The first half of this week is busy with reviews. In a delightfully paywall-free review for CityBusiness, Tom Fitzmorris reviews the Mexican food offerings at El Gato Negro. Setting the stage with the observation that New Orleans hasn't always supported many Mexican restaurants, though the city is now more and more, The Fitz writes that the Mexican restaurant with locations in Lakeview and near the French Market "works against [diners'] prejudices and tries to give the unique, brilliant cuisine its due." The restaurants' fans, "especially those who have never been to Mexico," call it "authentic" Mexican cuisine, meaning basically that it's not Tex-Mex. Fitzmorris suggests that, for best results, diners should get "something you've never had before."
In this week's Gambit, on newsstands now as the saying goes, Ian McNulty reviews a leading Marrero boiled seafood spot, Sal's Seafood. McNutty calls it "a small, old-fashioned seafood restaurant in the middle of Marrero, but on the inside it seems like a place you'd expect to find closer to Bayou Teche than the West Bank Expressway," meaning that it seems like it could be out in the South Louisiana countryside instead of its spot in the West Bank suburbs.
As with so many old-school neighborhood joints, Sal's has its roots as a bar owned by Sal Penino, whose boiled seafood was so popular he later opened the restaurant. McNutty wishes the boil was more spicy, but after praising the housemade sausage patties and the "good" roast beef po' boy, he still concludes that "it's hard to sit before a feast of crawfish, oysters and cheap beer at Sal's without thinking that you're really living."
Oh, and speaking of roast beef po' boys, Brett Anderson at the Times-Pic is back with reviews of two more area offerings, this time from Southern Po-Boys and the Munch Factory. While the two restaurants don't have much in common?the former is a Jefferson dive, the latter an aspirational Gentilly neighborhood restaurant?what they do share is "delicious roast beef po-boys cooked by young chefs proving that the sandwich is neither a fixed nor dying art."