In New Orleans, the food is never too spicy, catfish and biscuits for brunch is totally normal, natural disasters are commemorated in sugary cocktail concoctions, and local food is to be honored and revered. While New Orleans is a place that has always taken its food seriously, it’s not all Creole and Cajun delights (although don’t get me wrong, those are pretty awesome) — there’s a more diverse and more delicious I may add, food scene emerging and this is extremely pleasing.
In a recent (okay that’s a lie, it was over Christmas) I had the great opportunity to re-visit The Big Easy, but this time I wasn’t weighed down in beads trudging my way down Bourbon St clutching desperately to my shitty fleur de lis shaped daiquiri cup trying not to step in puddles of vomit. Yes, I’m referring to the time I was previously there in college for Mardi Gras.
I’ll address the number one food highlight of the trip because well the beast is a hedonist, and always desires to celebrate whatever food gives the greatest pleasure. Except when the food is so utterly bad that it’s almost more fun to talk about how bad it was.
Cochon Butcher. Firstly, Donald Link is a genius. Secondly, he is also the chef/owner of another great restaurant I will talk about in a separate post, Herbsaint. See? Genius. Cochon Butcher is a combination meat market and cafe housed inside the same warehouse that has Cochon, the down-home Cajun restaurant that basically made Donald who he is. The important thing to remember here is Cochon is expensive; Cochon Butcher is not and has amazing food so just save yourself the trouble and eat there.
Firstly, the pastrami sandwich is out of this world. I’ve long been conditioned to think that New York has the best deli sandwiches. Monty’s Deli in London, and now Cochon Butcher in New Orleans, has made me re-think this whole deli thing.
Generous, non-fatty hunks of pastrami on perfectly toasted marble rye, slathered with sauerkraut is absolute sandwich perfection. It was greasy, and it was good.
The turkey sandwich with avocado, sprouts, tomato, and basil aioli lacked the wow factor of the pastrami but was a solid, reliable choice. If you want a turkey sandwich that won’t let you down, this one is it.
The mac and cheese was decent, despite a bit of oversalting — the consistency was creamy and sickeningly cheesy, which is pretty much always what you want.
And obviously the thing to do after eating such a meal is walk back to the French Quarter, by which at that time, you will hungry and thirst enough for some beignets and an iced coffee beverage from the beauteous Cafe du Monde.
930 Tchoupitoulas Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Tel: (504) 588-7675