New Orleans Festivities
Credit: photo by David Berkowitz

Where to Eat in New Orleans

It is true that New Orleans isn't exactly suffering from lack of delectable eating establishments. There is the famous Mother's, where you can find arguably the best shrimp po-boy on the planet. There is the even more famous Café Du Monde, where you can indulge yourself on the powder-coated delight of beignets while sipping the most perfect cup coffee you could ask for. If you have a hankering for a brunch cuisine like no other, there is the ever-popular Brennan's, where you do not want to leave without trying their version of Bananas Foster. If you desire a high-end dining experience, the Victorian atmosphere of Commander's is for you. Of course, there is also the famed Acme Oyster House, a seafood lover's dream. Or if you are in the mood for a dining event with a watery view and a jazz band, you can take a dinner cruise down the Mississippi River aboard The Paddlewheeler Creole Queen.

The list of famous New Orleans restaurants is seemingly endless. However, in our last trip down to The Crescent City  (AKA my husband's hometown), we happened upon a decidedly un-famous restaurant that ended up leaving the biggest impression of all. We had arrived late into town, after 11:00 on a Friday night. Tired from our five hour drive but ravenous, we simply hoped we could find something open at that time of night that wasn't a bar or a burger house. What we found was the open-all-night City Diner.  When I say it looked like a hole in the wall from the outside, I don’t mean that it appeared unsavory or dangerous. There were no “ruffians” skulking about or anything. Really, the exterior just looks like an ancient Denny's, and the inside was no prize either. Still, it was clean, and it was open – our only qualifiers for that time of night. We certainly did not have very high expectations for the culinary experience we were in for. Boy, were we unprepared for the surprise in store for us!

I wish I could describe to you the infinite delectability of the "Bottomless Breadbowl" that I ordered. Shrimp and crawfish, steeped in a creamy cheese sauce, pooled inside the yummiest French bread bowl I've ever put into my mouth. It was purely heaven. Tom ordered an equally scrumptious Cajun omelet, which consisted of shrimp, Andouille sausage, and crawfish, cooked in an egg omelet, served with the same type sauce. If I've ever eaten better food, I can't remember when. Even Tom, who is a bit of a culinary snob, seeing as though he hails from New Orleans, agreed that The City Diner was some of the best "eatin'" he'd had in a long, long time. We also loved the fact the prices were reasonable, and the informality of the wait staff was downright charming. Funny, how out of all of the famous fine dining restaurants that New Orleans has to offer, it was that little hole in the wall diner that left the most looming impression. So, if y'all plan on going down to The Big Easy any time soon, please be sure and pay a visit to the City Diner, because I want them to be there for a long, long time.

The City Diner, Metairie, LA, New Orleans