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4838 Prytania St., 895-0581
Folks stop into Zara's to make groceries but also to visit the deli in the rear of the store for sensational sandwiches and hot meals to go. Monday's traditional special of red beans and rice with sausage is always popular, as are Italian meatballs on a po-boy or over spaghetti. Other dishes include eggplant and veal Parmesan and muffulettas. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

1401 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 468-7733; 1525 St. Charles Ave., 520-8100; 1655 Hickory St., Harahan, 738-0799; 4450 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 780-9090;
Zea is a casually elegant spot to enjoy American favorites spiced up with Asian flavors. Signature dishes include the Thai ribs and Asian almond shrimp. During crawfish season, the mudbugs can be added to any dish. The bar features micro-brewed beers specially made for Zea by a Northshore brewer. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

1517 Metairie Road., Metairie, 832-1133
Serving casual New Orleans classics in the heart of Old Metairie, Zeke's is well known for its raw oysters and boiled shrimp or crawfish. Start a memorable meal with fried crab claws or a fried oyster Caesar salad. For entrees bite into hamburger steaks with grilled onions or mashed potatoes or country fried pork chops. New items include fried green tomatoes with shrimp and basil and grilled tuna salad with peanut dressing. Finish a meal with desserts like peanut butter pie or bread pudding with rum sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner, Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

4915 St. Anthony Ave., 282-7150
This family-run seafood market offers a lunchtime affirmation of the recovery of its Gentilly neighborhood as regulars and others pour in for fried and boiled seafood. The po-boys use bread from John Gendusa's Bakery next door, and the crabs, shrimp, crawfish and fish come fresh from local waters. Try a generously piled seafood combination platter with crinkle-cut fries or take home a pint of boiled crabs. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

333 Poydras St., 207-5018
Located on the second floor of the sleek, stylish downtown W Hotel, Zöe Restaurant features innovative New Orleans cuisine set in an elegant European-style bistro. Though the menu changes frequently, Chef Roberto Bustillo blends Old-World French techniques with Louisiana ingredients for dishes like Gulf Coast Crustacean Shooters, which pair crabmeat, shrimp and oysters with flavored vodkas. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

435 Esplanade, 944-2897; 8210 Oak St., 861-2224
The bohemian-friendly Z'otz serves bubble teas and yerba mate in addition to many all-organic, fair-trade, shade grown coffee and impressive selection of over 90 teas. Bagels, a variety of breads and delicious extra large cookies round out the cafŽ offerings. Both Z'otz locations encompass several rooms for study, work or relaxing with friends. No reservations. Open 24 hours. Cash only. $


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