A few months ago, I wrote about my grandmother and her sisters taking their husbands along on progressive dinners in the French Quarter when they were all in town together, and Paul and I haven’t stopped thinking about making our own progressive dinner routes ever since. It’s fun, it’s easy due to the high number of eateries in the Quarter, and it gives you a little something extra to do while you’re down there. Because once you get to the French Quarter, you might want to have a plan. Maybe some of the time you’d like to ramble and follow your nose to the next fun thing, but sometimes you’ll want to not make many decisions, and you’ll want to know that a particular place is open and particularly worth it. Yesterday, we devised a short progressive lunch for a drizzly Sunday afternoon: Felix’s for oysters of any variety, then Stanley for gumbo (or a po-boy or even breakfast, but definitely the gumbo).
Felix’s is our favorite French Quarter spot for raw oysters for nostalgic reasons, but also because they always taste good there. Also, Felix’s is not a pretentious place; it’s not trying to look cute or slick or full of Cajun artifacts. It’s just a good place to eat. I’d eat oysters there any old day.
Not that the gumbo at Felix’s isn’t nice, but Stanley’s gumbo just really wows us. It’s dark, thick, and filled with ultra-tender shrimp and oysters, along with some chicken and well-browned andouille. A bowl is a meal in itself, especially when topped with a little of their potato salad. We got to try a few other menu items there as well:
Eggs Stella, which is a well-executed benedict invaded by a crispy and delicious softshell crab.
the reuben on French…recommended
Po-boy sliders, for several tastes: the Stanley club, Korean beef with kimchi, and fried oyster with coleslaw.
Two things I like about Felix’s to Stanley: First, you’ve walked a good deal of the Quarter and have earned that po-boy; second, you end up right by the cathedral, so if there’s a concert or mass to head to, you’re already there! If you’re up for some dessert, I think the best would be across the street at Cafe du Monde for beignets and cafe au lait. But you could also try some homemade ice cream at Stanley or duck around the corner to La Divina for gelato. Either way, you’ve eaten well, my child.