In the kitchen at Fat Molly’s, the hands of chefs flutter above sheets of marinara-cloaked dough, scattering inventive toppings such as gulf shrimp, artichokes, and boudin. Athletic events broadcast on four flat-screen TVs, augmenting the clatter of silverware with the sounds of cracking bats and mascots with their tails under rocking chairs. Drawing upon a selection of meats including fried chicken and smoked sausage, patrons design their own poor boys. Tearing into the sandwiches despite their warmth, they take swigs from 30 beer options, including Abita Purple Haze and Lazy Magnolia’s brown ale crafted from roasted pecans, which bestow the mash with earthy caramel flavors. The eatery's walls are festooned with works by local artists, ranging from a triptych of a jazz musician to an abstract of a stacked sandwich and a poignant deconstrionist piece by the back door, which reads, simply "Exit."
X-treme Burger's menu lets burger connoisseurs architect towering creations from the bun up. Adorn a half-pound beef, turkey, or veggie burger with a Carmen Miranda hat of pineapple, avocado, and onion rings, or take a less-traveled road with bacon, chipotle, and peanut butter. Beside the flock of possible toppings, the sandwiches are customizable with sesame buns, whole wheat, or texas toast, and can be drizzled with sauces such as barbecue, honey mustard, or the house X-treme sauce and served with sides such as sweet potato fries and baked macaroni. Shakes or malts provide a sweet finish for dining duets, who can also opt to feed each other spoonfuls of a classic banana split in a recreation of the Nixon-Kennedy presidential debate. Meal-seekers can also opt to apply the $12 value toward breakfast eats ($2.49–$5.49 for entrees) including short stacks of fluffy pancakes or a country breakfast of grits and eggs.
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.
The culinary team at Rosco’s grills fresh seafood with Louisiana flair and serves it boiled, fried, or packed within a po boy. A menu of baskets outlines proper methods for satiating creole hankerings by pairing red beans and rice with fried morsels of shrimp ($10.50), catfish ($10.50), or oysters ($11.50). Po boys arrive at tables in full or half sizes, bearing 16 selections of filling, and each option can also be ordered in sandwich form. The staff packs the fried-crawfish po boy with lettuce, pickle, and tomato ($9.99 for a full) to render hunger a memory. The kids’ menu depicts selections that can abrogate child-size appetites and, unlike most media geared toward children, doesn’t require them to sing along, and desserts such as pecan pie ($3.50) add sweetness to the palate.
At Fat Hen Grill, seasoned pit master chef Shane Pritchett entices epicureans with slow-smoked meats, sandwiches, and down-home sides. The eclectic menu lets diners commence consumption with a fried mac 'n' cheese ($7.99), fried chicken livers ($6.99), or mango-crabmeat guacamole ($10.99). After revving stomach engines, patrons can dive into hickory- and oak-smoked pit eats, such as half a chicken ($13.99), sliced beef brisket ($15.99), or a pulled pork shoulder ($10.99), with forks, sporks, or makeshift toothpick chopsticks to savor the feast as long as possible. Each barbecue plate comes with a side-salad and the choice of one classic side, such as potato salad or thai sweet-and-sour cucumbers. A variety of burgers made from 100% black-angus beef ground in-house daily ($7.99–$10.99) and fresh salads ($10.99–$14.99) tickle all types of taste buds and olfactory follicles. Fat Hen also sates seafarers with selections such as Alfie's Seafood Special, a composite of pan-seared gulf fish with sautéed crabmeat, stuffed crab, eggplant, and shrimp dressing ($22.99).
A hunk of brisket at VooDoo BBQ & Grill begins its journey suspended over a bed of pecan and oak logs. Coated in a dry rub of local spices, the meat slowly turns on a rotisserie rod for up to 16 hours, its skin crisping while the inside stays a warm pink. The chefs smoke all their beef brisket and pulled pork over logs from Louisiana-based trees to lend them the region's unique smoked flavor, even at the risk of confusing passing botanists. They lightly coat grilled sausages, chicken, and burgers in three signature sauces inspired by the state's Cajun recipes. To complement their menagerie of smoked and grilled meats, they sling a variety of southern sides such as corn pudding, greens, and potato salads. At each of the 13 locations, the aroma of roasting meat fills a space of dark-stained wood and wrought iron; dining rooms awash in a palette of reds, greens, and oranges buzz with the sounds of jazz and blues.