Gumbo Shop, New Orleans
I was a bit apprehensive about coming to this place at first (630 St. Peter Street, 504-525-1486). They advertised in so many tourist brochures that it just reeked of a tourist trap. But we just needed a quick bite nearby, so when I noticed some positive comments from locals about this place too, I gave in and hoped for the best.
The menu was simple enough for me to just grab the complete Creole dinner, featuring tastes of all of the quintessential gumbo, jambalaya, red beans & rice, creamed spinach, and hot bread pudding. Now, I am definitely one of those scorned tourists rather than a local, so admittedly my ability to judge this is rather impaired (and I didn't even realize until recently that there is a difference between the Creole and Cajun versions of these). But the gumbo and jambalaya did come off on the mild side for me, so I needed to reach for quite a bit of the tableside hot sauce and ground pepper in order to give it some added kick.
Sure, I liked it in the end, even if the bread pudding was quite sweet (gotta love the pleasantly light baguettes that they provide here, BTW). I wouldn't necessarily come running back right away, but this cozy little brick-lined place was just the right thing to set the stage for a few days of good local food to come.