It’s the same question every weekend: where should I eat? Well, every week Eater New Orleans will compile a handy dandy set of recommendations right here to answer that very question. Here now, five places to try this weekend in New Orleans. Get out there.
April 14, 2017
For Brett Anderson-Appoved Chicken: Pollos a la Brasa Fiesta
KENNER — There are a few simple dishes by which to test a chef, dishes that don’t hide mistakes under mountains of ingredients. These type dishes are so simple that the key ingredients are a good product and technique (you know, knowing how to cook). One of these dishes is roast chicken. Critic Brett Anderson released his regular list of the best dishes he ate during the month and he describes the roast chicken at this Kenner Mexican restaurant as “slowly roasted mahogany brown on a rotisserie that turns over a live charcoal and wood fire.”
3901 Williams Blvd., Suite 1, Kenner, 504.467.1119
For Poll-Winning Fried Catfish: Clesi's Restaurant and Catering
MIDCITY — Ann Maloney of the Times-Picayune recently asked readers to choose the best fried catfish in New Orleans. Thirteen hundred readers weighed in with an opinion, but only Clesi's Restaurant and Catering in New Orleans was crowned the winner with over 400 votes. It even beat out Middendorf’s, which is kind of huge. Clesi’s has boiled crawfish on the menu now too, so grab a few pounds before moving on to the catfish.
4413 Banks Street, New Orleans, 70119, 504.909.0108
For a New Addition to the Eater 38 Essential Restaurants: Harbor Seafood and Oyster Bar
KENNER — Harbor Seafood and Oyster Bar in Kenner is one of the best reasons to sign up to shuttle friends to and from the airport. From poboys to raw oysters, this spot loads up on local flavors and local appeal. It shares a roof and owner with the seafood market next door, so the seafood is always fresh. Blackened calamari makes diners wonder why every restaurant doesn’t serve the calamari this way. Raw oysters, cold beer, poboys, and fried seafood platters. The Swamp Platter includes fried alligator, fried crawfish, fried frog legs, turtle soup, catfish etouffee and Cajun alligator sausage. Boiled seafood is also a must.
3203 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 70065, 504.443.6454
For the Winningest Red Beans and Rice: Cornet
FRENCH QUARTER — The Final Fork Red Beans and Rice Challenge was concluded after brackets were filled out, finalists were chosen, and a conclusive cook-off was held and judged by the public at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. The winner? Cornet beat out 64 other restaurants. Also in the final four of the Final Fork: Avery’s, Frady's, and Joey K's.
700 Bourbon Street, New Orleans, 70116, 504.523.1485
For Award-Winning Barbecue: Blue Oak BBQ
This spot on Carrolton Avenue has been open for less than a year, but it’s already been crowned the grand champion of Hogs for the Cause 2017. The menu is pretty traditional in terms of plates — meat, white bread, pickles, and onions — which is just right when you’re at a place that knows what it’s doing with meat. There are some well-timed moments of creativity on the menu. Cracklins come in spicy Sichuan, cool ranch, and “sugaree.” The slaw is flavored with ginger and sesame, rather than the ubiquitousWith mayo version.
900 S. Carrollton Ave., New Orleans, 70119, 504.822.2583
March 24, 2017
For international street food with south Louisiana soul in Covington : Bacobar
COVINGTON — There is a lot of excitement about the opening of Carl Schaubhut’s Cajun coastal kitchen, DTB, on Oak Street this coming week. If you haven’t tried his restaurant on the other side of the lake, head over to Bacobar (70437 LA-21 #100, Covington) in Covington this weekend. Schaubhut opened the casual restaurant with fellow Commander’s Palace alum Jean Pierre Guidry in 2015. The restaurant specializes in “bacos” (tacos on Chinese steamed buns), but the yellowfin tuna poke tostado with pickled red onion, citrus, and avocado on a puffed tortilla is a must. Lu Brow’s ocktails are on point too (no surprise there). -SC
For a traditional neighborhood restaurant serving iconic New Orleans dishes: Radosta’s
OLD METAIRIE — Tucked away on a quaint block in Old Metairie surrounded by homes, you feel like you’ve discovered something when you arrive at Radosta’s (249 Aris Ave., Metairie). Judging by the crowded dining room on weekdays, Metairie folks discovered this neighborhood gem a long time ago. The Radosta brothers pretty much make every feel like they’ve been eating there for years though. The roast beef poboy and shrimp poboy are solid choices, as is the seafood gumbo. -SC
For top-notch Tunisian food on Maple: Jamila’s
UNIVERSITY — New additions to Maple Street — Chaise Delachaise and Three Muses Maple — generate most of the buzz in the university area lately, but it’s worth revisiting the places that have kept savvy diners sated for years in the area. Jamila’s (7808 Maple St., New Orleans) has been serving Tunisian cuisine on Maple since 1994. The proprietors are husband and wife team Moncef and Jamila Sbaa. Moncef runs the dining room while Jamila commands a kitchen that turns out lamb merguez, baklava, a green bisque studded with tender crawfish, and traditional couscous dishes. Both grew up in Tunisia — Jamila on a family farm and Moncef near his family's camel-powered olive oil press. As expertly as Jamila runs the kitchen, Moncef keeps diners happy with his no hurry approach to service: He doesn’t worry about turning tables as much as he worries that everyone at the table has a wonderful time, including the children (I’ve personally witnessed him singing in French to children dining there). Belly-dancers energize the dining room on Saturday nights. -SC
For upscale bar snacks and killer cocktails in an ultra-cool space: Bouligny Tavern
GARDEN DISTRICT — Smart, retro-styled tavern Bouligny (3641 Magazine Street, New Orleans) is filled with mid-century stylings. Its tailored style matches its refined bar snack menu. Think anchovy toasts with ricotta and sofrito, raw oysters, seriously glorious fried crab claws, tempura green beans, and Spanish octopus. The spot has a great wine list and cocktails that are as interesting as they are delicious. The service doesn’t miss a beat either. -SC
For tacos that win: Taqueria Chilangos
KENNER — Kenner, brah? Yep. It is well-established that some of the best ethnic food comes out of Kenner. Now we can add that the New Orleans Top Taco also comes out of Kenner. Taqueria Chilangos (2723 Roosevelt Blvd, Kenner) took home the top prize from the Top Taco battle for its traditional taco with cebollitas and pastor. Solid choices from the menu are the tacos and the chile relleno (or anything, really).