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.
"Owner Madison Curry's warm, smiling presence is underscored by baked goods that all but dare not to be ordered." This quote from a NOLA.com article hints at Il Posto's charm. But it only encapsulates a fraction of what makes the cafe so interesting. Italian cuisine forms the backbone of the menu, which features paninis such as the Bologna with mortadella, roasted red peppers, and balsamic dressing, as well as fontina grilled cheeses with inventive add-ins such as tuna, honey, and walnuts. Antipasti spreads can be built from a choice of meats or cheeses. In the mornings, on the other hand, the restaurant brews and serves its own house-blend coffee. Their java complements bagels, organic granola, and a rotating selection of pastries that can't stay long, as they have to get back to starring in peoples' dreams.
Nestled beneath an enchanting bell-shaped crown, Café Treme slings a Southern-inspired menu of fresh beverages, sandwiches, and desserts in an idyllic abode more than 150 years old. Sip on premium-roasted coffee or the café's fragrant Creole tea blend while absorbing the area's voluminous jazz history, or unleash an air-trombone solo while noshing on a fleet of fresh-baked pastries ($1.50 each). Pillowy quiches ($3.75) and robust sandwiches ($4.25+) quiet the rumbling of malcontent bellies. Café Treme’s industrial lighting spotlights vibrant local artwork and eye-catching black-and-white snapshots of renowned brass players, while the café's soothing background tunes impart its complimentary WiFi with the ability to improvise on its binary codes.
Chef David Gotter brings his mighty cache of culinary insight to the fresh, sophisticatedly simple menu at Gambit award-winning Gott Gourmet Café. House-cooked meats mingle with organic herbs, and produce schmoozes with artful interpretation in dishes such as the slow-braised pulled-pork wrap, a tortilla snuggler hugging ancho-honey slaw, roasted tomatoes, avocado, greens, and chili sour cream ($9.95). Salads and soups are also conjured by hand, evidenced by the blue-corn fried-oyster baby-spinach salad ($11.95) and the loaded gumbo, chocked with andouille, chicken, shrimp, crab, ham, okra, and a small wallop of potato salad ($6.50−$8.50). Members of the environment will be glad to know Gott Gourmet is committed to sustainability, with to-go containers derived from corn, sugar cane, and everlasting gobstoppers.
Beaucoup Juice blends local flavors with South and Central American flair in an array of sippable fruit concoctions, as well as breakfast and lunch fare. The bayou berry smoothie melds blueberries, bananas, strawberries, soy milk, and Brazilian superberry açaí ($5), allowing customers to ingest enough nutrients to achieve superhero status without the pesky side effects of radioactive spiders. Patrons seeking to cool their corpuses the natural way can gobble up a juice-drizzled snowball ($3 for a small; $4 for a large) in distinctive flavors such as pineapple-mint and local blueberry. To complete thirst-quenching quests, patrons can opt for fresh fruit juice ($5) that transforms watermelons, pineapples, and mangos into their 16-ounce liquid alter egos. Those seeking solid sustenance can inaugurate the morning with a New York bagel and cream cheese ($2.50) or launch lunches with the Treme wrap, which bundles hoisin grilled chicken with feta cheese and an array of vegetables ($6).
A local hangout adorned with hexagonal tiles and a sea of wall doodles, Hey! Cafe serves a wide selection of coffee, tea, pastries, and more. Guests can fill jet packs and gullets with caffeinated sippers such as a steamy cup of fair-trade joe or an iced latte ($3.75). Those seeking more relaxing entry to the day can hire a flock of songbirds to gently serenade them from slumber or opt for a fragrant specialty tea, such as jasmine or peppermint, served hot or cold ($2.25). Nibblers can pair beverages of choice with a meaty or vegan sandwich ($6.25) or pastries and snacks from local bakers, such as a red-velvet cupcake ($2.75). Hey! Cafe welcomes studious types and recreational web surfers to linger at spacious study tables while taking advantage of free WiFi. With an outdoor patio, late hours, a dog-friendly policy, and occasional live music, the eatery accommodates everyone from night owls to four-leggers to guitar heroes.