O'Henrys has served baskets of complimentary salted peanuts to guests since its founding in 1982, and the floors remain whimsically festooned with shells to this day. Owner Rhonda Conley, with more than 20 years at O'Henry's under her belt, works to keep the tradition of the restaurant alive at both locations. Waiters crunch across dining rooms from midday to midnight, bearing plates of freshly ground filet mignon burgers, hearty steaks, and signature Monica cream sauce dishes. Outside, an outdoor balcony scattered with tabletops wraps around the restaurant. The eatery boasts private dining rooms for parties of up to 25 people. It also treats guests to a free new york strip steak if they can prove it's their birthday with a valid ID or by showing video tapes of them not celebrating their birthday the previous 364 days.
Named for the ever-present loaves of bread that stood as religious offerings at the Temple in Jerusalem, The Table is Bread mingles Southern culinary and spiritual traditions in a spacious dining room. The menu brims with classic Southern specialties alongside Cajun-tinged seafood such as the signature Table La-La, a juicy catfish fillet fried or grilled and smothered in zesty crawfish étouffée. The centerpieces aren't the only flavors in the spotlight, however. "The candied yams were my favorite," writes Shermin Khan of Dig Baton Rouge. "Cooked with brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon, [they were] neither too greasy nor overly sweet." Khan also expands upon the restaurant's spiritual focus, which draws weekly performances by gospel musicians and includes maintaining an alcohol-free atmosphere.
The Beach House's flame brandishers grill up hearty entrees, seafood spreads, gumbos, and meat-laden sandwiches comprising a menu teeming with local New Orleans flavors. A basket of fries ($3.49), which can come baptized with a splash of Cajun seasoning, prepares stomachs for the Tolstoy-size rib-eye steak, a 16-ounce slab of hand-cut beef ($14.99) that can sport an optional shawl of crawfish sauce for $1 more. Broiled shrimp butterfly stroking pools of barbeque sauce ($9.99), a crab-cake salad ($8.49) souses tongues with tastes of the sea, and an esophagus-warming cup of chicken and sausage gumbo ($3.99) and a roast-beef po boy ($7.99) lend mouths land-based flavor treks devoid of bland soil and shifty tectonic dishware.
The expert chefs at China Inn Restaurant captivate taste buds with a diverse menu of delicious Asian fare. Each epicurean excursion begins with a tasty appetizer, such as the boneless spare ribs ($9.75) or the Chinese pizza ($5.75), which celebrates China's close proximity to Italy with flavorful scallion pancakes. Mouthwatering broths, such as the seafood and bean curd soup ($6.95/qt.) prelude an impressive spread of main courses such as the vegetarian Buddha Delight ($5.50/pt.; $7.50/qt.) or the multitextured chicken with chinese mushrooms and bamboo shoots ($6.25/pt.; $8.95/qt.). Refreshing glasses of wine ($5.50 each) cleanse palates in between bites before a dessert of cake and choice of daily-changing flavors of ice cream ($3) cap off enjoyable feastings and challenge conventional chopstick techniques.
For more than 30 years, Star Steak and Lobster House's doorman Joey has been opening the restaurant's door to fill the French Quarter sidewalks with the aromas of aged USDA prime steaks and buttery lobster. After passing through the entryway, patrons can take their seats at sleek wooden tables to share Cajun gator sausage with creole sauce and housemade Louisiana crab cakes glazed with crawfish and mushroom cream sauce. Signature dinner entrees include slow-roasted prime rib and the Cajun filet mignon stuffed with crab, lobster, shrimp, and crawfish tails. To complement the food's lively flavors, every Wednesday through Sunday night bands perform jazz, blues, and classic rock tunes while bartenders mix black-cherry-peach mojitos and pour pint glasses of beer into other pint glasses until infinity is achieved.
The stir-fry cooks at China Garden Buffet welcome hearty appetites seven days a week with entrees and expansive smorgasbords that showcase regional Cantonese, Sichuan, Peking, and Hunan dishes. All-you-can-eat buffets abound, brimming with spicy mongolian barbecue grilled before chopstick-wielders' eyes and separated into lunch ($6.99) and dinner ($8.99) modalities like a proper matron's wig collection. The Four Seasons ($8.75) packs healthy vegetables and light brown gravy into the crevices left untouched by chicken, shrimp, beef, and pork, and the Tung Ting shrimp ($8.95) flaunts succulent prawns floundering alongside vegetables and egg-white sauce. Most meals come with either white or fried rice, which may be thrown at a newly married couple to celebrate their union and mutual love of grains.