3200 Severn Ave., Suite 108, Metairie, 456-7075
Maddie's offers a cozy spot to relax with a cappuccino, cool off with an iced chai or grab a bite. The Swiss turkey salad on romaine and baby greens is tossed with smoked turkey, Swiss cheese, alfalfa sprouts, cranberries, walnuts and raspberry vinaigrette. The chicken salad is made with a modest amount of mayo and is available in a sandwich or on top of a salad. No reservations. Breakfast and dinner Mon.-Fri., lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

2723 Roosevelt St., Kenner, 469-5599
Spanish paella is a house specialty at Madrid, and there are several varieties with meat, seafood, a combination of the two or a vegetarian one to choose from. There's even an option with shrimp and calamari paella cooked with squid ink broth. Tapas dishes and appetizers include garlic shrimp cooked in sherry with dried cayenne peppers and pequillo peppers stuffed with shrimp and lobster. Meat entrees include a traditional veal shank osso buco and rabbit simmered in broth with tomatoes, carrots, peppers, potatoes and Spanish manzanilla olives. No reservations. Dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

2368 Magazine St., 522-3107
On the edge of the Garden District, this eatery offers a long list of po-boys as well as seafood platters, salads and a daily hot plate special. Eggplant Parmesan features fried eggplant topped with Swiss cheese and red sauce that can either be served as a po-boy on French bread dressed with lettuce, tomato and pickles or over spaghetti with vegetables and a salad. In the morning, breakfast burritos include the Southwest burrito stuffed with egg, ham, tomato, onion, bell pepper, cheese, black beans and salsa. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat. Cash only. $

3501 Severn Ave., Metairie, 779-0888
The buffet at Mandarin house offers roughly 300 items between its Chinese dishes, some sushi, the seafood bar and dessert bar. The seafood bar has boiled shrimp, crawfish, king crab and more. Meat dishes range from barbecue pork to teriyaki chicken. Desserts feature cakes, cookies and fresh fruit. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

3800 Canal St., 482-9719; 4240 Hwy. 22, Mandeville, (985) 674-9883
The revamped and much-renovated Mandina's in Mid-City is once again open and serving its tried-and-true menu, including seafood gumbo and turtle soup with sherry on the side and popular seafood dishes like trout meuniere and trout amandine, both served with French fries. Mandina's in Mandeville continues to offer the restaurant's signature dishes on the Northshore. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily at Canal Street location; lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. in Mandeville. Cash only on Canal. Credit cards accepted in Mandeville. $$

201 Bourbon St.; 236 Bourbon St.; 333 Bourbon St.; 400 Bourbon St.; 524-0114
If you are looking to grab a quick bite while partying on Bourbon Street, Mango Mango offers pizza by the slice and hot soft pretzels to fortify or soak up a night of revelry. It's also a good place to grab a big daiquiri before strolling down the strip. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

541 Oaklawn Drive, Metairie, 833-8877; www.maplecafé.net
An offshoot of the original Maple Street Café in Uptown, this café offers a brand-new, exclusively Italian menu, including dishes such as bracioloni, which presents baby white veal over a cheese and tomato pasta, and Italian classics like calamari, veal parmigiana, and lasagna. A variety of salad offerings and appetizers round out the new selections. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit Cards. $$

7623 Maple St., 314-9003;
Maple Street Café has been a staple for Uptown diners for many years and deservedly so. The menu presents guests with a nice variety of choices -- appetizers like oysters amandine with a white wine lemon butter, and for the main course there is Jameel Duck, a boneless duck breast with blueberry cognac. Fresh fish daily. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily. Credit Cards. $$

4201 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 887-2167;
Marble Slab is named for the cool marble slab used to blend ingredients. The ice cream parlor offers a very large selection of flavors and "mixins" like bits of cookies, candy, nuts, fruit, marshmallows and more. One popular flavor in spring is the cheesecake ice cream with fresh strawberries, or try the sweet cream ice cream with crushed Oreos. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

640 Frenchmen St., 945-4472;
Located on an always-hopping corner of Frenchmen Street, this elegant restaurant features the flavors of Louisiana with a worldly touch. Scallops are served in their shells with St. Tammany wild mushroom duxelle and roasted garlic potatoes. Start a weekend day with brunch featuring live jazz and dishes like frittata with prosciutto, goat cheese, green onions and gouda grits. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

2401 Burgundy St., 948-7401
Along with the signature java, this neighborhood coffeehouse offers other perks to its many regulars. With free Wi-Fi service at the ready, you can surf the Internet while you sip your coffee; at lunch, dig into pastries, sandwiches, salads, soup and gumbo. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

2035 Metairie Road, Metairie, 832-8032;
Come ashore at this Metairie landmark and fill up on any of the house specialty pizzas. Most curious is the Mysterious Stranger -- topped with feta cheese, Canadian bacon or hot sausage and a choice of vegetable -- a secret to the kitchen until you decide (Could that be the mystery?). No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, 896-7300;
With much more than just vino, Martin's offers a full menu of specialty sandwiches like the Californian, with turkey, avocado, havarti cheese, sprouts, cucumbers, tomato, mayo and Creole mustard on wheat or pita. There's also a deli deluxe sandwich of corned beef, pastrami and Swiss cheese topped with Russian dressing and Creole mustard, served on an onion roll. There also are vegetable sandwiches, salads, kosher pickles and a small children's menu. Take home signature boxed chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Sunday features a limited menu with some brunch items. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Mon.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards and checks. $

5908 Magazine St., 891-8495
Enjoy a memorable culinary experience outside in the springtime air Martinique's famed tropical courtyard -- or savor its French and Caribbean flavors inside in cozy cottage dining rooms. Martinique's menu changes frequently but features dishes like Gulf shrimp and eggplant Napoleon with roasted red pepper and herbed goat's cheese or jumbo lump crab cake with mango-chipotle vinaigrette. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri.-Sun., dinner Tue.-Sun., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

937 Leonidas St., 861-9600;
With views of the grassy levee just outside and the possibility of freight trains rolling past to punctuate your meal, the colorful cottage setting of Mat & Naddie's might make patrons feel like they're far from the city. The sophisticated cuisine, though, will remind them that this is an urban bistro. Crystal hot sauce-spiked pecans whet the appetite for dishes like the black truffle-stuffed diver scallops over Gulf shrimp and truffle risotto. The daily lunch buffet is also a favorite. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Fri.-Sat. and Mon. Credit cards and checks. $$

1114 S. Carrollton Ave., 861-0069; 4951 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, 455-0830;
With its Carrollton outlet now up and running and its Hessmer location projected to re-open in April, Maurice's is back in the baking business. Sample the fresh tarts and traditional English truffles, which feature layers of mixed fruit, fresh cream, custard and cake. Don't miss the profiterole -- a glazed pastry puff with chocolate ice cream and whipped cream. Old favorites also include red velvet cake, tiramisu and carrot cake. No reservations. Brunch and lunch Wed.-Sat. at Carrollton location; breakfast, lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. on W. Napoleon. Credit cards and checks. $

4 Canal Street (Harrah's Casino), 598-1930; 1000 W. Esplanade Ave., Suite A13, Kenner 466-1500; 2701 Airline Hwy., Suite T, Metairie, 830-4030;
Although this popular chain has many original sandwiches and wraps on its menu, it's also well known for loaded baked potatoes. Signature sandwiches include the Patriot (turkey and Swiss on wheatberry bread with orange/cranberry sauce), the classic Reuben and the Big Nasty (open-face roast beef with gravy and melted cheddar and Swiss cheeses). The Spud Max is stuffed with ham, bacon, turkey, cheddar and Swiss cheeses, green peppers and black olives. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

942 N. Rampart St., 569-9979
This relative newcomer to the French Quarter is a cozy, mostly-French bistro that tends to Indochine. Eclectic starters include salad lyonnaise, yellowfin tuna carpaccio and ginger crawfish dumplings. For an entree, go classic brasserie with steak frites with sauce au poivre or the burger served on brioche with fries on the side -- or try poached mahi mahi in lemongrass nage or saffron fish stew. Cool off for dessert with homemade ice cream. Valet parking now available. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

4700 Hwy. 22, Suite 11, Mandeville, (985) 845-1644;
Not only does Megumi expand the Northshore's sushi options, the new restaurant also expands its options with yakimono cooking. Using a yakimono grill, the restaurant cooks skewers of meat, seafood or vegetables to an extra crispy exterior while maintaining a tender and juicy interior. Guests can sample the skewers one at a time or order a combination dinner. Megumi has an extensive menu of sushi and other cooked Japanese favorites. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

921 Canal St., Ritz Carlton Hotel, 524-1331;
Melange brings together traditional New Orleans favorites and creative new dishes. The menu features classic Creole dishes from many of the city's dining institutions. Melange's chefs created the trio of crab, with jumbo lump crab imperial, a crab cake and a Napoleon with micro greens. Traditional New Orleans dishes include a version of Arnaud's shrimp Creole, which places Gulf shrimp simmered in a spicy tomato sauce on top of rice pilaf. The menu ranges from Jacques Imo's alligator and sausage cheesecake to Mosca's chicken á la grande to Melange's blackened redfish. A Sunday zydeco brunch is offered at FQB. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$$

1701 Lake Ave., Metairie, 828-9446
Straight-ahead breakfast items like omelets and eggs and toast start the day at Melius. Daily specials change from red beans and rice with smoked sausage on Mondays to taco plates with rice and beans on Thursday to shrimp po-boys on Friday. Regular sandwich options include cheese sandwiches on thick Texas toast, BLTs, patty melts with grilled onions and Swiss cheese and the Melius burger. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

1820 St. Charles Ave., 525-3225;
Enjoy the updated "zen" menu with a new Asian flair as you get involved with your food at the Melting Pot. You can still dip into a traditional cheese fondue -- a rich blend of Gruyere and Emmenthaler cheeses enhanced with white wine, minced garlic, lemon juice, herbs and brandy and served with three kinds of bread, apples and vegetables -- or indulge in fruit dipped in chocolate fondue for dessert. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

1106 Holly St., Hammond, (985) 419-0550;
The elegant Greek Revival home at Michabelle is a century old and a stately setting for a refined meal. The prix fixe menu features a choice of starters like crawfish bisque or a salad of mixed greens. Pistachio-crusted rack of lamb or filet mignon served with portobello mushrooms and a sweet vermouth sauce are some of the more popular entrees. Reservations required. Dinner daily. Credit Cards. $$$

4133 S. Carrollton Ave., 482-3133;
Fit some classic dinner fare in between bowling and dancing at Rock 'N' Bowl. There are burgers, cheese fries and classic late-night Americana to keep the good times rolling in Mid-City. Private, catered parties can also choose from Louisiana favorites like jambalaya and gumbo. No reservations. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

Hwy. 51 at Pass Manchac, (985) 386-6666
Thin-fried catfish has been the specialty of the house for more than 70 years and has been reason enough for fans to make the drive out to its location perched on the shores of Lake Manchac. Other specialties include broiled Gulf flounder stuffed with crabmeat and served with garlic lemon butter. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

133 St. Charles Ave., 523-2668
There are no surprises at Mike Serio's, but who wants to be surprised when what you really want is a good muffuletta or a mouth-watering fried oyster po-boy? If you're feeling a little adventurous, try one of the daily plate lunch specials like jambalaya, spaghetti and meatballs or crawfish etouffee. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

3301 S. Carrollton Ave., 488-1881;
A drive-up window and delivery service make Mikimoto a popular choice for sushi on the go, but customers also make themselves comfortable in the stylish dining room or small sushi bar. Spicy tuna salad always makes a good starter, and some specialties include the bayou roll with a portion of crunchy seaweed salad and shredded cucumber wrapped inside rice and layered with alternating stripes of tuna tataki and white fish. Delivery available. Reservations accepted. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner daily. $$

3002 Cleary Ave., Metairie, 780-7500
Classic and creative pizza variations put Milano on the map. Specialty pies include chicken Alfredo pizza, Hawaiian pizza with Canadian bacon and pineapple, artichoke pie with garlic sauce, feta, mushrooms, onions and artichokes, and Mardi Gras pizza with a bisque sauce, Gulf shrimp, mozzarella, green onions and fresh tomatoes. Macaroni and cheese is made with penne pasta and four cheeses. Milano's also makes specialty subs, calzones, chicken wings, tenders and many different salads. Delivery available to most of Metairie. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily. Credit cards. $

2601 Royal St., 872-9868
Spanish and Latin American tapas dishes are served late into the night. Hot plates include mushroom toast, sautéed shrimp, beef empanadas and calamari in cream sauce and steamed clams. Cold tapas range from herbed goat cheese-stuffed peppers and salmon-wrapped asparagus to Serrano ham, olives, manchego cheese and other dishes. The kitchen is upstairs, but bar patrons downstairs can order at the bar as well. No reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

10160 Jefferson Hwy., River Ridge, 737-6464
This River Ridge restaurant combines hearty Creole and Italian cooking in dishes like crawfish cheesecake with garlic crostini, veal Parmesan over angel hair pasta, balsamic and honey-glazed duck and shrimp Victoria, which serves grilled shrimp over linguine with apple-smoked bacon, peas, roasted red peppers, mint and shaved Parmesan cheese. For dessert, try the Chambord Frangelico panna cotta made with both liqueurs in a silky eggless custard. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

1001 Live Oak St., Metairie, 838-0022;
Mr. Ed's serves seafood, sandwiches, Italian dishes and fried chicken. Stuffed artichokes, bell peppers and eggplant are still among the selections alongside swankier new menu items including paneed trout topped with crabmeat and jumbo lump crabmeat au gratin. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

3620 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 833-9228;
Go Greek with Mr. Gyros as you indulge in house specialties such as spanakopita, Grecian pizza, calamari and mousaka (baked eggplant and ground lamb), along with several types of gyros, all served with steak fries. Check out the daily specials. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

2111 St. Charles Ave., 679-7697;
Half of the menu at Mr. John's reads like that of a classic New Orleans steakhouse, while the other half offers a tour of northern Italian specialties. From tender beef carpaccio to crabmeat-stuffed ravioli to grilled seafood dishes, the kitchen satisfies a wide range of cravings. When it comes to steaks, Mr. John's broils its strips, filets, T-bones and other cuts to order, sizzling with butter and joined by steakhouse or Italian sides. Reservations recommended. Lunch Thu.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

3501 Severn Ave., Metairie, 885-4010
Some of the fresh seafood options at Mr. Roos include the grilled ahi tuna or seafood platter. The tuna steak is an 8-oz. cut grilled to order and served in a garlic butter sauce with a salad, bread and vegetable of the day. The platter rounds up shrimp, catfish and oysters and serves them over angel hair pasta in a garlic butter sauce. It is complemented by a salad, vegetable and bread. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

1403 St. Charles Ave., 410-9997;
Reserve a seat at the hibachi grill for a dramatic presentation and delivery of your meal. Chefs cook and flip food and spatulas as they work at the large grills. Surf-and-turf entrees include lobster, shrimp, scallops, calamari, filet mignon and chicken. There's also a full range of fish available from the sushi bar and other popular soups and noodle dishes from the kitchen. Special rolls include Miyako, a batter-fried roll with salmon, white fish, crab, avocado, cucumber and roe. Reservations accepted. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

1005 Lee Lane, Covington, (985) 809-1111;
Cool off at Mochaccino with a frozen shiver. The cappuccino-based drink can be blended with ice cream or frozen yogurt. Other cool specialty drinks are flavored with Kahlua and Amaretto, or try the Moose Track, made with white chocolate and caramel. For a meal, there are soups, salads and sandwiches like the Philly cheesesteak. The Sante Fe salad is piled high with chicken, roasted onions and peppers, cheddar cheese and salsa. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

1500 Magazine St., 525-2244
Brewing good Mojo daily at the erstwhile original Rue de La Course in the Lower Garden District, this corner spot is keeping the neighborhood coffeeshop tradition alive and well in reconstruction-era New Orleans. Besides excellent coffee and the expected assortment of fresh baked goods, Mojo offers bubble teas and -- just in time for the oncoming heat -- fresh-squeezed lemonade and limeade. Sidewalk tables make for fine springtime al fresco social sipping. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

1507 Metairie Road, Metairie, 837-8990
This Metairie restaurant is under new ownership but much of the menu remains the same. Breakfast options include egg and cheese sandwiches and assorted muffins and cinnamon rolls. For lunch or dinner, choose among hot or cold sandwiches, paninis and a variety of salads, all of which are available as wraps. No reservations. Breakfast Mon.-Sat., lunch and dinner Mon.-Sun. Credit cards. $

1212 Royal St., 522-6746
Specialty pizzas at this long-standing French Quarter favorite include the barbecue chicken pizza, the Mediterranean (spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, feta, black olives, garlic) and the Hawaiian (pineapple and ham), in addition to a white pizza topped with garlic. Mona Lisa's also offers traditional Italian favorites like eggplant parmigiana over linguine in red sauce. Reservations for six or more. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

Mona's in Mid-City was the first of the very affordable Mona's offering Middle Eastern food, including gyro sandwiches in pita or platters, falafel and kebabs of chicken, lamb and beef. Soups and salads include a hearty lentil soup, tabouleh and a yogurt and cucumber salad. Some of the small plates include safeiha, essentially a small pizza of pita bread topped with ground beef and lamb, tomatoes, onions, parsley and spices. Plus there's hummus dip, made with chick peas, and baba ganouj, made with eggplant. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

3325 Severn Ave., Metairie, 885-4068;
Morning Call will make you glad some things never change. (Except for its location, of course -- this legendary coffee shop was originally opened on Decatur Street in the French Quarter in 1870, where it flourished for more than a century before moving to Jefferson Parish in 1974.) It's still serving up the same rich chicory coffee and light, airy beignets, which arrive fresh, hot and with liberal doses of powdered sugar. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Sun.-Wed., open 24 hours Thu.-Sat. Cash only. $

One Canal Place, 365 Canal St., 566-0221;
Morton's is known for generous portions of USDA prime beef. The Chicago-style bone-in rib-eye steak is an extra-large cut of 20-22 oz. Maine lobsters are flown in daily and are split down the middle of the tail, baked and served with drawn butter. Other steakhouse favorites range from iceberg salads with blue cheese dressing or Caesar salads to big porterhouses or New York Strips to double racks of lamb chops and New York cheesecake or créme brulee for dessert. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

702 Water St., Madisonville, (985) 845-4970;
Enjoy fresh seafood on the banks of the Tchefuncte River. At Morton's, seafood and Creole specialties are served in a rustic building or on the deck. Everything on the menu is homemade, from the shrimp and crab bisque and seafood gumbo to the remoulade and freshly fried platters. Also try the lobster and fresh asparagus, or any of the many charbroiled fresh catches. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Mon. Credit cards. $$

1112 Avenue H, Westwego, 341-9650;
Mo's name is about the only small thing you'll find at this neighborhood pizzeria. The pizzas measure almost 21 inches across and are available in many different combinations from the meat pizza with pepperoni, sausage, meatballs and ham to the supreme, which adds olives and vegetables. Mo's also makes sandwiches, including a gigantic muffuletta, a meatball sandwich on French bread and a sausage and pepper po-boy. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

4137 Hwy. 90 W, Avondale, 436-9942
Home of Oysters Mosca, now a classic New Orleans dish widely copied around town, this is the place people make pilgrimages to just to get them at the source. Other popular dishes include roasted chicken and pasta entrees. Just be sure to bring cash -- the only tender accepted at this thoroughly old school and beloved Italian restaurant on the edge of the swamps in Avondale. Reservations accepted except on Saturday. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Cash only. $$

131 Huey P. Long Ave., Gretna, 368-8678
The regular menu's Greek dishes like chicken shish kebabs or gyro plates are a good reason to head to Mother's for lunch, but changing daily specials also draw a crowd. Some popular weekly dishes include breaded pork chops, catfish amandine, Thursday's Italian specials like veal or chicken Parmesan or Friday's seafood specials. There's always plenty of vegetable side dishes to choose from. Red beans, beet salad, eggplant casserole and cabbage are rotating options. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

401 Poydras St., 523-9656;
Best known for its signature debris po-boy, all of the po-boys here are served with shredded cabbage instead of lettuce, Creole mustard or yellow mustard and pickles. Mother's also serves breakfast all day as well as Creole dishes including crawfish etouffee, shrimp Creole, Jerry's Jambalaya and seafood gumbo. Special po-boys include the Ferdi with baked ham and roast beef, and the Ralph, which is a Ferdi with cheese. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

201 Julia St., 522-1492;
Dubbed "The Original Cajun Restaurant," this whimsical Warehouse District destination offers a taste of the Cajun countryside paired with the unique sounds of the region. As Cajun bands perform for the dining room crowd, the kitchen dishes out favorites like grilled catfish Mulate's topped with crawfish etouffée, chicken and sausage jambalaya, blackened fish, crabmeat au gratin and fried seafood platters. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

801 Chartres St., 568-1885;
With its pretty downstairs dining room and elegant upstairs complete with Storyvillesque lounge, Muriel's offers great views inside and out onto Jackson Square. The menu offers a fresh twist on classic Creole fare with dishes like a seafood gumbo, turtle soup, stuffed mirlitons, pecan-crusted puppy drum, a double-cut pork chop with a sugar cane apple glaze and Dijon mustard-crusted salmon. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Sat., dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

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