If you're headed for New Orleans and want to engage in a little culinary foreplay, try nolafoodporn.tumblr.com or follow them on Twitter. And make the decision now to leave your diet at home, because orgasmic cuisine is what the city's most noted for - for good reason. Here are a few of my favorite food tips:
Breakfast: If the line is too long at Café du Monde, you can join the quicker line at the back for to-go orders and take your coffee and beignets to Jackson Park to eat. I like the scenery better anyway.
Mother's at 401 Poydras across Canal has a good breakfast.
The Old Coffeepot on St. Peter - yummy creation called Calla Cakes (like donut holes, but better)
Clover Grill on Bourbon - when you want dive-y diner eggs 'n bacon to feed a hangover.
Sunday brunch – Brennan's or one of the many others; they're all good.
Po-boys: Johnny's on St. Louis, or Mother's at 401 Poydras across Canal.
Oysters: If the line at Acme is too long, Felix's across the street is just as good (both on Iberville)
Mufalettas: Central Grocery on Decatur; jars of olive salad ($10) to make your own at home.
Camelia Grill – take the streetcar to this classic diner for burgers at the counter, 50's style
Too many great choices to list but Commander's Palace (by streetcar) and Stella are favorites.
The late night action on Bourbon is mostly in the street. Take your drink in a plastic cup, roam, listen to music coming from the clubs, and chat up the people you meet.
Pat O'Brien's is a tourist trap but it's a great tourist trap. Everyone should go once.
Jean Lafitte's, built in 1722, is the oldest bar in America. It's awesome.
Muriel's at the corner of Jackson Square has a very sexy red plush bar upstairs (buy your drinks downstairs) and you can usually sneak out on the balcony too and watch the action in Jackson Square.
Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone – where many famous authors drank.
Also, don't forget to check out the music on Frenchmen's Street in the Faubourg Marigny. Just stay on Decatur and cross over to find the neighborhood local college students patronize to get away from tourists. (You'll blend in, I know it.) DBA is a good one .
Other NOLA Treats:
Snoballs (Nectar with condensed milk on top is to-die-for.) Try Hansen's on Tchoupitoulas (cab ride) or Tee-Eva's on Magazine (streetcar ride). Best ever is Plum St. Snoballs but you'd have to ride streetcar all the way to end, get off at S. Carrollton and Plum and walk seven blocks to Plum and Burdette.
Pralines: anywhere in the quarter or Tee Eva's on Magazine
Sucre - delicious - and trendy - dessert and pastry shop on Magazine
By the way, NOLA servers are generally fun and flirty if you chat them up. If you're grumpy or demanding, you'll get attitude back, for sure. So start out on the right foot and let them know you're glad to be there. They love people who love their city. The ones who seem prickly at first are always the biggest marshmallows in the end. I love the way they call you, "baby," and "dawlin'," and "cher."
Okay, go hit the internet with these ideas as starting points and make a plan. Or just stroll the streets of the French Quarter and follow your nose (and the lines of people) to discover someplace new. It's hard to go wrong in New Orleans if you're adventurous and open-minded.