signature dish at the Dakota Restaurant in Covington. Clancy's puts its soft-shell crab through the smoker for a memorable dish. The eight-inch fried soft-shell crab po-boy is served with fries at Camellia CafŽ locations in Abita Springs and Slidell. Magazine Po-boy Shop prepares a soft-shell crab platter complete with French fries and a salad. Rivershack Tavern offers peanut-crusted soft-shell crab topped with Asian herbs and served with Thai green curry and jasmine rice. Le Citron Bistro's General Ripley is a pan-fried soft-shell crab perched on a bacon-wrapped filet served with corn pudding macque choux. French Quarter Bistro's soft-shell crab salad rests an herb- and panko-crusted crab on baby greens tossed in a light balsamic vinaigrette. For fried soft-shell crabs, head to the Galley Seafood Restaurant, which is also known for providing them in a po-boy at Jazz Fest.

Soup

Vernon's oyster and artichoke soup is a popular first course to enjoy while admiring the bayou views at Restaurant des Familles. Rob's French onion soup is made from scratch with baguette slices and melted cheese at DŽjˆ Vu in the French Quarter. Turtle shows its softer side at Harbor Bar & Grill in Metairie where it turns up in a savory Creole soup. The Dakota Restaurant lures fans from near and far with its signature lump crabmeat and Brie soup. Lilette cools off diners with its chilled sweet corn broth with jumbo lump crabmeat and avocado. The crawfish and corn bisque is a spicy and creamy starter at O'Henry's Food & Spirits. Taqueria Rio Grande's sopa Azteca is a soup of tomato and chipotle peppers with fried tortillas and avocado. There's no question about the key ingredient in the Spanish-style garlic soup at Laurentino's Restaurant in Metairie. Korea House Restaurant makes a dumpling and rice cake soup large enough to serve as an entrŽe. Newcastle Brown Ale and cheese go into the British country-style soup at Elmwood's Fox and Hound English Pub & Grille. Hooters New England-style clam chowder is bursting with clams, cream and potato. The traditional matzo ball soup can stand in as your surrogate Jewish grandmother at Kosher Cajun New York Deli and Grocery. During hot summer months, The Delachaise serves chilled watermelon ginger soup with crabmeat and avocado. Buster's Place offers crab and corn bisque to start a meal. Z'otz Coffeehouse makes a Japanese miso soup with bean paste, tofu seaweed and mushrooms. Dick and Jenny's serves cool green gazpacho topped with grilled Gulf shrimp. Hoa Hong Nine Roses uses catfish with tomatoes, pineapple, okra and celery in its Vietnamese-style hot and sour fish soup. Morton's Seafood Restaurant serves shrimp and crabmeat bisque.

Spinach

Spinach is strong enough to provide the muscle in plenty of dishes. Slice Pizzeria prepares its Wicked Garden calzone with baby spinach, arugula, roasted garlic and broccoli. Spinach dip with salsa and sour cream makes an irresistible bar snack at Jigger's Grill in Metairie. Various locations of Italian Pie prepare spinach manicotti with a stuffing of spinach, mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan cheeses all smothered in marinara sauce. The spinach lasagna at Mona Lisa Restaurant is layered with ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, pasta and spinach and tied together by the house tomato sauce. Southern-style spinach casserole is a mainstay aboard the Steamboat Natchez for its dinner jazz cruise, tempting passengers with a mix of spinach, artichokes and cheeses baked under a cap of breadcrumbs. Spinach sautŽed in olive oil and garlic is a classic side dish choice at Crescent City Steak House in Mid-City. CafŽ Royale's spinach salad is topped with bacon, mushrooms and purple onions with sliced almonds and a homemade dressing. The Balcony Bar and CafŽ offers a few vegetarian options including a sandwich of spinach and artichoke hearts with mozzarella cheese, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, feta cheese and garlic sauce. Spinach takes a wild ride in a goat curry dish spiced with ginger, garlic and cilantro at Salt 'N' Pepper Restaurant. Italian Pie's Florentine calzone is stuffed with spinach, artichoke, garlic, cheese and a choice of shrimp or chicken.

Steak

Deserving of its very own food group, steak gives vegetarians pause to consider. The juicy double-cut filet mignon at Morton's Steakhouse sizzles under a creamy coating of bŽarnaise sauce. For another twist to this delectable edible, try the Black Angus corn-fed center-cut filet at the Beef Connection, seasoned and cooked with a high-temperature infrared broiler to seal in the meat's natural juices, adding more flavor to a tender cut. Bombay Club's namesake filet is a grilled, center-cut tenderloin topped with melted British Stilton cheese and bŽarnaise sauce. Ciro's CotŽ Sud tops off the popular Steak Frites, a grilled hanger steak and crispy French fries, with tangy Dijon mustard sauce. The Carpetbagger filet at Jacques-Imo's CafŽ is stuffed with poached oysters and crowned with blue cheese, carmelized onions and oyster tasso hollandaise. Star Steak & Lobster House serves an 8-oz. filet Monique topped with sautŽed mushrooms and red wine sauce. The house filet at Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse is smothered in flash-fried Louisiana oysters and bŽarnaise sauce. Get the best of all worlds at The Pelican Club with its Surf & Turf, which features creamy bŽarnaise sauce drizzled over a crab and crawfish cake, certified Black Angus filet mignon, truffled mashed potatoes and haricots verts. The patacon con todo at Baru Bistro & Tapas translates into a flattened, fried plantain, topped with succulent slices of skirt steak, chicken, chorizo, cheese and tangy chimichurri sauce. Though known for its burgers, Dry Dock CafŽ's Steak Wedge is equally as popular, served with prosciutto, grilled tomato and melted mozzarella cheese on a toasted garlic wedge. The 8.5-oz. prime-cut filet mignon is a favorite at Crazy Johnnie's Steakhouse, slow-cooked and topped with garlic butter. Brandy and wild mushroom sauce sets apart the Black Angus filet mignon at Laurentino's Restaurant. Ch#226;teau du Lac Bistro's steak au poivre is a filet mignon crusted with black pepper and served with either black pepper sauce or garlic herb sauce. At La Boca, the bife de lomo features a 10-oz. filet mignon prepared Argentine style. Filet goes Cajun at Club 300 Jazz Bistro, which matches a 10-oz. steak with andouille, boudin and a fennel-infused potato cake. If a 22-oz. cowboy steak isn't enough, order it at Shula's Steak House and get a double-baked potato on the side. Crescent City Steak House offers optional Bordelaise sauce to go with its limited selection of rib-eyes, T-bones and filets. The Rib Room sears filet mignon in an iron skillet and serves it with Yukon gold potatoes, crispy onions and Southern Comfort cane syrup reduction. Keith Young's Steakhouse hand cuts its aged beef and serves a 14-oz. filet with a baked potato and house salad. Mr. John's Ristorante changed its name, but steakhouse favorites like New York strip served with sizzling butter are still a main attraction. Almost as large as the jackpots at Harrah's is the 38-oz. bone-in cowboy rib-eye steak served with roasted potatoes and root vegetable at the Besh Steakhouse inside the casino. At Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro, New York strips are grilled and served with salad and choice of Marigny rice, sautŽed vegetables or baked potato. At NOLA Restaurant, the filet mignon is served with garlic mashed potatoes, housemade Worcestershire sauce and a walnut- and blue cheese-stuffed portobello. Sit at the hibachi grill and order filet mignon with shrimp or scallops off Miyako Japanese Seafood and Steakhouse's teppenyaki menu.

Sushi

Sushi beckons diners with tastes for everything from simple items like slices of tuna or yellowtail atop sushi rice to dramatically presented unique rolls. Wasabi's namesake Wasabi House roll features snow crab, fried tempura, cream cheese, barbecue eel, spicy tuna and fresh salmon, and is topped with spicy mayonnaise. Oki Nago offers a summer sushi set this season with snow crab, tuna, shrimp, salmon, white fish, California rolls, smelt roe and surf clam. The California Sunset roll at Rock-n-Sake features spicy snow crab topped with fresh salmon and ripe mangoes served with a side of spicy mayonnaise. Kyoto's Sara roll is a spicy shrimp and avocado roll topped with crunchy and chili sauces. The Tiger Roll at Little Tokyo is packed with yellowtail, tuna and smelt roe, wrapped in barbecue eel, salmon, avocado and topped with a special chef sauce. Raw rewards diners with its Pot of Treasure sushi roll of cooked shrimp, tuna, avocado, asparagus, cream cheese, eel and tobiko. Sushi Brothers' Sunshine roll bursts with tuna, salmon, yellowtail, sweet egg, snow crab, baked eel and avocado in soy wrap. At Mikimoto, the Cajun roll combines soft-shell crab, snow crab and crawfish inside seaweed and topped with smelt roe. St. Charles Avenue Japanese Sushi Buffet offers Japanese favorites like sea urchin sushi topped with a quail egg.

Sweetbreads

They're not really sweet and not really bread, but maybe the less said, the better. Brigtsen's sautŽed veal sweetbreads are served with a crunchy potato leek cake, shiitake mushrooms, capers, and a lemon-and-roasted garlic sauce. At Patois, sautŽed sweetbreads are served atop beluga lentils with spinach, country ham and a reduction sauce. A deconstructed "sandwich" of grilled portobello topped with sautŽed sweetbreads, capers and dried blueberry jus is a unique treat at the Bistro at Maison de Ville. At Bistro Daisy, grilled sweetbreads are served with a Vidalia onion sauce. La Petite Grocery sautŽs sweetbreads and serves them over a ragout of smoked bacon and sweet potatoes.

Tacos

Served sizzling from a parked truck or with all the accoutrements of a high-end restaurant, tacos are what's hot of late. Gordon Biersch puts a fresh spin on fish tacos with its blackened mahi mahi topped with melted mozzarella cheese and honey Sriracha mayonnaise wrapped in a flour tortilla and served with coleslaw. The taco salad at Lafitte's CafŽ combines refried beans and seasoned beef and tops it off with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, cheddar cheese, black olives, sour cream, salsa and guacamole. Juan's Flying Burrito packs its Pork 'n' Slaw taco with shredded pork, Jack and cheddar cheeses, spicy slaw and salsa fresca. The taco salad at McAlister's Deli mixes fresh greens, chili, cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes, sour cream, sliced jalapenos and black olives on a crunchy bed of warm tortilla chips.

Tamales

Tamales have found a home in a variety of local restaurants. The hot tamales and chili at Corky's Ribs & Bar-B-Q are stuffed with generous portions of beef, cheddar cheese and Corky's chili. El Gato Negro serves homemade pulled-pork tamales with Mexican rice and beans. Felipe's Taqueria offers its own version of the pulled pork tamale. The homemade hot tamales at Guillory's Grocery & Meat Market have earned a faithful following.

Tomato

However you pronounce it, this juicy fruit is a fun addition to any dish. Attiki Bar & Grill's tomato Buffala features baked tomatoes and mozzarella topped with basil and olive oil. CafŽ Atchafalaya offers tangy, mouth-watering fried green tomatoes and shrimp remoulade. For a refreshing summer sandwich, try The Ruby Slipper CafŽ's grilled tomato and provolone sandwich served with fresh basil on brioche. Crabby Jack's fried green tomato and shrimp remoulade po-boy is dressed to impress. The Cajun fried green tomatoes at T. LeBlanc's Creole Kitchen are topped with homemade crabmeat remoulade sauce. Hookah CafŽ's Fried Green Tomato Napoleon is a triple stack of fried green tomatoes layered with shrimp, Louisiana crawfish and crabmeat, all smothered in a rich buttercream sauce. At MŽlange, the kitchen gives a nod to Upperline Restaurant by crediting it with creating the now classic fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade. Eleven79 offers a light and refreshing tomato and crab salad for summer. The fried green tomato po-boy at Le Citron Bistro is dressed with Creole mustard and served with sweet potato fries. The Delachaise serves a Creole tomato BLT salad with slices of tomato, boiled shrimp, Nueske's bacon, arugula aioli and olive oil.

Trout

Trout amandine and meuniere are such popular dishes in New Orleans that they almost make "trout" sound like half a thought, but the fish completes many dishes. Galatoire's trout meuniére amandine features speckled trout with a lemon butter sauce and toasted almonds. The trout Baquet at Li'l Dizzy's CafŽ, named for its owner, is grilled trout topped with crabmeat and lemon butter sauce. Restaurant Des Familles' crab-stuffed rainbow trout packed with crawfish dressing and topped with a butter-garlic sauce. The grilled rainbow trout at CafŽ Atchafalaya is served with lump crab, meuniére sauce and green onion pilaf. The trout Tchoupitoulas at Joey K's Restaurant is lightly floured, pan-fried, topped with shrimp and crabmeat and served with mixed vegetables and potatoes. Zea Rotisserie and Grill serves a pesto-crusted trout fillet coated in basil pesto and lightly seared. The trout Raymond at Smilie's Restaurant is pan-fried to golden brown and topped with fresh crabmeat, mushrooms, shallots and a dash of hollandaise. Trout amandine is almost synonymous with Mandina's Restaurant in Mid-City, which serves its classic version with French fries. At Ristorante Filippo, speckled trout is topped with lump crabmeat and served with linguine and a vegetable medley. Trout Salvatore at Salvatore Ristorante is a fillet topped with shrimp, crabmeat and mushroom sauce. Meauxbar serves pan-fried brook trout with toasted pecan oil, lentils, bacon lardons and wilted spinach. At JŠger Haus German Bistro & Coffee House, Moldau trout is a pan-fried fillet crusted in caraway seeds.

Tuna

With its rich, ruby-red meat, it's hard to understand how tuna was ever called "chicken of the sea" rather than "steak of the sea," but discriminating diners know exactly which fish they want. The sesame-crusted ahi tuna at Orleans Grapevine is served with ponzu sauce, stir-fried vegetables and coconut basmati rice. Megumi Yakimono and Sushi Bar's seared tuna dinner is served with a house salad with tangy dressing, wasabi peas, crispy potato noodles and a special ponzu sauce. Jasmine CafŽ's Vietnamese tuna salad combines shredded cabbage, seared yellowfin tuna, carrots, cucumber, onion and cilantro topped with vinaigrette, fried shallots and peanuts. The barbecue tuna at Yujin Japanese Restaurant satisfies New Orleanians' love of barbecue and fish. RioMar cooks yellowfin tuna with Serrano ham and tops it with chickpea puree and Romesco sauce. Oceana Grill's "La Bohéme" is grilled ahi tuna topped with peppery barbecue shrimp. Mr. Roo's Deli & Catering serves grilled tuna over a bed of angel hair pasta in a butter-garlic sauce. Crusted in cracked black pepper and olive oil, the ahi tuna at Chad's Bistro is seared to order. Bacco's sesame seared tuna is paired with a spicy avocado sauce and fresh grated horseradish. The tuna steak sandwich at Station 8801 is flame-grilled and dressed to order. Chops Bistro & Martini Bar's tuna nachos, tops chips with blackened tuna, pepper jack, spinach, tomatoes and wasabi sour cream. The grilled tuna salad at Oscar's is a classic. Little Tokyo's Twinney roll combines tuna, fried shrimp and snow crab wrapped in fresh salmon, yellowtail, avocado and crunchy. At Asian Pacific CafŽ, tuna tartare is prepared with Asian spices and served with wonton chips. Cellars of River Ridge serves an Asian salad made with sashimi-grade tuna over romaine lettuce with sesame vinaigrette. The sesame-crusted tuna at Jacques Imo's CafŽ is served with watercress, citrus and crabmeat salad as well as two side dishes. Blackened ahi tuna is complemented with smoked corn, tomato salsa and sweet potatoes at New City Grille. Takumi serves a Japanese-accented tuna tartare of chopped ahi tuna mixed with soy, set on greens and topped with a quail egg.

Turkey

Whether its deep fried whole or baked and served in thin slices, turkey is popular year round. Ch#226;teau Coffee House and CafŽ makes its smoked turkey salad with baby Swiss cheese, chopped walnuts and sliced apple. Try the all-natural honey-smoked turkey sandwich at Obee's Soup, Salad and Subs, available on a choice of freshly baked bread or tortilla wraps. You can't go wrong with the turkey legs at Abita Bar-B-Q. Quiznos turkey, bacon and guacamole sandwich is topped with mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, red onion and ranch dressing. Fair Grinds Coffeehouse serves its turkey sandwich dressed with lettuce, tomato and cheese.

Veal

Cristiano Ristorante's osso buco is a braised veal shank served with natural jus and saffron mushroom risotto. The breaded veal cutlet is a popular menu item at Brother's Ole' New Orleans CafŽ. The Court of Two Sisters' veal Oscar combines baby white veal cutlets and sautŽed jumbo lump crabmeat, tasso hollandaise and steamed asparagus. The vitello vittori at Fausto's Bistro flavors its pan-seared veal medallions with garlic and extra virgin olive oil and tops it off with lump crabmeat. Todaro's Restaurant adds a kick to its osso buco with jalape–o gravy, served over buttered fettucine with sweet baby carrots. The osso buco Milanese at Andrea's Restaurant is braised and seasoned in a special brown sauce. The orecchio di elefante (elephant's ear) at Gio's Villa Vancheri is veal pounded thin, coated in egg batter and Italian bread crumbs and sautŽed in butter, wine, capers and lemon. The specialty at Carmelo's Ristorante is white veal sautŽed and served with eggplant, prosciutto, mozzarella cheese and a touch of tomato sauce. The sautŽed veal medallions at The Steak Knife Restaurant and Bar are topped with lump crabmeat, mushrooms and seasoned with a beurre blanc. Smilie's Restaurant's veal Augie is panŽed baby veal topped with lump crabmeat and shallots and coated in a light Chardonnay sauce. Chef Duke LoCicero's CafŽ Giovanni stuffs veal saltimbocca with sage, prosciutto and Italian cheese and coats it in a sweet vermouth garlic sauce. The veal Gambero at Pascal's Manale is panŽed and served with peeled barbecue shrimp. Lilette is known for its braised veal cheeks, served with baby greens and horseradish vinaigrette. At MŽlange, the seared veal chop is topped with crabmeat and served with spinach and citrus beurre blanc. At Fazzio's, veal Devay features panŽed veal medallions topped with crawfish, artichoke hearts and melted mozzarella with a brandy cream sauce. At Byblos, veal Mediterraean features milk-fed veal sautŽed in white wine with mushrooms and served with garlic mashed potatoes. Acropolis Cuisine sets its mousaka apart by adding zucchini to layers of eggplant, potato and ground veal baked with bŽchamel sauce. Eleven79 offers several veal dishes including the namesake veal Eleven79 with roasted peppers, asparagus and mozzarella cheese. At Stella!, mushroom-crusted veal tenderloin is accompanied by escargot and heirloom vegetables. Venezia's veal Parmesan is breaded veal topped with homemade red sauce. At Vincent's Italian Cuisine, veal Roberto is baby white veal topped with jumbo lump crabmeat, portobello mushrooms and sherry beurre blanc. One of the old Creole specialties at Willie Mae's Scotch House is the smothered veal. R&O's Pizza Place serves veal Parmesan on a po-boy dressed with lettuce and mayo.

Vegetables

Summer is a great season for garden-fresh vegetables to fill the menus and dining tables. The mixed veggie dish at Hoshun consists of fresh broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, snow peas, Chinese cabbage, baby corn and a variety of mushrooms. Panasia heats things up with its Masaman curry with potatoes, carrots, onions and roasted peanuts. Rotolo's Pizzeria offers lighter fare like the veggie sandwich, lightly marinated oven-roasted portobello mushrooms, peppers and sweet red onion topped with melted provolone. The Mardi Gras Indian tacos at Juan's Flying Burrito are grilled tortillas filled with roasted corn, pinto beans, grilled squash, Jack and cheddar cheeses and spicy slaw. Mr. Poor Boy offers creamy seasoned lima beans as a side dish. Baru Bistro & Tapas impresses with its Mazorca, a smoky, grilled-corn casserole with farmer's cheese, pink sauce and potato sticks. Little Tokyo in Mid-City offers a huge variety of rolls including the Japanese vegetable roll wrapped in soybean paper. At Cleopatra, the vegetarian plate is a platter of baba ghanoush, hummus, tabbouleh, falafel, couscous and dolmeh. Roly Poly's Ultimate Veggie wraps up lettuce, baby spinach, plum tomatoes, sprouts, carrots, green pepper, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, onion and roasted red pepper with fat-free ranch dressing. Lakeview Brew Coffee CafŽ's roasted veggie sandwich is filled with red and yellow peppers, squash, zucchini, spinach, mushrooms and Romano cheese. Meauxbar serves roasted beet salad with pear, red onions, toasted pecans and goat cheese. Langenstein's offers a baked mirliton stuffed with shrimp dressing. Still Perkin's vegetarian focaccia sandwich is topped with tomato, basil pesto and mozzarella. Castle Cafe's sauteed vegetable plate is served over basmati rice with feta cheese.

Waffles

Waffles are in the thick of things any time of day. Li'l Dizzy's CafŽ serves waffles under a pile of strawberries or bananas. Puccino's buttermilk waffle sandwich boasts two scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, ham or bacon, pressed on the grill and served with fresh fruit. Dot's Diner makes a mean pecan waffle. At N'Awlins Flava CafŽ, thick Belgian waffles are topped with fruit, nuts, whipped cream and chocolate. Riccobono's Panola Street CafŽ serves waffles topped with a choice of strawberries, blueberries, pecans or bananas and nuts. Chocolate-dipped waffle cones are a good way to hold all the original flavors at Ben & Jerry's scoop shop.

Wraps

Whether you call it a burrito or a wrap, these handy sandwiches are really rollin'. Ernst CafŽ offers grilled or fried chicken with tomatoes and dressing wrapped in a garlic-and-herb tortilla and served with a side of fries. The shrimp Florentine wrap at Pizza Florence combines seasoned shrimp, spinach and artichoke with mozzarella cheese. Jigger's Grill stuffs its wraps with fried shrimp. Espresso Express' Thai chicken wrap is filled with roasted chicken, sliced cucumber, carrots, alfalfa sprouts, Monterey Jack cheese and a sweet Thai chili sauce. The new Mr. Roo's special wrap at Mr. Roo's Deli & Catering offers a choice of white, wheat, spinach or tomato basil tortilla loaded with hot roast beef, ham and turkey. The cranberry chicken salad wrap at Maddie's Place is served with sliced apple and sun chips. Vitality Juice, Java & Smoothie Bar has a Palo Alto wrap with all-natural smoked turkey, shallot cream cheese, avocado, Roma tomatoes, mixed baby greens, sunflower seeds and sprouts, all in a whole-grain, low-carb wrap and seasoned with a special dijonnaise dressing. NOLA Beans in Lakeview fills its grilled veggie provolone wrap with grilled portobello and zucchini, diced tomatoes, lettuce, provolone cheese and the special house spread. At Bayou Coffee House & Wine Bar, the chicken Caesar wrap is served in your choice of flour, wheat or garlic-and-herb tortilla. Grilled shrimp are served in a wrap at Paradise CafŽ.

Zucchini

Zucchini is a healthy addition to any dish. The mousaka at Mr. Gyro's features layers of baked zucchini, eggplant, potatoes and seasoned ground beef topped with a creamy bŽchamel sauce. La Madeleine's roasted vegetable sandwich loads portobello mushrooms, roasted zucchini, squash, and red bell peppers onto warm ciabatta bread with pesto mayonnaise. Zucchini quick bread is a sweet treat in the morning at Laurel Street Bakery. At Landry's, meals start with fried zucchini topped with lemon-pepper-Parmesan sauce. Z'otz Coffeehouse serves zucchini bread to go with its fair market coffees and teas.

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