Get lunch (and dirt-cheap martinis) at Commander's Palace
The three-course prix fixe lunch at Commander’s Palace, with prices starting under $20, has to be one of the best five-star gourmet meal deals on the planet. It also happens to be one of the best places to get turtle soup -- one of the NOLA's most quintessential must-try foods. Throw back a couple of their signature 25-cent martinis and you’ll spend the entire lunch murmuring, “Why do I only do this when guests are in town?”
Get a (spectacular) Italian dinner at Mosca's
Guests don’t often expect to be taken out for Italian food in New Orleans, but they also don’t usually know that Sicilians and Neapolitans immigrated to New Orleans in numbers only matched by New York and New Jersey around 1900, and most New Orleanians have at least some Italian heritage, if not genetically, then culinarily. Anyway, this Sicilian-American family-owned roadhouse restaurant is kind of in the middle of nowhere, over on the Westbank. Mosca’s was a mafia hangout in the post-WWII era, and though the mobsters are gone (as far as most can tell), the look of the place remains blissfully old-school, as does the simple, decadent menu. It’s short enough that if there are enough of you, you can order it all, but if you must choose just one thing, order their Chicken a la Grande with spaghetti -- oily, rosemary-studded, and smothered with enough garlic to keep you vampire-free for a week, it’s one of the more delicious things you’ll ever eat.