920 Gravier St. 589-0077;
Breakfast croissants are popular with the business crowd and come with eggs and cheese and a choice of ham or sausage. More traditional breakfast combos also are served. For lunch, there are soups, subs, salads and sandwiches like the popular Italian: ham, cappicola, salami and provolone cheese, dressed however you like. No reservations, breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

301 Baronne St., 522-5242; 634 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-9741; 710 Terry Pkwy., Gretna 433-4111; 1375 Gause Blvd., Slidell (985) 646-1600; 8859 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie 461-9840;
With a motto of "throw 'em on the floor" and an endless supply of peanuts, customers are encouraged to toss the shells on the ground, but the menu packs more than just peanuts. There's something for everyone, like spinach and artichoke dip or featured dishes such as crawfish Monica or chicken Tchoupitoulas. Burgers, steaks, ribs and salads round out the menu. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

2 Lee Circle (Le Cirque Hotel) 528-2205
Sip a cocktail and enjoy some lounge music as Chef Colin Smith prepares tapas with Asian and Pacific Island influence at this slick Lee Circle bar and restaurant. Meze plates like seared sea scallops served with coconut curry and crispy wontons are already popular. Reservations accepted for six or more. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

2712 N. Arnoult Road, Metairie 780-8588;
The Japanese seafood buffet is the big draw and is available for both lunch and dinner and is a great way to sample the joy of Japanese cuisine without the usual price tag. The buffet features a hibachi bar, sushi bar, teriyaki dishes, salads and desserts. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

1995 Barataria Blvd., Marrero 348-2008; 5163 Gen. DeGaulle Drive, Algiers 393-1107;
This restaurant has been serving up gourmet pizzas, salads, subs, pasta and more on the West Bank for the last nine years. It has a lasagna made with four cheeses, a Caesar salad with homemade dressing, and chicken that's marinated for hours to ensure it's tender and flavorful. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

8132 Hampson St. 301-9061;
Chef Scott Snodgrass' restaurant offers contemporary comfort food to its loyal neighborhood customers and others who find their way to the Riverbend restaurant. Try the char-grilled oysters packed with Roquefort cheese and a red wine vinaigrette, or the filet with debris. In addition, look for a variety of changes to the menu this spring. Reservations accepted. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

714 St. Peter St. 524-3500
This French Quarter meeting place offers more than just good coffee. New Orleans dishes like jambalaya, catfish, shrimp and redfish Creole are only a few of the choices available, in addition to breakfast favorites like eggs Creole and eggs Sardou. For dessert, Mrs. Pearlie's Bread Puddin', a 40-year-old creation, is a must. Also check out the tasty barbecue available on Sundays. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

440 Chartres St. 524-8990
Muffulettas, po-boys half-and-half or straight up, red beans and other traditional New Orleans fare satisfy patrons at this establishment located in a historic building near the old Supreme Court building. No reservations. Call for hours. Credit cards. $$

135 Decatur St. 581-1136
This corner caf — in the upper French Quarter features lots of seafood and New Orleans dishes like crawfish etouffee. The most popular dish is the red snapper topped with crabmeat cream sauce and served with a vegetable medley and garlic mashed potatoes. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

2027 Metairie in Road, Metairie 831-9540For 23 years, Oscar's has served a variety of bar food in a casual atmosphere. The Oscar Burger, a half-pound juicy steak burger with a loaded baked potato is a favorite of regulars. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

60 Park Place Drive, Covington (985) 893-0505; 830 E. I-10 Service Road, Slidell (985) 649-4329; 1501 Barataria Blvd., Marrero 341-5544; 2746 Severn Ave., Metairie 455-6850; www.outback.comThis chain, known for promoting its Australia-meets-America attitude, offers big portions and a wide range of steaks, pork chops, lamb and more. Start with the Bloomin' Onion, or try the Hearts of Gold Fresh Catch, the restaurant's catch of the day. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

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