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.
Taste of the Caribbean treats diners searching for tropical flavors to a menu brimming with entrees from countries such as Haiti, Honduras, and more. Kick-start a morning fiesta with the latin breakfast, a piquant amalgamation of eggs, plantains, skirt steak, beans, avocado, and tortilla ($7.50). For maritime eats, diners can select fresh fish entrees of grilled snapper ($20) and fried fish ($16) to populate their internal tanks, and spice savorers can introduce taste buds to a plate of curry oxtail ($16).
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.
Gattuso’s warms patrons midsections and eardrums with classic New Orleans comfort fare, drinks, and live music on Fridays and Saturdays. Diners can kick back with some chili-cheese-smothered waffle fries ($8.50) or fried pickles ($4.99) while discussing possible side effects of the Care Bear stare. The grilled tuna or salmon nestles next to house-made garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed vegetables ($12.99 each), and the baby-back ribs arrive with fries and the dressing of your choice ($17.99). Other menu items include a house-cooked beef-brisket sandwich ($7.99) and a variety of po boys ($7.50–$9.50), a winner at the 2009 Oak Street Po-Boy Festival. At Gattuso’s, guests can gargle their compliments to the chef through mouthfuls of bottled beer, such as Heineken and Abita Strawberry, and draft beer, including Stella Artois and Newcastle.
The chefs at Cucos Mexican Cafe plate up Louisiana-Mex lunch and dinner fare to feed hungry dining duos any time of day. On weekdays until 3 p.m., the lunch value menu sports selections such as three tamales, two spinach enchiladas, or two tacos, each accompanied by a cavalry of black beans, mexican rice, mexican corn, or fries. Among the half-dozen hefty 2-pound burritos, the Burrito Gigante holds both beef and chicken, along with chili, beans, rice, and cheese, while the fajita burrito emits advice when held against the ear like a seashell. The chimichanga, one of Cucos’ classico combos, fills a lightly fried tortilla with seasoned beef or ranchero chicken, and the honorable El Presidente platter bursts with two chimipoquitos, a beef taco, two enchiladas, and a side of guacamole molded into the likeness of Felipe Calderón sipping a margarita.