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.
In the past 50 years, Thompson Packers has grown from a humble three-man operation into a meatpacking hub with more than a hundred employees. The company serves five-star New Orleans restaurants and hotels as well as offshore caterers prepping feasts for carnivorous merpeople. It also collaborates with local chefs to stay on top of culinary trends, and has developed specialized packaging processes to keep its meats fresh.
For more than 30 years, Quiznos has toasted its submarine sandwiches to bring out the hidden flavors found in butcher-quality meats, cheese, and artisan breads. Its classic and signature subs take on a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles ranging from the prime rib mushroom and swiss to the classic italian donning black olives, mozzarella, red-wine vinaigrette, and plentiful sliced meats. Those closely monitoring their waistlines can take unabashed bites of sandwiches that have fewer than 500 calories, such as the pork-cuban, Baja-chicken, and veggie-caprese subs. Quiznos' Sub Sliders offer slimmer versions of sub fare and flaunt supreme aerodynamics when shot out of T-shirt cannons and into mouths. A selection of Flatbreads, soups, and salads round out Quiznos' varied menu.
Often referred to as simply "The Pie," The Original Italian Pie has cropped up in various cities across Louisiana since its inception in 1992. The eatery specializes in gourmet pizzas, with predesigned pies like the garlic shrimp and chicken alfredo, as well as create-your-own varieties. The Italian eats also extend to oven-baked sandwiches, pastas, calzones, and dessert.
Turquoise and red frames decorate NOLA's walls with colorful borders as abstract as the artwork they house—all funky points and angles, as if they themselves were melted over the Cajun grill’s red-hot fire. In the kitchen, chefs soak pickles and onion rings in buttermilk before tossing them into fryers and arranging them around cool-ranch dipping sauces. Diners scoop up charbroiled oysters on the half shell and wrangle with poor boys loaded with crayfish and shrimp at glossy wooden tables spread throughout the laid-back dining room. Inside, guests can watch games on flat-screen TVs hanging from the ceiling, and on the outside balcony, they can recite soliloquies from Romeo and Juliet.