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
DinnerNo Dinner SundayDinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

Liuzza’s By The Track

Esplanade Ridge: 1518 N Lopez. 504-218-7888. Map.
Very Casual.
AE DS MC V
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
Since the demise of Uglesich’s, this is the dumpiest good restaurant in town–a datum that attracts the many diners who believe a neighborhood joint must be grubby to be good. Although that is clearly false, the eating here really is fine. All the corner cafe standards, poor boys to beans to gumbo, with a few upscale surprises.

WHAT’S GOOD
Liuzza’s understands everyday New Orleans food so well that it can bang out variations on the classics and have them come out even better. The shining example of that is the “breathtaking roast beef poor boy,” enhanced by the simple addition of a significant amount of horseradish to the mayonnaise. I thought it was impossible for a roast beef poor boy to be improved until I had this. They make a great gumbo by adding all the seafood right before they serve it. Even ambitious dishes like barbecue shrimp are more than credible.

BACKSTORY
There have long been two good neighborhood cafes called Liuzza’s, both of them in Mid-City. Each has had a series of owners. (Too long in the past for it to matter, they were the same). For reasons hard to understand, this Liuzza’s has always had the better food and the lesser creature comforts.

DINING ROOM
It’s a bar, really, and has been for most of the past fifty years. It proximity (rock-throwing distance) from the back gate of the Fair Grounds Race Course made it a hangout for horsemen, including the major characters in that crowd. It’s still easy to picture them there. The tables are jammed in any way they’ll fit, and not many fit well. Everything is battered and worn out. All of which the regular customers love.

ESSENTIAL DISHES
»Seafood gumbo.
»Shrimp remoulade.
Panneed chicken salad.
Poor boy sandwiches:
»Breathtaking roast beef.
»Garlic oyster.
»Hot sausage.
Corned beef.
»Barbecue shrimp.
»Daily lunch specials.
»Red beans and rice.

FOR BEST RESULTS
If you’ve never been before, check the map. The restaurant is only a block from Esplanade, but the streets around there don’t all run parallel and you can get turned around. Don’t bother dressing down if you’re coming from work. There’s always somebody here wearing a tie. Don’t even think of coming here during Jazz Festival.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
They could fix the place up a little without spoiling the non-atmosphere.

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 -2
  • Consistency +1
  • Service
  • Value +3
  • Attitude +1
  • Wine & Bar -1
  • Hipness +2
  • Local Color +3

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Open Monday lunch and dinner
  • Dinner ends early (8 p.m.)
  • Open all afternoon
  • Historic
  • Unusually large servings
  • Quick, good meal
  • No reservations

ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
This is the less-well-known of the two Liuzza’s. And the better one, too–of only because the kitchen is more ambitious. They have the standard lineup of poor boy sandwiches and platters, but the chef is capable of producing some excellent specials–and he does. All of this is served in the circumstances of a neighborhood hangout, with prices to match.


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  1. Lee Snell on January 7, 2016

    We don’t live in NO and have an agreement that we will try different places every visit. Otherwise, we’d pick the places we like best and keep going there. Since anything on Tom F’s best lists is worthwhile, we’d miss a lot. Liuzza’s by the track is the exception. Can NOT drive the 700 miles to NO and not have their gumbo and/or BBQ shrimp po’boy. Sometimes you have to wait for a table, and wait and wait. Worth it.

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