WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
If you want to watch a game on television, eat a big hamburger, and drink beers better than the ones in your refrigerator, Lager’s is a decent place in which to do it. You will be joined by a sizable number of other people going after the same evening’s entertainment. Enough that finding a place to park either your car or your butt will not be easy.
The beer is the main draw. They have dozens of brews in every style on tap, and they sell so much of it that it’s good and fresh. The addition of bottled beers makes the beer menu bigger than the food menu. The latter is mostly about hamburgers, other sandwiches, salads, and a few platters ranging from red beans to fried catfish.
The hamburger is a little too large and too juicy/greasy to be a draw unto itself. The chicken sandwiches are better, bringing an interesting variety of dressings into play. I’d come here for the beer, but not for the food.
The runaway success of the Bulldog on Magazine Street persuaded owner Herb Dyer to duplicate it. Lager’s opened in 1995 as the Metairie manifestation of that brewpub. Since then the outfit has opened another Bulldog and the new Velvet Cactus–a Mexican concept–both in Lakeview. There’s also a Bulldog in Baton Rouge now.
Dark wood predominates. Booths and high-top tables–some of them seating a lot of people together–fill all the possible space. The kitchen is open to view. The lineup of beer taps is the most impressive visual. These guys are not kidding around when it comes to beer.
Most of the items below can be had with a dizzing array of sauces, cheeses, chickn, shrimp, or whatever
Waffle fries with cheese or wing sauce
Fried chicken tenders
Tex-Mex egg rolls
Crawfish tortillas with cheese, avocado
»Buffalo-style chicken wings
Quesadillas with vegetables and cheeses
»Cajun onion rings
Chips and salsa with any or everything
Chicken andouille gumbo
Hamburgers, available with a large number of add-ons, the best of which is the caramelized onions
Philly cheese steak wrap
Portabello mushroom wrap
»Turbodog chicken sandwich
»California fire-grilled chicken sandwich
»Buffalo chicken sandwich
»Blackened chicken sandwich
»Grilled mahi mahi sandwich
»Grilled tuna sandwich
Shrimp poor boy
Catfish poor boy
Buffalo fried chicken salad
Grilled chicken salad
Red beans and rice
Rice bowl, black beans, pico de gallo, with chicken, fish, shrimp or steak
Marinated grilled chicken
»Grilled tuna, sesame ginger sauce
»Fried catfish plate
Chicken tenders plate
»Dragon stout chicken (with bacon, jack cheese, barbecue sauce)
»Argentinean hanger steak, chimichurri sauce
Cheesecake, various toppings
FOR BEST RESULTS
The chicken sandwiches are better than the hamburgers. Everything is so large as to be unfinishable, save for young men in their twenties.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
A thicker burger grilled over higher heat with less fat would be a better burger than the one they serve here. Easier parking is wishful thinking, although the tire store next door allows you to park there.
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
- Value +1
- Attitude +1
- Wine & Bar +1
- Hipness +1
- Local Color
- Sidewalk tables
- Open Sunday lunch and dinner
- Open Monday lunch and dinner
- Open some holidays
- Open after 10 p.m.
- Open all afternoon
- Unusually large servings
- Quick, good meal
- No reservations
ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
The brewpub idea caught fire in the late 1990s, when the long-awaited interest in craft beers among the general public finally appeared. It quickly became clear that the more different beers a brewpub had on tap, the more beer they sold, and the more business they pulled away from establishments with less interesting beer menus.
What also became clear was that the wide beer selection seemed a) to bring with it a less than fantastic menu and 2) create permission for mediocre food among the beer lovers. Although the long-standing association between great hamburgers and bars continues, the food in most brewpubs is just okay. That is certainly true at Lager’s.