2 Fleur
Average check per person $5-$15
BreakfastBreakfast SundayBreakfast MondayBreakfast TuesdayBreakfast WednesdayBreakfast ThursdayBreakfast FridayBreakfast Saturday
LunchLunch SundayLunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayLunch Saturday
DinnerNo Dinner SundayNo Dinner MondayNo Dinner TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Dinner ThursdayNo Dinner FridayNo Dinner Saturday

Mena’s Palace

French Quarter: 200 Chartres. 504-525-0217. Map.
Casual.
AE DS MC V
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
It doesn’t look like it’s going to be good, but it is. And has been for a long time, even as it’s evolved from a workingman’s restaurant into a place that catches a lot of tourists. The visitors could do a lot worse. Here they will get very good platters of the local everyday-dining staples from long ago. Red beans, fried seafood, stuffed peppers, pastas with all kinds of sauces, big salads, and poor boy sandwiches.

WHAT’S GOOD
This is an old-fashioned kitchen, cooking everything in house with equal amounts of flavor and portion size. If you’re looking for a diner-style dish you haven’t found in a long time, this would be a good place to look.

BACKSTORY
Greek-owned, all-day downtown eateries are familiar in most big cities across America, but we have never had many of them here in New Orleans. Mena’s is a great example of the genre. Opening in the 1960s at the corner of Iberville and Exchange Alley (where the Country Flame is now), Mena’s has served breakfast and lunch to hundreds of thousands of people, a mix of office workers and French Quarter denizens. In the late 1990s Mena’s moved a half-block toward the river into the former Messina’s Oyster Bar. That expanded the restaurant and made it more comfortable.

DINING ROOM
One big room with large windows that make some of the tables bright while leaving the rear part of the place a bit darker. The menu is posted on an old-style fluorescent-backlit sign that I think came from the old place. The “palace” part is obviously a joke, but it’s worn so thin that the owners don’t use it officially anymore, even though longtime locals still do.

ESSENTIAL DISHES
»Basic breakfasts
Omelettes
Pancakes
French toast
~
starters
Mozzarella cheesesticks, marinara
»Shrimp remoulade on fried tomatoes
Seafood gumbo
»Soup of the day
Vegetable beef soup
»Shrimp remoulade salad
Creole tomato salad, bell peppers, onions, capers, olives, feta Grilled catfish Caesar salad
Grilled shrimp spinach salad
Potato salad
Tuna salad
»Tuna stuffed tomato
Grilled chicken breast salad
Chef salad
»Greek salad
»Italian salad
Caesar salad
~
Entrees
»Fried shrimp, oyster, catfish or combo platter
»Veal or chicken parmesan, spaghetti
Meatballs and spaghetti
Chili and spaghetti
»Chicken gyro plate, tzatziki, Greek salad
Hamburger steak
»Fried chicken-half
Breaded veal cutlet
Grilled chicken breast
Chicken fried steak
»Roast beef, mashed potatoes or french fries, salad
Grilled pork chops, fries, baked potato, salad
Ribeye steak, fries or baked potato, salad
»Red beans and rice, smoked sausage or fried chicken quarter, salad
~
Daily Specials
Monday:
Chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, salad
Fried catfish with french fries and salad
Tuesday:
»Baked lasagna, salad
»Roast chicken oreganato, roasted potatoes, salad
Beef and shrimp stuffed bell pepper, mashed potatoes, salad
Wednesday:
Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, salad
»Roast leg of pork, baked macaroni and oyster dressing
Thursday
»Lima beans and rice, breaded veal cutlet, beet salad
»Baked chicken, dirty rice, beet salad
Meatballs and spaghetti, beet salad
Friday:
Veal parmesan, spaghetti
Grilled crab cakes, cream sauce, sautéed vegetables, salad
Shrimp Creole, rice, potato salad
Saturday:
»Black eyed peas, rice, breaded pork chop, salad
Jambalaya (chicken, shrimp and smoked sausage), salad
~
Sandwiches
Poor boys
Alligator sausage
»Fried shrimp, catfish or oysters
»Hot roast beef and gravy
Grilled chicken breast
Grilled chicken parmesan
»Meatball parmesan
Veal parmesan
»Hot, smoked or andouille sausage
»Ham, cold or grilled, with or without cheese
Turkey
Classic sandwiches
Muffuletta
»Chicken gyro, tzatziki, pita bread
Club
BLT
Hamburger
Chicken fried tuna steak
Grilled cheese
~
Desserts
Apple pie
Pecan pie
Bread pudding
Cheesecake

FOR BEST RESULTS
Order light. The place is famous for its mountains of food. Expect no fine points.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
Mena’s is such a relic that any changes it made would be better if they were retro instead of looking ahead.

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

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Good for business meetings
  • Open Sunday lunch
  • Open Monday lunch
  • Closing time is erratic, usually late afternoon
  • Open all afternoon
  • Unusually large servings
  • Quick, good meal
  • No reservations

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