Commence your weekend with starter such as crawfish-and-artichoke dip ($12) or a bacon-chocked steakhouse salad with green-peppercorn buttermilk dressing ($7). Entree salads include larger, decadent options like the McIlhenny, masa-fried oysters over greens with homemade buttermilk dressing and McIlhenny tabasco chipotle ($11), or a Southern fried-chicken salad with a Jack Daniel's mustard vinaigrette ($10.50). Get back on the meatwagon with the steakhouse bacon cheeseburger ($9.50) or the blackened prime rib, served with roasted-pepper and portobello-mushroom salad ($24), or dive below the surface of the plate for barbecue shrimp smothered in Abita Amber sauce ($16.50).
Against a backdrop of burnished wood walls, an intricately wrought gilded frame surrounds a Budweiser poster. This playful contrast between sophistication and informality extends to the rest of the dining room, where candles cast circles of light on crisp white tablecloths and a wood-beam ceiling as crowds enjoy live rock music played during happy hour.
When it comes to the cuisine, chefs prepare the same steakhouse fare they unveiled in 1969. Succulent slabs of steak cook on the grill alongside fresh seafood dishes, which are then topped with elegant flourishes such as crawfish rémoulade or jumbo lump crabmeat in the shape of a top hat.
Texas de Brazil blends the steak-centric cuisine of Texas with the traditional churrasco method of slow-roasting meat over an open flame grill to form a luscious meaty mélange. The full dinner ($39.99) marches out a cavalcade of choice cuts, allowing diners to welcome continuous windfalls of flavorful proteins. Brandish your table's provided card, green on one side, red on the other, and it will function as a meat traffic light that summons servers to either send stacks of seasoned beef, pork, or lamb skewers or halt plate traffic like a decorated culinary crossing guard. Or feel free to substitute greens for the grill by stepping into the sprawling salad-bar conga line ($24.99), two-stepping through toothsome goodies such as imported cheeses, steamed asparagus, and dozens of other hors d'oeuvres.
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.
Though Wow Cafe & Wingery has now found a foothold in more than 60 locations throughout the U.S., the chain still offers the same tasty soul food and wings as it did when it was founded by a trio of Louisianan brothers in 2001. The friendly sports pub still broadcasts the day’s games on various televisions, allowing guests to follow multiple sports or Jenga tournaments as they lick one of 17 delectable sauces from their fingers. In addition to these finger-food staples, guests can devour fajitas, burgers resting between slices of texas toast, and classic New Orleans dishes such as gumbo, catfish, and red beans. Spice-covered tongues cool off with signature drinks such as an italian mango bellini or Louisiana's Abita beer.
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 through Friday, lunch specials pack salads and po boys with oysters and shrimp. A glass of sangria from the bar offers a refreshingly fruity counterpoint to the flavors of the sea.