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738 Poland Ave., 943-9914
The portions of fried and boiled seafood are served in such abundance at this Bywater institution that a take-out box for leftovers is practically a foregone conclusion. You might even need more than one if you order the gargantuan seafood platter, which makes a mountain out of the kitchen's arsenal of fried seafood and throws in a bowl of gumbo for good measure. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Cash only. $$

903 E. Morris St., Hammond, (985) 542-0043;
Located in a quiet, wooded area of Hammond, Jacmel offers an urbane style of cooking. The jumbo lump crab cakes are served with a citrus beurre blanc. The roast duckling is brined and seasoned with salt and pepper, thyme and fresh oranges and Worcestershire sauce. It's then baked and served with an Amato orange wine gastrique. The menu also includes some Italian accents and a few house-trimmed steaks. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sun., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

8324 Oak St., 861-0886;
With its boisterous barroom, exposed kitchen and clutter of murals and folk art, Jacques Imo's lets it all hang out while the menu is full of bold flavors and over-the-top combinations. The smoked boudin is a locally made blend of rice, pork, ground beef, green onions and spices that is served with a Creole mustard sauce. The Creole grits and grillades feature two sautéed veal cutlets simmered in a seasoned stock and served over stone-ground grits. Reservations accepted for five or more. Dinner Mon.-Sat., late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

7808 Maple St., 866-4366
Mediterranean and Tunisian specialties abound at this intimate and welcoming café in the university area. The merguez lamb sausage and refreshing zucchini and crawfish bisque are house specialties. The steamed mussels are worthy of note, and the couscous dishes are an especially rare treat. On Saturday nights, a belly dancer adds more excitement to the already lively scene, and occasionally even chef Jamila joins the dancing in the dining room. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

614 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-9301
Asian accents inspire this Riverbend restaurant's menu. The mushroom glass noodle soup combines mushrooms, tofu and cilantro in a warm broth. The tamarind shrimp soup hits sweet and spicy notes with pineapple, shrimp, okra and jasmine rice. Reservations for large parties. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $

2722 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 468-3237
From chicken and andouille gumbo to po-boys and crawfish etouffée, Jazz Seafood offers a host of local favorites as well. There's also a smattering of Italian dishes and steaks like a 12-oz. rib-eye or a filet mignon. The Italian salad with romaine lettuce, olives and balsamic vinaigrette has been popular almost since the restaurant opened. Lasagna and spaghetti and meatballs round out the Italian dishes. The fried seafood platter is loaded with catfish, shrimp, fried oysters and crawfish beignets. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

307 Exchange Alley, 872-0015
While the view from this tiny storefront location down Exchange Alley seems like a postcard image of the old French Quarter, the kitchen at Jazz Tacos leaves no doubt as to its Latin American credentials. Honduran-style enchiladas are corn tortillas bulging with beef and topped with tomato sauce and cheese. Fajitas, pupusas, quesadillas, burritos and combination plates add a world of flavor to the menu. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Cash only. $

1700 Port St., 218-7600
Just like the name says, Jazzy Po-boys offers classic New Orleans-style po-boys. Choose from slow-cooked roast beef or seafood options like fried oysters. For dessert, try bread pudding with a spicy rum sauce. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Checks. $

7638 Maple St., 866-6022;
There's no other beverage in the world quite like bubble tea, and there's no other place on Maple Street quite like Jay's Bubbletea Cafe. Specializing in the popular Taiwanese drink (which is made from hot sweetened tea, cold milk and fresh fruit, and studded with chewy tapioca pearls), the offbeat café also offers a bevy of good eats: bagels and pastries at breakfast, sandwiches and salads for lunch. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

240 Bourbon St., 523-6820;
Jean Lafitte's offers contemporary Creole cooking and some zesty Cajun flavors. Start off with crab stuffed mushrooms, Louisiana crab cakes basted with a lemon-butter sauce or the Absinthe house salad with tomato, bacon, gorgonzola cheese, artichoke hearts and sliced mushrooms in a Creole vinaigrette. Entrees range from zesty New Orleans barbecue shrimp served over garlic mashed potatoes to the Cajun rib-eye, which is seasoned with Cajun spices and blackened in a skillet. Reservations accepted. Lunch Sat.-Sun., dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$$

1645 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 828-3555
A sports bar with ample space for dining and a kitchen, Jigger's offers burgers and bar favorites. The chicken breast on the sandwich gets its special flavor from the house marinade. Also try the spicy chicken wings. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

1104 Decatur St., 592-2565;
Jimmy Buffett's French Market oasis is marked by the funky décor of local artists and features tables painted with Buffett's album covers. The Gulf Coast cuisine covers barbecue ribs to gumbo to Jamaican jerk chicken to shrimp fried in coconut butter. There's also shrimp and lobster scampi in a zesty sauce tossed with penne pasta and Parmesan cheese. The barbecue Southern fried chicken salad features fried chicken in a barbecue ranch dressing over greens with vegetables and cheese. There is live music nightly and a large, breezy balcony for dining. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

1700 Louisiana Ave., 894-8970;
This new Uptown jazz club gets its New Orleans flavor not just from the local performers booked for its stage but also from the kitchen. The dinner menu tantalizes with entrees from steaks to seafood. They have crawfish etouffee, seafood pasta and a marinated and grilled 20-oz. prime rib. Reservations recommended for large parties. Dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

814 Gravier St., 565-5322
Jipang sets out a large buffet-style lunch catering primarily to people working in the Central Business District. This sleek, modern-looking restaurant serves numerous sushi choices, fried dumplings, noodles, salads and desserts through the day. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

3001 Magazine St., 891-0997;
Creole pot cooking, fried seafood and 18-oz. frozen schooners of beer or margaritas are some of the specialties at this popular Uptown restaurant, where neighbors and families gather for inexpensive meals. The all-you-can-eat fried catfish deal caters to appetites that respond to a challenge while the daily blackboard specials offer still more options. Their updated post-flood menu also includes fried chicken. No reservations. Breakfast Sat., lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

511 St. Louis St., 524-8129
Johnny's has been serving po-boys since 1950 with the slogan, "Even my failures are edible." The shrimp and hot sausage po-boys are favorites among locals and visitors who huddle around the red-checked cloth-covered tables digging into monster-sized sandwiches on soft French bread. The roast beef po-boys are very popular. Or try the half soft-shell crab po-boy with a cup of gumbo. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Cash only. $

801 Poland Ave., 949-3232; 4113 Magazine St., 899-4227;
"Always smoking" is the motto of this homegrown barbecue operation and they aren't kidding. The "W" special has a little bit of everything including pulled pork, beef brisket and two ribs accompanied by a choice of side items. The Smoked Bowl starts with a bed of tangy slaw and tops it with pulled pork and pickles and adds a side of creamy macaroni and cheese. The rack of ribs comes out of the smoker savory and delicious with juicy, well-seasoned meat falling off the bone. Catering is available. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $

2018 Magazine St., 519-0000; 4724 S. Carrollton Ave.,486-9550;
A penchant for rice and beans isn't the only common ground between Tex-Mex and New Orleans cooking on the menu at these popular local joints. Shrimp and bacon tacos have been causing a minor stir lately, melding surf and turf in one delicious tortilla in a way that would make any Creole cook proud. Veggie burritos on wheat tortillas are a meatless favorite as well. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

2560 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 469-1112
With springtime weather bringing back the Jukebox's monthly "Cruise Night," patrons can once again enjoy a classic car show in the parking lot on the third Saturday of every month. The Jukebox menu is a dependable for breakfast every day. Try big made-to-order omelets and pancakes or waffles with strawberries and whipped cream. Patty melts, BLTs and club sandwiches are also favorites, as are shakes and malts for dessert or just by themselves. No reservations. Open 24 hours. Credit cards. $

4417 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 887-6081
Jung's offers generous luncheon specials combining fried or steamed rice plus an egg roll or fried wonton for less than $7. Jung's offers dishes like Empress Chow Mein, which includes shrimp, chicken, pork and beef sautéed with fresh Chinese vegetables in a brown sauce served over crispy pan-fried noodles. General Tsao's chicken is cooked with a sweet and spicy sauce and served with steamed broccoli. Lighter options include grilled shrimp or fish served with steamed vegetables. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $

301 Lafitte St., Mandeville, (985) 624-5330;
A romantic cottage sets the scene for Creole cuisine with European flair at Juniper. Louisiana wontons are filled with shrimp and crawfish coconut curry served with fresh strawberry-mango chutney. Fried asparagus is paired with crabmeat and honey orange hollandaise. Some signature entrees include ahi tuna crusted with wasabi peas or the 8-oz. filet JuniperÊseared in garlic butter and served over a fried eggplant medallion. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$$

708 Aris St., 832-9292
Just Italy serves up its special Bellini paninis, sandwiches served on either ciabatta or focaccia bread and dressed with olive tapanade or garlic aioli. To list just a few, combinations include chicken, roasted peppers and fontina cheese, or prosciutto, provolone cheese, fresh basil and grilled onions. The menu features pasta, salads and soups like lentil and pancetta or crab and corn bisque. A meatless muffuletta and other vegetarian options are also available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $


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