This week, restaurant critic Ian McNulty turns an eye toward an array of small eateries popping up in the Mid City blocks near the giant new medical corridor.
Brand new eateries like Marjie’s Grill, Jerusalem Cafe and the Fharmacy have joined area favorites like Avery’s Po’ Boys and Ideal, Best Life, The Big Cheezy and Mr. Everything with openings on/around Tulane Avenue and Broad Street, bringing a wide array of affordable and diverse eats to the lunch (and even dinner) crowd.
More importantly, these new spots “are giving a once desolate stretch the feel of an anything-goes frontier for food.” It’s a rebirth that will likely continue for Tulane Avenue, a stretch once known as the Miracle Mile, which is undergoing a $10 million dollar streetscape project and will likely see the return of iconic Nick’s Big Train Bar in the near future. Numerous spots have opened in the area over the past few years including Namese, Treo, The Big Cheezy, Mr. Everything and even a specialty beer shop 504 Craft Beer Reserve.
Here’s what to order at the latest spots, per McNulty.
Marjie’s Grill: “At dinner an entrée of succulent, lightly aromatic pork belly came with a small garden worth of greens and herbs to fold into fresh wraps.”
Fharmacy: “Order the mussels and they pour Belgian ale direct from the beer taps over a bowl of shiny black shells before cooking it all down and piling on the ultra-crisp fries.”
Sidebar: “ There’s a small menu of sandwiches and snacks inside, and often a whiff of cigar smoke around a pair of easy chairs set up outside.”
Jerusalem Cafe: “Between the usual shawarma and falafel, I got to know a new-to-me dish at Jerusalem Cafe called kallaya, a garlicky sauté of tomatoes and herbs that tasted something like a lighter shakshuka and was hemmed in by excellent hummus.”
Melt: “Fried cheese curds... break into long, stretchy strands” and there’s “a stand-alone bar that's starting to draw a happy hour crowd (Mon.-Fri., 3-7 p.m.).”