3 Fleur
Average check per person $25-$35
BreakfastNo Breakfast SundayNo Breakfast MondayNo Breakfast TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Breakfast ThursdayNo Breakfast FridayNo Breakfast Saturday
LunchNo Lunch SundayNo Lunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayNo Lunch Saturday
DinnerNo Dinner SundayNo Dinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

MeMe’s Bar & Grille

St. Bernard Parish: 712 W. Judge Perez Dr. 504-644-4992. Map.
Nice Casual.
AE DS MC V
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
MeMe’s is the kind of restaurant St. Bernard never had, one long overdue: a Creole bistro serving polished, imaginative versions of familiar local foodstuffs. Without ever going over the top or creating embarrassing parodies of the classic New Orleans dishes, the kitchen creates big flavors with fresh groceries, and even presents them beautifully.

WHAT’S GOOD
A great example of MeMe’s style is the quartet of oyster appetizers, three of them on the half-shell. They come out big, bubbling, and with restrained amounts of well-made sauces. Soups are as fine as those served in the best restaurants. The seafood is vividly fresh and local (it’s been speckled trout, lately), and prepared in a wider range of styles than the menu suggest. They’re good at frying–the panneed veal is a fine example of that–but fried dishes are in a distinct minority. The menu is a balanced mix of seafood, poultry, steak, pork, veal, and sandwiches at both lunch and dinner.

BACKSTORY
MeMe’s name makes its local roots clear. Your MeMe is your grandmother in these parts. Two MeMes are in the house, but not usually at the same time. The restaurant opened in 2012 under the ownership of two couples, neither of which was in the restaurant business before. They swap off the management of the restaurant day to day. They are likely to stop by your table and tell you how things are going, which is what you do in Chalmette.

DINING ROOM
The restaurant is small, and the owners are already talking about expanding it. A dozen tables line up in a pleasantly designed L-shaped room, with a little more seating at the bar. The facade looks nicer enough, but if you park around the side on your first visit you might wonder whether MeMe’s is yet another Chalmette poor boy shop. It isn’t. I didn’t feel stupid in jacket and tie. The young women who serve are pleasant and effective.

ESSENTIAL DISHES
»Barbecue shrimp
Fried eggplant
»Oysters MeMe (Italian style)
Chargrilled oysters
»Oysters Bangkok (spicy)
»Oysters Rockefeller
Iceberg salad wedge
California club salad (like a Cobb)
Crab cakes
»Shrimp and grits
Roast beef and gravy dinner
»Pasta Lafitte (Creole cream sauce, with chicken, veal, or shrimp)
Pork filet with bourbon glaze
Fish of the day grilled, blackened or pan-seared
Roast chicken
Chicken, veal or eggplant Parmesan
»Panneed veal
»Filet mignon bearnaise
»White chocolate bread pudding
»Creme brulee

FOR BEST RESULTS
The appetizers, salads and soups are so well made that you might not have room for the entrees, so consider a bit of plate-splitting.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
When they add on, they should put in a double door to keep out the drafts in cool weather.

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

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Romantic
  • Good for business meetings
  • 8-25
  • Unusually large servings
  • Good for children
  • Easy, nearby parking
  • Reservations accepted

ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
When the editor of this newspaper asked me to write a restaurant column, he said I should stick to places where having a business lunch would make sense. Following that dictum caused me to devote only one review in 33 years to a St. Bernard Parish restaurant. It was about Barrister’s, long gone before Katrina wiped out everything in Da Parish. But the storm triggered an efflorescence of restaurant openings throughout the New Orleans area. And St. Bernard has been caught up in it. So here is the second Chalmette dining review in the history of CityBusiness–good news. More will follow, because at last St. Bernard has some restaurants worth talking about.


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