The thing about being a tourist in New Orleans is that one is mainly confined to the downtown area of the city. Of course, that’s where the French Quarter is and where a lot of the night life is happening. People like it because of the history, the food and the architiecture and such.
Some of the best places to eat are in the uptown areas away from the Quarter life. On Carrollton Avenue, which would be only a few minutes by taxi from the Quarter, there is a great old restaurant that’s been around for decades that’s got new digs because the building next to it where it was originally housed had to be torn down after the flooding of Katrina.
This place is known as Ye Olde College Inn and has some of the best food in the city. It was the great stomping place for many uptown regulars, businessmen, politicians and little old blue-haired ladies. They served traditional New Orleans food on the cheap.
Before it changed hands a few years ago the quality of the food had gone down and was slowly turning into a greasy spoon type of place, almost as if the owners really didn’t care much about it any more.
But that all changed after the Blancher family, owners of the Rock & Bowl next door, took it over and moved into a much bigger building next door. A lot of the restaurant’s old favorites are gone but it still has a menu of typical New Orleans food with a lot of updates.
My favorite is the fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade. This is an appetizer that’s almost enough for a meal. I sometimes have that and the gumbo, different from a lot of gumbos but still delicious. Also on the menu are great po-boys and fish and such. But one of their premiere dishes is the dessert of bread pudding. For the brave and adventurous they have even have a fried breading pudding po-boy. Yikes! Will wonders never cease.
Ye Olde College Inn has become one of my family’s favorite places to eat. The prices are decent, atmosphere is funky and very New Orleans and the service is very good. They are only open for dinner and reservations are a must on the weekends.
So take a break from the Quarter, and try Ye Olde College Inn, ya really oughta.