1905 W. Thomas St., Hammond, (985) 419-0027;
While Adobe serves up a full range of traditional Mexican fare, along with treats such as fried ice cream, this restaurant strives to deliver an authentic experience as well with attractions such as two-for-one margarita specials and live music. Delivery available. Reservations accepted, except on weekends. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

1036 W. Airline Hwy., LaPlace, (985) 652-3544;
Known for its prime steaks and Louisiana seafood, Bull's Corner is a culinary hot spot in the River Parishes. The signature steak is the Filet Norton, a char-grilled filet mignon on a marinated portobello mushroom topped with Danish blue cheese and garlic sauce. For seafood, try the Catfish Bucktown, a fried pecan-crusted catfish fillet topped with Gulf shrimp sauteed in Creole meuniere sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

2000 S.W. Railroad Ave., Hammond, (985) 345-2634;; 5953 W. Park Ave., Houma (985) 868-0800
No matter which location you visit, you'll find a family-friendly atmosphere, reasonably priced Mexican cuisine and popular margaritas. The menu features traditional dishes like fajitas, burritos, flautas, enchiladas and tacos. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

805 Newport Drive, Laplace, (985) 652-5227; 12179 Hwy. 90, Luling, (985) 785-6836
See "Citywide" listing for restaurant description.

108 N.W. Railroad Ave., Hammond, (985) 419-9990
Caretta's offers a full range of Mexican dishes from fajitas to chile rellenos to burritos, enchiladas and quesadillas. Starters include ceviche of lime-marinated mahi-mahi, tortilla soup and a special bean soup made with smoked chipotle peppers, sausage, bacon and cilantro with cheese on the side. Entree specials include all sorts of combinations and a roast pork dish served with sauteed onions, bean soup, grilled peppers and guacamole salad. A 10-oz. rib-eye is accompanied by two cheese enchiladas verde and bean soup. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

25020 Hwy. 190 E., LaCombe, (985) 626-7662
A bastion of traditional French dining, La Provence features escargots Bourgogne, maple-roasted duckling with orange or garlic sauce and marinated rack of lamb with a rosemary jus. Hints of French-Creole sneak onto the menu in stuffed quail gumbo and broiled jumbo Gulf shrimp with paprika and lemon. A prix fixe menu offers a salad with a choice of appetizer, entree and dessert for $32.95. Reservations recommended. Lunch Sun., dinner Wed.-Sat . Credit cards. $$$

Hwy. 51 at Pass Manchac, Manchac, (985) 386-6666
Perched on the shores of Lake Manchac, Middendorf's has made thin-cut fried catfish its specialty since opening in 1934. The fish comes out hot, crispy and good as ever with sides of hushpuppies, coleslaw and French fries. Beyond catfish, some of the landmark restaurant's specialties include broiled Gulf flounder stuffed with crabmeat and served with garlic lemon butter. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

4137 Hwy. 90 W., Avondale, 436-9942
Many people make the Drive to Mosca's for the chicken alone, but there are many Italian and Creole dishes to choose from. One dish takes a whole chicken and pan-fries it with olive oil, rosemary and garlic till it's almost beyond golden brown, catching everything at the height of flavor. There's also chicken cacciatore and other classic dishes. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Cash only. $$

131 S.W. Railroad Ave., Pontchatoula, (985) 386-4077;
Nestled in historic Ponchatoula, the rustic brick walls and dark woods lend a warm atmosphere to the dining room, where patrons enjoy dishes like crispy jumbo lump crabcakes made with panko breadcrumbs and served with roasted corn salsa and chipotle-lime butter. A house favorite is pan-seared Maple Leaf duck breasts served with portobello mushroom risotto, marinated arugula and blackberry-cassis glace. Reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

100 E. Pine St., Ponchatoula, 985-386-9581
A casual cafe in the heart of Louisiana's "strawberry capital," Paul's has been dishing up hearty and inexpensive breakfast and lunch for its regulars for decades. Come in the morning for a country-style breakfast of eggs, meat and grits or drop by around lunch to get one of Paul's daily blue plate specials. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

81250 Old Military Road., Bush, (985) 892-9742
The tasting room at Pontchartrain Vineyards is open to sip wines and enjoy a light lunch of charcuterie and cheese plates. Visitors also can take a glass of wine and stroll among the vines. Bottles are available for sale as well. No reservations. Lunch Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $

7163 Barataria Blvd., Crown Point, 689-7834
Tucked along a bayou and draped in trees, Restaurant des Familles is a delightful spot for dinner after an afternoon at Jean Lafitte National Park and Preserve. House specialties include shrimp Diane Ñ Gulf shrimp sauteed in a garlic butter sauce with mushrooms and green onions served on a bed of angel hair pasta. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

Dickie Brennan greets diners at Dickie Brennans - Steakhouse. - TRACIE MORRIS SCHAEFER

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