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Alligator starts off our survey with a snap, and you can start off your day at Deril's Diner & Truck Stop with the Ragin Cajun, two eggs served with spicy alligator sausage, hashbrowns or grits, and your choice of toast or a biscuit. The Praline Connection offers a fried alligator sausage appetizer with barbecue sauce. The Cajun Cabin's alligator sauce piquant with grilled alligator sausage features tender alligator tail stewed in a rich, spicy sauce piquant and served over pasta or rice.

The Gumbo Shop's piquant has tender pieces of alligator tenderloin stewed in a light and spicy tomato sauce. Michaul's favorites include fresh alligator battered and fried, then served in a rich, red Cajun sauce with hints of spice and sweetness. Trey Yuen Cuisine of China serves the local delicacy Szechuan-style: marinated, sliced gator meat and shredded vegetables in a soy-based sauce, all seasoned with garlic, ginger and crushed Szechuan peppers.

Sugar Magnolia's sandwiches include a hickory-grilled Louisiana alligator sausage with fire-roasted bell peppers, lettuce, tomato and onions with Creole mayo-mustard dressing on a griddle-seared kaiser roll. Guy's Po-Boys takes the sandwich route, as well, with its smoked alligator sausage po-boy with Creole mustard. Finally, on the tail end of our initial category, Cafe Pontalba serves up alligator tail either blackened or fried and accompanied by cocktail or honey-mustard sauce for dipping.


Lemon Grass ' artichoke salad combines marinated artichoke hearts and palm with shrimp and jumbo lump crabmeat in citrus sauce. The Palm Court Tropical Salad is a mix of shrimp, artichokes, egg, olives and exotic fruits. Cafe En Vie may create a craving with its eponymous house salad featuring artichoke hearts, Roma tomatoes, egg, hearts of palm, bacon and blue cheese.

Sammy's Live Oak Market & Deli offers stuffed artichokes, served hot or cold. Start off a meal at Lama's Seafood Restaurant with the house's stuffed artichoke appetizer. Stingray's takes imported artichokes, deep fries them in Italian breadcrumb batter and tops them with fresh grated Italian cheese and imported olive oil. Over at Common Grounds , artichokes are stuffed into mushrooms and topped with a homemade cream sauce in the Mushrooms St. Trey appetizer. This summer, La Spiga Bakery presents artichoke sandwiches on ciabatta and foccacia breads. And Carmine's Italian Seafood and Grill serves seafood-stuffed artichokes, a whole artichoke stuffed with fish, shrimp and crawfish and topped with a dill cream sauce.


The Wasabi menu features beef and asparagus maki, asparagus wrapped in thinly sliced beef and served with teriyaki sauce. Patton's Restaurant recommends you start with spears: its appetizer list includes asparagus prosciutto mushroom gratin topped with Parmesan hollandaise. Mikimoto's 'One Course Dinners' include chicken teriyaki with asparagus. Morton's of Chicago features grilled asparagus served with roasted red pepper and balsamic vinegar. Zoe offers a roasted asparagus and wild strawberry salad, which features goat cheese and toasted pine nuts with saffron oil and balsamic reduction.


Choose from a selection of the eponymous hole-in-ones at Metairie's Bagel Factory . Next to Barnes & Noble, Paradise Cafe offers a bagel breakfast: bacon, egg and cheese on a toasted bagel. A recent addition to Mid-City, Bayou Coffee House offers everything from sesame to poppyseed bagels with a wide variety of flavored cream cheeses, including roasted garlic, garden veggie, chive and onions, and strawberry. True Brew Cafe whips up a bagel sandwich: two scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese and your choice of bacon, ham or sausage on a bagel. The charming hipness of Aquarian's Marketplace in the Marigny shines through its Scorpio sandwich: smoked salmon, herb cream cheese, red onion, cucumber and Roma tomatoes with your choice of wheat, eight-grain and marble rye, though management suggests trying it on a bagel.


Edamame -- steamed, whole soybeans salted and served in their pods -- are a good way to start a sushi roll at Sake Cafe . Friar Tuck's bar menu includes bean burritos, while Taqueria Corona offers black beans chili dip as well as black bean soup, topped with cheese, sour cream, onions and cilantro. Sugar House's soup is of the black bean and tortilla variety. Mona's appetizers include 'foul,' mashed fava beans mixed with garlic, hot pepper, lemon and olive oil. Magazine Po-Boy Shop serves white beans and rice with smoked or hot sausage and cornbread. On Thursdays, The Edge Bar & Grill's hot lunches include old-fashioned butter beans with hot sausage and a salad. The Praline Connection (Faubourg Marigny location is a la carte; Gospel and Blues Hall features a buffet) will hook you up with a business lunch of white beans and rice, green lima beans and rice, or crowder peas with okra and rice. Think you've bean there, done that? Try the bean soup at La Carreta, which includes Mexican sausage, bacon, ham and chipotle peppers.


O'Flaherty's Irish Pub serves up beef in its Ulster Combo, a Connemara shepherd's pie smothered in Irish beef stew. With a few twists from Down Under, Vic's Kangaroo Cafe offers a different version of the same delicacy. Martin Wine Cellar offers a beef tenderloin salad over baby spinach with red onions, crumbled blue cheese and tomatoes, all tossed in a homemade blue cheese dressing. Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse wraps two prime tournedos in bacon, sears them with Hudson Valley foie gras on crostini with truffle-mashed potatoes and a Medeira demi-glace. Katie's makes a flavorful homemade meatloaf. Christy's Po-Boys cooks its carne asada Cuban-style, with white rice, black beans and sweet plantains.

At Hillbilly Bar-B-Q in River Ridge, customers stop in for the Hawg Dawg -- two large beef wieners, sliced on a bun with cheese, chili or slaw optional. On Mondays, Liborio Cuban Restaurant features their Cuban beef hash (picadillo) for lunch; it's ground beef cooked with a tomato-based sauce seasoned with garlic and black pepper, then sprinkled with raisins and served with white rice with a fried egg and black beans on the side. Kim Son's Bo 7 Mon is a seven-course dinner featuring beef served several ways, including sizzled in brown butter with lemon grass marinade and sesame seeds as well as broiled with green onions.

La Nouvelle cooks up its Kitfo Special: minced beef seasoned with Ethiopian butter sauce with mitimita -- Ethiopian hot chili pepper -- and served raw or lightly cooked. Teddy's Grill is known for its roast beef, slow-cooked overnight and served with gravy made from scratch. The Pakistani restaurant Salt 'n' Pepper makes halal shish kebabs from spiced ground meat (beef and chicken) grilled on an iron rod.

La Cocinita Escondida's carne asada is cooked on the grill and served with two tortillas, beans, rice, platanos and mixed cabbage. Cafe Equator has created a dish called Something in the Jungle, beef or chicken sauteed with hot, aromatic Thai spices, eggplant and bamboo shoots.


Pampy's Creole Kitchen lunch menu includes the house version of local favorite stuffed bell pepppers, chock full of shrimp, crabmeat, ground meat, ham and special seasonings and served with baked macaroni and sauteed veggies. The house specialties of Mr. Ed's Seafood & Italian Restaurant include peppers stuffed with shrimp, crabmeat and crawfish and served with mashed potatoes, vegetables, salad and French bread. Wednesdays at Giovanni's Po-Boys mean green peppers stuffed with a ground beef mixture and served with macaroni and cheese. Olde Nawlins Cookery takes its peppers, fills them with hot sausage and ground beef, and then covers them in marinara sauce, sauteed shrimp and crawfish. Cottage Cafe also covers its peppers with marinara sauce and serves them with a salad and garlic rounds. For something altogether different, check out Franky & Johnny's lightly fried bell pepper rings.


The average person might not know how to spell bouillabaisse, but New Orleanians know a good dish of it when they taste it. Christian's Restaurant serves up bouillabaisse Marseillaise -- fish fillets, shrimp, oysters and mussels, all poached in fish stock seasoned with saffron and served with rouille and croutons. GW Fins delivers a straightforward bouillabaisse with lobster, mussels, oysters, clams, shrimp and white fish in a rich saffron lobster broth. Vega Tapas Cafe flavors its saffron broth with light tomato and adds shrimp, mussels, scallops and fish. Slurp on Cafe Sbisa's saffron broth to the sounds of live local jazz music -- you'll find your bowl filled with mussels, clams, shrimp, Gulf fish, crab fingers, vegetables and andouille sausage. Girod's Bistro creates Girod's Bouillabaisse with the standard saffron-tomato broth with fresh Gulf fish, shrimp and oysters, then it tops the dish with aioli and falafel cake. At Jacques-Imo's Cafe , the bouillabaisse is done Cajun-style with oysters, shrimp, mussels and fresh fish. Galatoire's serves a classic bouillabaisse in a timeless setting.


Foodies Kitchen's pastry offerings include Creole and white chocolate bread pudding. Smith & Wollensky's dessert selections feature a rich chocolate bread pudding. Semolina's 'Famous "Bread Pudding'' is a wedge of the dessert drenched in butter rum sauce; whole cakes are available with 24 hours notice. Emeril's Delmonico puts a twist on an old favorite: its cranberry-walnut bread pudding is served with maple-whiskey sauce and mixed nut brittle. Zea Rotisserie & Brewery's sweet potato pecan bread pudding, topped with a rum praline sauce, is made freshly with baked sweet potatoes, French bread, pecans and cinnamon.

Jazz Fest attendees will surely recognize Coffee Cottage's white chocolate bread pudding. Crescent City Steakhouse's bread pudding is accompanied by brandy sauce, while Ruth's Chris Steak House's version comes with whiskey sauce. Red Fish Grill doubles up with its rich dark and semisweet chocolate bread pudding served with white chocolate ganache and chocolate almond bark; this Double Chocolate Bread Pudding requires 20 minutes preparation time. Chez Vodun adds banana to its Florence-style bread pudding and serves it with toffee sauce.


The Bagel Factory dishes up bagels (of course) along with its specialty breads and buns. Your Daily Bread is known for specialty breads such as spinach-cheese, sun-dried tomato, olive loaf and pull-apart garlic bread. Ristorante Carmelo makes a delicious Focaccia Con Prosciutto di Parma -- homemade bread topped with fresh rosemary and Parma prosciutto. The homemade breads -- banana, zucchini and pumpkin -- are a hit at City Perk . Bravo! Cucina Italiana offers shrimp scampi flatbread (seared shrimp, caramelized onions, tomato, bacon and cilantro with Alfredo sauce) and Tuscan tomato flatbread (fresh tomato, basil, field greens with balsamic dressing).


Lee's serves everything from its straight-up original burger to a chili-cheese hamburger. At Dot's Diner , you get a small, round burger on a pistolette roll. Upper Bourbon Street wouldn't be the same without its Krystal Burger outpost, serving that famous small, square hamburger with steamed-in onion flavor, mustard and a pickle. Ted's Frostop's loyal following comes there looking for a fully dressed Lot-O-Burger with waffle fries.

Ground Pat'i has created Hall of Flame burgers such as its Swiss and Mushroom Ground Pati. Oscar's serves up its half-pound beef burger with a baked potato and your choice of butter, real bacon bits or chives. The half-pound burger is also the standard at Brook's Seahorse Saloon and Bywater BBQ , which serve its with fries, and at Hero's All-American Grill , which tops its Duke Burger with barbecue sauce, bacon and cheddar.

Eat a half-pound Cajun burger at Lucky's Bar & Grill or Igor's Lounge and Game Room while you do your laundry in the back. Igor's Buddha Belly beckons with the same laundry facilities but also an additional draw -- the Buddha burger, cooked with Creole spices and served with sizeable steak-cut fries. At Tucker's Tavern , the half-pounders Big Tuck and Big Al are stuffed with pepper jack, battered and fried. The Tuck adds American cheese and bacon; the Al adds mushrooms.

Yo Mama's Bar and Grill gives a Spanish twist to its popular burger, the Bullfighter, which comes with avocado, jalapeno and salsa. The Beachcorner Bar & Grill chargrills its standard 10-oz. Beachburger as well as its Bleu Cheese Burger, with crumbled blue cheese or cheddar and optional sauteed mushrooms. Polynesian Joe's is known for its beach-volleyball court, ladies' lingerie shows and 'Big Wong' burger. Blue Moon Tavern adds bacon, cheddar cheese and hickory sauce to its Blue Moon burger.

A favorite at Goody's Cafe is its Black and Blue Burger, an 8-oz. Angus patty with blue cheese and bacon. The Times Bar & Grill offers a full range of burgers and then a non-burger burger -- the Bella Burger, a giant portobello mushroom that's marinated, then grilled until tender and served with melted provolone cheese, fresh red onion, carrots and tomatoes. The Red Eye Grill , like other places in the French Quarter, won't tell all -- its hamburger sauce is called'secret sauce.' Columbia Street Taproom and Grill serves gourmet burgers, which are hand-pressed daily and made to order.

The Camellia Grill gives you a cloth napkin, a beautifully classic lunch counter, and its trademark all-beef hamburgers with a choice of sharp cheese, bacon or grilled onion. Bud's Broiler claims 'the original charcoal-broiled hamburgers' -- you can order them with mayo-relish sauce, hickory-smoked sauce, or cheese or chili or mustard. O'Henry's Food & Spirits finishes its O'Henry burger with andouille sausage and Swiss cheese.

The Jimani's 8-oz. hamburgers are dressed with your choice of provolone, cheddar, blue or Swiss cheese. The always-busy Michael's Mid-City Grill is home to 'the world's most expensive hamburger,' a $150 burger made to order and topped with mushrooms, sour cream and caviar -- you also get a free bottle of Dom Perignon and your picture on the wall.


Local restaurants certainly know how to take the cake. Fox and Hound English Pub & Grille features an old-fashioned chocolate cake: a warm slice topped with rich chocolate sauce and, if you like, a scoop of premium vanilla ice cream. We'd like to give a shout out to Stella!'s fallen chocolate souffle cake with warm chocolate ganache, toasted hazelnuts and white chocolate ice cream. Maurice French Pastries ' many cake offerings include a Bavarian cream cake, sponge cake soaked in brandy with Bavarian cream filling, brandy French butter cream filling and icing, and chopped nuts on the side. St. Charles Tavern boasts that its Max's Chocolate Overdose Cake contains the equivalent of four Hershey's bars. For something a little lighter -- but just as sweet -- La Cote Brasserie's cornmeal cake is served with blackberries and lemon curd ice cream.


Catfish is a Big Easy favorite, found in everything from the standard catfish and cheese po-boy at Weaver's to catfish McInnis at Barrister's Patio Bar and Grill -- catfish stuffed with crabmeat, shrimp and crawfish tails, then topped with crabmeat bordelaise. The Cajun Catfish House serves up a classic bucket of catfish -- 16 pieces of fried fish with French fries on the side. Protocol dishes up a Louisiana fish and chips dinner, and The Pearl starts customers out with a fried catfish nugget appetizer, served with dipping sauce.

A customer favorite at the Ye Olde College Inn is catfish Manchac, broiled fish seasoned with chef's Creole rub, topped with a crab and Brie sauce. The Treasure Island Buffet features fried catfish with hushpuppies seven days a week and a special catfish dinner tops the menu at Middendorf's . At Mulate's , try catfish Mulate's -- a seasoned fillet, lightly floured and grilled, then topped with crawfish etouffee. In the evenings, Adam's Catfish House offers a perfect grilled catfish dinner with bronzed catfish strips, hushpuppies and two sides.


Add cheese to a dish and it almost automatically becomes comfort food. Like the grilled cheese at Mama Rosa's , made with mozzarella, feta, provolone and cheddar. Then there's Shooters Bar & Grill , which deep-fries breaded jalapeno peppers and cheddar cheese. For a more exotic version, try the saag paneer at Sara's -- firm homemade paneer (Indian cheese) sauteed with baby spinach and spices and served with basmati rice.

Nothing goes better with wine than cheese, and at The Wine Loft , a good choice is baked Brie en croute with grilled seasonal fruit and black walnut vinaigrette. Cafe En Vie's antipasto board offers assorted cheeses, along with grapes, Granny Smith apples, pepperoni, salami and olive salad, all served with housemade Melba toast atop mixed greens with a house dressing. Order a fried martini at Dino's Bar & Grill -- cheese-stuffed olives covered with breadcrumbs and deep fried.


Try Kabby's on the River's chicken grillades and grits -- pan-roasted, free-range chicken breast with grillades sauce, Romano cheese, polenta cakes and roasted bell peppers. Choose from fried, baked or barbecue chicken with two homemade side at Dixie Chicken & Ribs . China Town Gourmet offers General Tsao Spicy Chicken, which is battered and sauteed with spicy, sour sauces. G.B's Patio Bar and Grill serves up a blackened barbecue chicken dinner; at Come Back Inn , chicken dinners are grilled to order. The Southern fried chicken, half a bird battered and deep fried, is a favorite at The Esplanade . Salvatore Ristorante features chicken Grande, a free-range chicken roasted in extra-virgin olive oil, rosemary, garlic and potatoes.

Two Tony's Restaurant covers its paneed chicken Montalbano with mozzarella cheese and serves it with a Creole mushroom meuniere sauce. Dolly's Deli on Canal Boulevard serves up plenty of chicken platters -- fried, barbecued or rotisserie. In 40 minutes' time, Antoine's can bring its own Poulet Paradis to your table -- half a boneless chicken broiled in red wine sauce and flavored with currants, grapes and a hint of bacon. Mother's Restaurant spices up its bird to fix chicken Souvlaki, chunks of marinated chicken breast sprinkled with fresh lemon and ground oregano. The St. Charles Tavern offers two chicken hash breakfasts -- chicken and andouille or herb-roast chicken, grilled with diced red potatoes, green pepper, onion and seasonings, served with two eggs and toast.

On Thursdays, the Poydras Diner features chicken stuffed with eggplant and shrimp dressing. The geniuses at Juan's Flying Burrito invented the Juaha Roll: almond tarragon chicken salad with leaf spinach, avocado, and three cheeses, rolled up in a spinach tortilla and sliced and served sushi-style with a side of hot sauce and a little Parmesan cheese. Top of the Dome Steakhouse stuffs chicken and serves it open-face on focaccia with onion jus. Nirvana Indiana Cuisine marinates their tandoori chicken with yogurt and spices and cooks it in a traditional clay oven. Paul's Cafe fries up two pieces of chicken and plates it with rice, gravy and vegetables. Any Zachary's regular will tell you that the signature dish at this Riverbend restaurant is fried chicken. Doc Smith's starts out with barbecue chicken and jalapeno jack cheese to create its bite-size hushpuppies.

The 27 Hundred Asian Cafe and Bar presents a chicken pine nut wrap -- diced chicken and veggies stir-fried in pine nuts and brown sauce and wrapped in lettuce. The Coffee Bean European Cafe cooks its low-fat broaster chicken in its own natural juices in a Broaster pressure fryer that gives it a crispy coating. Lebanon's Cafe grills its spiced chicken kebabs and serves them with hummus and salad. Light eaters take note of Super Popeyes Heart-Healthy Chicken Plate, a marinated and grilled breast topped with a light herb sauce plus fruit salad, green salad, grilled seasoned potatoes and a mini-corncob -- all for under 500 calories.

Sea Level stuffs a chicken breast with crab and serves it with duck and andouille jambalaya and roasted-tomato garlic gravy. Andy Messina's chicken cacciatore is prepared in the traditional Italian way, sauteed in crushed tomatoes, garlic, fresh mushrooms, Italian seasoning and white wine. Fong's Chinese Restaurant cooks up General Fong Chicken, white-meat chicken batter-fried with an orange, spicy sauce.

Choose chicken as a filling for Santa Fe's chile relleno -- the large chile pepper comes covered with chili, poblano sauce and cheese with nuts, raisins, tomatoes, onions, sour cream and guacamole. Hell's Kitchen bedevils its customers with hot chicken wings and Hell Sauce, a blend of barbecue and Worchester sauces and secret ingredients. Mid-City newcomer Gigi Asian Bistro offers stuffed chicken wings, boneless wings stuffed with pork, shrimp, glass noodles, onions and herbs and served with cucumber sweet chili sauce.


These brightly colored, spiral mollusks decorate the menus of a handful of local restaurants. Dominique's offers three options: Turks & Caicos baby conch ceviche is served with crispy green papaya relish and tamarind-grapeseed oil; baby conch and truffled white bean chowder comes with lobster essence and Haitian Barbancourt Rhum; sauteed farm-raised cracked conch is presented on smothered corn-chayote risotto with Scotch bonnet-scented grapefruit mojo. Cafe Rose Nicaud features conch ceviche: a melange of lime juice, conch, tomato, parsley, cilantro, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, garlic and habanero. And Five O'Clock Grille & Premium Pit BBQ's conch comes in fritter form, deep-fried and battered.


We do love those crazy, side-walking crustaceans no matter which way they're served: in a hard shell you have to crack, softshell, or already shelled and added to other tasty ingredients. Benjarong makes it easy on less dexterous diners with its Thai Summer Rolls, which combine lump crabmeat with cucumber, carrots and tofu in a fresh rice wrap with peanut sauce. Asia's Orchid Cafe offers an innovative take on a California roll with its Kani Naruto: crab sticks, avocado and masago (fish eggs) rolled with a cucumber instead of rice and served with a secret house sauce.

More traditional takes include the crabmeat au gratin at Trauth's Lake House & Steamery , which starts with white lump crabmeat, melts cheese on top with garlic rounds and serves it with new potatoes and a house salad on the side. For Clancy's softshell crab creation, the chef lightly mesquite-smokes the crustacean until it's half cooked, then seasons, batters and deep-fries it to a golden brown before topping it with lump crabmeat and a light meuniere sauce. La Cuisine takes another favorite, crabcakes, and makes it a meal by serving jumbo lump crabcakes with Creole mustard, asparagus spears, string beans and soup or salad. Galley Seafood Restaurant takes its crabcakes in another direction, topping them with more crabmeat and serving them with Alfredo pasta and a salad. Morton's Seafood Restaurant in Madisonville Cajun-steams Lake Pontchartrain blue-claw crabs and serves them on a platter heaped with steamed crawfish and shrimp, oysters on the half-shell and spicy boiled potatoes.

Ralph & Kacoo's believes life is too short to eat crab just one way, so it offers a Crab Trap platter loaded with fried crab fingers, stuffed crab, fried softshell crab, crabmeat au gratin and seafood gumbo (with crab in it, of course). Not to be outdone, Joe's Crab Shack's Crab Daddy Feast platter offers king, Dungeness and snow crabs prepared boiled, barbecued, garlic-steamed or steamed -- your choice -- along with parsley potatoes and corn on the cob, plus you're allowed (and even encouraged) to dance on the tables, on the bar or on the floor.


The culinary options for this favored crustacean are seemingly endless, whether you go for a straight-forward preparation with crab boil or something more adventurous, such as the Voodoo Crawfish Roll at New Orleans Food & Spirits , which marries crawfish with cheese and stuffing, then makes it the filling for an egg roll. Meauxbar Bistro offers spunky hors d'oeuvres of crawfish dumplings spiced with ginger and adds sesame dipping sauce. Kabby's Sports Edition & Grille suggests a half dozen mini fried pies stuffed with crawfish etouffee as a warm-up to the main course.

Jazz Seafood & Steakhouse adds a hot note to its crawfish Clemenceau appetizer by sauteing crawfish tails, button mushrooms, peas, brabant potatoes and green onions together, then tossing them all in a Crystal Hot Sauce beurre blanc.

The classic Creole dish crawfish etouffee -- a New Orleans standard -- receives a new treatment at Mande's Restaurant , where the housemade dish is served over fried eggplant slices that have been seasoned with Italian breadcrumbs or over fried tilapia. Alex Patout's takes a time-honored approach to its house specialty, crawfish bisque, and pays homage to tradition by serving it complete with stuffed crawfish heads.


Le Parvenu Restaurant fills its crepes with shrimp, crabmeat, crawfish and mushrooms, and serves them with fresh dill sauce, plus bread and vegetables. Petunia's Restaurant claims to have the 'world's largest crepes,' measuring 14 inches, and its St. Francis is filled with shrimp, Louisiana crabmeat, a vegetable medley and Swiss cheese. The Crepe au Crabe at La Crepe Nanou features a housemade crepe filled with lump crabmeat with Mornay sauce and served with creamed spinach. The new Cafe Adelaide walks on the wild side with crepes that mingle duck, portobello mushroom and sun-dried cherries.

Clementine's Belgian Bistrot crosses borders with both meal and dessert crepes, rolling up everything from shrimp to spinach and mozzarella to a combination of ham, bacon, mushrooms and Swiss cheese as well as dessert crepes featuring caramelized apples or Belgian chocolate fudge. Brennan's gives crepes the sweet treatment with its own creation, crepes Fitzgerald, in which the delicate pancakes are wrapped around a filling of cream cheese and sour cream, then topped with strawberries flamed in Maraschino.


When you're just looking for something sweet, nobody puts together a cannoli like Angelo Brocato -- a crisp pastry shell, filled with chocolate and vanilla ricotta, then dipped at each ends in pistachio nuts and dusted it with powdered sugar. Lemon Grass puts a new twist on an old favorite with its Lemon Grass Parfait, garnished with warm mango, pineapple and creme anglaise. Your sweet tooth need go no further than your corner CC's Coffee for a real fruit-and-yogurt smoothie or a chilly Mochassippi -- espresso blended with milk and flavors. Get your bubble tea in Mid-City at Gigi Asian Bistro .

If a wind is blowing, change to a white shirt before you head to Cafe Du Monde for an order of warm beignets covered with powdered sugar. Your neighborhood PJ's is whipping up a new toffee trio this summer -- Toffee Creme, Toffee Velvet Ice and Toffee Iced Coffee. Starbucks Coffee makes a mean pumpkin scone that tastes best washed down with an icy Frappuccino. Still Perkin' can cool you off quickly with an iced mocha.

La Marquise Pastry Shop features almond croissants and fruit tarts with kiwi, apricots, and cherries. Indonique features cookies, such as organic rosemary and pecan, and 12 kinds of scones. Swing by Rue de la Course for a Scrabble game and your choice of iced coffees, cafe mochas, cappuccinos and daily brews from around the world as well as a large selection of fresh pastries. Vianne's Tea Salon and Cafe offers daily tea services with constantly changing menus, but each tea includes fresh-baked scones (walnut, apricot, chocolate chip and dried currant are a few options) and elegant tea desserts including petit fours, lemon ice and spumoni.

Have a seat on Cafe Luna's wraparound Victorian porch for homemade pastries and iced coffee. Head to Frosty's Caffe for a fresh mango smoothie -- or try one made with strawberry, orange, kiwi, honeydew, cantaloupe or watermelon. Walk out of Haagen Dazs with a Bailey's shake, made with Bailey's Irish Cream ice cream, or a Dazzler, the new banana split in a cup. With similar a-peel, Huey's 24/7 Diner offers a banana fritters basket, banana beignets served with melted butter and dusted with powdered sugar. Or spend time at Morning Call with your newspaper and an order of traditional beignets and coffee.


Meals featuring duck always evoke a touch of sophistication mixed with earthiness and elegance mingled with the exotic. Lilette Chef-owner John Harris' Muscovy duck breast brings all these elements together after he roasts a duck on the bore, sears and slices it to order then serves it with crisp-fried flageolets tossed in honey and organic carrots charred with mint and olive oil, served with coriander jus. The duck cassoulet at The Bistro at Maison De Ville includes confit of duck, house-smoked duck breast, grilled Italian sausage and cannelini beans cooked cassoulet-style and served with foie gras and wild rice. Muriel's Jackson Square also treats duck elegantly, offering a seared duck breast served with a duxelle puff pastry, tender duck confit and a blackberry- and port-wine sauce. At Mirabelle , the Maigret de Canard Grille is an appetizer that features grilled duck breast served with pink peppercorn sauce.

For a more earthy treatment, there's the hickory-roasted duck at Emeril's Delmonico Restaurant and Bar that's served with white cheddar cheese grits, collard greens and dried cherry-cane syrup reduction. FQB sears its duck breast and serves it with confit duck leg, a root vegetable hash cake, braised red cabbage and a port wine reduction. If you like to mix your Creole tastes with Asian influences, you can try roast duck with a choice of garlic-port or ginger-peach sauce at the romantic Upperline Restaurant . The roast duck Arancia at Eleven79 is a semi-boneless half duck that's oven-roasted with an orange and rosemary glaze and served with the restaurant's special orange sauce.

Cafe Giovanni does duck the Italian way, glazing the bird with a sweet Marsala and roasted-garlic sauce then roasting it until it's moist but crispy. Gabrielle Restaurant slow-roasts its duck and serves it over shoestring potatoes with crimini mushrooms, roasted red peppers and an orange-sherry sauce. Duck St. Philip at Irene's Cuisine starts with a half duckling cooked on a bed of fresh spinach with French mustard, glazed with raspberry demi-glace and sprinkled with pecans. It's served with wild rice pilaf. Allegro Bistro's pepper jelly-glazed duck breast is pan-seared crispy duck with a cranberry Port demi-glace served with basmati dirty rice and topped with sweet potato hay.

Asian influences are at play in the dish at Tea Garden that features half a duck, which is steamed then tea-smoked before it's laid on a bed of greens and served with plum sauce. Diners must order the roast Peking duck from Chun Lee Chinese Restaurant 24 hours in advance to allow the chef time to prepare a boneless Long Island duckling to be crispy outside and tender inside. It is served with thin Chinese pancakes, scallions and hoisin sauce. The crispy duck at Stixx Asian Cajun Cafe & Sushi Bar is roasted and flash-fried before it is topped with teriyaki sauce and served with a choice of fried rice or stir-fry vegetables.


Deckbar & Grille gives the large purple fruit lots of respect in its eggplant casserole, in which it's fried and served over crabmeat stuffing and topped with crab bisque. Anselmo's eggplant Napoleon specialty layers fried eggplant medallions with provolone cheese and tops them with crawfish-and-mushroom cream sauce and serves it all with angel hair pasta.

Eggplant is a seemingly perfect vessel to pair with seafood, Italian favorites and vegetables as becomes evident with the Eggplant Pirogue Avery Island at K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen . That dish begins with a half eggplant that's seasoned, battered and deep-fried, then filled with julienned beef and shrimp in a sauce of julienned sweet peppers, jalapeno peppers, veal glaze and butter emulsion, and served with potatoes and vegetables. Smilie's stuffs its eggplant pirogue with seafood dressing and mozzarella cheese topped with marinara sauce, while Saia's On the Lake fills its eggplant vessel with shrimp and crabmeat stuffing. A different take on eggplant and seafood is the Stacked Eggplant Napoleon at Copeland's Cheesecake Bistro , a signature dish that layers golden-fried rounds of eggplant with a shrimp, oyster and eggplant dressing topped with oyster cream sauce.

The Chef's Table jumps on the eggplant boat by flash-frying half an eggplant shell and filling it with a sautee of roasted eggplant, blue-point crabmeat, Louisiana Gulf shrimp, oysters, sweet peppers and red onions, then topping it with sweet pepper aioli. An Italian favorite, eggplant at Mona Lisa Restaurant is lightly breaded and pan-fried, then topped with linguine, Parmesan cheese, red sauce and mozzarella cheese before it's baked in an oven. The roasted eggplant sandwich at Fellini's Cafe layers the fruit with mozzarella and feta cheeses, hummus, roasted red peppers, red onions, kalamata olives and pesto sauce on freshly baked bread and serves it with paprika potatoes. R&O's believes one shouldn't be limited in choices of eggplant Parmesan and offers it on a sandwich or as a dinner with mozzarella cheese and pasta.

Babylon Cafe puts a Mediterranean spin on eggplant, baking it with olive oil, then putting it on a sandwich with lettuce, tomato, onions and a topping of feta cheese and tahini. For an Indian treatment, India Palace chefs start Baigan Burtha with baked eggplant, then sautees it with onions, green peas and tomatoes with a touch of curry. Asian Super Buffet's more than 250 offerings include a vegetarian dish of garlic green beans, Japanese eggplant and bok choy in an Asian brown sauce.

At Landry's Restaurant in Lakeview, ham and Swiss cheese are sandwiched between two slices of fried eggplant in its eggplant Landry. The namesake appetizer at Coffee Rani layers medallions of breaded eggplant with portobello mushrooms, smoked gouda cheese, roasted onions and peppers on a bed of wilted spinach and tops it with a pesto Alfredo sauce.


Big Shirley's makes eggs an exotic treat with an omelette that begins with a heart-healthy four egg whites folded around sauteed portobello and shiitake mushrooms, red onions, diced peppers, Roma tomatoes and special herbs and spices, then serves it with a choice of grits or smothered potatoes and toast or freshly made biscuits. No less filling is the Roma omelette at Slim Goodies , which features three eggs enveloping spinach, tomato, mushrooms, feta cheese, onion and garlic and is served with toast or a biscuit.

It's not all about omelettes, however. If you like to keep your eggs intact, consider poached eggs served over applewood-smoked bacon served on a toasted English muffin and topped with Creole mustard maltaise at Albertine's Tea Room at the Columns Hotel. Or try the Sandy Egger at Broken Egg Cafe : an English muffin topped with ham, tomatoes, two poached eggs, a melted combination of cheeses and chives, served with sour cream. Judice's eggs Rosevalley also features two poached eggs but served with two blue crabcakes with mushroom cabernet sauce, topped with homemade hollandaise and served with seasonal fruit. Robert Fresh Market Cafe and Bakery makes its eggs Tchoupitoulas with boar's head sausage and hollandaise sauce and serves it on a bagel or croissant accompanied by a choice of hash browns or grits. At True Brew Cafe you get to choose whether to have your eggs, cheese, lettuce, tomato, bacon or ham in an omelette, wrapped in a tortilla or sandwiched in a croissant.

Those seeking a good old country breakfast can choose a center-cut pork chop or battered chicken-fried steak to accompany two eggs cooked to your preference, hash browns or grits and toast at Clover Grill . If you want to hold your breakfast in one hand, Milan's Creole Cafe offers a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich on a bagel, and Barcia's Grocery also offers a bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich.

The idea of surf and turf takes on a different meaning at Riccobono's Panola Street Cafe , which serves its eggs Pontchartrain with sauteed crawfish and hash browns. Surrey's Cafe and Juice Bar mixes its eggs Magazine with salmon, capers, creamed spinach and portobello mushrooms and offers healthy fresh-squeezed juices to go along with it. Cafe au Lait's Cajun omelette is a fluffy three-egg omelette filled with andouille sausage, onion and Swiss cheese.

For a taste from south of the border, order LaFitte's Tortilla at Another Broken Egg Cafe , which wraps scrambled eggs, chorizo, green chiles and onions in a flour tortilla, covers it with melted cheeses and serves it with sour cream and salsa on the side.


Enchiladas can include ingredients from mild to spicy, from healthy to decadent -- and sometimes all of the above. The Bulldog's Heff-Weisson Smoked BBQ Enchiladas are two whole-wheat tortillas filled with diced marinated chicken and sauteed pico de gallo, topped with smoked hickory barbecue sauce and mixed cheeses. The enchiladas verdes at Adobe Cantina and Salsa are three fajita chicken enchiladas with salsa verde, rice, beans and guacamole salad; La Carreta's version of that dish is identical, though you can substitute chopped steak for the chicken. Enchiladas take on a slightly different twist with Superior Grill's crawfish enchiladas, topped with ranchero sauce, monterey jack and cheddar cheeses, while Casa Tequila proclaims that 'Pancho Villa's Favorite' is a cheese enchilada and chicken enchilada accompanied by a beef fajita taco, rice, beans, a tostada and guacamole on the side.


These boisterous Mexican dishes require customer participation, since you usually roll 'em up hot off the griddle yourself. Their popularity has put them on the menus of even non-Mexican eateries, many of whom combine them with the tastes of other cuisines. WOW Cafe & Wingery's fajitas are served with one of four homemade salsas: Santa Fe (chipotle), Jamaican (jerk), Italian (garlic herb) and Buffalo (WOW's original sauce), while at Coffee & Company , Mexico meets the Middle East in the fajita pita: toasted pita bread filled with grilled chicken and melted Muenster cheese, served with garden greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, salsa and sour cream. F&M Patio Bar's fajitas are tortillas stuffed with monterey cheese, grilled onions, peppers, homemade salsa and your choice of chicken breast or, for a dash of the Creole, alligator sausage marinated in secret sauce.

Spudly's Super Spuds offers a fajita with a twist: a fresh baked potato topped with strips of seasoned chicken smothered in onions and bell peppers, topped with cheddar, mozzarella and chives with salsa and sour cream on the side. Those on a health kick may go for the fajita salad at Cafe Hola ; it's romaine lettuce, black onions, tomatoes and cheese tossed in homemade roasted corn vinaigrette dressing, with grilled onions, peppers, guacamole and ancho sour cream; you can choose to top it all off with beef, chicken, shrimp or portobello mushrooms. Chevy's Fresh Mex offers Mix & Match Fajitas, any of the following grilled over a mesquite wood fire: steak, chicken, shrimp, baby back ribs, or veggies. Cafe Banquette's chicken fajita wrap is a flour tortilla stuffed with marinated chicken, sauteed peppers and onions, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, cheddar and jack cheeses, sour cream and the cafe's own Southwestern sauce.

Hard Rock Cafe offers its Famous Grilled Fajitas with your choice of grilled chicken, shrimp, beef or veggies served with pico de gallo, jack and cheddar cheese, guacamole, sour cream, lettuce and hot tortillas. Kenner Supermarket hearkens back to the basics with its fajita: beef, chicken and shrimp served sizzling with peppers and onions -- as does Pupuseria Divino Corazon , whose tried-and-true fajitas contain your choice of grilled seasoned chicken or steak with pico de gallo, and Taqueria la Mexicana , where you can choose beef or shrimp with grilled onions and peppers, served with rice and beans. Similarly, Applebee's serves a skillet of grilled fajita steak or spicy chipotle chicken with sauteed onions and peppers, tortillas, Southwest rice and other toppings. Blue Tomato also keeps it simple: its fajitas are tortillas with guacamole, sour cream, pico and your choice of chicken, steak (or a combination), shrimp, or pork.


New Orleans' water-centric location makes it a fantastic place to order fresh fish; add the city's stellar culinary tradition and you've got two good reasons to ask your server what types of fish are available. At Mango House , seasonal Gulf fish is prepared with garlic, ginger and fresh herbs and steamed in banana leaves to seal in the juices. Dante's Kitchen offers a falafel-crusted seasonal Gulf fish on Chinese black rice topped with slow-cooked tomatoes, garlic chips, shaved Parmesan cheese and finished with a grilled green onion vinaigrette. The Louisiana flounder at Bruning's Seafood Restaurant is a hefty pound-and-a-quarter to a pound-and-a-half; broiled or fried, alone or with Bruning's own crabmeat stuffing, it's one of the restaurant's signature dishes.

One of the French Creole delicacies at Palace Cafe is the andouille-crusted Gulf fish: a pan-roasted fillet coated with housemade andouille sausage and French bread crumbs, served on a cayenne beurre blanc with chive aioli, rissol&233; potatoes and seasonal veggies. Ristorante Filippo's Giachino Pesce is a pan-fried fillet of red snapper topped with shrimp, crawfish, crabmeat and mushrooms with a white wine sauce over pasta.

'The Howard' at Mike Anderson's Seafood Restaurant is a fresh seasonal red or black drum, marinated in olive oil, herbs and seasonings and baked skin-down alongside bread and a choice of potato, salad or coleslaw. Restaurant August serves parmesan-crusted blackfish accompanied by lobster whipped potatoes and bouillabaisse jus.

Local Thai recipes include the lime-steamed fish at SukhoThai -- a whole fish steamed over lemon grass, topped with homemade spicy lime garlic juice -- and the seafood claypot medley at Siam Cafe , a traditional mix of fish, shrimp and sliced squid in a fish stock with green onions, sweet pepper, mushrooms, lemon grass and Thai glass noodles. There's also the Ca Chien Sot Ca, a deep-fried whole fish served with the chef's special tomato sauce, at Three Happiness , and the Rivershack Tavern's grilled mahi mahi is served with andouille fried spinach and jalapeno cornbread with a creamed lemon herb sauce. And one of the many reasons Anglophiles love Winston's Pub and Patio is its traditional English fish-and-chips dish: fried cod and waffle-cut fries.


This oft-overlooked amphibian is given its due in such restaurants as the New Orleans Grill , whose civet of sauteed frogs' legs is served with Jerusalem artichoke with pan-fried foie gras gnocchi and shaved black truffle. Voleo's offers deep-fried frog legs blue point: frog legs are lightly battered and fried, then tossed in a garlic and parsley butter sauce. The tempura jumbo frog legs at Stella! come with sushi rice, organic pea tendrils, vegetable stir-fry and red chili cilantro butter, while Don's Seafood Hut offers seasoned frog legs both fried and broiled: the former version is accompanied by Cajun fries and cole slaw, while the latter comes with a baked potato and steamed vegetables. Charles' Seafood has an entire fried frog legs platter with toast, French fries and salad, and Gautreau's makes an appetizer of sauteed frog legs with salsify, grated walnuts, and tarragon cream.


Louisiana's most recognizable dish comes in several varieties at Gumbo Shop , natch: one classic is the seafood okra gumbo with sauteed okra, onion, bell pepper, celery, and tomato with shrimp and crabs; another is the chicken andouille gumbo with boneless chicken, andouille and seasoning in chicken stock. The turkey and andouille gumbo at Mid City Lanes Rock 'n' Bowl is derived from a longstanding family recipe, and Cafe Reconcile also offers a homemade version, the 'Johnson House' chicken and sausage gumbo. The gumbo at Quarter Scene Restaurant is made with chicken, smoked andouille sausage and okra, with or without shrimp; Rendon Inn's seafood gumbo is a blend of shrimp, oysters, catfish and crabs in a dark roux. Cafe Unique's rich, dark gumbo is as the restaurant's name implies, featuring whatever ingredients are fresh and available: turkey, sausage, shrimp, crab claws and so on. Sal's Seafood has two varieties, seafood (with shrimp, crab and oysters) and chicken (chicken and sausage). Some eateries offer gumbo as part of a combination plate; for instance, the Funky Butt's 'Big Butt Special' is a cup of the restaurant/ music club's spicy Creole gumbo (with chicken, crab, sausage and shrimp) along with jambalaya, red beans and rice, and smoked sausage. Olivier's offers a gumbo sampler featuring Chef Armand's Creole Gumbo (with chicken and andouille), Papa Armand's Fil&233;, and Mom's Okra Gumbo.


If an old-fashioned recipe for this game bird is what you're craving, Pampy's Creole Kitchen offers young hen stewed 'like your mother did it' and served with baked macaroni, potato salad and a vegetable of your choice. If you're seeking a more sophisticated take on the tender fowl, order Arnaud's Rock Cornish Game Hen Whitecloud, oven-roasted with a classic Veronique (grape and white wine) sauce and served with wild rice and water chestnut dressing. There's also the Cornish Game Hen Clemenceau, served with brabant potatoes, peas, cured ham, crimini mushrooms and a bearnaise sauce, at 201 Restaurant and Bar , and Cafe Degas ' coquelet a la basquaise is a Cornish game hen with pancetta (cured Italian bacon), peppers, tomatoes and rice pilaf.


Though many outsiders assume that Louisiana's beloved traditional dish is so named because it's a 'jumble' of ingredients, the actual origin of 'Jamb-a-la-ya' is loosely translated as 'ham with rice.' But, in the modern-day versions of jambalaya, the outsiders' assumption is pretty accurate: jambalaya's only real consistent ingredients are rice, tomatoes, peppers, onions and spices, livened up with any and every type of meat or seafood available. Mid-City Deli & Catering's chicken-and-sausage jambalaya, served with vegetables and French bread, lends a rural Cajun flavor to the dish, as does the Jambalaya Shoppe's pick of either pork-and-sausage or chicken-and-sausage jambalaya (its Jambalaya Dinner comes with your choice, plus either red or white beans, green salad and a roll). Louisiana Heritage Cafe starts off your morning with a jambalaya omelette, in which the egg dish is stuffed with shrimp-and-sausage jambalaya and cheese, and topped with Creole sauce. Cafe Gumbolaya's signature dish is the Gumbolaya, chicken-and-sausage jambalaya combined with seafood-and-okra gumbo.


Whether by the chop, rack or tenderloin, there's a number of ways to indulge your taste buds in dishes made with lamb. Dixie Gyros prepares its namesake Greek sandwich the traditional way, in a pita stuffed with shaved lamb and beef, lettuce, tomato, onions and tzatziki sauce (a cucumber/ sour cream topping). Find a decidedly non-traditional twist on mutton at Dakota , whose lamb nachos appetizer is sweet potato chips, ground lamb, tomato chutney and Roquefort cheese. Laurentino's offers a culinary trip to northern Spain with its Castilian-style lamb chilindron stew: a leg of lamb stewed with potatoes and carrots and a spicy chilindron sauce: onions, potatoes, carrots, red and green peppers, tomatoes, Mediterranean herbs and Spanish seasonings, served with sauteed seasonal vegetables.

Other cross-cultural looks at lamb include recipes from Greece at Mr. Gyros Greek Restaurant , where baby lamb chops are seasoned with rosemary and oregano and served with potatoes and rice; and from Lebanon, at Mona's , small chunks of lamb are sauteed with Middle Eastern spices and olive oil and served with a hummus (chick pea) dip. French methods of preparing lamb are on display at La Provence -- where the Navarin d'Agneau Prinanier is lamb stew with fresh spring vegetables -- and at Louis XVI , whose Carr&233; d'Agneau Gourmet is a rack of lamb coated with Dijon mustard and seasoned bread crumbs, served in a garlic demi-glace. The traditional Spanish Caldereta is found at Lola's , where the Andalusian lamb stew is extra-spicy, flavored with tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, carrots, wine, hot peppers and spices. Lulu's in the Garden serves a feta-crusted lamb loin with couscous, roasted peppers and black olives, and The Pelican Club's rack of lamb is a study in decadence with a walnut- and honey-mustard crust, served with mashed Yukon Gold potatoes with truffle oil, baby vegetables and rosemary garlic au jus.


Lobster claws its way to the top in the Crescent City through dishes such as Dante's Kitchen's lobster ravioli with shiitake mushrooms and a warm orange and lobster vinaigrette. The Maine lobster at Wolfe's of New Orleans is potato-wrapped and served with smoked mussel goat cheese torte, grilled asparagus, toasted garlic chips and sweet vermouth butter sauce. Ristorante Carmelo's lobster Fra Diavolo is a whole Maine lobster in a spicy marinara served over linguine and garnished with clams, mussels, shrimp and calamari.

Bravo! Cucina Italiana invites you to start an Italian feast with a rich, creamy lobster bisque that also features shrimp. Chateaubriand turns the tide with its stuffed, grilled Maine lobster, a nearly two-pound crustacean stuffed with lump crabmeat and served with beurre blanc. A Bacco signature is its housemade ravioli filled with Maine lobster and Gulf shrimp tossed in a champagne butter sauce and garnished with lobster morsels and caviar. Bull's Corner serves steak and lobster, a chargrilled 6-oz. filet and a 1-lb. Maine lobster accompanied by drawn butter, potato and the vegetable du jour.

Double Dragon serves lobster several ways, including with ginger sauce, garlic sauce, or salt and pepper as well as Cantonese-style and steamed. The Original French Market Restaurant & Bar tweaks a Louisiana favorite: its lobster etouffee includes lobster, shrimp and crawfish tails sauteed and served in the lobster tail with rice. Cafe Zen's lobster roll is best enjoyed with a swig of hot or cold sake. Apple Seed Shoppe's lobster salad swims on a bed of lettuce with tomato, egg, celery, red cabbage and green onion. Pontchartrain Grille's Double Jackpot is a 7-oz. filet mignon and a North Atlantic lobster tail. Aurora Seafood & Steak House also serves steak and lobster: a petite beef filet and half of a Maine lobster stuffed with crabmeat dressing and served with a loaded baked potato and hot roll. And, on the Northshore, Artesia's entrees include a pan-seared lobster tail along with linguine, tomatoes, fresh herbs, feta cheese and roasted red pepper sauce.


Red Maple stuffs its mirliton with andouille, shrimp, and crab and tops it all with a fried oyster bordelaise. Wolfe's of New Orleans offers a mirlition and crabmeat Napoleon with crispy leeks and a homemade andouille crimini cream. Riccobono's Peppermill takes a vine-ripened mirliton and fills it with shrimp dressing, then serves it with brabant potatoes and your choice of the soup of the day or a house salad. La Cuisine's specialties include its stuffed mirliton and fried shrimp.


The Court of Two Sisters ' a la carte dinner menu includes the Louisiana Mixed Grill, a charbroiled chicken breast, andouille sausage and boudin blanc served with a sauce laced with Creole mustard and honey. Red Maple's version boasts filet mignon with wild mushroom port glaze reduction, grilled shrimp bordelaise and grilled drum with creamed pesto. The River 127' Mix Grill has an aged filet of beef, a lamb T-bone steak and shrimp Grand Isle, large Gulf shrimp lightly battered with garlic and parsley, lemon and garlic sauce. Ruth's Chris Steak House's Classic Mixed Grill is a filet, marinated chicken breast and a choice of pork chop or andouille sausage. Zea Rotisserie Cafe's mixed rotisserie and grill includes a half-rack of wet or dry ribs, a quarter barbecued chicken and a quarter-pound of the rotisseried meat of the day with a choice of two sides.


It's worth wondering how a simple cold-cuts-and-cheese sandwich could become the stuff of legend, developing legions of aficionados willing to search every restaurant, cafe, sandwich shop and deli in town for that perfect combination of Italian bread, tangy olive salad, sliced meats and cheeses. Central Grocery is widely credited for originating this New Orleans mainstay, with its time-honored fillings: mortadella, provolone and mozzarella cheeses, ham, Genoa salami, and the grocery's secret garlicky olive salad. (Central does offer variations, including vegetarian, all-salami, and ham and cheese). The key is in the olive salad: both The Original Pierre Maspero's and Napoleon House offer a similar sandwich with thin-sliced meats and their own specialty house olive salads (with the former adding Swiss cheese to its version, and the latter serving its muffaletta warm to let the cheeses melt). Olive Branch Cafe provides a different twist with its gourmet muffaletta pizza topped with mozzarella, Genoa salami, ham and olive salad, and Cafe Maspero appeals to vegetarians with its Veggie Muffaletta: olive salad and melted Swiss cheese on an Italian seeded roll.


At Boule Prime House , beef may be the main event, but the lump crabmeat-stuffed mushrooms shouldn't be overlooked at lunchtime; also, Speakeasy Sports Bar & Grill has won fans over with its fried mushrooms served with a spicy hollandaise sauce. Mandarin House Chinese Buffet offers seasoned steak stir-fried with broccoli and mushrooms; and the mushroom manchego toast at Upstairs at Mimi's is toast topped with melted manchego cheese and smothered with seasoned sherry-creamed mushrooms.

Fresco Cafe and Pizzeria's portobello mushroom sandwich is served on fresh-baked bread and pairs the'shrooms with mozzarella cheese, spinach, roasted red peppers and caramelized onions, dressed with sun-dried tomato mayonnaise. Other mushroom sandwiches include the Club Med, created by La Spiga Bakery and sold at the CyberBar & Cafe at the CAC : it's roasted portobello mushrooms with spinach, feta, roasted red bell peppers and black olives on rustic ciabatta bread; there's also the Mushroom Mountain sandwich at Verti Mart -- a pile of grilled fresh mushrooms topped with Swiss or provolone cheese, served on a bun or French bread. Mushroom and crab are a tantalizing combination, as evidenced at the Coffee Pot , which features a crabmeat-stuffed mushroom appetizer, and Friends on the Tchefuncte , whose baked stuffed mushrooms are crabmeat-stuffed button mushrooms topped with a cream sauce.


These bivalves are generally plentiful, inexpensive and delicious, whether simply steamed or included in more elaborate recipes. The French appreciation for mussels is evident at La Cote Brasserie , which steams mussels in a smoked tomato and fennel broth with basil crostini; at Ciro's Cote Sud , which features steamed mussels in a cream-and-blue cheese reduction sauce; and Etoile , whose namesake Moules Etoile are mussels steamed in a spicy white wine dill sauce with sweet potato fries.

Clancy's offers mussels with curried lentils and a roasted tomato broth, while the Orleans Grapevine's mussels are steamed in a sherry broth with tomato and roasted garlic. Padrino Cafe features herbal mussels sauteed in a tangy herbal wine brandy sauce, and the Mussels Soup Provencal at Ralph's on the Park is a simple and flavorful mussel broth with tomato and saffron.

Bigger appetites will appreciate the mussels Figaro at Figaro's : it's Atlantic blue mussels tossed with tomatoes, green onions, capers, garlic and herbed butter and served over pasta. Andrea's Restaurant's Cioppino Mediterraneo is a mixture of mussels, clams, scallops, shrimp, lump crabmeat and squid with onion, garlic, crushed red pepper, white wine, herbs, plum tomatoes, all served with linguine.


Vietnamese-style noodle dishes are on hand at Jazmine Cafe , which offers a grilled chicken breast noodle salad bowl (marinated and grilled chicken breast, vermicelli noodles and pickled carrots, marinated in a sour fish vinaigrette); at Dong Phuong , which has host of noodle dishes that includes a stir-fried rice noodle with mixed meats and vegetables; at Pho Tau Bay , also offering a multitude of noodle dishes such as its signature beef noodle soup, pho, which comes with rice noodles, fresh herbs and veggies, and your choice of beef cut; and at Mahleanani Pacific Rim Cuisine , which has a wide variety of 'bun' noodle dishes served with fresh herbs, pickled vegetables, nuoc cham (spicy chili, garlic and fish sauce), and roasted peanuts.

Moving on to Japan, Sake Cafe features Chicken Yaki Udon, sauteed Japanese noodles with chicken in a soy-lemon sauce. Wasabi has Nabeyaki Udon, noodle soup with assorted seafood, vegetables, egg and shrimp tempura; Kyoto II features an assortment of udon (noodle) dishes mixed with seaweed, tempura, and beef. Chinese methods of preparing noodles are featured in the Singapore Noodles dish at China Rose (it's a hot and spicy rice noodle with shrimp, chicken and beef); and in the Empress Chow Mein, a China Orchid specialty dish of crispy thin pan-fried noodles sauteed with shrimp, roast pork, beef, chicken, and Chinese vegetables.

Finally, Thailand is represented in Bangkok Thai's Drunken Noodles: large, flat, fresh noodles tossed with stir-fried tomato, bell pepper, onion, basil leaf and your choice of meat.


This versatile vegetable is sure to draw raves (not tears) when prepared in Antoine's soupe à l'oignon gratin&233;e, a traditional French onion soup blended in the oven and topped with melted cheeses over French bread crumbs. Expect the same reaction when presented with Taqueria Corona's cebollitas, Mexican-seasoned green onions charbroiled over an open flame. A comfort-food favorite, onion rings are amped up at Bennigan's , which offers an 'Irish Haystack' of batter-fried red onions served with Irish stout ketchup and ranch dressing. At Corner Oyster Bar , massive onion rings are battered with a housemade seasoning. Maloney's Italian Scallion dish is a pound of fried onion rings topped with the restaurant's special Romano cheese blend. Peristyle's pissaladiere is a flaky puff pastry tartlet topped with roasted garlic puree, caramelized onions, Nicoise olives, Texas goat cheese and white wine-brined anchovies.


The Red Fish Grill's signature BBQ Oysters can heat things up in no time: they're flash-fried P&J oysters tossed in a peppery Crystal barbecue sauce and served with housemade blue cheese for dipping. Another spicy selection is the panne oysters with Creole mustard sauce at Mimi's Italian & Seafood Restaurant : the Louisiana oysters are paneed with Italian breadcrumbs, and the sauce is a blend of Creole mustard and creme fraiche; it's served with seasonal vegetables and roasted garlic creamed potatoes.

You can bring desire to the table -- figuratively, with the Sporting House Cafe's Oysters Faux Pas: fried oysters 'caressed' in a bed of fresh spinach and brie cheese, sprinkled with balsamic vinaigrette on French bread -- or literally, with the Desire Oyster Bar's oysters Desire, baked with Parmesan cheese, Creole seasonings and garlic butter. The mollusks take a dignified turn at the Sazerac with crunchy cornmeal oysters on grilled green tomatoes with creamy Herbsaint spinach and tasso hollandaise; and at Feelings Cafe , where the oysters en brochette are bacon-wrapped, deep-fried and accompanied by a sour cream-and-Creole mustard sauce and brabant potatoes. Cigar Aficionado magazine raves about the fried oysters in a Creole meuniere sauce at Dos Jefes Uptown Cigar Bar .

The mollusks meet shrimp, crabmeat, shallots and parsley seasonings in the combination pan roast at Pascal's Manale , and are topped with chorizo sausage and mushroom dressing in one of Barataria's baked oyster dishes, oysters Bay Batiste. Savory charbroiled oysters, sauteed on the grill in open shells with garlic butter sauces and cheeses, are hits at Drago's and Visko's , But when it comes to oysters, sometimes simplicity is the key: fried oyster meals continue to be bestsellers at places such as Aft Deck Oyster Bar (where they're served with coleslaw and fries), at Stitches (where the Wiley Coyote 'Eat Aloticus Oysterous' fried oyster plate comes with French fries or potato salad), and at Elizabeth's , where fried oysters swaddled in blue cheese is a consistent winner at any time of the day.


Start off your morning with Johnny & Jackie's Po-Boy Restaurant's hot cakes. Marco Polo's Market features buttermilk pancakes of the banana, blueberry and plain varieties. Russell's Marina Grill features multigrain and sweet potato pancakes as part of its 'After the Gym' breakfast menu. Coffee Cove's short stack is three pancakes served with two strips of smoked bacon. Guess what the house specialty is at Betsy's Pancake House ? Foodies Kitchen features buttermilk pancakes at its weekend brunch -- and even serves a kid version, same idea just a whole lot smaller. The many options at Robin's on Canal include old-fashioned whole wheat pancakes, five buttered cakes with powdered sugar and whipped butter.

And for a breakfast idea with lunch or dinner written all over it, try Korea House's seafood pancake: mussels, squid, shrimp and oysters, breaded and pan-fried.


With so many varieties of pasta, and so many ways to prepare these versatile noodles, it's possible to eat a pasta meal every day around here and not sample the same dish twice. That, and the fact that pastas contain a variety of nutrients including folic acid, is reason enough to consider a pasta dinner tonight. Start at Cappita! Italian Bistro , where the spinach and three-cheese manicotti consists of shells stuffed with spinach, ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses and swaddled in the house marinara sauce; or visit Ristorante da Piero for its Strozzapreti Alla Carvese: hand-rolled pasta with jumbo shrimp sauteed with garlic, olive oil, red pepper and toasted with cherry tomato, eggplant, tomato sauce and Italian herbs.

Find tasty pasta blends such as the Mediterranean pasta (pasta tossed with sun-dried tomato pesto, artichokes, capers, kalamata olives, feta cheese and fresh basil) at Angeli on Decatur , or Becky Thatcher's Pasta Salad (rainbow pasta, shrimp, black olives, and mushrooms with an Italian dressing) at Mark Twain's Pizza Landing . If cheese is your thing, head to Verona for the four-cheese pasta: shells stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella, provolone and Parmesan. Mat & Naddie's offers homemade cannelloni with five cheeses, which is stuffed with roasted portobellos, bell peppers, spinach and pine nuts and served in a spicy tomato broth with wilted radicchio, fennel and rapini; the entree is garnished with tapinade and fried capers.

If you like seafood, try the pasta Lafitte (a spicy rich cream sauce laced with crabmeat, shrimp, and green onions over angel hair pasta) at Restaurant des Familles . Traditionalists will want to sample the local favorite, spaghetti with daube (Creole-style roast beef in a sherry-fortified sauce) at Felix's Restaurant and Oyster Bar , or the just-plain-good spaghetti and meatballs at Louisiana Pizza Kitchen : it's marinara and pasta studded with herbed sirloin beef meatballs. And we'd love to be invited to Sunday dinner at Aunt Vera's, but the next best thing is to experience Aunt Vera's Lasagna at Sandro's Trattoria : it's 16 (count 'em) layers of fresh hand-rolled pasta with three types of imported cheeses and a light pork or veal sauce. Mangia!


The Pontchartrain Cafe is known for its mile-high pie: Neapolitan ice cream enveloped in a vanilla meringue and topped with chocolate then served with whipped cream and a cherry on a top. Parkway Bakery & Tavern and Russell's Short Stop Po-Boys both offer Hubig pies. Cajun Cabin's Swamp Berry Pie combines strawberries, raspberries and blackberries in a lattice-top pie and is available a la mode. The staff of McAlister's Deli counts its Kentucky Pie among its favorites: a hot chocolate chip pecan pie topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate syrup and a cherry. Mango House helps cleanse the palate with its Key lime-style pie, featuring a ginger snap crust and fresh whipped cream. Close any meal at Mandina's with its Milky Way pie.

Pies don't necessarily have to be sweet, as evidenced by Chez Nous ' menu, which sometimes offers crawfish pies, chicken pot pies and meat pies. Deja Vu's memorable appetizers include Cajun meat pies served with ranch dressing. And McNulty's Bitter End offers its meat pies three to an order.


Dia Roma Cafe's motto is a 'a slice above the rest' of the New Orleans area pizzerias, a claim it stakes on gourmet pizzas such as the Dia Special, a pie covered with ham, salami, pepperoni, onions and black olives. DeAngelo's beckons diners with DeAngelo's Super Deluxe pizza, garnished with pepperoni, fresh mushrooms, green peppers, sliced onions, oven-roasted Italian sausage, banana peppers and fire-roasted bell peppers.

Mo's Supreme Pizza Turnover is filled with meat, cheese, sauce, onions, bell peppers, black olives and mushrooms. Cafe Roma invites you to try a taste of the Near East, with its Turkish pizza; featuring steaming ground beef, red tomatoes, parsley, and onion, served with lemon. Roman Pizza marches into summer with a combination pizza made from fresh dough, homemade daily, and all-fresh ingredients, including pepperoni, sausage, ground beef, mushrooms, green peppers, black olives and onions. For a pie that's built like its name, try the Brick Oven Pizza: roasted chicken, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and homemade cheese with Italian sausage. Pizza is an art at Cafe Picasso , where the most popular pie is a pepperoni and beef kebab, with three kinds of vegetables.

Pete's Pub picked a pizza peppery pie this summer, a thin crust Mexican pizza -- seasoned ground beef topped with cheese, tomatoes, black olives, jalapeños, and green onions on a low-carb tortilla. The Big Apple meets the Big Easy at New York Pizza , whose specialties include a Big Apple pie -- pepperoni, Canadian bacon, onions, mushrooms, Italian sausage and minced garlic (with jalapenos and anchovies upon request). The Super Big Apple is an up-sized Big Apple plus spinach and artichokes. Milano's Pizzeria offers a tantalizing garlic shrimp pizza, while Warehouse District Pizza's specialty pizza promises a gamey dish of barbecue chicken, shrimp Creole, venison, duck, rabbit sausages and filet mignon.

Igor's Check Point Charlie's menu of pub fare includes the mini-pizza -- jalapeno peppers, cheese fries, chicken nuggets and the half-pound Charlie burger. With a name like Primo , it's got to be good and this pizzeria aims to please with both a spinach Alfredo pizza and a shrimp Alfredo pizza; both arecovered with mozzarella cheese and a special Alfredo sauce.


At Parasol's Restaurant & Bar , there are nearly a dozen types of po-boys, but the roast beef is a classic and the gravy is 'optional.' Parkway Bakery & Tavern serves a 'melt-in-your-mouth' roast beef po-boy, a slow-roasted (six to eight hours) chuck roast prepared with very little salt and a pinch of onion and garlic. The signature dish at Johnny's Po-Boy Restaurant is 'Johnny's Special,' roast beef, ham and cheese served on French bread from the Leidenheimer Baking Company in New Orleans. Magazine Po-Boy Shop offers 18 types of po-boys, regular and king size. The po-boys recommended for the summer include the beef & ham, the veal cutlet, and the fried chicken breast.

The menu at Russell's Short Stop Po-Boys features 26 po-boys; try the four-meat special -- ham, luncheon meat, bologna and salami on stone ground whole wheat bread or French bread. For something really different, try an overstuffed filet mignon po-boy with crazy potatoes from Crazy Johnnie's Steak House . Mr. Roo's Restaurant and Catering invites you to try the Mr. Roo's Special, roast beef, ham, turkey and Swiss cheese, available (like every po-boy here) on Sugar Busters bread. Domilise's Po-Boys is renowned for its roast beef po-boy cooked in special homemade gravy and served on Leidenheimer's French bread. Johnny & Jackie's Po-Boy Restaurant's boasts a dizzying menu selection, but focus on the Mr. D's Special, grilled pastrami with provolone cheese and Italian olive salad or the larger pastrami Supreme.

Danny and Clyde's eight food stores in the metro area (Orleans, Jefferson and St. Tammany parishes) is highlighting the D&C Special this summer: ham, your choice of cheese and hot roast beef on Leidenheimer French bread. The Flyin' Cow serves a smoked ham and cheese po-boy. Paul's Cafe in Ponchatoula serves overstuffed shrimp po-boys and roast beef po-boys, which may be had with homemade (seasonal) strawberry daiquiris.

Liuzza's by the Track breaks out of the gate this summer with its new barbecue shrimp po-boy. At Radosta's , the traditional favorites are the roast beef po-boy (made from fresh roast beef roasted daily on site) and the hamburger po-boy, one pound of lean ground meat grilled to order; both served on French bread. At Bear's Restaurant , the Ferdie po-boy, spells roast beef, ham and Swiss cheese on French bread.


'Pompano is considered by many to be America's finest fish,' according to Food Lover's Companion. Tell us something we don't know! While we hate to play seafood favorites in this city, it's hard to argue with the quality of this member of the jack family. One of the best ways to preserve the flavor of pompano is by serving it grilled, as does The Hunt Room Grill . Or, you can keep it real simple at Horinoya , where they serve the Managatsuo Miso Yaki: grilled pompano fish marinated in miso. But then there's the local approach, as evidenced by Broussard's pompano Napoleon; the fish is grilled, with scallops and shrimp in a mustard caper sauce.


Harbor's Soul Food serves pig feet and pig tails as well as smothered pork chops and fried pork chops. Diners at Martinique Bistro may enjoy the sauteed medallions of pork tenderloin with oyster mushrooms, hazelnuts and a green peppercorn, served with a cognac demi-glace. Golden Dragon features eight different pork dishes (served with steamed white rice), including the sauteed pork Szechwan with hot cabbage. Smith & Wollensky touts its crackling pork shank, with firecracker applesauce, which won recognition as USA Today's No. 1 dish of the year.

Fiesta Latina recommends its pupusa, a house specialty of tortillas stuffed with ground pork, mozzarella cheese and refried beans. Semolina is renown for its pasta, but try the Java pork chops, three marinated chops, peanut-crusted and pan-seared, served with a spicy vegetable and noodle stir fry. Yutaro serves a Katsu (pork or chicken) combination plate, served with miso soup, rice and pickled vegetable.

Cafe Volage , which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, offers a classic pork chop Forestiere, grilled center cut chops served with garlic mushroom sauce and pasta. The Commons serves a smothered pork chop with steamed rice and vegetables.

Ugly Dog Saloon suggests the pulled pork, which features a half pound of slow-cooked, dry rubbed marinated pork shoulder, topped with Sassy Jones' original barbecue sauce. Silky O'Sullivan's , where Memphis-style barbecue is served with a Cajun flare, expands its culinary reach with a southwestern treat -- barbecue nachos, topped with your choice of pulled pork or brisket.

Cobalt recommends its unique Crawfish and Fontina-Jammed Niman Ranch pork chop; quality cuts of meat stuffed with Fontina cheese, served over dirty rice with an apple-bourbon reduction. Cottage Cafe offers a boneless pork chop on its Sugar Busters menu, but try the praline pork with Lyonnaise potatoes, medallions of pan-seared pork topped with the special housemade pecan-praline sauce. Foodies Kitchen , the self-described 'meals market,' invites you to try its weekend brunch specials, including the grillades and grits, pork medallions in a rich Creole grillade sauce served over creamy white grits.


The loveable spud has become the high-carb bane of Atkin's dieters everywhere, but really now, this is New Orleans. We are a forgiving lot, especially because we know that something so simple can be prepared in so many intriguing and tasty ways. Vega Tapas Cafe knows this, which is why it offers the sweet potato gnocchi, which is cooked in a Gorgonzola cream for extra flavor. Rene Bistrot's gnocchi is served with fourme d'ambert, crispy prosciutto and chanterelles.

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Cafe calls them Couch Potatoes, but they are really golden fries topped with smokehouse chili and grated cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses and served as an appetizer. For the true diner effect, consider the hash browns at the Jukebox Cajun Diner , prepared 'All Da Way,' with cheese, onions, green peppers, ham, tomatoes and chili and grilled golden brown.

For the full-on effect, there are the tried and true stuffed potatoes, like Potato King's Meatball Spud: meatballs with red Italian sauce topped with butter, mozzarella cheese and chives. Traditionalists favor the stuffed potatoes at Maw Maw's Kitchen , where you can build your own from a selection of butter, barbecue sauce, roast beef gravy or red gravy, cheese, mushrooms, salsa, bacon, sour cream, grilled onions or jalapeno peppers.

Or keep it simpler with Port of Call's world-famous over-stuffed baked potatoes to go along with those burgers. Carrollton Station's Bakers are house's jumbo stuffed baked potatoes. Only a few restaurants do this, but Katie's is well known for its homemade potato chips.


Emeril's presents its Country Fried Farm Raised Quail with buttermilk mashed potatoes, Southern cooked greens and white gravy. Fried quail stuffed with boudin sausage and topped with Purple Haze blueberry glaze and served on a bed of andouille cornbread stuffing with veggies is on tap at Abita Brew Pub . Still on the sweet side, Annadele's Plantation offers an appetizer of molasses-marinated grilled quail served with tomatillo jalapeno chutney. Rasputin , along with its vodka and caviar, features the quail salad, a grilled marinated quail with baby lettuces tossed in pomegranate vinaigrette.

Country Flame's charbroiled specialties include quail, available solo or by the pair and served with a house salad and choice of French fries or buttered baked potato. Peristyle's grilled Texas quail features two semi-boneless birds served with griddled cornmeal dumplings; spiced pecan, applewood bacon and roasted shallot relish; wilted Louisiana greens; roasted baby fennel; and orange-thyme demi-glace reduction. Lee Circle Restaurant's boudin-stuffed bobwhite quail is tempura-battered and served with watercress and mustard green salad and sesame citrus gastrique.

C'est Bon Restaurant serves quail stuffed with shrimp and eggplant stuffing, baked and topped with roasted garlic butter sauce then served over rice pilaf with sauteed vegetables. Commander's Palace quail is muscadine- and chicory coffee-lacquered, stuffed with blue crab-artisan bread stuffing and served with mixed potato hash, baby mustard greens and sweet corn vinaigrette.


At Nacho Mama's Mexican Grill in the CBD, select between four basic options: cheese, bean (either pinto or black), grilled veggie or meat (with options of grilled chicken breast, spicy Cajun pork, grilled steak or grilled beef). All Nacho Mama's quesadillas come served with pico de gallo and sour cream. At 13 , a recent addition to the Frenchmen Street scene, the appetizers include a quesadilla sandwich of roasted poblano peppers and potatoes, served with the house salsa. Quesadillas dominate the appetizer choices at Fat Harry's , with varieties of chicken, shrimp, crawfish, steak or Greek -- which combines gyro meat, diced tomatoes, red onions, ranch dressing and sour cream.

In the French Quarter, Flora Gallery and Coffee Shop offers a spicy chicken quesadilla with spicy chicken, jalapenos, tomatoes and melted cheddar cheese, all on a toasted tortilla. At either location of Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar, you'll find among Lucy's Long Board Classics the West Coast Quesadilla: cheese and salsa folded into a flour tortilla, served hot with sour cream and guacamole with additional options of grilled chicken, spinach, portobello mushroom or grilled vegetables ($2 each), or steak or shrimp ($3 each).

You can opt for more than the revered Swamp Burger at the Swamp Room , where you'll find black bean or chicken quesadilla rolls on the appetizer menu. Black bean quesadilla rolls are also on the starter menu at Sidelines Bar & Grill in Metairie.


Be secure in your manhood: order quiche, and discover the many unique interpretations of the French classic area restaurants offer. You'll already feel as if you're on the Seine's left bank while at Croissant D'Or , so add to the aesthetic a breakfast quiche, with choices of broccoli, spinach or Lorraine (ham and cheese). With a minimum one-day's notice, they'll prepare a large 9-inch quiche. Home Furnishings Store Cafe offers its shoppers daily lunch specials; a favorite of these is the combo of quiche, salad and drink. Sold as two for $10, you and a friend can pick between the two choices: either spinach and mushroom, or Lorraine (bacon and Swiss cheese).

French culinary traditions dominate La Madeleine's food menu. During breakfast, try the quiche Lorraine, which combines a mixture of ham, bacon and Swiss cheese in a creamy egg dish. At Le Petit Paris in the CBD, quiche is a lunch item with choices of crab, Lorraine, spinach, broccoli, chicken or Maison (potato, onion and sour cream).


You'll find varied, adventurous dishes featuring at rabbit at everywhere from some of the city's finest establishments to old-school neighborhood joints. At Commander's Palace , you can select from the a la carte menu a deep-dish rabbit and foie gras pie, with the pastry crust finished with roasted mushrooms and goat cheese. Ren&233; Bistrot's lapin moutarde is braised rabbit on the bone with Dijon mustard and a walnut spaetzle. Among the soul food classics at Two Sister's Restaurant is the smothered rabbit, a Thursday-only lunch special served with red beans and rice.

Herbsaint's dinner menu includes an entree selection of rabbit fricassee, with their take on the stewed classic including homemade pappardelle (pasta) and wild mushrooms. The braised Mississippi rabbit at Mr. B's Bistro finds rabbit braised with apple cider, house-smoked bacon, shallots and shiitake mushrooms, and seved with roasted garlic mashed potatoes. Start your evening at Restaurant Cuvee with a rabbit confit crepe, which includes butter-poached asparagus and lemon-thyme sabayon, plus roasted hazelnuts.


At Andrea's Restaurant in Metairie, two ravioli choices stand out on the homemade pasta and risotto menu section. The crabmeat ravioli consists of homemade ravioli stuffed with crabmeat and tossed with a crabmeat cream sauce. Imported cheeses and fresh herbs are stuffed into the ravioli caprese, which comes topped with a light tomato basil sauce and grated reggiano cheese. The Windsor Court Hotel's New Orleans Grill prepares an appetizer ravioli of jumbo lump crab. It's infused with cilantro and preserved Meyer lemon, and comes poached in a crab and ginger bisque. At Maximo's, you'll find the pansoti della casa -- the house ravioli -- among the pasta favorites.

Bacco promotes its lobster ravioli as a signature dish; the housemade ravioli is filled with Maine lobster and Gulf shrimp. It's tossed in a champagne butter sauce and garnished with lobster morsels and caviar. The Original Crabmeat Ravioli at Ristorante La Riviera in Metairie comes stuffed with jumbo lump crabmeat, and topped with a white cream sauce and Parmesan cheese. Inside the Pontchartrain Hotel at Pontchartrain Cafe , you'll find a crawfish ravioli made with ricotta cheese inside a fried ravioli, all submerged in a Louisiana Alfredo sauce of crawfish, scallions and fresh diced tomatoes.


The pairing of slow, weekend-weary Mondays and the comforting richness and texture of red beans and rice is a perfect match and a beloved local tradition.

At area Acme Oyster House locations, you'll not only find its namesake item but also the Read Beans & Rice Poopa, which is a French bread bowl filled with red beans, rice and grilled smoked sausage. Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Cafe riffs on one of its owner's most-revered songs, 'Come Monday,' to draw customers to its red beans entree. There, spicy smoked sausage is taken from the grill and served over a mound of red beans and rice and a side of corn sticks. Baby Boomers offers as its Monday lunch special either red beans or white beans with pork chops for $6.

You can add either smoked ribs, chicken or sausage to the red beans and rice at Tricou House . La Peniche stays open 24 hours a day, so anytime is the right time for their red beans and rice, which are cooked with sausage or a pork chop and served with a house salad. Tic Toc Cafe in Metairie served red beans on Monday, one of its rotating menu of daily lunch specials. Traditional methods of cooking red beans -- simmering for hours in a healthy mix of spices and bay leaves -- are used at Back Porch Grill for their Monday special. The Pontchartrain Hotel's Bayou Bar always keeps red beans and rice on the menu. Ralph & Kacoos offers a Taste of the Bayou, which serves up red beans and rice, chicken and sausage jambalaya, a catfish filet and a dinner salad.


When Paul Prudhomme's blackened redfish recipes won acclaim in the 1980s, a prized Gulf catch that was once solely the pleasure of fishermen and their friends and families was in demand seemingly everywhere. The fish's popularity almost caused its demise, but tighter limits have brought redfish back to healthy, yet bountiful, levels.

At the recently opened Saltwater Grill , located in the former Cuco's on Carrollton Avenue, the redfish Carrollton consists of redfish baked with lemon and garlic, served with scalloped potatoes and seasonal vegetables. At Oceana Grill in the French Quarter, try the redfish 'Amer,' a filleted in-house cut that is sauteed and topped with a crawfish cream sauce, mushroom and green onions. Mr. John's seafood dishes include a cornmeal-crusted redfish that is topped with lump crabmeat and accompanied by seasoned mustard greens and garlic mashed potatoes.

Brewhouse Grill's barbecued redfish comes grilled skin-side down and cooked in a blend of seasonings. The entree is served with your choices of French fries, baked potato or steamed vegetables and a salad. At Dick & Jenny's Uptown, you'll find an entree of redfish and scallops: sauteed redfish with a crawfish-lobster stuffing is added to grilled sea scallops, macque choux and lemon champagne butter.

The extensive menu at area Copeland's restaurants boast a farm-raised, hickory wood-grilled redfish. You can order it grilled or blackened and with the topping of your choice. Cafe Atchafalaya's redfish Louisiana is a filet of redfish fried and then topped with a shrimp and crabmeat cream sauce. Cafe Pontalba gives you the options of having its blackened redfish topped with crawfish etouffee or crabmeat lemon butter sauce. You can also order it plain with a side of vegetables.

Austin's Restaurant offers its redfish en papillote: redfish cooked in a parchment paper bag, filled with shrimp, crawfish tails, crabmeat, onions, mushrooms and a white wine butter sauce made with lobster stock. Also in Metairie, Bozo's redfish comes grilled on the skin and covered in jumbo lump crabmeat. The revered Jack Dempsey's in the Bywater prepares redfish several ways. Two favorite broiled styles are with the platter, where the redfish is prepared with seasonings and a touch of garlic, and the J.D. Broiled Redfish, which is topped with crabmeat au gratin.


In the French Quarter, look for Dominique's Restaurant to use Morgan Ranch kobe beef for its short ribs. They come with a kobe beef debris, butternut squash croquette and red wine jus. Among the choices of 'World Famous Ribs' at Corky's BBQ you'll see The Killer combo: your choice or wet or dry ribs with either a quarter-cut barbecue chicken, pulled pork, beef brisket, turkey or sausage. At The Steak Pit on Bourbon Street, the Jim Beam BBQ Ribs are a half-slab of St. Louis-style ribs, cooked slowly with a Jim Beam-infused barbecue sauce and served with dirty rice.

Barbecue ribs are also among the many barbecue items at Donna's , where all are prepared with a housemade sweet and tangy sauce. Area Sun Ray Grill s use either a Kentucky- or Thailand-inspired style of cooking ribs. From the Bluegrass State, they come seasoned, smoked and laced with a bourbon barbecue sauce, served with roasted corn and a stuffed baked potato. Thai style brings a red curry sauce, sweet potatoes and Shanghai slaw.

Lone Star Steakhouse gives a taste of Texas with two combo entrees: the ribs and chicken, consisting of a slow-cooked half-rack of ribs and a barbecued boneless breast, or fillet and ribs, a six-ounce fillet and a half-rack of ribs. At Tan Dinh , the beef short ribs are done Korean-style with varied seasonings and vegetables. It's Ribs on the Barbie at area Outback Steakhouse chains, where the ribs are smoked and grilled with Aussie chips and cinnamon apples.

House of Blues uses a Jim Beam barbecue sauce for its slow-smoked baby back ribs, which are served with mashed sweet potatoes and turnip greens. You can order ribs on either Thursday or Saturday at Causey's Country Kitchen on Chef Menteur Highway. On both days they come with green peas and potato salad; on Saturday, you can substitute baked macaroni for the potato salad. One of the few downtown pure pork purveyors, Adam's Barbecue Plus offers pork ribs that come grilled, smoked and drenched in a housemade barbecue sauce. The baby back ribs at Gattuso's Deli in Gretna are made with a housemade watermelon barbecue sauce and served with baked beans and French fries. According to management, the ribs 'Make ya' slap somebody!'

At Dino's Lakeview , the barbecue ribs are done Kansas City style: pork ribs cooked overnight and basted with a spicy sauce. Dino's Family Dinner feeds three to five people with 10 biscuits, two pounds of ribs, cole slaw, pinto beans and home-style baked macaroni. Marrero's Roadhouse Grill offers a full rack of baby back ribs, which are cooked and served in a Jim Beam sauce, plus your choice of soup or salad and a side. Abita Bar-B-Que offers two combo plates of ribs. One consists of two ribs, sausage and beef brisket, while the other is two ribs and a half chicken; both come with two sides and bread. You won't be throwing peanuts over the ribs are the three O'Henry's locations, where they're prepared with a housemade sauce.


At Mother Cluckers in the CBD, all salads come with a side of all-housemade dressing choices of ranch, blue cheese, honey ranch, spicy ranch, honey mustard, Parmesan, Caesar, low-fat raspberry vinaigrette, balsamic vinaigrette, low-fat Italian and Greek. So, clearly the focus of this fried-chicken joint is on salads as well. The Aloha Salad combines mixed greens, hearts of palm, Mandarin oranges, pineapple, tomatoes, sesame seeds and shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Byblos ' pinenut salad features Romaine lettuce tossed in honey-made buttermilk garlic dressing, and topped with Monterey Jack cheese, roasted chicken and pine nuts. Astrid's Tuna or Chicken Tuna Salad at Johnny & Josie's is served on a crispy bed of lettuce with vegetables and boiled egg.

Venezia's on Carrollton Avenue tempts diners to begin their meal with the house special salad: lettuce, tomato, salami, mozzarella cheese and artichoke hearts. The Plantation Coffeehouse presents Jacks's Famous Caesar Salad, with Romaine lettuce tossed with Jack's creamy Caesar dressing and topped with Romano cheese and croutons. Add grilled chicken for $2 extra. The stuffed avocado salad at Steve's Diner brings together your choice of chicken or tuna salad stuffed in a half avocado, all on a bed of mixed greens with tomato wedges and toasted almonds.

It's the right season for the Summer Salad at Sophisticated Salads , which invites you to beat the heat with their combination of Romaine lettuce, tomato, oranges, strawberry, grapes, blueberry, Monterey Jack cheese, walnuts, raisins, poppy-seed dressing, crackers and a dessert. Cafe Satora's grilled shrimp and avocado salad comes on top of a bed of mixed lettuce with a housemade balsamic vinaigrette. At Cafe D'Cappuccino, you'll find a grilled chicken Caesar salad with Parmesan cheese and Southwest-style chicken strips.

The Spinach and Walnut Caribe salad at Cafe Rani is a long-standing favorite that melds winter greens and spinach in a housemade honey-lemon vinaigrette. It's topped with baked chicken, sliced mushrooms, cabbage, carrots, bacon bits, apples, raisins, toasted walnuts and crumbled blue cheese; it's garnished with banana chips and black pepper. Espresso Yourself's Sassy Spinach Salad offers spinach, tomato, egg, cucumbers, mushrooms, feta cheese and chopped peanuts. All salads at this Chalmette coffeehouse can have cheese and/or grilled chicken added, and a long list of dressings is available.

Ernst Cafe's grilled chicken salad features a grilled chicken breast, baby greens, Mandarin oranges, feta cheese and a raspberry walnut vinaigrette. At the Bombay Club, you'll find the aptly named tomato, grilled asparagus and fresh mozzarella salad, which comes with baby field greens, balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. The sashimi tuna salad at Houston's brings an Eastern flavor with the raw tuna added to mixed greens, avocado, mango and a cilantro-ginger vinaigrette. There's more than just pie at Rocky's , where the Jazzfest salad offers spicy crawfish, Roma tomatoes, hearts of palm and toasted pecans.

The Marigny Brasserie's Serrano Fig Salad brings endive and aged Manchego goat cheese rapped in Serrano ham, with mixed greens and candied pecans tossed in a fig vinaigrette. The chicken salad at any area Reginelli's Pizzeria offers a marinated chicken breast on a bed of mixed greens with green apples, gorgonzola cheese, Roma tomatoes and roasted pecans all tossed in a balsamic citrus vinaigrette.

On St. Charles Avenue, Igor's Garlic Clove prepares its Cajun seafood pasta salad with calamari, shrimp, scallops and bow-tie pasta. This dish is served cold. At Patton's Restaurant , executive chef Ryan Stone Ware oversees preparation of the Tabasco Tropical Crab & Avocado salad. It uses mango, a orange and pineapple crab salad, half an avocado and a Tabasco garlic vinaigrette.


You can be hungry as a bear or merely in the mood for delicious fish. If it's salmon you crave, the prized, imported catch is prepared in varied styles in restaurants across the city.

On the Northshore, Nuvolari's in Mandeville offers from the grill its salmon piccata, which comes with fresh sauteed asparagus and potato, and is finished with a creamy lemon caper butter sauce. Flour Power Confectionery and Tea Room in Chalmette includes among its diverse menu its salmon nicoise salad, which places a five-ounce salmon filet on a bed of spring greens along with kalamata olives, potatoes, egg, tomato, green beans and feta cheese, with the housemade fresh herb vinaigrette drizzled over it all.

Susan Spicer's Bayona prepares and entree dish of sauteed salmon with choucroute and gewurztraminer (seafood and Alsace white wine) sauce. In the French Quarter, NOLA's teriyaki salmon is prepared stir-fry style with black bean bok choy, housemade ribbon noodles, chile-mango glaze and roasted macadamia nuts. Shell Shucked , a new seafood joint Uptown, offers a baked salmon stuffed with crabmeat and served with sauteed vegetables.

Lulu's French Quarter location prepares a seared salmon filet that comes with apple-smoked bacon, slow-roasted Roma tomatoes, avocado and farmer's cheese on sour dough bread. On the West Bank, China Blossom offers its Sake Salmon, a salmon fillet marinated in sake and Chinese spices before it is pan seared and topped with a soy-reduction sauce. Hana Japanese Restaurant invites you to trust the kitchen with the Chef's Special Creation (Tiger's Eyes). While the chef's choice can vary, a favorite is fresh salmon and squid wrapped around snow crab, baked in the oven and served steaming hot and covered in a barbecue eel sauce.


The smothered chicken sandwich at area Hooters locations is a grilled chicken breast smothered in Provolone cheese, onions, green peppers and mushrooms. The Smokehouse is listed among Heavenly Ham's signature sandwiches. It features Heavenly Ham on an onion roll with cheddar cheese, Heavenly peppered bacon, red onion, lettuce, tomato and a smoky barbecue spread. At the Royal Blend , try its namesake sandwich: prime rib, turkey, ham, Swiss cheese, mayo, Dijon mustard, lettuce and tomato on either seven grain, whole wheat, rye, sourdough or onion roll bread.

The Grocery's Creole Cornbeef combines corned beef, Creole cole slaw, Provolone and Russian cheese all pressed on either French or rye bread. At either Whole Foods Market , The Big Easy will bring you Black Forest ham, oven-roasted turkey breast, red onion, Swiss cheese, lettuce and tomato on French.

In Terrytown, Taqueria Jalisco offers its tortas made from various meats and served with sour cream, beans, lettuce, tomato and avocado. Lunch at La Boulangerie brings pain-bagnat: Ciabatta bread, tuna, eggs, lettuce, tomato, onions, garlic, red bell pepper and black olives.

Nick's on Carrollton stays local with the Carrollton; its most popular sandwich selection combines a boneless, fried chicken breast with grilled onions and cheddar cheese on an onion roll. Hugh's Wine Cellar offers the BLT Blue, served on a croissant and featuring bacon, lettuce, tomato and crumbled Danish blue cheese. Charlie's Deli's Lindy is peppered beef, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and Russian dressing on rye. Cafe Latte prepares chicken and tuna salad as either a wrap or sandwich with bread choices of wheat, rye, onion or croissant. The club sandwich at Caddyshack has all the standard features -- turkey, ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato and bacon -- and comes on your choice of white or wheat toast with chips on the side.

Fortissimo's Rustico sandwich features grilled wheatberry soft-bread stuffed with breaded eggplant, sun-dried tomato pesto, roasted red peppers, fresh mozzarella and Romaine lettuce. The J&N special is a signature item at Kosher Cajun New York Deli & Grocery . It places hot corned beef and pastrami on rye bread with mustard, horseradish and cole slaw. A long-standing house favorite at Cajun Mike's Pub 'n' Grub in the CBD is Maria's Cubanito: pulled pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard and butter, all pressed hot on the grill. The Country Club offers small-bite plates such as the Snackademama -- a small, panini-style sandwich with Italian ham and roasted vegetables.

The Pastrami Supreme at Cousins in Metairie, now under new ownership, offers grilled pastrami, Provolone cheese. Management advises its best dressed with just mayonnaise and mustard. Mike Serio's Big Mitch offers grilled ham, steak, Swiss cheese and grilled onions. In Covington, Columbia Street Natural Foods prepares its chicken salad sandwich with free-range chicken salad with celery on a whole wheat pita. Ricca's Sandwich Shop is the home of the Dr. Nice: a fried boneless chicken breast with ham and Swiss cheese on hot French bread.

Bayou Bagelry's Italian Classic is Genoa salami, pepperoni, ham, Provolone, lettuce, tomato and onions all drizzled with vinaigrette. Caffe! Caffe! boasts on its menu that its corned beef sandwich 'is like no other.' It takes lean corned beef brisket that is seasoned and marinated before its cooked slowly then sliced thinly and served on toasted marble rye, and garnished with green leaf lettuce, mayo and Dijon mustard.

At Puccino's , the grilled sausage and spinach sandwich comes with grilled Italian sausage, Provolone cheese, minced garlic and sauteed clipped spinach in olive oil and Italian seasonings. Melius in Bucktown prepares patty melts with chicken or beef, and grilled onions, American and Swiss cheeses on Texas toast.


Perhaps we're now embarking on a new Age of Enlightenment, a bold eating frontier dominated by the ethos of Atkins, where the meaty delights of sausage are not shunned, but embraced. In New Orleans, sausage has always been the crowning jewel in everything from red beans to gumbo to po-boys. Take the drive to Mosca's on the West Bank for the Mosca's Sausage entree, an Italian-inspired creation served with roasted potatoes. All Voodoo BBQ locations serve a smoked sausage platter that comes with two sides, garlic bread and a pickle.

Tony Angello's Ristorante sticks to its traditional Italian approach with the classic sausage and peppers entree. Ragusa's Inferno Po-Boy puts together hot sausage, Pepper Jack cheese, Creole mustard, mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato. Bluebird Cafe offers its Mediterranean sausage sandwich with a spicy grilled sausage patty added to onions, peppers and melted cheese on a seeded bun. Cafe DiBlasi adds a twist to its grilled Italian sausage and peppers entree, placing it over pasta and a fried eggplant. Both the hot and Italian sausage po-boys are popular choices at Southern Po-Boys .


Among the house specialties list at Red Star Chinese you'll find the beef and scallop entree, with sliced beef and scallops marinated in a brown sauce and served with vegetables and white rice. Hillery's on Toulouse offers a unique surf and turf dish with grilled dry pack scallops and pan-seared hanger steak.

Victor's Grill recently revamped menu includes among its specialties list an entree of sauteed Gulf shrimp and scallops with fresh fettuccine. The dish is accented with tomatoes, black olives and Parmesan cheese. P.F. Chang's boasts two scallop entrees in its seafood choices. The Kung Pao Scallops are quick-fired with peanuts, chile peppers and scallions. Chang's Lemon scallops are wok-fried and topped with a light lemon sauce.

Doson's Noodle House prepares hot curry scallops by cooking jumbo scallops in coconut milk and taro root with curry flavor. The pancetta-wrapped sea scallops at Begue's come accompanied by saffron vegetable risotto and roasted red pepper butter sauce. Bangkok Cuisine's seafood basil presents stir-fried scallops, crawfish tails, shrimp and squid, all sauteed with chiles and garlic, and finished with a house basil sauce. Take to the water in Pere Antoine's Seafood Pirogue: a casserole of crabmeat, scallops and shrimp blended with rice, white wine and a touch of spinach in a cheese cream sauce. And create a little household harmony with Eastern Chinese and Japanese Cuisine's Happy Family, which features scallops along with jumbo shrimp, chicken, beef and roast pork along with mixed vegetables and brown sauce.


Few images conjure up a connotation of food-frenzy fun like the seafood platter, a local staple that brings a mound of the sea's offerings to you or an entire table. Bring it fried, boiled, broiled or grilled -- whatever, just BRING IT ON!

Zeke's Restaurant in Metairie offers both a 'jumbo' and regular seafood platter. Both include well-spiced oysters, shrimp, catfish and French fries. The jumbo version comes with a soft shell crab, while the regular has instead a stuffed crab. The seafood platter at Deanie's comes in giant- and half-sized portions; both features shrimp, oysters, catfish, soft shell crabs and crawfish dressing balls. Cover all your bases with The Whole Thing at any New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood Co. location. It mounds up a pile of shrimp (both jumbo and popcorn), oysters, catfish, soft shell and stuffed crab, plus gumbo.

The Corner Cafe boasts in its C.C.'s Super Platter six jumbo shrimp, six oysters, catfish, stuffed crab, stuffed shrimp and popcorn shrimp. Schiro's gives you the healthy option of having its seafood platter served with sauteed items (it can also come fried). Either way, it includes oyster, shrimp and catfish. Dockside Seafood & Oyster Bar's seafood platter includes shrimp, oysters and catfish and your choice of side dish and salad.

Sid-Mar's puts plenty of Bucktown flavor into both the standard seafood platter (oysters, shrimp, catfish and stuffed crab) and the Fisherman's Platter (all that plus a softshell crab). Mike Anderson's prepares a fried and broiled seafood platter. The fried version features shrimp, oysters, stuffed shrimp, stuffed crab, catfish filets, crawfish tails, crab fingers, French fries, onion rings, hush puppies and cole slaw. The broiled route brings you a fish fillet, crawfish scampi, seafood-stuffed bell pepper, oysters Bienville, stuffed mushrooms, crabmeat-stuffed shrimp, stuffed crab and shrimp supreme, salad or cole slaw.

Kenner Seafood offers a deluxe seafood platter with five catfish strips, five shrimp, five oysters, five crab fingers, one stuffed crab, one soft-shell crab, a pair of frog legs and a choice of sides. Get serious with the'serious' seafood platter at Jaeger's on the Lake . You'll feed the whole family with fried crawfish, shrimp, oysters, trout, softshell crab, oysters bordelaise, onion rings, hush puppies and garlic bread. At Hedges Bar and Grill , the namesake seafood platter, designed for two, comes with fried shrimp, oysters and catfish, topped with crispy onions and fried mirlitons. It's served with spicy boiled potatoes and remoulade sauce.

Fury's seafood platter comes with a dinner salad and French fries, and consists of fish, softshell crab, shrimp, stuffed shrimp and oysters. The seafood platter at West End Cafe includes oysters, shrimp, fish and stuffed crab. The Dock of New Orleans ' down-home seafood platters include a Seafood Bucket for two, featuring mussels, boiled crawfish, shrimp, corn, potatoes, garlic, and either a lobster or snow crab legs.


You don't need the poetic oration of Bubba from Forrest Gump to sound off on shrimp around here. In New Orleans, this seafood delight is a much-revered favorite highlighting the best dishes at many local restaurants.

The Alpine Bistro prepares its barbecue shrimp by cooking the shrimp with olive oil, bay leaves, rosemary and a lemon-pepper sauce. It's then flamed in white wine and served with French bread for dipping. Lafayette Sports Club places roasted shrimp and corn with chipotle and salsa in a wrap. Say 'I'm stuffed!' at Bubba Gump and they'll bring you jumbo shrimp stuffed with crab and baked in light garlic butter and topped with Monterey Jack cheese. At Midi , you'll find an entree choice of pomegrante and sorrel rock shrimp, served with a farro risotto and voodoo sauce.

In Gretna, 9 Roses prepares a variety of banh hoi (pressed vermicelli squares), all of which come sprinkled with onions and peanuts, accompanied by fresh herbs and a housemade hot sauce. A favorite banh hoi comes with char-grilled shrimp. The Shrimp Firey Garlic at George's Mexican Restaurant brings eight ounces of shrimp sauteed in minced garlic, chile ancho and spices. It's served on top of guacamole and grilled cheese. The cashew shrimp at Five Happiness place the shrimp in a aromatic blend of spices, sauce and cashews.

Anthony's Seafood and Lobster House bills its shrimp Drago as 'a shrimp lover's delight.' It is a combination of four grilled jumbo shrimp, topped with a Cajun crab sauce, four blackened shrimp with a bordelaise sauce, and three stuffed shrimp topped with a beurre blanc. This all surrounds jambalaya and comes served with corn macheaux. Billy's Place in Harahan offers a boiled shrimp and avocado salad, with roughly 20 shrimp boiled in-house and mixed with seasonings, avocado and Creole tomatoes.

The time-honored traditions of dining at Liuzza's on Bienville also accommodate change. New on the menu is the vegetarian Frenchulleta. Served on French bread, it's a layer of panne eggplant medallions with melted Swiss and Michael's special olive salad. Crescent City Brewhouse stuffs jumbo Gulf shrimp with lump Louisiana crabmeat, jalapenos, green onions and seasoned bread crumbs. The dish is broiled and served with a grapefruit butter sauce.

Bayou Cafe invites you to order their Gulf shrimp fried or blackened; it's served with a rice pilaf and choice of vegetable. The grilled shrimp remoulade wrap at Hickory Cafe & Grill consists of grilled shrimp, shredded lettuce, sliced tomato and remoulade, all wrapped in a 12-inch white or wheat tortilla.

The hibachi grill at Little Tokyo Restaurant Part II brings an all-you-can-eat gathering of steak, shrimp and squid with vegetables. In Slidell, The Port Hole specializes in the shrimp and crabmeat Lafitte: lightly fried shrimp and lump crabmeat in a rich lemon butter sauce, all over pasta. Among the favorites at Bourbon House Seafood and Oyster Bar is crabmeat-stuffed shrimp. The pan-Asian stylings of Zue Zee Zam offer a traditional taste of Thailand with ChaChaCha, a combo of shrimp and tilapia in a spicy curry sauce and coconut milk. At the Rib Room , spit-roasted Gulf shrimp are tossed with sun-dried tomatoes, basil and pine nuts and served over angel hair pasta.

The Creole menu at Tujague's includes the shrimp Bayou Teche: sauteed shrimp placed on fried eggplant, then topped with a crabmeat sauce. Serrano's Salsa Company in Metairie offers ratones -- four marinated jalapenos stuffed with jumbo shrimp, white cheese and grilled onions. It's all lightly fried and served with jalapeno pepper jelly and cream cheese. Carreta's Grill has a new item with Camarones a la Vera Cruz: shrimp sauteed in butter, chile, wine and spices. It's served with rice and vegetables.


It's the right time of year for these tasty treats, whether they're fried, smoked or sauteed. At Basil Leaf , the sesame-coated softshell crab is lightly battered and served with rock shrimp and tossed in Jasmine rice and crab butter. In Mid-City, Christian's Restaurant offers cold smoked softshell crabs that are deep-fried and served with a meuniere sauce. Lakeview Harbor is home to an entree of one softshell crab stuffed with a seafood dressing. It comes served with a house salad or cup of potato soup. The Italian-inspired down-home cooking at Fiorella's in the French Quarter includes the Soft Shell Sarafina. Using crabs caught in Lake Pontchartrain, two softshell crabs are fired and topped with a crawfish etouffee sauce and served with garlic mashed potatoes and French bread.

The softshell crab at Adolfo's is pan-sauteed, stuffed with shrimp and crawfish and topped with lump crabmeat. The Louisiana softshell crab pasta at Louisiana Grill brings a battered and fried Louisiana softshell crab on top of a bed of fettuccini, all covered in a crawfish cream sauce. Another newcomer to the Warehouse District , Tommy's Cuisine lightly batters and fries its softshell crab and serves it with a linguine pasta that's tossed with basil, Roma tomatoes and Reggiano crawfish sauce. The softshell and crab cake combo at Restaurant Cypress in Metairie comes served with blanched asparagus and topped with a crawfish au gratin sauce. Harbor Seafood & Oyster Bar offers a softshell crab basket with two crabs with salad, cole slaw, bread and your choice of French fries, Cajun-fried potatoes or hush puppies.


La Macarena Pupuseria and Restaurant serves a black bean soup, topped with homemade cream, cilantro, onions and avocado. Fox and Hound English Pub & Grille features a Boule of Newcastle brown ale cheese soup, a house special served in crusted French bread boule, topped with cheese and scallions.

The red streetcars passing Mandina's Restaurant on Canal Street are new, but the homemade turtle soup au sherry served inside this popular Mid-City establishment is a longstanding favorite among locals. Sazerac Bar & Grill offers its own renowned turtle soup recipe, also with a splash of sherry. Mama's Tasty Foods ladles up a Yat-Ka-Mein soup, a brew of beef with green onions, boiled eggs, spaghetti noodles and soy sauce. King Buffet features an exhaustive menu of Chinese, Italian and American-style cooking, which includes eight soups: seafood, wonton, egg drop, wonton-egg drop, chicken-noodle/rice, mixed vegetable, hot and sour, and the House Special.

For those who like to pick up a gourmet meal to enjoy at home, Chez Nous proffers a rotating menu of soups to choose from; recent selections have included spinach Vichyssoise, fried chicken and vegetable soup, leek and potato soup, chicken noodle soup, asparagus and lump crabmeat soup, lentil bear soup, split pea soup, and crabmeat and corn chowder.


Mirabelle , formerly The French Table, serves a strawberry spinach salad, which features chevre cheese and roasted pecans in a strawberry balsamic vinaigrette. Chez Vodun's spinach tagliateli includes crawfish, shiitake sun-dried tomatoes and garlic in a creamy sherry wine sauce. Barracks Street Cafe goes Greek with its a spinach tortilla wrapped around basmati rice, black beans, tomatoes, red onions, black olives, feta cheese, spinach, and tzatziki sauce. Pasta tubes stuffed with a mixture of spinach and mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan cheeses are smothered with marinara sauce for Italian Pie's spinach manicotti. Zea Rotisserie's spinach salad includes sun-dried tomatoes, raisins, roasted pecans, sesame seeds, kalamata olives, blue cheese and spicy pepper jelly vinaigrette.

Taj Mahal's Indian Cuisine's low-carb Dal Saag is a blend of lentils and creamed spinach simmered with herbs and spices. Tandoori Chicken's Palak Paneer is a classic Punjabi spinach and cheese dish. Bennachin's Jamajamaimakondo is spinach plantains and coconut rice. Casablanca's spinach pyramid pie includes chopped spinach sauteed with onion and lightly seasoned then stuffed between layers of filo dough and baked to a golden brown. Phoenicia's spinach pie has spinach and cheese stuffed into filo and also baked to a golden brown.


Chateaubriand's onglet steak, known as hanging steak, is at its best cooked rare or medium rare; the house serves it sliced with sauteed shallots and accompanied by pommes frites and green salad. Bourbon House's hanger steak is served over blue cheese potatoes au gratin with chipotle butter and broccoli rabe. The Besh Steakhouse at Harrah's serves a premium Gold Angus ribeye 'cowboy' steak with wild mushrooms and garlic roast fingerling potatoes.

In the Chateau Sonesta Hotel, La Chatelaine serves up blackened steak and eggs. Tuesday and Saturday night are Steak Night at The Bar & Bistro at La Louisiane ; $10.95 gets you a 16-oz. ribeye. On Tuesday and Thursday, drop by Deja Vu starting at 6 p.m. for $5.99 New York strip served with French fries; for a buck, upgrade to a loaded baked potato. Beach House's 16-oz. ribeye, cooked to your liking, is served with a loaded baked potato and garlic bread every day, but it's the $10.95 on special Tuesday and Thursday.

Vera Cruz grills its Cuban steak with onions and lime and serves it with white rice and black beans. The Sugar House's Cuban chicken-fried steak is a tenderized ribeye steak breaded and spiced with a cumin chili rub that is pan-sauteed and served with a lime aioli. At Miyako Japanese Sushi Bar & Hibachi , a chef prepares Hibachi steak and shrimp tableside and also serves up vegetables, noodles, rice and ice cream. Moonlight Cafe's shish kebab is a marinated filet skewered and grilled along with onions, mushrooms and other vegetables and served with bread and saffron rice. Casa Garcia's Steak a la Tampiquena is butterflied tenderloin topped with caramelized onions and served with a cheese enchilada with chili ancho sauce, Spanish rice and charro beans as well as your choice of soup or salad.

Red Steer Grill's country-fried steak is topped with gravy and served with salad, toast and choice of mashed potatoes, baked potato or fries. At Charlie's Steak House , it's all about the meat: choose from a small, medium or large T-bone and a 9-oz. filet. Likewise, the Beef Connection Steak House keeps it deliciously simple with its filet mignon with drawn butter. Crescent City Steakhouse sticks to the classics, including its Porterhouse for two, three or four. Morton's of Chicago's'slightly smaller' steaks include the strip steak au poivre, served bone-in with a five-peppercorn cognac cream sauce.

Friar Tuck's Philly cheese steak sandwich features sliced steak sauteed with mushrooms, onions, bell peppers and Swiss cheese all served on a toasted hoagie roll. McNulty's Bitter End serves a steak sandwich with a 6-oz. beef tenderloin grilled and sliced then served dressed on a toasted onion bun. Carrollton Station's famous Philly cheese steaks are available in four varieties.


Samurai Sushi's lunch specials include its chirashi sushi, assorted raw fish fillets on a bed of susi rice served with miso soup. Little Tokyo Restaurant invites you to experience something exciting and new with its 'Love Boat' for two: tempura, chicken and beef teriyaki, sushi and sashimi. Kyoto's sushi a la carte includes tuna, fresh yellow tail, octopus, giant clam, and fresh and smoked salmon; rolls include spicy shrimp rolls, crawfish rolls, rainbow rolls and softshell crab rolls. Sushi Cafe offers a special lunch combination box for $10.25; pick three of the following items: sushi, sashimi, chicken teriyaki, beef teriyaki, tuna teriyaki, chicken katsu, and tempura.

Horinoya Japanese Restaurant offers six-piece sushi boxes, among them smoked salmon, shrimp, tuna and yellow tail. Asahi offers a Jazz Roll: tuna tataki, avocado and red spice wraped in rice with wasabi outside and snowcrab on top. Kanno Sushi's Protein Roll features tuna, whitefish and salmon in a roll but with no rice or seaweed. Sake Cafe Uptown is home to the Mountain Tuna, a thinly sliced and torched tuna topped with crunchy spicy mixed with spicy tuna over a bed of lettuce. Oki Nago specializes in Japanese cooking, and while the soups, teriyaki and hibachi dishes are popular, its sushi offerings keep this Metairie buffet on a roll.


Any discussion of the popular Mexican dish surrounded by masa dough and wrapped in a corn husk begins at Manuel's Hot Tamales , which has been serving the item from its humble takeout window overlooking South Carrollton Avenue for more than 60 years. (New streetcar riders, keep your eyes peeled.) Over the years, others have gotten into the act, like Cafe Arabesque , whose Wednesday's Special features Mexican-style tamales made with fresh masa and spicy chicken wrapped in the corn husk with a salsa verde. The popular chain Cuco's serves its tamales as a 'grande' hand-rolled beef tamale topped with cheese and Tex-Mex sauce. Vaqueros goes the healthy route with its vegetable tamales with saffron rice and vegetarian white beans.


We have a funny feeling that New Orleans' fried green tomatoes are a little better than the ones they served at the fictional Whistle Stop Cafe. Why? Because this is Louisiana, so you get creative approaches like The Marigny Brasserie's with its fried green tomatoes served topped with crumbled goat cheese and a savory crawfish beurre rouge. Speaking of toppings, Pontchartrain Cafe serves a seafood and fried green tomato Napoleon, with Louisiana shrimp and crawfish tails in a tasso cream sauce layered between crispy paneed tomato slices. Zoe offers a similar approach with its fried green tomato Napoleon, with the tomatoes layered but with grilled portobello mushrooms, freshwater mozzarella cheese and tomato confit. Crabby Jack's believes less is more with the fried green tomatoes salad with remoulade sauce. Looking for a healthier route for your tomato? Consider Cellars of River Ridge's tuna salad-stuffed tomato.


It's hard to imagine trout in New Orleans without thinking of the Ninth Ward institution that is Mandich Restaurant , whose signature trout Mandich features a fresh fillet broiled with a crisp crust and topped with a light lemon sauce. While we're on the subject of institutions, there's Uglesich's ( which is open through June this summer). Uglesich's Muddy Water features pan-fried trout topped with muddy water sauce -- chicken, garlic, anchovies and gutted jalapenos -- and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. The Bayou Trout at Joey K's is a fried trout fillet topped with shrimp and crabmeat in a cream sauce and served with vegetables and new potatoes. The Embers serves trout three ways: broiled, amandine or in a spicy etouffee with crawfish tails.

Fausto's offers the Pesce Siciliana: fresh fillet of trout sauteed in a light lemon herb sauce, flamed with white wine and topped with large shrimp, capers and Italian herbs. Impastato's honors the New Orleans Saints head coach with its impressive trout Haslett, a breaded trout with mushrooms, artichokes, crabmeat and crawfish. Sal and Sam's (motto: 'Food With Character') serves up its Trout Sal, a broiled fillet of trout topped with seafood dressing and a creamy hollandaise sauce. Sammy's fillet of trout is broiled in a delicate butter lemon sauce and topped with seafood sauce and pecan and served with tossed green salad and new potatoes. Everyone enjoys Barreca's trout pecan. Quarter View's boneless fillet of trout is stuffed with crabmeat and topped with a crawfish cream sauce.


It might be the fish that perplexed Jessica Simpson, but tuna is as well known in New Orleans as any other seafood offering. Maybe that's because there are so many ways you can prepare it. You can keep it simple with The Dock of Slidell's1 grilled tuna dinner, served with veggies and new potatoes, or with Snug Harbor's yellowfin tuna, a fresh-cut tuna steak grilled with lemon butter or blackened in an iron pan. RioMar's6 Serrano Ham Wrapped Tuna is a yellowfin tuna wrapped in Serrano ham with chickpea puree and Romesco sauce. The sushi houses in town have their own preparations, though Rock-N-Sake is just as happy to serve up a Caribbean tuna salad, with chunks of yellowfin tuna and buttery avocado, slices of sweet mango, green onions, and smelt roe served with ponzu sauce on the side.

For even more ethnic approaches, start with Vaqueros ' ceviche, with sushi-grade yellowfin tuna marinated in fresh lime juice then tossed with coconut milk, tequila, cilantro, onions and tomato. La Thai's tuna tataki is sesame-crusted ahi tuna seared and then drizzled with wasabi-lime aioli. Churros Cafe's4 Tuna Salad a la Espanola includes lettuce, baked potato, hard-boiled egg and tuna and garnished with pimentos, onion and black olives and tossed with olive oil. Finally, 27 Hundred Asian Cafe & Bar serves up a peppercorn tuna steak, with seared tuna with Szechuan peppercorn in teriyaki sauce.


Let's take a moment to give thanks for the plethora of turkey offerings around the metro area. The deluxe half-pound turkey burger at Maloney's is an 8-oz. specialty served on a sesame kaiser bun or wheat bread and topped with lettuce, tomatoes and onions.

Zydeque slowly smokes and then fries its turkey legs, which are served with Southern Comfort mashed sweet potatoes. Turkey wings are available on Wednesdays at Harbor's Soul Food . Turkey necks are a daily plate special option on Tuesdays and wings are available on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays at Cafe Unique .

New City Diner puts smoked turkey on foccaccia with Gouda and Dijon mustard. Mother's i s known for its baked ham, but don't forget its turkey Ferdi po-boy, which also includes ham or roast beef and debris.


The subtle delicacy of veal is evident in the classic osso buco at The Steak Knife Restaurant & Bar , which makes their 'fork-tender' braised veal shank in a red-wine reduction sauce and serves it with fettucine Alfredo. Tony Mandina's restaurant makes their version of osso buco by marinating the veal shank, its bone and marrow for 24 hours in their marinara sauce. At Tortorici's , osso buco means braised veal shanks slow cooked in a hearty tomato-Marsala sauce, served over pasta and sauteed vegetables. The Orleans Cafe serves up veal Oscar, medallions of veal cooked in wine and served with a crawfish cream sauce and garlic potatoes.

Bella Luna takes paneed baby white veal and finishes it with fresh steamed asparagus and a jumbo lump crabmeat sauce. Vincent's tops angel hair pasta with two large veal meatballs and red sauce. Veranda Restaurant in the InterContinental New Orleans pairs a filet of veal topped with wild mushroom sauce with grilled shrimp to create veal and shrimp Barataria. The 124 Restaurant starts out its signature Veal 124 with sauteed medallions of veal, layered with spring vegetables topped with lump crabmeat and a demi-glace beurre blanc reduction.

Cannon's offers veal Paul, breaded veal topped with a mushroom and shrimp cream sauce and veal Reginald, breaded veal topped with sauteed mushroom and hollandaise sauce. Rocky & Carlo's fixes two different veal po-boys, using either veal cutlet or veal chop. Winners makes a delicious Bruscialone -- baby veal stuffed with ground beef, Italian sausage and seasonings, slow-cooked in red sauce. Go back to Square One for the veal Napoleon, paneed veal seared and flamed with peach brandy and served with a creamy crawfish sauce over angel hair pasta.


Lulu's in the French Quarter always fixes up something tasty, including its roasted vegetables and farmer's cheese on multigrain bread. Restaurant August offers saffron and roasted garlic avgolimano with blistered asparagus and pearl onions.

Walk into Maple Street Cafe and order up their grilled-vegetable sandwich -- a pita pocket stuffed with eggplant, mushrooms, tomatoes, red onions, bell peppers and feta cheese. For its Vegetarian Delight, Shimmy Shack also starts out with a pita. They then pile on the grilled eggplant, tomatoes, onion, mushrooms, peppers, and spinach with mozzarella.

Artesia builds its Vegetable Tower using farmer's market tomatoes, lemon-infused baby artichokes, avocado, Parmesan wafers, and aged balsamic vinegar. Back to the Garden uses peanut oil and tamari sauce to stirfry its vegetables -- broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, onion, carrot and cabbage -- and then serves them on brown rice. At Byblos , a vegetarian platter begins with your choice of house favorites, including hummus, moussaka, baba ghanouj, grape leaves, tabbouleh, and falafel. Kanpai stir fries its broccoli with black mushrooms and tofu, while Le Bon Temps Roule deep fries pieces of broccoli and cheese, calls them broccoli balls, and serves them up until 1 a.m.


It's a brunch classic, and no wonder -- the slight crunch, the melting butter, the pleasing geometric-ness facing you from a plate in the morning. In Le Pavillon Hotel, Crystal Room's Belgian waffles can be topped with two eggs, dotted with blueberries, or topped with pecan, chocolate chips, whipped cream, or sliced strawberries or bananas. The Corner Oyster Bar and Grill calls their version European waffles and adds strawberries, warm cinnamon apples, blueberries, or whipped cream. On weekend mornings, most locations of Piccadilly Cafeteria have their own waffle station. Coffee Cove's spiced waffles are pecan waffles served with whipped cream, powdered sugar, syrup and two strips of bacon. Russell's Marina Grill takes things a step further with their waffle Bananas Foster, the classic dessert served atop a Belgian or multigrain oatmeal waffle, served with French vanilla ice cream. Marco Polo's Market serves up crispy $3.25 waffles -- choose banana, blueberry, or plain.


Did you hear the one about the man who walks into the clinic with a zucchini in each ear? 'Doc, what's wrong with me?' he asks. 'You're not eating properly,' says the doctor. Here in New Orleans, zucchini is no laughing matter, as chefs serve up delicious dishes like Mat & Naddie's Warm Vegetable Terrine with Walnuts -- grilled zucchini, squash, red onion, carrots, asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes, served with a spinach-and-roasted-garlic polenta cake and drizzled with basil lemon vinaigrette. Rag's Too in Covington fries zucchini and serves it as a side order. Acropolis Cuisine bakes moussaka with thin pieces of zucchini, eggplant and Idaho potatoes, then layers them with herbs, spices and a creamy sauces. Zucchini is also an essential ingredient in the trademark bisque at Jamila's Cafe , made with crawfish, zucchini and spinach. Cafe Lavande offers a Loaded Vegetable Panini -- whole-wheat bread piled with grilled zucchini, eggplant, portobello mushroom, roasted red bell pepper, smoked Gouda cheese, sun-dried tomato and pecan pesto. Kokopelli's whips up its Teriyaki Vegetarian burrito using good ol' zucchini along with its cousin the yellow squash and lime-cilantro rice, red bell peppers, mung bean sprouts, and fresh grated carrots, all sauteed in a ginger-teriyaki sauce and then topped with cheese, sour cream and salsa.

click to enlarge Smilie's Michelle Castelin serves the house's shrimp - platter to diner Patrice McHughes. - DONN YOUNG
  • Donn Young
  • Smilie's Michelle Castelin serves the house's shrimp platter to diner Patrice McHughes.
click to enlarge Drinking it all in: Shannon Depp and Judith Kiefer enjoy - all that Royal Blend has to offer. - DONN YOUNG
  • Donn Young
  • Drinking it all in: Shannon Depp and Judith Kiefer enjoy all that Royal Blend has to offer.
click to enlarge Bartender Rebecca Smith sets you up with a burger and - beer at Carrollton Station. - CHERYL GERBER
  • Cheryl Gerber
  • Bartender Rebecca Smith sets you up with a burger and beer at Carrollton Station.
click to enlarge Executive Chef Robert Holmes presents Big Shirley's - barbecue shrimp pasta. - CHERYL GERBER
  • Cheryl Gerber
  • Executive Chef Robert Holmes presents Big Shirley's barbecue shrimp pasta.
click to enlarge Pretty as a picture: Reginelli's Mediterranean pizza - DONN YOUNG
  • Donn Young
  • Pretty as a picture: Reginelli's Mediterranean pizza
click to enlarge New City Diner remains an old favorite with CBD - regulars. - DONN YOUNG
  • Donn Young
  • New City Diner remains an old favorite with CBD regulars.
click to enlarge Chef-manager Bailey Smith aims to make 13 your lucky - number. - CHERYL GERBER
  • Cheryl Gerber
  • Chef-manager Bailey Smith aims to make 13 your lucky number.
click to enlarge Seafood enchiladas are one of Casa Garcia's many house - specialties. - CHERYL GERBER
  • Cheryl Gerber
  • Seafood enchiladas are one of Casa Garcia's many house specialties.
click to enlarge No need to guess what's good at Gumbo Shop. - CHERYL GERBER
click to enlarge Drop by Jazmine Cafe for the popular grilled chicken - sandwich. - DONN YOUNG
  • Donn Young
  • Drop by Jazmine Cafe for the popular grilled chicken sandwich.
click to enlarge Artesia Chef Robert Vasquez and owner Vicky Bayley invite you to Abita Springs for an evening of fine food. - CHERYL GERBER
  • Cheryl Gerber
  • Artesia Chef Robert Vasquez and owner Vicky Bayley invite you to Abita Springs for an evening of fine food.
click to enlarge Manna from heaven? Christian's Chef Michel - Foucqueteau offers dishes including veal, smoked - salmon and softshell crab. - CHERYL GERBER
  • Cheryl Gerber
  • Manna from heaven? Christian's Chef Michel Foucqueteau offers dishes including veal, smoked salmon and softshell crab.
click to enlarge Mirabelle's Cindy Redditt and Jonathan Ingles show off - one of Metairie's newest establishments.
  • Mirabelle's Cindy Redditt and Jonathan Ingles show off one of Metairie's newest establishments.
click to enlarge Enjoy lunch or dinner at St. Charles Avenue's Lafayette - Sports Club. - DONN YOUNG
  • Donn Young
  • Enjoy lunch or dinner at St. Charles Avenue's Lafayette Sports Club.
click to enlarge Server Trang Hoang welcomes customers Danielle Bias - and Rashida Ferdinand to Pho Tau Bay's new Mid-City - location. - DONN YOUNG
  • Donn Young
  • Server Trang Hoang welcomes customers Danielle Bias and Rashida Ferdinand to Pho Tau Bay's new Mid-City location.
click to enlarge Stop by and see Mike Anderson's bartender Chandreal - Toney before sitting down to the broiled seafood platter - or softshell crab.
  • Stop by and see Mike Anderson's bartender Chandreal Toney before sitting down to the broiled seafood platter or softshell crab.
click to enlarge Sip and sup at Shooters Bar & Grill in Metairie. - DONN YOUNG
  • Donn Young
  • Sip and sup at Shooters Bar & Grill in Metairie.
click to enlarge An ordinary summer afternoon becomes a sweet - celebtration of tradition with Angelo Brocatos spumoni - and coppa gelato.
  • An ordinary summer afternoon becomes a sweet celebtration of tradition with Angelo Brocatos spumoni and coppa gelato.
click to enlarge Hedges Bar and Grill's April  Camardelle serves a chicken - Caesar to patrons Kelly  Glavina, Cathy Glavina and Grace - Stumpf. - DONN YOUNG
  • Donn Young
  • Hedges Bar and Grill's April Camardelle serves a chicken Caesar to patrons Kelly Glavina, Cathy Glavina and Grace Stumpf.
click to enlarge Fresco Cafe and Pizzeria is the spot for anything from a - salad to a stromboli. - DONN YOUNG
  • Donn Young
  • Fresco Cafe and Pizzeria is the spot for anything from a salad to a stromboli.


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