Boiled And Barbecue
Dozen Best Beef Brisket Restaurants
Beef brisket comes from the underside of the cow, right in back of the forelegs. It’s one of the most popular cuts of meat that isn’t a steak. Indeed it is not a cut for broiling. The strands of lean meat in a brisket run between thin layers of connective tissue, which break down as the meat cooks slowly. It results in tenderness and flavor for which brisket is celebrated. It’s cooked in two major ways: barbecue in summer, and boiling/baking in the cooler months. These restaurants are about equally divided between the two methods.
1. Boucherie. Carrollton: 8115 Jeannette. 504-862-5514. Boucherie started as a barbecue specialist, and although they’ve moved on to more ambitious cooking, their skill with smoking brisket remains. Get it.
2. Bon Ton Cafe. CBD: 401 Magazine. 504-524-3386. This is the best version in town of the old-style boiled brisket. It comes in a big chunk in a bowl of broth with vegetables. It’s the Tuesday special at the old Cajun place on Magazine Street.
3. Tujague’s. French Quarter: 823 Decatur. 504-525-8676. The name Tujague’s is almost synonymous with boiled beef brisket, and has been for over a century. It comes as an appetizer in Tujague’s famous table d’hote dinner. Makes a great entree, too.
4. Lüke. CBD: 333 St Charles Ave. 504-378-2840. Lüke is sort of retro throughout its menu, and there’s no better example of that than the boiled beef brisket they serve with vegetables as a special.
5. Walker’s BBQ. New Orleans East: 10828 Hayne Blvd. 504-241-8227. Walker’s is way out on Hayne Boulevard in eastern New Orleans, but well worth the trip for its barbecue. The brisket is the best thing they smoke. Go early: when they run out, they close.
6. The Joint. Bywater/Downtown: 801 Poland Ave. 504-949-3232 . One of the two or three best barbecue houses here, The Joint is about to move to Mazant Street (and may have already). Worth looking for and remembering.
7. Vincent’s. Metairie: 4411 Chastant St. 504-885-2984. Riverbend: 7839 St Charles Ave. 504-866-9313. Vincent’s is one of the few restaurants that serves Italian spaghetti and beef daube anymore. It’s the only one I’ve ever found that used brisket to make the daube. This works.
8. Grand Isle. Warehouse District: 575 Convention Center Blvd. 504-520-8530. The problem with brisket is that even if you do everything right it sometimes comes out dry. They solve that here by smoking it first then braising it.
9. Ugly Dog Saloon. Warehouse District: 401 Andrew Higgins Blvd. 504-569-8459. Despite the odd name and bar-like interior, this is a first-class barbecue place with tender, delectable smoked brisket.
10. Hoa Hong 9 (Nine Roses). Gretna: 1100 Stephens. 504-366-7665. Most Vietnamese restaurants offer a selection of meats to be added to their bowls of pho soup, and brisket is one of the standards. I have never found better than here.
11. Abita Barbecue. Abita Springs: 69399 LA Hwy 59. 985-892-0205. The easy way to avoid toughness in smoked meats is to slice them thin, across the grain. They do that here, but the smoking and the sauce were already good enough to make it happen.
12. Joey K’s. Uptown: 3001 Magazine. 504-891-0997. It’s the Wednesday special at this neighborhood restaurant revival place. Nice and tender, served with boiled cabbage and vegetables, in titanic portions.