3400 Hessmer Ave., Metairie 780-2266
The middle of the week brings the beef at the Edge when the Metairie tavern offers its steak special. Come Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday for an 8-oz. filet with garlic bread and garlic potatoes for $9. Sandwiches, grilled tuna and a wide assortment of beers round out the everyday menu. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $

601 Gallier St. 944-9272;
Po-boys and salads have quite a roster of weekly specials with which to compete at this Bywater caf — by the river levee. Stuffed chicken, bronzed catfish and beef stew are among the daily offerings. Drop in for happy hour between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. and try out the new pool tables as well. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

1035 Dealer's Ave., Harahan 818-2121
Try the soon-to-be-famous chili cheese fries at this up-and-coming Harahan joint and be able to say you knew them when. Formerly called Billy's Place, Elmwood Café serves red beans, chicken tenders and other daily specials at bargain prices for quick lunches and dinners in the neighborhood. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

700 Bourbon St. 595-3172;
Housed in a 19th century building on New Orleans' most famous street, the dining rooms and large balcony at Embers promise an exciting meal. Embers offers steaks and a selection of local specialties such as soft-shell crabs, blackened fish and fried seafood platters. Reservations accepted. Dinner nightly, lunch weekends only. Credit cards. $$$

800 Tchoupitoulas St. 528-9393;
At the flagship restaurant of Emeril Lagasse's culinary empire, chef de cuisine Chris Lynch cooks star power cuisine with selections like Parmesan-crusted oysters with lemon, spinach and tomato butter; pan roasted duck breast with peppers agro-dolce, polenta, roasted grapes and grilled radicchio; and braised Mississippi rabbit with San Marzano tomatoes and housemade pappardelle pasta. Lunch Fri. only, dinner Mon.-Sat. $$$

1635 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville (985) 951-8686
Chinese-American favorites turn up in great variety and prodigious quantities at this family-friendly Northshore eatery, where the buffet selection can run to more than 80 items. There are always plenty of seafood options, including crawfish, fried fish, fried shrimp, baked salmon and shrimp fried rice, plus vegetarian options, beef dishes, dumplings and a multitude of desserts. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

600 S. Peters St. 525-8544;
From a perch at this vintage Warehouse District bar, regulars tuck into the big 8 oz. bayou burger with shredded cheddar, chicken wraps, chicken tender plates and fried seafood platters or po-boys. Daily specials include fresh made artichoke soup and thick slices of seafood lasagna. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

701 Poydras St. (One Shell Square) 524-5115
Downtown denizens and office workers on the go pop in for tall coffee drinks and stuffed biscuits or croissants in the morning, then return at lunchtime for sandwiches, salads and wraps. The popular Santa Fe panini has roasted chicken, cheddar cheese, roasted onions and peppers with salsa. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch weekdays. Credit cards. $

407 N. Columbia St., Covington (985) 892-4578
A French bistro with Louisiana flair, this "star" of the Covington fine dining scene is co-owned by New Orleans artist James Michalopoulos and the playful décor features many of his paintings and design touches. Look for creative interpretations on bistro cuisine, like the mussels with spicy dill in a white wine cream broth paired with sweet potato fries. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

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