P & G
CBD: 345 Baronne. 504-525-9678. Map.
DS MC V
WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
The CBD in its peak years of the 1940s and 1950s was jammed with little cafes designed for working people of modest means. As the office buildings slowly but certainly convert to hotels and condos, that community of eateries has dwindled to a very few. That’s good, because the ones that remain are the best ones.
WHAT’S GOOD Think of P&G as like eating at Mother’s without the tourists, and you just about have it. They cook old-style dishes in the old ways, starting with good basic breakfast platters, then easing into a lunch menu dominated by poor boy sandwiches, muffulettas, plate specials and fried seafood.
Owners Petros Bilalis and Gus Kouniaris opened the P&G in 1981, joining a few other Greek-owned breakfast-and-lunch cafes in that block of Baronne Street. At that time and long before, the stretch was filled with large retailers (selling furniture, mostly). Blocks of banks and other office building took up blocks in every direction, and there was plenty of business for small cafes serving good home-style New Orleans food. Most of that milieu is gone now, but the P&G and its neighbor Leni’s keep going with good basic food, if at a more relaxed pace.
The environment is utilitarian but pleasant. The highlight is a terrarium populated by box turtles. (I used to have one of those myself, so the place resonates.) The service style is non-rigorous and casual; most people who dine here think of themselves as family.
Poor Boy Sandwiches
Fried catfish, shrimp or oysters
Char broiled chicken breast
Roast beef with ham & Swiss
Smoked or hot sausage
Turkey (white meat)
Swiss or American cheese
Bacon, lettuce & tomato
Club with fries
Chicken fried steak
(They vary from week to week)
MO: Stewed chicken, rice , vegetableetable
MO: Fried pork chop, black eye peas, rice
TU: Salisbury steak, creamed potatoes, vegetable
TU: Baked lasagna, salad, vegetable
WE: Fried chicken, fried/mashed potatoes, vegetable
WE: Seafood gumbo
WE: Meat loaf, mashed potatoes, vegetable
WE: Seafood gumbo
TH: Baked catfish, baked potatoes, vegetable
TH: Chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, vegetable
TH: Baked chicken, baked macaroni, vegetable
FR: Fried shrimp, catfish, oysters or combo, with potato salad, fries or baked macaroni
FR: Shrimp Creole, rice , vegetable.
FR: Seafood gumbo
FR: Stuffed crab cakes; potato salad, fries or baked macaroni
Daily Specials Except Friday:
Char-broiled chicken breast, salad, vegetable
Fried catfish, potato salad or fries
Red beans, rice, sausage (smoked or hot)
Italian meatballs, spaghetti, salad or vegetable
Roast beef, fries, salad or vegetable
Fried oysters, shrimp, or combo; potato salad or fries
Chicken-fried steak, fries & salad or vegetable
Veal cutlet, fries, salad or vegetable
Char-broiled chicken breast, ham, melted cheese, salad, vegetable
Veal parmesan, spaghetti, vegetable
FOR BEST RESULTS
Don’t come in expecting everything be up with the times. (No vegan menu or organic vegetables, for example.) That adjusted, you’ll find the place nostalgic, charming, and tasty.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
The roast beef poor boy is not one of the leading items here, and the breakfasts are just okay.
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
- Consistency +2
- Value +2
- Attitude +1
- Wine & Bar
- Hipness -2
- Local Color +1
- Open Monday lunch
- Quick, good meal
- Easy, nearby parking
- No reservations