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ADAM'S CATFISH HOUSE 8523 Hwy. 23, Belle Chasse, 392-0541 The house specialty is no surprise at Adam's Catfish House, where catfish is fried or grilled and served on platters with coleslaw and hushpuppies. Other options include salads, po-boys, burgers and steaks. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Thu.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

BIG SHIRLEY'S 5222 Elysian Fields Ave., 252-4835 Big Shirley's is a casual take-out spot with approximately 40 seats for those who would rather dine in. Stop by in the morning for French toast or smothered potatoes. Lunch and dinner bring hearty dishes like baby back ribs, blackened catfish and sides of smothered greens. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $

BISTRO BYRONZ 1901 Hwy. 190, Suite 10, Mandeville, (985) 951-7595; This casual bistro serves innovative Louisiana cooking. Blue cheese chips are freshly fried potato chips topped with melted blue cheese. Pot roast Creole is served with garlic mashed potatoes, Creole gravy and home-style green beans. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

BLUE PLATE CAFE 1330 Prytania St., 309-9500 The Blue Plate Cafe puts a special twist on breakfast standards. The pancakes Bonaparte includes three buttermilk pancakes smothered with fruit sauce and whipped cream. There also are breakfast burritos and eggs with crawfish cakes. There are salads and sandwiches for lunch. No reservations. Breakfast Mon.-Sat., lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

BUFFA'S LOUNGE 1001 Esplanade Ave., 949-0038; Head to Buffa's for the namesake half-pound burger, a patty melt or other bar fare. All sandwiches are served with fries, including the grilled Reuben, loaded with corned beef, sauerkraut and Russian dressing. The blackened rib-eye is a menu mainstay. No reservations. Open 24 hours daily. Cash only. $

BYWATER RESTAURANT & BBQ 3162 Dauphine St., 944-4445 Brisket, ribs, chicken and pulled-pork barbecue are the usual suspects at this neighborhood restaurant. Get barbecue with sides like beans and jalapeno cornbread. Daily specials include steaks and fried catfish. Soups and desserts are homemade. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Thu.-Tue., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

DANTE'S KITCHEN 736 Dante St., 861-3121; Dante's presents contemporary Creole dishes with local farm vegetable selections. The redfish on the half shell is topped with jumbo lump crabmeat and soft herbs. Chicken roasted under a brick is maple glazed and served with a potato and bacon hash cake and topped with a fried farm egg. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wed.-Mon., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

DEJA VU RESTAURANT & BAR 400 Dauphine St., 523-1931; Home-style platters of pot roast and pork chops mix it up with fried seafood and po-boys at this all-hours destination. Dinner specials are available Monday through Thursday, and a steak special is featured Tuesdays and Thursdays. No reservations. Open 24 hours daily. Credit cards. $

DISH ON HAYNE 9734 Hayne Blvd., 301-0356; Dish on Hayne offers an eclectic mix of appetizers from spinach and artichoke dip to crab cakes and Cajun chicken quesadillas. Entrees range from fried catfish Charles with crawfish cream sauce to grilled shrimp pasta with mushrooms in spicy cream sauce topped with Parmesan. Pepper-crusted ahi tuna steaks are served with vegetables and salad. Reservations accepted. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

FELLINI'S CAFE 900 N. Carrollton Ave., 488-2155; This neighborhood spot offers a menu of pastas, sandwiches and pizzas. Shrimp kebabs feature two skewers of shrimp, onion, bell peppers and black olives served with hummus and salad. The chicken portobello lavash wrap bundles mushrooms cooked in red pepper sauce, chicken, spinach, mozzarella and feta. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

FIORELLA'S CAFE 1136 Decatur St., 553-2155 Fried chicken is the specialty at Fiorella's, which serves its fried-to-order bird with homey Southern sides like red beans. There are fried seafood platters, home-style Italian favorites and New Orleans staples. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $

FRANKY & JOHNNY'S 321 Arabella St., 899-9146; This neighborhood standby serves casual fare like po-boys, gumbo, boudin balls and alligator soup. The seafood platter includes stuffed crab, oysters, shrimp, catfish, toast and salad. Look for daily specials like red beans and rice, or chicken with onion gravy. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

FURY'S 724 Martin Behrman Ave., Metairie, 834-5646 This neighborhood restaurant features fried chicken and plenty of seafood options, like trout with lump crabmeat and a broiled seafood platter with fish, soft-shell crab, shrimp, stuffed shrimp, oysters, french fries and salad. There also are Italian classics like eggplant and veal Parmesan. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $$

GATTUSO'S NEIGHBORHOOD BAR & RESTAURANT 435 Huey P. Long Ave., Gretna, 368-1114; Gattuso's serves everything from gourmet salads, wraps and sandwiches to steak and seafood platters. Sloppy roast beef po-boys are topped with Swiss cheese and served on Leidenheimer bread. Spaghetti and meatballs comes with French bread and salad. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

J'ANITA'S AT THE RENDON INN 4501 Eve St., 826-5605 J'anitas, formerly of the Avenue Pub, took over the kitchen at Rendon Inn. The menu features upscale pub food and weekly specials. The St. Chuck Duck sandwich has cabernet sauteed duck with cheddar and blue cheeses, granny smith apples and current tapenade. Come on Wednesdays for chicken-fried steak, and carne asada on Thursdays. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

JOEY K'S RESTAURANT 3001 Magazine St., 891-0997; This corner spot on bustling Magazine Street suits the whole family. There are red beans, all-you-can-eat catfish, and fried seafood platters. Trout Tchoupitoulas is pan fried and topped with shrimp and crabmeat. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

THE JUJU BAG CAFE 5363 Franklin Ave., 872-0969 Stop into JuJu Bag for daily specials like baked turkey wings with cabbage and black-eyed peas or shrimp and okra with rice and cornbread. The salmon steak salad features grilled wild Alaskan salmon on a bed of lettuce with mushrooms, avocado, tomato and walnut vinaigrette dressing. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Tue.-Sun., dinner Tue.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. $

KATIE'S RESTAURANT & BAR 3701 Iberville St., 488-6582; Favorites at this Mid-City restaurant include the Cajun Cuban with roasted pork, grilled ham, cheese and pickles pressed on buttered bread. The Boudreaux pizza is topped with cochon de lait, spinach, red onions, roasted garlic, scallions and olive oil. There also are salads, burgers and Italian dishes. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

KOZ'S 515 Harrison Ave., 484-0841; 6215 Wilson St., Harahan, 737-3933; Koz's serves seafood platters, muffulettas and more than 15 types of po-boys. The Will's Chamber of Horrors sandwich features roast beef, ham, turkey, Swiss and American cheese, Italian dressing and hot mustard. No reservations. Harrison Avenue: Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Wilson Street: Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. $

LAKEVIEW HARBOR 911 Harrison Ave., 486-4887; Lakeview Harbor specializes in hearty burgers and loaded baked potatoes. The house pizza features pepperoni, sausage, beef, ham, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, bell pepper and olives. Daily specials include red beans and rice, shrimp Creole, spaghetti and baked chicken. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

LIUZZA'S RESTAURANT AND BAR 3636 Bienville St., 482-9120; Regulars flock to Liuzza's for lasagna and the Frenchuletta, a muffuletta served as a po-boy. Entrees include seafood platters and Italian specialties. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Cash only. $$

THE LUCKY LADLE 1906 Magazine St., 304-6090; Get breakfast all day at this Lower Garden District eatery. The Eggcelent breakfast rounds up three eggs any style, a choice of bacon or sausage, grits or hash browns and toast. At lunch, the Drooling Logan croissant sandwich is filled with roast beef, Swiss, horseradish mayo, spinach and tomato. Reservations accepted. Breakfast and lunch Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $

PAUL'S CAFE 100 E. Pine St., Ponchatoula, (985) 386-9581; Paul's focuses on comfort food with breakfast dishes like bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches, omelets and pancakes. Lunch items include dishes like open-faced roast beef sandwiches and grilled chicken salad. A children's menu is available. Breakfast and Lunch daily. Credit cards. $

QUARTER VIEW RESTAURANT 613 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, 887-3456 The Quarter View offers a variety of seafood specialties. The stuffed lobster comes with homemade crabmeat dressing, and any entree can be topped off with crabmeat au gratin. The menu also features pastas and fried seafood platters. No reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

RICCOBONO'S PEPPERMILL 3524 Severn Ave., Metairie, 455-2266; This cafe is popular for breakfast, with dishes like eggs Benedict and crab cakes Benedict served with potatoes. Daily lunch specials feature white beans and rice, fried chicken with baked macaroni and stewed chicken and gravy. Reservations accepted. Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

RUSSELL'S MARINA GRILL 8555 Pontchartrain Blvd., 282-9999; The Digger burger boasts an 8-oz. patty topped with ham, bacon, pepper Jack cheese, barbecue sauce, red onion, lettuce and tomato. Breakfast is served all day, and a rustic variation on eggs Benedict features poached eggs atop an English muffin with grilled tomato and smoked sausage, topped with sausage and maple country gravy. Reservations accepted. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

SHIMMY SHACK 1855 Dock St., Harahan, 729-4442 Shimmy Shack's entrees include blackened catfish served over shrimp and cheese grits. Fried appetizer options include alligator sausage, crawfish tails, pickles and mushrooms. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

SOUTHSIDE CAFE 3154 Pontchartrain Drive, Slidell, (985) 643-6133; Southside Cafe serves po-boys, fried seafood and a 10-oz. home-cooked brisket burger. The seafood platter includes soft-shell crab. On Thursdays and Saturdays, Southside serves 12-oz. Angus beef rib-eye steaks with loaded potatoes. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

SPECKLED T'S 158 S. Military Road, Slidell, (985) 646-1728; Speckled T's menu has both surf and turf options. Entrees include a 14-oz. New York strip and a 12-oz. rib-eye. Seafood options include oysters and deep-fried calamari. A lunch buffet including seafood items is offered Monday through Friday. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

STANLEY 547 St. Ann St., 587-0093; At the casual companion to his high-end Stella!, chef Scott Boswell serves burgers and Reuben sandwiches alongside such exotic fare as Korean barbecue beef po-boys and the Breaux Bridge Benedict, with boudin, hollandaise and poached eggs. No reservations. Brunch, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

TARTINE 7217 Perrier St., 866-4860; This quaint neighborhood cafe offers a little culinary savoir faire. Pork rillette is served with toasted baguette, onion marmalade and cornichons. The grilled steak sandwich is served with blue cheese butter on ciabatta bread. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

THE TIMES GRILL 1827 Front St., Slidell, (985) 639-3335; 1896 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 626-1161; This chain is known for its burgers but offers menu options for the entire family. On Wednesdays, kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entree. Kids menu options include mac and cheese, fried shrimp and hamburgers. The Times Grill offers steak specials on Tuesdays. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

WIT'S INN 141 N. Carrollton Ave., 486-1600; The meatball sandwich with marinara sauce and mozzarella and the Wits Works pizza with basically everything on it are the most popular dishes. On Thursdays, get a regular, one-topping pizza for $5. Other menu items include calzones, sandwiches, salads, bruschetta and wings. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

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