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 FridayLunch Saturday
DinnerDinner SundayDinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

Cooter Brown’s Tavern

Uptown 4: Riverbend, Carrollton & Broadmoor: 509 S Carrollton Ave. 504-866-9104. Map.
Very Casual.
AE DS MC V
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
Long before the current mania for offbeat beers began brewing, Cooter Brown’s was making friends with dozens of beers on top and hundreds more in bottles. Enhancing that uniqueness was a big menu of heavy bar food–hamburgers and specialty sandwiches, mostly, with as much of a New York tilt as a New Orleans one. Local cred came from the oyster bar, consistently one of the better ones in town. (Let’s not mention that the oyster bar concept is a New York import.)

WHAT’S GOOD
Once you get past a dozen or two oysters–clearly the best food here and the ideal partner with beer–you may or may not want to continue into the sandwich selection. It is very large, including not just the standard burgers but deli, Philly cheese steaks, hot dogs, and the like. All are generous and made with good groceries.

BACKSTORY
“As drunk as Cooter Brown” is a phrase dating back to the Civil War, referring to a mythical fellow who lived in a spot where he might conceivably be drafted by either the North or the South. He stayed drunk so that each side would let him go to the other. Many bars around the country bear his name. The one in New Orleans is at the nexus of Carrollton, St. Charles, and the river road. Bronx native Larry Berestitzky opened it in 1977, and immediately attracted a clientele from Tulane University. Many Greenies hail from the Northeast, and like the reminders of home Larry sprinkles throughout the menu as well as the beer and burgers.

DINING ROOM
The exterior suggest a grubbier scene inside than is the case, although it is unambiguously more a bar than a restaurant. Aside from the inevitable multi-screen sports and video poker, it’s not an unpleasant environment. Ceramic caricatures of historical figures, each holding a beer whose connection to the person presents a puzzle for you to figure out, decorate the walls. The crowd is young.

ONLINE MENU LOCATION

ESSENTIAL DISHES
Starters and sides
»Oysters on the half shell
»Boudin
Onion rings
French fries
»Fried new potatoes
Chili and/or cheese fries
Buffalo wings
Quesadillas: cheese, chicken, shrimp, alligator, or combos
Mozzarella sticks
Chicken fingers
»Mrs Wheat’s spicy meat pies
Broccoli bites
Cheddar jalapeño bites
Sweet corn nuggets
Mac and cheese bites
Sandwiches
»Muffuletta
Hoagie
Cooter Club (Turkey, pastrami, and Swiss)
»Radiators Special (shrimp, oysters, cheeses)
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Coonass Special (spicy meat pies, provolone and gravy on French bread)
Boudreaux’s Special (crawfish pies on French bread with remoulade sauce)
Owner’s Special (like a Reuben, but with pastrami)
»Ninth Ward Special (hot sausage with cheese)
Manager’s Special (hot roast beef, ham, Swiss)
Street Car Special (grilled chicken, mushrooms, pepper jack cheese)
Hamburgers (many varieties, usual toppings, plus:)
»Bartender’s Special (Swiss cheeseburger with pastrami)
Brown’s Blue Bacon Burger
»Black and Gold burger (beef and hot sausage patties)
Turkey Burger
Grilled chicken sandwich
Poor boys:
»Pastrami
Turkey
Ham
»Roast beef
Cheese
Alligator sausage
»Fried shrimp, oysters, catfish, or soft-shell crab
Hot dogs:
Guinness bratwurst
»Chicago (tomato, sweet relish, onion, jalapeños, celery salt,
mustard, dill pickle)
»Cooter (cheese, chili, sauerkraut)
Philly steak sandwiches:
»Looter Philly (standard, with sliced grilled beef, grilled peppers, onion, provolone)
Uptown (smoked turkey, onions, peppers, provolone)
»Grand Isle (grilled shrimp, peppers, onions, pepper jack cheese)
Angola (chicken, peppers, onions, shrimp, pepper jack cheese)
»Riverbend (pastrami, peppers, onions, Swiss)
Benson (chicken, peppers, onion, American cheese)
Nola (alligator sausage, peppers, onion, barbecue sauce, American cheese)
Bayou (Nola with shrimp, pepper jack cheese)
Entrees
»Fried shrimp, oysters, catfish, soft-shell crab or combination with fries and garlic bread)
Salads
House salad or Caesar
Add-ons: grilled chicken, fried or grilled shrimp

FOR BEST RESULTS
Come here to spend a few hours with friends. It’s a guy place that appeals to a fair number of women for that reason. Easy on the food: it’s good, and they give you too much of it.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
It’s too noisy for me, but that’s my problem.

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

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Open Sunday dinner
  • Open Monday lunch and dinner
  • Open after midnight
  • Open all afternoon
  • Oyster bar
  • Unusually large servings
  • Easy, nearby parking
  • No reservations

ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
Cooter Brown’s has far and away the biggest selection of beer in town, with over 400 brews of every imaginable style. Seventy-five of those are on tap. They have an oyster bar, which is the best food here. They also boil crawfish in season, and have the full assortment of local sandwiches, including a decent muffuletta. But this is much more a bar than a restaurant, with a sometimes rowdy crowd that includes more than a few students from the nearby colleges.


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