Metairie 2: Orleans Line To Houma Blvd: 3400 Cleary Ave. 504-888-9600. Map.
WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
A small Vietnamese cafe in an unlikely place, Frosty’s has a limited menu even by the standards of pho shops. What they cook is good enough, although even a minimum of effort will find much better versions of almost everything on the menu. The place remains in our crosshairs because it was the first place in New Orleans to serve a unique Southeast Asian drink. Misleadingly names “bubble teas,” these in fact have neither bubbles nor tea in most of the dozens of versions. They’re more like smoothies, made with fresh fruit, ice, and spheres of tapioca. The latter–which are usually black–are the bubbles. They serve no function with which you will be familiar; you just suck them up through the oversize straws and figure it out. These things are surprisingly refreshing and delicious.
Other Vietnamese restaurants have begun serving bubble teas, but no other place is quite as adept at their manufacture (it does come out of a machine) as Frosty’s is. The range of options will take the rest of your life to explore–a happy prospect. As for the food, it’s not bad–and that’s as far as I’ll go with that.
The seemingly inappropriate name dates back to a standard Metairie sno-ball stand that also sold sandwiches and hot dogs. When the present owners took over, they thought the sign looked too good to replace, so they just kept the name.
You order at the counter and pick up your food there, too. If you dine in, there are a few tables and a counter with stools.
Fried spring roll
Pho soup with beef or chicken
Grilled pork or beef on cool vermicelli noodles
Banh mi sandwiches (Vietnamese poor boys)
FOR BEST RESULTS
The best part of the menu is the small selection of banh mi sandwiches. Really, eat somewhere else and come here for the bubble teas, which make a good dessert.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
The pho will make some of the more vociferous lovers of that Vietnamese soup rise up with their fists shaking. That needs to be much improved or banished.
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
- Value +2
- Wine & Bar
- Hipness +1
- Local Color -1
- Open Monday lunch and dinner
- Dinner ends early (8 p.m.)
- Open all afternoon
- Quick, good meal
- Good for children
- Easy, nearby parking
- No reservations