3 Fleur
Average check per person $5-$15
BreakfastNo Breakfast SundayNo Breakfast MondayNo Breakfast TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Breakfast ThursdayNo Breakfast FridayNo Breakfast Saturday
LunchNo Lunch SundayLunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayNo Lunch Saturday
DinnerNo Dinner SundayNo Dinner MondayNo Dinner TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Dinner ThursdayNo Dinner FridayNo Dinner Saturday

Cafe Reconcile

Warehouse District & Center City: 1631 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. 504-568-1157. Map.
Very Casual
MC V
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
Which is the better story: the food in this insanely inexpensive, sparkling center-city cafe? Or its lofty reason for being? Cafe Reconcile is an excellent neighborhood cafe, with a menu of Creole home-style dishes, prepared under the guidance of major restaurant professionals. But the people who work there are young people whose lives are at risk for a host of reasons, ranging from absent parents to crime. They receive training from the staff pros, after which they can easily find a well-paying jobs in the restaurant industry.

WHAT’S GOOD
Cafe Reconcile’s well-equipped kitchen cook up a few daily specials, in addition to a standing menu of baked and fried chicken and poor boy sandwiches, a couple of fresh soups, good salads, and desserts. The pleasant surprise is the quality and polish of the food. It equals that of even the best neighborhood restaurants. Some of the dishes would be at home in a white-tablecloth place.

BACKSTORY
The Cafe is one of several enterprises under the aegis of the non-profit LSF Foundation, founded in 1996 by the Father Harry Tompson, S.J., the most inspiring Jesuit I ever met in a lifetime of being inspired by Jesuits. The foundations mission is to lift undereducated, underskilled people into careers that would keep their lives productive. Over the years, the restaurant industry–notably Chef Emeril Lagasse and the Brennans–has given deep support to Cafe Reconcile. It has resulted not only in a very successful social program, but seriously good food. The cafe is about to build a major addition to its facility as it continues on its dynamic mission.

DINING ROOM
It’s on large room in a late-1800s building in the old Dryades Street commercial district. Tiled floors, high ceilings, and an excellent renovation some years ago make the restaurant a very pleasant place to take lunch. You never know who you’re going to run into here. Politicians make particularly frequent appearances.

ESSENTIAL DISHES
»Chicken and sausage gumbo.
Soup du jour.
Fried chicken salad.
Spinach and bacon salad.
»Red beans with baked chicken (Mon.).
Meat loaf (Mon.)
»Smothered pork chops (Tues.).
»Pot roast with vegetables (Wed.)
»White beans with shrimp (Thurs.)
Stuffed eggplant (Fri.)
»Roast beef debris poor boy.
»Seafood poor boys.
Grilled or fried chicken poor boys.
»Baked chicken.
»Fried catfish.
»Bananas Foster bread pudding.
Peach cobbler.

FOR BEST RESULTS
The neighborhood is unfamiliar to most diners, but fear not. It’s well patrolled, and parking is easy on the street nearby.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
It would be nice to have breakfast again. It was served in the restaurant’s early days.

FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.

  • Dining Environment +1
  • Consistency +1
  • Service+1
  • Value +3
  • Attitude +2
  • Wine & Bar
  • Hipness
  • Local Color +2

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Good for business meetings
  • 25-75
  • Open Monday lunch
  • Quick, good meal
  • Good for children
  • Easy, nearby parking

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