AUA 2015, New Orleans style


Sophisticated, fun, historic, and some say magical. New Orleans is all that and much more, including home to some of the nation’s best dining venues and most famous chefs.

Sophisticated, fun, historic, and some say magical. New Orleans is all that and much more, including home to some of the nation’s best dining venues and most famous chefs.

LISTEN: Dr. Baum's New Orleans guide

“There is no better city for a convention than New Orleans. Within walking distance of the Morial Convention Center, there are 20 to 30 four- and five-star restaurants,” said Neil Baum, MD, a local urologist who bills himself as the “Wiz of New Orleans.”

Dr. Baum shared with Urology Times his insights on the top spots to eat, visit, and enjoy the Big Easy culture while attending this year’s AUA annual meeting.

NEXT: Dr. Baum's top 5 NOLA restaurants



Dining: Top five choices

When it comes to grabbing a quick bite or enjoying a dining experience that will leave your taste buds wanting more, here are the top five restaurants Dr. Baum recommends.

                                                                Photo courtsey Chris Granger

1. “One of the best and perhaps my favorite is called K-Pauls’ Louisiana Kitchen. Paul Prudhomme is the king of blackening. He was the one that put blackened anything on the map. If you go there and you have one of his blackened dishes and walk out with his incredible packet of spices, you will have an evening that you will remember for the rest of your life,” said Dr. Baum.

WATCH: Dr. Baum's dining guide

K-Paul’s is located in the French Quarter, about a 15-minute walk from the convention center.



                                                                        photo courtesy New Orleans CVB

2.Commander’s Palace is a 15-minute car ride from the convention center and the French Quarter. It’s often considered the best restaurant in New Orleans,” said Dr. Baum.

“I highly recommend that you order turtle soup, trout with roasted pecans, and their signature dessert, which is bread pudding. Again, a five-star restaurant and I have never had a bad meal at Commander’s Palace.”


                                                                               Photo courtesy Richard Nowitz

3. Emeril’s New Orleans is Emeril Lagasse’s flagship restaurant located in the Warehouse District, a 5-minute ride from the convention center.

“It has been awarded Esquire magazine’s restaurant of the year in 1990,” Dr. Baum said. “This is a highly recommended restaurant. You will need reservations, but you will certainly enjoy.”




                                                                          Photo courtesy Peche Seafood Grill

4. Newer to the New Orleans restaurant scene, Pêche Seafood Grill features fresh seafood.

“If that’s what you are looking for, go no further than Pêche,” said Dr. Baum. “It showcases gulf seafood, including oysters, fresh crabmeat, and fresh gulf shrimp that was wiggling in the gulf just a few hours before it ends up on your plate.”

The restaurant has been awarded two James Beard awards for excellence. Located in the Warehouse District.


                                                                                  Photo courtesy Joyce Bracey

5. A fun New Orleans tradition is Pascal’s Manale, which may be a little difficult to reach because of construction in front of the restaurant.

“They have signature barbeque shrimp served on paper-covered tables, they give you French bread and brown bags, and it’s finger-licking good,” Dr. Baum said. “It’s open 24-7 and you can’t miss having chicory café and beignets, which is the New Orleans equivalent to donuts that are piping hot and dripping with powdered sugar.”

A cab ride from the convention center is 15 to 20 minutes.

NEXT: More sweet treats and eats



More sweet treats and eats

Dr. Baum also gives high marks to these spots for a quick treat or meal:

                                                                    Photo courtesy Chris Granger

Hansen’s Sno-Bliz “takes shaved ice and makes it as fine as powdered snow and they add delicious syrups, including no-calorie syrups,” he said.

Jacques-Imos features “divine regional dishes and a funky unpretentious atmosphere, absolutely fun-an evening you will remember if you want to go a little bit off the beaten path,” Dr. Baum said.

Mother’s is “an iconic location in the central business district and a 10- to 15-minute walk from the convention center,” he said. “They have the world’s greatest po’ boys and it’s an atmosphere unlike any other in the world. Colleagues, don’t be offended if the waitress calls you baby, darling, sweetheart, or honey.”

NEXT: Dr. Baum's top five attractions


Attractions: Dr. Baum’s top five

If you’re looking to stretch your legs and take in a few sights, Dr. Baum recommends heading off to these top five attractions.

                                                                                  Photo courtesy Richard Nowitz

1. Learn about the lives of American men and women who took part in World War II at the National WWII Museum. Also learn about the famous New Orleans-built Higgins boats, which were used to transport the soldiers from England to the beaches of Normandy.

WATCH: Dr. Baum's top 5 attractions

“Eisenhower said that the war couldn’t have been won without the Higgins boats,” said Dr. Baum, who also recommends the Tom Hanks 4-D movie, “Beyond all Boundaries.” He suggests you allow at least 2 hours to visit the museum.


                                                                                        Photo courtesy Chris Granger

2. The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas has “world-class exhibits of the Gulf of Mexico reefs and fish,” according to Dr. Baum. Located at the end of Canal Street on the Mississippi River.


                                                                  Photo courtesy Kathy Anderson Photography

3. “For those who want to get a taste of Mardi Gras, you can get it year-round at Mardi Gras World, which is right next to the convention center,” he said. “It’s a working warehouse where floats are made for Mardi Gras parades. It’s a nice break between meetings at the convention, and you can come home with all kinds of gifts and beads and pretend like you have been to Mardi Gras.”


                                                               Photo courtesy Pat Garin

4. Jackson Square is home to St. Louis Cathedral, among the oldest cathedrals in the nation and a signature New Orleans landmark. The square is “surrounded by absolutely fabulous antique shops, special bars, music halls, and gifts for friends and family,” Dr. Baum said.


                                                                                Photo courtesy Chris Granger

5. Located at the end of Canal Street, Harrah’s New Orleans Casino is open 24 hours a day.

“Rumor has it that a urologist won a million dollars in a slot machine a few years ago, so good luck! The casino also has great food and entertainment,” Dr. Baum said.


More attractions

A few additional New Orleans attractions to consider:

                                                                                               Photo courtesy Jay Combe 

The Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium is located on Canal Street, walking distance from the convention center. “For those who would like a little bit of fresh air and a walk, Audubon Zoo and Audubon park are nearby. And if you want a half-day excursion, there are swamp tours.”

Finally, for a fun, low-key afternoon, take the St. Charles streetcar from the Central Business District along beautiful Saint Charles Ave., “where you can see gorgeous restored homes and end up at the famous Camellia Grill,” Dr. Baum said.

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