Two famous chefs who have restaurants there, and both of whom started out at Commanders Palace (an excellent upscale place we ate last year) are Paul Prudhomme and Emeril. Paul has one restaurant - K Paul's, and Emeril has 3. All of them are about equal in price, entrees being anywhere from $20-$30. While the selections were mouthwatering, we were on a budget, and there was sure to be more affordable tastiness to be had.
We wound up at the French Market Cafe/Restaurant. We indoctrinated ourselves to our first hurricane - which while good, would have been better with crushed ice. Mike had a FABULOUS plate of crab au gratin, and I had the fresh red snapper covered with shrimp scampi. Fiiiiiiiish. Yum. There were no leftovers. :)
After eating a substantial meal in New Orleans, it's always a good idea to walk, because remaining still means a food coma is likely to set in. So we did our rounds of the quarter under the full which was threatening to be all full as we were.
Street performers are always out at night, and, unlike most of those you'll find in the Chicago areas, (especially around the train) most of them are very very talented. Sure, you've got mimes, but lots of musicians as well. For example - at least three times during the week we found this ensemble of three guys dresses up in suits and singing oldies in three part harmony just outside the Hurwitz Mintz antique store across from the Montelone Hotel. They had spirit. You could tell they loved what they did. Almost every time we passed them, and/or stopped someone was getting serenaded, and sometimes they'd even have people dancing with them.
They'd always say something like "Don't go yet, we've got a song for you" and they'd croon right too you in a way that only old motown records could. We gave them a few tips, as a result.
One guy in particular that was out around royal street on one of the corners near our hotel was at first funny, then annoying, then annoyingly funny. He was stairway to heaven guy. It didn't matter what time of day, or if we'd just passed him, he was ALWAYS playing stairway to heaven as if he only had strings on his guitar that corresponded to that song. Funniest of all is when we passed him twice on the same night within the span of maybe a half hour - the guy had moved his location but was still playing that damn song!
After our walk through the quarter we retired early to the hotel room, as our feet had taken enough abuse and Mike's knee was being crabby. We wanted to go clubbing, but as we weren't up for waiting till midnight for the Dungeon to open, and Whirling Dervish was playing Rockabilly, we thought we'd save our energy.
So we watched the new hip miniseries called "What the hell is going to get flattened by a hurricane this time?" Our other favorite station was the NOLA TV channel - as lame as it may be to be a tourist and watch tourist TV, we learned a lot about what would be cool to visit and where to eat. I will say it again - Food Porn. Sure, there were extended informercials about restaurants, but the giant closeups of food were worth it. I learned that the Brennan family is all over the restaurant business in NO, and has their fingers in many many pies - literally.
Also learned about the streetcars and where they run. There are older looking green ones - like the one we took- which are actually the antique cars but kept up. They run on St. Charles and go past the garden district. They are red ones that run along canal, which are built new but exactly like the old model, except in the fact that they are airconditioned.
I saw all kinds of stuff on the channel about what's in some of the antique galleries, art exhibits, what's at the art museum, etc. Some of the bourbon street club ads like the one for POP BAR were annoying - they had that same name masturbation problem as KMFDM.
So, we were lame on Tuesday night and didn't go out late, just watched the city lights and few people wandering on Bourbon street from ourround window before turning in. There was more walking to be done the next day - as I wanted to hit the cemeteries. And were are more cemeteries in NOLA than I knew what to do with.