Rarely do I find a restaurant next to a hotel other than fast food but this trip was different. I've been told that New Orleans ('Nawlins') has so much great food everywhere that I'll probably gain a few pounds while I am here...they may be right.
Copeland's http://www.copelandsofneworleans.com is a chain, and I didn't realize that until I got back to my room to type this review. At first glance from the outside it was nothing to look at. The outside was broken down, signs on both sides needed repair as did the siding. I didn't think this was going to be any good, but the smell of Mesquite and/or Hickory smoke wafting through the courtyard of my hotel was too much, I had to give it a chance.
The food here was as good as any I've had in a long time. Everything had a spicy kick to it, which I love. If you don't like spicy food you may not like it as well as I did but the flavor here was excellent.
To celebrate Saint Patty's day I ordered a whiskey, it was generous and not expensive. I read some reviews that the bar was slow, and I did not experience that. In fact, it took about 5 minutes to get my drink and they gave it to me for half price because I had to wait that long...I didn't complain and even said the wait was not long but they insisted.
Gumbo; I always order gumbo when I go to a Nawlin's style restaurant. It is my measure of comparison. This was some of the best gumbo I've had but I am not a connoisseur of gumbo. There were almost no vegetables in this gumbo, although there was not much okra, no peas, no celery that I could see. A few tomatoes were visable but it was really good. It had incredibly fresh Shrimp and Scallops in a beautifully thick spicy soup. Being that I don't like okra all that much, it was awesome to me.
**update- had the gumbo for lunch the next day, a bit more veggies in it but not hot enough (temperature wise) like the night before and not quite as tasty but still good.
For dinner I had their BBQ Shrimp Boil. Nice and spicy, shrimp incredibly fresh, corn on the cob and red potatoes in a yummy broth. I ate every bite. I am not huge on potatoes cooked this way but the broth was so good, I ate them all. While cleaning my plate is not all that unusual for me for good food, I actually asked for a spoon to finish the broth. Bless her heart she brought me a spoon...and a fresh biscuit.
Two things keep this score at a 4 out of 5 stars. One I mentioned already; the exterior of the restaurant looks bad. Nothing about it is inviting. They need to spend the money to fix it. The second reason is an easier fix. The young hostess ladies did not seem to be very attentive. They were gossiping between them and seemed bothered that I did not want to just sit at the bar. They need an attitude adjustment and their service was disrespectful and poor. My waitress, though quite busy was friendly attentive and helpful. If I go back I'll request her section.
**update. I went back the next day for a bowl of gumbo at lunch time. Although the gumbo was not quite as excellent, it was still good and the hostesses were very professional and friendly. I think were the same two girls!
What a treat!