Crescent Pie & Sausage Co.
WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
As the name implies, the Crescent Pie & Sausage Company has addressed the newly-reinforced mania for sausages. They make all their own sausages, in many different styles, some quite exotic. They serve them as is, or plow them under other ingredients in a wide variety of dishes, some of them innovative.
The pies referred to are of three kinds: savory half-moon-shaped fried pies in the Natchitoches style, pizza pies (made with cheeses made in house), and dessert pies. All those are very well constructed. Better, frankly, than are the sausages. (I haven’t had one here yet that was as good as the best of the bigger local sausage makers.) The menu gaps are filled by an assortment of sandwiches and platters. Again, some are very familiar (red beans, pasta with red sauce and hot Italian sausage) and others are offbeat (the German and merguez sausage plates). This may be the best restaurant in town for Cajun jambalaya.
Bart Bell and Jeff Baron established themselves in the neighborhood with a breakfast place called Huevos. That opened fairly soon after Katrina, and fit so well into the new dining ethos that the two young chefs opened Crescent Pie & Sausage next door in 2009. What they had on their mind was inspired by the sausage-making boucheries in the Cajun country. (And, probably, the great success of Cochon, whose style drew from the same source.) The sausage business has been so good that they’ve closed Huevos (they say it will reopen somewhere else) and they’ll use the space to expand the sausage operation to include retail.
A house–raised quite a bit, it appears, after the deep flooding this neighborhood took after K–has been renovated into one large room with an open kitchen and an oversize bar. The look is rustic. The service staff is bright, and they are capable of answering questions about, say, the many beers available here. (Enough that you could call the place a gastropub.)
»Single link of sausage
Soup of the day
»Bad Bart’s black jambalaya (pork, chicken, sausage, black eye peas)
Panzanella salad (mushrooms, peppers, artichokes, grilled ciabbatta bread)
Crescent salad (chicken, bacon, mushrooms, blue cheese,
Pan fried mac ‘n’ cheese
»Meat pies (duck, seafood, vegetarian)
»Brisket, red onion, poblano, red pepper aioli, BBQ sauce
Pecan-smoked turkey breast, fig spread, spicy mustard, ciabatta
»Bratwurst, pickled cabbage
»Hot sausage po-boy
»Margherita (mozzarella, tomatoes, basil)
BLT with spinach pesto
Hot coppa salami, arugula, peppadews, garlic oil, blue cheese
»Lamb sausage, roasted red pepper, olives, artichokes, goat cheese
Cuban calzone (smoked coppa, pork, mozzarella, Swiss, jalapeno pesto
»Mixed grill of sausages
»Deutsche plate (bratwurst, pickled cabbage, German potato salad)
»Merguez (lamb sausage, arugala, harissa, yuca chips)
Chaurice with mac ‘n’ cheese, okra
Fresh house-made pies with vanilla ice cream
Root beer float with vanilla bean
Framboise & creole cream cheese ice cream float
FOR BEST RESULTS
They seem to be busier at lunch than at dinner, but the crowds that attended the place during its phenom period have thinned enough to allow quick seating.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
The good but off-standard merguez sausage needs either a different name or a reformulation. The way they have the menus stapled to pieces of cardboard strikes me as shabby. The current meat pie (duck) is good, but a disappointment for those who might want the classic spicy ground beef pie.
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
- Consistency +1
- Value +2
- Attitude +2
- Wine & Bar +1
- Hipness +2
- Local Color +2
- Courtyard or deck dining
- Open Monday lunch and dinner
- Open all afternoon
- Quick, good meal
- Easy, nearby parking
- No reservations
ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
The dislocations of Hurricane Katrina triggered many new cultural phenomena. A number of entirely new restaurant categories sprouted in the open sun. Among them was a new interest in sausage. New Orleans has always been a sausage-loving town, but we stuck mostly to our own styles. Enough so that even Cajun sausages were not as common here as they should have been.
I find myself asking (sometimes in ridiculous places, like poor boy shops) whether the restaurant is making its own sausage. The answer is usually no. But quite a few places do, in fact, roll their own.