3 Fleur
Average check per person $15-$25
BreakfastBreakfast SundayBreakfast MondayBreakfast TuesdayBreakfast WednesdayBreakfast ThursdayBreakfast FridayBreakfast Saturday
LunchLunch SundayLunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayLunch Saturday
DinnerDinner SundayDinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

Coffee Pot

French Quarter: 714 St Peter. 504-524-3500. Map.
Casual.
AE MC V
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
It serves terrific breakfasts with a Creole flavor all day, every day. Most important, it’s the last stand for calas–Creole rice cakes, once a familiar local treat, now gone from everywhere but here. After breakfast, it functions as a neighborhood restaurant for Quarterites, but one that gets a lot of out-of-towners.

WHAT’S GOOD
The menu is a collection of New Orleans culinary cliches, but despite the touristy location (next to Pat O’Brien’s), the Coffee Pot comes by its food honestly. They’ve always served red beans, fried catfish, gumbo, poor boys, bread pudding, and all the rest of that, prepared in a way that wouldn’t be embarrassing if you took a friend from out of town to lunch or dinner there.

BACKSTORY
The Coffee Pot has been around since the 1940s (although they claim to go back to 1894). It functioned for many years as a neighborhood cafe for people who lived and worked in the French Quarter. It’s more touristy now, but still has that local quality. It has gone through many owners over the years, but managed to remain consistent–largely due to the presence of Pearl, a waitress and cook whose been there for decades. Leah Chase, now one of the city’s most beloved chefs, began her career here in the 1940s.

DINING ROOM
The main dining room is the small parlor of a former townhouse, with windows looking onto St. Peter Street. They have a few tables in the carriageway for alfresco dining.

ESSENTIAL DISHES
Starters
»Seafood gumbo
Chicken and andouille gumbo
Barbecue shrimp
Oyster Rockefeller dip
Crab and crawfish balls
New Orleans sampler (jambalaya, red beans, crawfish
etouffee)
»Shrimp en brochette
Spinach salad
Caesar salad
Garden salad
Popcorn shrimp salad
Thai shrimp salad
»Grilled chicken salad
»Oyster-and-spinach-stuffed portabella mushroom
Breakfast specialties
(They also serve all the basic breakfast items)
»Calas (rice cakes)
»Grits and grillades
»Lost bread
»Rockefeller omelet
Entrees
Crawfish etouffee pasta
Jambalaya pasta
»Jambalaya and blackened redfish
»Fried seafood platter
Crab cakes
Parmesan-crusted snapper
»Fleur de lis chicken (crabmeat and crawfish stuffing)
Baby back ribs
»Veal Palmisano (crimini mushrooms, marsala demi glace, roasted garlic parmesan risotto)
Hawaiian sirloin
Vieux Carre prime filet mignon
Desserts
»Calas (rice cakes with cinnamon and syrup)
»Pearl’s homemade bread pudding
Red velvet cake
»Strawberry shortcake
Chocolate cake
Pecan praline cheesecake

FOR BEST RESULTS
Don’t go anywhere near this place any time the city is filled with visitors. Breakfast is the great meal here. Ask if they have chicken livers for an omelette.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
It would be marvelous to have all the locals who used to eat here take it back from the visitors, but I have no idea how that could be done.

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
  • Service+1
  • Value
  • Attitude +1
  • Wine & Bar
  • Hipness -1
  • Local Color +2

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Courtyard or deck dining
  • Romantic
  • 25-75
  • Open Sunday lunch and dinner
  • Open Monday lunch and dinner
  • Open some holidays
  • Open until 11:30 FR SA
  • Open all afternoon
  • Historic
  • Quick, good meal
  • Good for children
  • Reservations accepted

2 Readers Commented

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  1. mary monteleone on July 4, 2014

    I took my visitors to the Coffee Pot for lunch/dinner. The waitress highly suggested the house special….creole tomato stuffed with shrimp. It was a big disappointment. I’d checked beforehand to see if you recommended the Coffee Pot….you did. I’ll not go back there again. Perhaps you haven’t been there in awhile.

    • Tom Fitzmorris on July 5, 2014

      Or perhaps it was a bad day for a restaurant that has been good most of the time for the 40 years I’ve dined there a few times a year, and about which I get mostly good reports. But your one experience is enough if perfection is your demand. When you sent the disappointing dish back, what did they do?

      I’ve said this many times before: never, ever take guests to a restaurant you haven’t been to yourself, no matter what you hear from no matter who it is.

      Tastefully yours,
      Tom Fitzmorris

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