WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
The best culinary development on the North Shore in the twenty-three years I’ve lived there is the proliferation of old-style neighborhood cafes. They’re usually in strip malls instead of in the neighborhoods, but the food is immediately recognizable as bone-fide everyday New Orleans eats. This well-hidden cafe is one of the better such additions to the scene, with first-class poor boys and the classic platters.
This is a serious kitchen that cooks all the important items (roast beef, red sauce, gumbo, red beans, etc.) in house, and serves them up generously and well. The half-size poor boys (they claim six inches as the length, but they’re actually bigger) are plenty enough for even a big appetite. The frying is conducted on a case-by-case basis, resulting in not only good seafood but excellent onion rings. (An order of the latter is enough for at least four people.)
Pontchartrain’s story is a familiar one: the owner, an evacuee from St. Bernard Parish, moved here and started his shop in 2007. Until 2013, it was in a tiny mall space not nearly big enough for the volume. Then moved to a larger home in a bigger mall straddling the gap between LA 22 and the West Causeway Approach.
The new place is a great improvement over the old, if only because the line doesn’t have to begin outside. But still nothing fancy, befitting a good poor boy shop.
Sides & starters
Sweet potato fries.
Baked macaroni & cheese
Poor boy sandwiches
»Fried shrimp, oysters or catfish
»Peacemaker (shrimp & oysters)
Ferdi (grilled ham, roast beef & swiss)
Grilled or fried chicken breast .
»Ham (grilled or cold)
»Eggplant, chicken or veal parmesan
French fry & gravy poor boy
Tuna or chicken salad sandwich
House salad or caesar salad
Tuna or chicken salad stuffed tomato .
»Red beans or butter beans and rice, with smoked sausage, pork chop, fried catfish, or veal cutlets
Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, baked macaroni
»Lasagna, caesar salad
Breaded veal cutlets, baked macaroni
Meatballs & spaghetti
Stuffed bell pepper, baked macaroni
Hamburger steak, mashed potatoes or baked macaroni
Breaded pork chop, baked macaroni
Grilled chicken breast.
Breaded pork chops
Breaded veal cutlets
Above with choice of mashed potatoes, potato salad, fries, baked macaroni, or broccoli
Fried shrimp, catfish, oysters, or combinations, choice of french fries, potato salad, or baked macaroni
Eggplant, chicken or veal parmesan
Above with angel hair pasta, side caesar salad, garlic bread
FOR BEST RESULTS
No matter how much of the menu appeals to you, order light. Come back another time for the other stuff. Portions are very large.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
Some of the daily special platters are a little too homestyle.
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 +1
- Value +1
- Attitude +1
- Wine & Bar
- Local Color
- Good for business meetings
- Open Monday lunch and dinner
- Dinner ends early (8 p.m.)
- Open all afternoon
- Unusually large servings
- Quick, good meal
- Good for children
- Easy, nearby parking
- No reservations