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517 Frenchmen St. 942-1345
After a long night out on Frenchmen Street, many customers here like to dig into a bulging breakfast burrito, stuffed with eggs, potato, cheese, and salsa. Tofu is always available as a substitute at this vegetarian and vegan-friendly spot. Every day brings a new soup or special to the menu, and breakfast is served all day long. No reservations. Call for hours. Delivery available. Credit cards. $

315 N. Hwy. 190, Covington (985) 898-0500; 1220 S. Clearview Pkwy., Harahan 734-0042; 3142 W. Hwy. 190, Hammond (985) 419-2220; 3701 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie 455-0755; 3850 I-10 Service Road, Slidell (985) 641-4800;
Families sit down to big entree salads, baby-back ribs and sandwiches at this popular national chain, while those on the go can call ahead for take-out orders delivered to their cars. Applebee's also has a lighter menu for calorie counters created in conjunction with Weight Watchers. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

201 St. Charles Ave. 529-3442
It may be a new location, but the famous cheese soup is still made with the same secret recipe as always. After 26 years of business, the owners of Apple Seed Shoppe have fresh sandwiches and salads down. Smoothies and fresh-squeezed lemonade are popular among the professionals and health-conscious tourists who stop in here. The soup and salad special is a no-brainer, at $4.45 for a cup of soup and $4.85 for a bowl. No reservations. Delivery available. Call for hours. $

3010 Holiday Drive 394-2805;
This popular national chain has America's palate covered, with a menu featuring boneless Buffalo wings, a spicy fajita burger, Bennigan's own "Oh, Baby" Back Ribs and the new, larger-than-life Big Ben chocolate caramel brownie sundae. Other Bennigan's favorites include the grilled sirloin, the Monte Cristo sandwich and Kilkenny's Country Chicken Salad. No reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $

1036 W. Airline Hwy., LaPlace (985) 652-3544;
Specializing in prime steaks and fresh local seafood, Bull's Corner serves lunch and dinner in a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere. The signature steak, the char-grilled fillet Norton, is served on a marinated and grilled portobello mushroom cap with Danish blue cheese and garlic sauce, while the trout Bienville, another specialty, is broiled and topped with Louisiana crab meat, Gulf shrimp and Cheddar cheese sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

3445 Prytania St. 891-5773
For a welcoming vibe, good food and nice prices, Café Banquette fits the bill with a menu of local seafood staples like the barbecue shrimp po-boy, fried oyster salad and blackened catfish, plus plenty of land-based fare with burgers, steaks and grilled chicken. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

5050 Williams Blvd. (Treasure Chest Casino), Kenner 443-8000;
When gaming fans need a break from the slots and tables, they head for the Pontchartrain Grille aboard Kenner's floating Treasure Chest Casino. The menu is a full house of traditional New Orleans casual favorites like po-boys and gumbo plus hamburgers, chicken fingers, salads and daily specials. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

4141 St. Charles Ave. 891-3200;
The menu at this Uptown favorite is really up to date, what with the new Crab Cake Katrina (with fettuccine and crawfish sauce) and the Blue Roof Burger (with blue cheese). There's also pre-K faves including blackened redfish, turtle soup and a "steam menu" starring live lobster and jumbo Gulf shrimp. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

3826 Williams Blvd., Kenner 443-1623
The Come Back Inn seems to take a step back in time to simpler days with its friendly service, down-home atmosphere and menu of local specialties. The muffuletta, loaded with Italian meats and cheeses and the signature homemade olive salad, is more than any single diner can accommodate; po-boys, fried seafood and pizza are among the other crowd pleasers. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

1035 Dealer's Ave., Harahan 818-2121
Formerly Billy's Place, Elmwood Café is a neighborhood kind of place serving comfort-food fare at reasonable prices. Daily specials include red beans, chicken tenders and those soon-to-be-famous chili fries. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

45 French Market Place 528-9566
Downtown bar crawlers and daytime shoppers alike enjoy the Italian- and Creole-influenced dishes found at Fiorella's, tucked in among the dive bars and funky shops along lower Decatur Street. Fried chicken is a favorite, as are hearty sandwiches like the eggplant Parmesan po-boy and New Orleans specialties like shrimp and crawfish etouffee. No reservations. Credit cards. $

Gypsy's Café
709 St. Charles Ave. 528-9008;
A casual, friendly restaurant close to the downtown action, Gypsy's Café features a regular menu (gumbo, jambalaya) and daily specials such as the Gypsy chicken, a grilled chicken breast and garlic-lemon sauce over angel-hair pasta. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

5928 W. Metairie Ave., Metairie 734-8448
Whether it's pan-fried crab cakes with crawfish cream sauce or a selection from Hobnobber's light menu like grilled chicken with vegetables, this popular neighborhood café aims to please with generous portions and quality preparation. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

4241 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie 889-2301
American classics take center stage on the diverse menu at the local outpost of the Houston's chain, though the stylish dining room and bar are also draws. Sit back in deep booths to peruse lunch and dinner options like burgers, ribs, steaks, entree salads and salmon. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

HUEY'S 24/7
200 Magazine St. 598-4839
Staving off hunger pangs in the Central Business District, this no-nonsense restaurant offers daily blue-plate specials including red beans and rice, crawfish etouffee, crawfish and shrimp pasta and meatloaf. It also dishes up one-plate meals designed around pork chops, chicken, rib-eye steaks and more, as well as serving sandwiches and burgers. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

141 Chartres St. 524-0493
A French Quarter institution, this corner tavern keeps the drinks flowing and the grill cooking for its always-colorful crowd of locals and visitors. For lunch, dinner or late-night chow, try a Jimani burger, club sandwich or all-beef hot dog cooked right behind the bar. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

8853 Veterans Memorial Blvd. (Westgate Shopping Center), Metairie 468-3663
Those with all-you-can-eat appetites and Louisiana palates head for the Louisiana Purchase Kitchen. Dine on creamy red beans and rice with chunks of sausage, crispy fried chicken, jambalaya, green beans cooked with garlic and ham and warm bread pudding. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Cash only. $

1540 Lindberg Drive, I-10 Service Road, Slidell (985) 781-6565;
Slidell's dinner theater continues to stage musical comedies as it dishes up Louisiana cuisine. Dinner starts with a spring salad, your choice of brisket Luke or baked catfish with crab meat Monica, sides and a selection of desserts including bread pudding and the chocolate volcano. Reservations recommended. Lunch Sun., dinner Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

301 Baronne St., 522-5242; 710 Terry Pkwy., Gretna 433-4111; 1375 Gause Blvd., Slidell (985) 646-1600; 8859 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie 461-9840;
From classics like spinach and artichoke dip to house specialties like crawfish Monica with creamy sauce over penne to steaks, ribs and a full selection of salads and sandwiches, O'Henry's menu has something to please everyone. Remember to bring your photo ID to the restaurant on your birthday to get a 12-oz. New York strip steak, on the house. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

2222 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie 454-6271; 4150 Gen. DeGaulle Drive, Algiers 392-7030;
A Southern tradition since its first location opened in Baton Rouge more than 60 years ago, Piccadilly is a family favorite for choice, taste and value. The menu has some new additions including Italian meatloaf with pork, anise, tomatoes and mushrooms, salmon marinated in dill and sweet potato casserole topped with chopped pecans and brown sugar. Save room for the classic red velvet cake for dessert. No reservations. Lunch and dinner buffet daily. Credit cards. $

919 S. Clearview Pkwy., Jefferson 216-2424; 1270 N. Hwy. 190, Covington (985) 809-0250; 1654 Gause Blvd., Slidell (985) 405-1423; 1735 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey 297-1622; 4036 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie 297-1633;
Forget licking, this chicken is finger-eating good. All chicken fingers, all the time has proved a successful formula for this fast-growing Baton Rouge chain, which is famous for its closely guarded secret dipping sauce, chicken fingers by the box or chicken finger sandwiches on Kaiser rolls. Order a combo to get the fingers and sauce, fries, coleslaw, Texas toast and a drink. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

5131 Lapalco Blvd., Marrero 341-3636;
Chops and steaks put the beef in the menu at the Roadhouse Grill, and they all come with a salad, side dish and all the grill's yeast rolls and peanuts you can eat. Check out daily lunch specials like Wednesday's baby-back ribs smothered in Jim Beam bourbon barbecue sauce over home-style chips for $7.99. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

2483 Royal St. 944-6666
A colorful locals' spot nestled in the heart of the Faubourg Marigny, Schiro's serves comfort food in a dining room, bar and sidewalk seating area all surrounded by folk art. The menu now includes lasagna or spaghetti and meatballs with side salad, stewed chicken, hamburgers and rib-eye steaks among other items. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

620 Conti St. 681-0911
Diners won't object to the menu at this café next door to the Louisiana Supreme Court building in the French Quarter. The crowd of young professionals and Quarter habitues goes for fish tacos, grilled salmon, chicken and steaks. A 42-inch plasma television presents sporting events in frighteningly close detail. Reservations accepted for large parties. Open daily; kitchen serves lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Delivery available in the French Quarter. Credit cards. $$

2609 Harvard Ave., Metairie 455-7783
Baked potatoes are the white canvas for the art of stuffing a spud at this Metairie A-frame-turned-potato emporium. Butter and chives might be topping enough at home, but when visiting Spudly's try tackling the Super Duper loaded with shrimp, crab and crawfish and topped with cheddar cheese and chives. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

Station 8801
8801 Oak St. 861-9293
Station 8801 is built on the site of an old filling station — and was constructed last summer to resemble an old filling station. Burgers are good choices here, as is the popular steak dinner — three medallions of steak with mashed potatoes. If the food sounds old-fashioned, stick around till sunset, when 8801 transforms from scenery to scene. Twentysomethings ISO drink specials make a swell crowd. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

1000 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner 468-7996; 2222 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie 887-1113; 5128 Lapalco Blvd., Marrero 328-9663; 8231 Jefferson Hwy., Harahan 737-6556;
More than two-dozen varieties of sauce take flight at this popular chicken-wing chain, with everything from mild, medium and hot to garlic Parmesan and "nuclear" honey teriyaki. New to the menu are buffalo shrimp in your choice of flavors. Salads, sandwiches and chicken fingers add even more diversity to the offerings. No reservations. Delivery available at Metairie and Harahan locations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

3100 Severn Ave., Metairie 885-1322; 4436 Veterans Memorial Blvd. (Clearview Shopping Center) 889-9653; 5359 Mounes Blvd., Harahan 733-8600; 70380 HWY. 21, Covington (985) 892-9691;
Wings with a choice of 17 sauces are only the beginning at Wow Café & Wingery. Try an appetizer like the Blanco con Queso, a white cheese dip with chips. Choose from wraps, burgers, salads and fajitas or feed a hungry crew with the Wow Pack with 20 wings, entree salads, four slices of Texas toast and a large side for $19.99. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $


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