Home FOOD & DINING Weekend Cheat Sheet: March 2015

Weekend Cheat Sheet: March 2015

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Celebrate the impending onset of another spectacular springtime with luscious bites and refreshing drinks in the Crescent City.

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Lunch at: Open for three years, Avery’s on Tulane is a po-boy paradise named after owners Justin and Christy Pitard’s beloved daughter. The couple takes great pride in offering simple-yet-tasty eats, like oyster Rockefeller dip, chicken and sausage gumbo, fried potato salad and a whole host of po-boys. The menu features everything from fried shrimp to roast beef debris, but you might want to taste one of the special sandwiches, like The Sandbag (made with juicy roast beef and fried pickles) or the Pearl River (made with fried Gulf oysters smothered in roast-beef gravy and topped with crispy bacon). 2510 Tulane Ave., (504) 821-4110, averysontulane.com

Sip at: Easily one of the most famous bars in the country, French 75 (located inside Arnaud’s Restaurant) is an elegant, sophisticated spot located in the heart of the historic French Quarter. With skilled bartender Chris Hannah behind the stick, there’s no shortage of classic cocktails — all made with premium spirits, fresh ingredients and home-made syrups. This is the place to sip on a Sazerac or Old Fashioned — and puff on exquisite, hand-rolled cigars — while luxuriating in an atmosphere that seems reserved for only the wealthy, although it’s truly a place for everyone to enjoy. 813 Bienville St., (504) 523-5433, arnaudsrestaurant.com/french-75

Jazz it up at: Step inside the Royal Sonesta New Orleans hotel, and discover Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse — a cozy and comfortable venue where live jazz music thumps every night of the week. Just steps off of Bourbon Street, the Jazz Playhouse features local musicians such as Irvin Mayfield (naturally!) & The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown, George French, Joe Krown, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Jason Marsalis and many more. 300 Bourbon St., (504) 553-2299, facebook.com/IMJazzPlayhouse

Saturday

Revive at: Recently opened inside the tiny space that once housed the Velvet Espresso Bar, District Hand Pie & Coffee Bar is a smaller version of its LGD kin — but with hand pies and coffee being the main events. Enjoy a steaming latte made with Georgia roaster’s 1000 Faces Coffee, and munch on a savory or sweet hand pie — like a Mac ’n’ Cheeks (made with five-spice pork cheeks, cheesy mac and house-made kimchi) or Strawberry Avocado (made with Ponchatoula strawberries, avocado mousse and wasabi sugar). Yum! 5637 Magazine St., facebook.com/districthandpiecoffeebar

Shop at: What began as a bumper sticker after the levee failures of 2005 — encouraging displaced locals to “Be a New Orleanian wherever you are!” — Dirty Coast has morphed into a couple of t-shirt shops that feature the “quirks, traditions and idiosyncrasies” of our highly unique city. Not only does Dirty Coast offer cool tees and prints with clever sayings, like “New Orleans is for Livers” and “West Bank Pho Life,” they continuously donate a portion of their proceeds to local organizations that have included the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, WWOZ and Levees.org. 5631 Magazine St., (504) 324-6459, dirtycoast.com

Dine at: Craving Chef Alon Shaya’s amazing wood-fired pizza but unwilling to make the trip all the way downtown? Never fear! Pizza Domenica, conveniently located Uptown, features all of those wondrous pies (plus a little lagniappe carried over from the original Baronne Street restaurant). Devour a Gorgonzola pie with apples, speck, honey and pecans — or try a smoked pork with red onion and Anaheim chili — but don’t forget the dipping sauces, as you’ll figuratively die for the garlic fonduta. You can also enjoy appetizers, like spicy meatballs over creamy polenta, or share a plate of the popular whole roasted cauliflower with whipped feta cheese. 4933 Magazine St., (504) 301-4978, pizzadomenica.com

Sunday

Breakfast at: Chef Brad McGehee recently left Ye Olde College Inn to open his own restaurant, dubbed Blue Line Sandwich Co. in Metairie. Maintaining his stance on farm-to-table dining, McGehee’s eatery offers mouth-watering simplicity in an ubercasual atmosphere. Open for breakfast (and lunch), Tuesday through Sunday, Blue Line Sandwich Co. features sumptuous dishes — like the Broken Yolk Sandwich (with a fried egg, house-corned beef, Swiss cheese and grilled onions on seven-grain toast) and the Cochon de Lait Biscuit (with slow-cooked, local pork swimming in red-eye gravy). 2023 Metairie Road, (504) 309-3773, bluelinesandwichco.com

Take a ride on: From City Park Avenue to the historic French Market, the bright red Canal Streetcar transports thousands of people daily along a five-and-a-half-mile stretch — all while passing landmarks, like the Saenger Theatre, Mandina’s Restaurant and The Mortuary Haunted House. For only a $1.25, you can explore sights and sounds you may have never experienced before (like the St. Patrick and Greenwood cemeteries or the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium). Remember, it’s not a trolley. It’s a streetcar! Other than that, just hop on and enjoy the ride. norta.com

Relax at: Located inside the New Orleans Marriott hotel, 5Fifty5 is a casual, yet tastefully elegant restaurant where you and your whole family can enjoy classic Cajun and Creole favorites. The menu features items like char-broiled oysters, fried green tomatoes, Southern-fried chicken and red fish on the half shell. Joyfully slurp up some of the award-winning seafood gumbo, or indulge in a plate piled high with lobster mac ’n’ cheese. 5Fifty5 also offers brick-oven flatbread pizzas, po-boys and sweets (like the quintessential bread pudding and Bananas Foster cheesecake). 555 Canal St., (504) 553-5555, marriott.com