Common Grounds. Gretna: 335 Huey P Long Ave. 504-227-2200.
WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
Although the main function of Common Grounds is to provide a quick lunch for people appearing at the Jefferson Parish Courthouse, the best meal through its history has been breakfast. That’s when the regulars show up. They return late in the afternoon for a light supper if they missed lunch, and perhaps a drink. It also serves as a meeting place or a last over coffee, which is pretty good here.
WHAT’S GOOD For the most part, this is the most basic kind of American diner–a facet that shows particularly in its sandwiches, which don’t hold a candle to the work of the better poor boy shops. On the other hand, the salads and fried seafood are decent.
Common Grounds opened in 1997, with a chef who had done pretty well at Petra in Metairie striking out on his own. It was primarily a coffeeshop with light lunches then, but over the years a succession of owner pushed the standards up a step.
It’s a converted residence in the oldest part of Gretna, decorated in a contemporary style. The tables are crowded in there, but it’s not uncomfortable. The service staff is friendly enough, but when an overflow comes it when the courts recess, the place can be overwhelmed.
Eggs, hash browns or grits, ham, sausage or bacon, toast
»As above, with small pancakes instead of toast
»Crab cake benedict
Omelettes to order
Pancakes with assorted toppings
»French toast, fresh fruit
Steak and eggs, toast, grits or hash browns
Breakfast sandwich (eggs on toast, biscuit, bagel, croissant, or English muffin, with cheese and choice of ham, bacon or sausage)
Fried mushrooms, horseradish sauce
Fried onion rings
Fry bites (baked, sliced, cheesy potatoes)
Fried mozzarella, picante sauce
»Artichoke Amelia (fried hearts, remoulade sauce
Crab cakes, honey mustard or remoulade sauce
»Shrimp Julia (boiled, cocktail or remoulade sauce)
»Mushrooms St Trey (artichoke-stuffed, cream sauce)
Spinach and artichoke dip
Asian Cajun wings
Soups and Salads
»Chicken and sausage gumbo
Soup of the day
Small soup with half sandwich
Common salad (greens, onion, tomato)
»Sherman’s salad (greens, turkey, ham, avocado)
Grilled or chunky chicken salad, romaine, almonds
Seared tuna salad
Seared tuna salad, greens
Grilled tuna steak, fried potatoes, sauteed vegetables, mango chutney
Ribeye steak, fried potatoes, vegetables
»Marinated grilled chicken, fried potatoes, vegetables
Fried chicken tenders, fried potatoes
Hamburger steak, grilled onions, mushrooms, fried potatoes
»Fried shrimp, oysters, catfish, or combinations
Reuben on grilled rye
Turkey breast, avocado, tomato
Chunks of white chicken, celery, onions
Albacore tuna, carrots, lemon juice
Barbecue breast of chicken, bacon, monterey jack cheese
Ham & cheese
Fried shrimp, oysters, catfish, or combo of two
FOR BEST RESULTS
Breakfast is always good here. Lunch is better the later you show up.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
The sandwiches here could use a complete reworking, and use better deli meats.
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
- Value +1
- Wine & Bar
- Local Color +2
- Good for business meetings
- Open Monday dinner
- Open all afternoon
- Quick, good meal
- No reservations