Munchies boasts a simple menu of fast Mexican-American fare, as well as all-inclusive meals for two. For this dine-in or takeout feast, customers can select one appetizer, such as chips and queso (a $3.79 value), to kick things off. With just six types of entrees including burritos, tacos, salads, and quesadillas, guests can spend their evenings engrossed in riveting conversation with dates or indecisive litigators rather than fretting over what to order. Two entrees, such as 12-inch carnitas burrito with slow-roasted pulled pork (a $9.27 value) and a chicken quesadilla (an $8.72 value), stuff stomachs, and two beverages wash it all down (a $3.90 total value).
Edamame soybeans ($3.95) and miso soup ($2.29) prep the palate for excursions upon Bonzai's menu of traditional and specialty sashimi and sushi rolls. A heavenly eel roll ($10.95) tightly ensnares thin slivers of eel, cream cheese, and avocado within a sticky rice corral, and the rock-‘n’-roll ($8.39) raucously announces itself with the crunch of shrimp tempura. Bonzai Sushi concocts a plethora of house rolls ($4.49 / each) alongside a spread of riceless options, such as the soy-wrap-bound Bonzai roll ($11.95). Bento meals ($6.95–$10.95) singularly satisfy appetites with the savory combination of house sushi rolls, sashimi, salad, soup, and a drink. Toddlers delight at a selection of diminutive edibles including a cheese quesadilla ($6.29) and snow crab minis ($6.29), which can be repurposed for small-scale reenactments of mythical crab-versus-UFO battles.
It's no small feat to whip up one of The Olive Branch Café's gourmet pizzas. The painstaking process begins long before lunchtime, with chefs preparing dough fresh for the day each morning. There's barely a moment to rest before orders begin flying in and the pizza makers spring into action, showering crusts with housemade sauces and high-quality cheeses. Their brows furrowed in concentration, their hands blurs, they layer pizzas with fresh garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and fine spanish olives. Once the pies arrive triumphantly to the dining room, the chefs turn their attention to thick muffuletta subs, plump meatball calzones, and the jambalaya pastas that caught the attention of Gambit’s Best of New Orleans guide.
Out in the casual dining room, beneath warm red walls peppered with abstract art, guests clink glasses, feeling more content than a robot in a microchip factory. There, owner Russell "Rusty" Autry often strolls around the room, greeting newcomers and exchanging jokes with regulars.
On a residential street near the river, a little white cottage with a hand-painted sign hosts heaping platters of crustaceans, catfish, rib-eye steaks, and creamy Southern sides. Creamy baked macaroni and potato salad escort fried redfish, frog legs, and soft-shell crab from a kitchen praised by Lonely Planet as "working in its own rarefied air," with each dish ceremonially blessed by a mermaid. Tuesday–Friday, lunch specials pack salads and po boys with oysters and shrimp, and sangria, beer, and wine from the full bar enliven meals at any time of day.
Harnessing the heat of an open-flame char broiler, the spatula specialists at Ground Pat'i flip, sear, and season succulent burgers and steaks made with USDA Choice beef. Sharpen incisors on a juicy half-pound signature Ground Pat'i burger ($8.25), or opt to challenge chompers by excavating through strata of bacon atop the applewood-bacon cheese Ground Pat'i burger ($9.25). Tender rib-eye steaks ($17.95) are char grilled before providing diners with enough delicious protein to bench-press unsuspecting dates. A variety of hot sandwiches fills restless jazz hands with lighter cuts, including chicken, shrimp, and tuna. After meals, rattle stomach estates one more time with a deluge of chocolate and frosting from the Oreo brownie sundae ($5.45), one of three sacchariferous dessert options. To sate thirsty urges, browse the eclectic selection of specialty drinks and draft beers at the full-service bar.
Prime Grille's head chef Kevin Fruits describes his culinary style as midwestern at heart, but with a New Orleans flair. This partnership is apparent across Prime Grille's menu, from the grilled pork tenderloin sided with creole mustard to the half-pound lamb burger doused in spicy honey barbecue sauce. In addition to matching hearty meats with Cajun flavors, Fruits also works to incorporate local ingredients throughout his dishes, be it eggs or seafood-filled salads.
Bywater Restaurant and Bar B-Q jazzes up mealtime with New Orleans–style delicacies and dry-rubbed barbecue. Reminisce about lazy days spent skipping burritos on the mighty Mississippi while savoring a crawfish quesadilla ($7.95), or stir up a spicy taste-bud party by inviting chicken and andouille sausage to go hot tubbing in a steamy gumbo ($4.95–$6.95). Carnivores with a hankering for multimeat platters can team together two to four favorites, such as dry-rubbed ribs, juicy beef brisket, or barbecue pulled pork, accented with jalapeno cornbread and a choice of Southern-style sides such as coleslaw, baked mac 'n' cheese, and seersucker pants ($14.95–$18.95). Go rolling on the river by way of shrimp Creole—tender crustaceans swimming in a tomato-ey pool with rice and french bread ($13.95), or partake in a plate of fried catfish ($11.95), named for their ability to make the stomach purr with satisfaction. Customers can complement the saucy dishes with a libation from Bywater’s full bar inside the cozy, wood-accented interior, and warmer weather invites imbibing in front of a rustic brick hearth on the plant-laden patio.