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The best bang for your Valentine’s Day buck

Assistant Life and Times Editor

Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 13:02


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February is one of the busiest months of the Loyola school year. With Mardi Gras, the Super Bowl, and midterms all falling around the same time, some forget to plan something special for Valentine’s Day. The following choices were recommended by Gambit restaurant columnist and radio personality Ian McNulty. We have also set up a criterion to help narrow down our selection: average meal cost around $20 and located within a 10-mile radius of Loyola’s campus. The locations must also be streetcar accessible or within walking distance. All of these Valentine’s Day options are delicious, affordable ways to impress your date without breaking your student budget.

Vincent’s: 7839 St. Charles Ave. 866-9313
.9 Miles away from campus; streetcar acessible
Average Meal: $18
This quaint, streetcar-accessible restaurant has all of the mouth-watering Italian dishes that you and your date could ever think of. With candlelit, intimate tables, Vincent’s is made for a romantic dinner. Some of their popular dishes include chicken parmigiana, fettucine, alfredo and classic spaghetti and meatballs; all of these choices fall right around $20. This small restaurant will fill up fast for Valentine’s Day. Reservations are recommended.

Ciro’s Cote Sud: 7918 Maple st. 866-9551
1.1 Miles away from campus; streetcar accessible
Average Meal: $15
This French style bistro is a romantic and affordable place to take a date who likes a bowl of mussels or even a pepperoni pizza. New Orleans food critic Ian McNulty explained that Ciro’s used to be a popular pizza joint, so when the current French owners took over, they decided to keep this fan favorite on the menu. For Valentine’s Day, Ciro’s will be playing up the romantic vibe with dim lighting, roses on tables and special menus. Ciro’s is cash or check only, and reservations are highly recommended.

Picnic at the Fly: St. James Cheese Company: 5004 Prytania St. 899-4737
1.2 Miles away from campus; streetcar accessible
Average Meal: $15
An alternative way to enjoy Valentine’s Day is to have a do-it-yourself picnic at the Fly. McNulty suggests this as a cost effective, creative option for the broke college student. He recommends the St. James Cheese Company for some of the best meats and cheeses in New Orleans. All you need is a few pieces of ham, a slice or two of cheese and some French bread and you’ve got an inexpensive and unique way to celebrate the holiday on the Mississippi River.

Emeril’s: 800 Tchoupitoulas St. 528-9393
4.2 Miles away from campus; streetcar accessible
Average Meal: $22.50
Want to taste Emeril Lagasse’s famous New Orleans’s flavor without spending a fortune for dinner? Emeril’s has an impressive three-course lunch special for just over $20. You can get house-made gumbo, steamed mussels and a vanilla bean crème brûlée while staying within a reasonable budget. Emeril’s books up quickly, so plan ahead and put your name in the reservation books.

Commander’s Palace: 1403 Washington Ave. 899-8221
2.6 Miles away from campus; streetcar accessible
Average Meal: $20
If you’re looking to splurge this Valentine’s Day, world famous Commander’s Palace is the way to go. McNulty said that a smart way to get around these high-end prices is to take your date out for a Valentine’s lunch instead. This way, you’ll still get to enjoy some of the best food in New Orleans without blowing your entire budget. The average price point for a two-course lunch at Commander’s is around $20, which includes an entrée and your choice of soup or salad. Your date will be impressed by your delectable taste.

Melanie Potter can be reached at mppotter@loyno.edu

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