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ALLIGATOR PEAR 1901 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 281-4472; www.alligatorpearcafe.com The wide-ranging menu at this eclectic restaurant includes Asian dishes like Mongolian beef and pad thai, New Orleans favorites like seafood po-boys, and Southern fried chicken served with a choice of two side items. The "monster Cajun burger" is loaded with mushrooms, bacon, onions and cheese. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

APPLEBEE'S NEIGHBORHOOD GRILL & BAR Citywide; www.applebees.com Applebee's aims to please every palate with its menu of steaks, ribs, burgers, sandwiches, fried seafood, fajitas and pasta bowls. There also are menus of drinks, desserts, low-calorie and kids' items. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

AUDUBON CLUBHOUSE CAFE 6500 Magazine St., 212-5282; www.auduboninstitute.org Enjoy views from the Clubhouse while indulging in specialties like the chunky chicken salad plate, featuring chicken salad with red grapes and pecans, served on a bed of spring mix. The clubhouse serves breakfast dishes like the Second Tee, including two eggs, bacon or sausage and two pieces of toast. Reservations accepted. Breakfast and lunch Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $

THE BUFFET AT HARRAH'S 8 Canal St., 533-6000; www.harrahsneworleans.com The buffet is all in with pastas, boiled seafood, steaks, plenty of desserts and weekly specials. Thursday is all-you-can-eat Dungeness crab night. Praline treats are among the 40 items on the dessert bar. Reservations accepted. Open 24 hours daily. Credit cards. $$

CHECKERED PARROT 133 Royal St., 592-1270; www.checkeredparrot.com The Checkered Parrot offers Tex-Mex options such as quesadillas, burritos and nachos, as well as burgers, wings, hot dogs, wraps, salads and New Orleans specialties. Red beans and rice with grilled smoked sausage and fried seafood platters add Creole flavor to the mix. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

COPELAND'S CHEESECAKE BISTRO 2001 St. Charles Ave., 593-9955; 4517 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 454-7620; www.copelandscheesecakebistro.com Copeland's sampler platter includes favorites like the artichoke and spinach dip, bayou broccoli and Al's Cajun popcorn. The Big Easy barbecue features slow-smoked pork shoulder served with a choice of side. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

DAISY DUKES 121 Chartres St., 561-5171; www.daisydukesrestaurant.com This French Quarter eatery offers breakfast and Cajun favorites all day. Menu options include omelets, pizza, red beans and rice, and daily specials. No reservations. Open 24 hours daily. Credit cards. $$

FAIR GROUNDS RACE COURSE 1751 Gentilly Blvd., 944-5515; www.fairgroundsracecourse.com The Grandstand buffet offers everything from shrimp Creole to fried chicken to General Tso's chicken to pepper steak. The double duck salad features smoked duck and duck confit. The bread pudding with rum sauce is popular. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Fri.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

HARD ROCK CAFE 418 N. Peters St., 529-5617; www.hardrock.com Burgers, sizzling fajitas and hearty appetizers are the greatest hits at the New Orleans edition of this international chain. The Legendary burger is a 10-oz. patty topped with bacon, cheddar, an onion ring, lettuce, tomato and pickles. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

HOUSE OF BLUES 225 Decatur St., 310-4999; www.houseofblues.com The House of Blues focuses on Southern and soul food dishes. Creole seafood jambalaya adds local flair. The Sunday gospel brunch features unlimited mimosas and dishes like Creole shrimp with cheddar cheese grits. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

HOUSTON'S RESTAURANT 1755 St. Charles Ave., 524-1578; 4241 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 889-2301; www.hillstone.com The spinach artichoke dip is the most popular item on Houston's menu, served with sour cream and salsa. Ribs, sandwiches, burgers and seafood dishes are entree favorites. Houston's also offers seasonal fish specials. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

JIMMY BUFFETT'S MARGARITAVILLE CAFE 1104 Decatur St., 592-2565; www.margaritavilleneworleans.com Gulf Coast and Caribbean touches brighten the menu at Jimmy Buffett's restaurant. Volcano nachos are topped with chili, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, jalapenos, tomatoes and scallions. Jamaican jerk chicken features two breasts served with rice and vegetables. There are burgers and sandwiches galore and a menu of frozen drinks. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

LUCY'S RETIRED SURFERS BAR & RESTAURANT 701 Tchoupitoulas St., 523-8995; www.lucysretiredsurfers.com The Warehouse District surf shack features casual fare like fish tacos — choose grilled or fried grouper topped with cheese, shredded cabbage and shrimp sauce — or ceviche with black bean salad. The Maui tuna steak sandwich is dressed with lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles and tartar sauce and served with fries or salad. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $

O'HENRY'S FOOD & SPIRITS 634 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-9741; 8859 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 461-9840; www.ohenrys.com O'Henry's favorites include crawfish Monica, crawfish tails served over penne pasta tossed in spicy sauce, and the Cajun burger, a spicy patty covered with coleslaw and Zydeco special sauce on a jalapeno-cheddar bun. The menu also offers seafood platters, pasta, sandwiches, salads, steaks and a build-your-own-burger with choices of toppings including Southwestern cilantro sauce and avocado and blue cheese. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

PICCADILLY Citywide; www.piccadilly.com Southern favorites fill the buffet at Piccadilly. There is everything from roast beef and pork to fried chicken and local favorites like crawfish etouffee. Extras include soups, salads, vegetables and desserts ranging from pecan pie to red velvet cake. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

PIER 4 Boomtown Casino, 4132 Peters Road, Harvey, 366-7711; www.boomtownneworleans.com Steak and seafood dishes are good bets at Pier 4. The seafood platter includes catfish, a jumbo lump crab cake, Gulf shrimp, a soft-shell crab and spicy onion rings. Other choices include rib-eyes and filets, New Orleans barbecue shrimp, burgers and an avocado and crab salad. No reservations. Dinner Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

POPEYES Citywide; www.popeyes.com Popeyes is known for spicy fried chicken. Whole pieces, nuggets and tenders are served in combo meals, baskets and sandwiches. Popular sides include red beans and rice, mashed potatoes and gravy, coleslaw, Cajun rice, spicy battered fries and biscuits. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

RAISING CANE'S CHICKEN FINGERS Citywide; www.raisingcanes.com You can count the meal deal options at Raising Cane's on a handful of chicken fingers. Try them in a three-piece combo or a sandwich. The Caniac Combo includes six fingers, french fries, coleslaw, Texas toast, a fountain drink and two dipping sauces. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

SEMOLINA Clearview Mall, 4436 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 454-7930; www.semolina.com Semolina reworks classic pasta dishes from around the world. Pasta jambalaya features andouille sausage and chicken in Creole sauce over penne pasta. Double cheeseburger pasta is made with Angus beef and onions in barbecue marinara sauce and topped with lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, french fry sticks and sesame seeds. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SPUDLY'S SUPER SPUDS 2609 Harvard Ave., Metairie, 455-3250; www.spudlys.com Create your own super baked potato at Spudly's with toppings ranging from crawfish and shrimp to fried chicken and jalapenos. The spinach and artichoke spud is smothered with creamy dip, mozzarella cheese and chives. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

SUN RAY GRILL 619 Pink St., Metairie, 837-0055; 1051 Annunciation St., 566-0021; 2424 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 305-4704; 2600 Belle Chasse Hwy., Gretna, 391-0053; www.sunraygrill.com Known for its Southwestern and Asian accents, Sun Ray Grill serves seafood, steaks and small plates. Guacamole with blue corn chips is a signature appetizer, and other noshing items include goat cheese fritters, ribs, spring rolls and nachos. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

WING ZONE Citywide; www.wingzone.com The Zone serves chicken wings, fingers, wedge fries, fried mushrooms and spicy options such as Buffalo shrimp. Sauces vary in levels of heat, and choices include sweet and tangy barbecue varieties, Thai chili, garlic Parmesan and cool ranch. Salads and burgers also are available. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

WOW CAFE & WINGERY Citywide; www.wowcafe.com WOW's dipping sauces round up a world of flavor, from teriyaki, peppery Santa Fe and Bombay coconut curry to Jamaican jerk spice and Buffalo sauce. The restaurant offers a similarly wide array of dishes including wraps, burgers, salads, quesadillas, cheese fries, nachos, Southwestern egg rolls and some New Orleans dishes like red beans and rice. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

African | American | Barbecue| Brewpub | Burgers | Cafe | Cajun | Caribbean/Cuban | Chinese | Coffee & Dessert | Contemporary | Creole | Deli | Diner | Fondue | French | German| Gourmet to Go | Greek| Indian/Pakistani | Italian| Japanese/Sushi| Korean| Latin American| Louisiana Contemporary| Mediterranean/Middle Eastern| Mexican/Southwestern| Music and Food| Neighborhood| Pan-Asian| Pizza| Sandwiches and Po-boys| Seafood| Soul Food| Steakhouse| Tapas/Spanish| Thai| Vietnamese|
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Speaking of Gambit's Restaurant Guide 2011, New Orleans Restaurants

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