2 Fleur
Average check per person $5-$15
BreakfastNo Breakfast SundayBreakfast MondayBreakfast TuesdayBreakfast WednesdayBreakfast ThursdayBreakfast FridayBreakfast Saturday
LunchNo Lunch SundayLunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayLunch Saturday
DinnerNo Dinner SundayDinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

Please-U-Restaurant

Uptown 1: Garden District & Environs: 1751 St Charles Ave. 504-525-9131. Map.
Very Casual
AE DS MC V
Website

ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
I am remiss in my coverage of the seedy-but-fun side of the New Orleans dining scene. I was reminded recently of the Please-U–a restaurant we used to favor in the early years of CityBusiness, when our offices were two blocks away from the place. An architect friend told me a couple of weeks ago that he likes going there with certain clients, for a purpose he would not explain. “I go mainly because I like it,” he says.

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
At the demise of Uglesich’s, the Please-U rose to Number One on the list of well-worn restaurants with good food. For some, the shabbier the premises, the more enjoyable the restaurant–often because (as is the case here) the prices are very low and portions are very large. The PU (as some of its fans call it) indeed cooks better than it looks (how could it not?), to the delight of its many regulars. It opens early for breakfast and goes until six every evening.

WHAT’S GOOD It opens in the morning with well-made basic breakfasts, the best parts of which are the homemade biscuits and hash brown potatoes. Then it moves into standard diner far: sandwiches of all kinds from hamburgers to poor boys, plus (a nod to its heritage) gyros on pita bread. The daily specials fill a large markerboard with the usual platters on the traditional days. Everything is cooked in house, using the kind of ingredients you’d expect at prices like this.

BACKSTORY
The name “Please-U-Restaurant” contains a little joke you may have missed. It opened on Thanksgiving in 1946. It’s a classic diner owned by Greek immigrants, who after working there for five years bought it in 1982.

DINING ROOM
The premises could be used as a movie set in a joint where the customers have come to the end of their tethers in complete despair. Every furnishing is worn out, washed out, or rickety, and the dim light adds a final note of gloom. On the other hand, it doesn’t register as dirty–just old. Some of the employees and regulars are New Orleans characters of the highest order. Policemen are always present in enough number to keep a lid on.

ESSENTIAL DISHES
Breakfast
»Basic breakfasts
»Omelettes, especially the Greek omelette
»Hash brown potatoes
»Biscuits
Waffles
Pancakes
Lunch
»Greek salad
»Hamburger
»Gyros sandwich
Roast beef poor boy
Hot sausage poor boy
»Fried oyster poor boy
»Soft-shell crab poor boy
»Daily plate specials
Fried seafood platters
Red beans and rice
Pastitsio (Greek lasagna)
Smothered hamburger steak

FOR BEST RESULTS
Breakfast is the best meal, if you don’t need a cheery venue. The fried seafood is better than you expect.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
Renovate!

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

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

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

1 Readers Commented

Join discussion
  1. adamandios on July 16, 2014

    Hello,

    We appreciate the fantastic write up on Please-U-Restaurant. Their are a lot of things that you expressed are mis informed.

    Please-U-Restaurant was opened in 1946 on thanksgiving day ( hints Please-U) serving good food at cheap prices. It is not currently owned by the owner of menas palace he is my uncle. My father bought the restaurant in 1982. Worked their from 1977 and acquired it in 1982. It was never open 24 hours even before hurricane Katrina. We are a Greek family the owners are immigrants from Greece.

    We appreciate your writeup and are thankful for your support that keeps our restaurant and institution alive.

    Serving since 1946

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