Augie's (Formerly Smilie's)

Anecdotes & Analysis

Changes are underway at Smilie's. Augie Lopez--formerly of the Glass Garden--bought the place in mid-2001, and he's working his well-established Creole cooking style into Smilie's own menu. Smilie's has always been a category-straddler. It's not expensive or fancy, but it serves the kinds of dishes you more often find in much more elaborate places. Smilie's inherited the mantle of the venerable Elmwood Plantation restaurant when the latter burned down. It still serves the same Harahan-Elmwood clientele and many Elmwood dishes, along with a large repertoire of its own. It's two restaurants in one. The front room has tablecloths and good service and a menu of classic Creole-Italian dishes. The much busier back room is a self-service, much cheaper cafeteria, with a lot of the same food plus poor boy sandwiches and other quick fare. One of the premier items in both places, every weekday, is darn near the best red beans in town, served with a smoked ham shank. Still plenty of meat on there, and it's the untimate garnish for red beans. Smilie's cooks Creole-Italian. The signature entree, trout Smilie, is a fine example of that style: covered with Italian bread crumbs and crabmeat, splashed with wine and butter, and baked. Smells great, tastes better. That also goes for the roast chicken with garlic and rosemary, and the several pasta dishes, none of which could be called straight Italian. The most reliable entree of all is a simple but well-presented, very ample filet mignon. They also cook up cgood assortments of the standard local seafoods, from a fried platter to a good crab cake with meuniere sauce. Whatever you order, be sure to kick off the repast with the fried eggplant railroad ties. They're fried with a crusty breading, greaseless and great. There are two problems here. Details are not the strong suit of the service staff. And side dishes are rarely up to the level of the entrees. Smilie's does a huge catering business. Sometimes that impacts the dinner service, so you might ask what's doing in that regard when you make a dinner reservation.

Why It's Essential

N

Backstory

Changes are underway at Smilie's. Augie Lopez--formerly of the Glass Garden--bought the place in mid-2001, and he's working his well-established Creole cooking style into Smilie's own menu. Smilie's has always been a category-straddler. It's not expensive or fancy, but it serves the kinds of dishes you more often find in much more elaborate places. Smilie's inherited the mantle of the venerable Elmwood Plantation restaurant when the latter burned down. It still serves the same Harahan-Elmwood clientele and many Elmwood dishes, along with a large repertoire of its own. It's two restaurants in one. The front room has tablecloths and good service and a menu of classic Creole-Italian dishes. The much busier back room is a self-service, much cheaper cafeteria, with a lot of the same food plus poor boy sandwiches and other quick fare. One of the premier items in both places, every weekday, is darn near the best red beans in town, served with a smoked ham shank. Still plenty of meat on there, and it's the untimate garnish for red beans. Smilie's cooks Creole-Italian. The signature entree, trout Smilie, is a fine example of that style: covered with Italian bread crumbs and crabmeat, splashed with wine and butter, and baked. Smells great, tastes better. That also goes for the roast chicken with garlic and rosemary, and the several pasta dishes, none of which could be called straight Italian. The most reliable entree of all is a simple but well-presented, very ample filet mignon. They also cook up cgood assortments of the standard local seafoods, from a fried platter to a good crab cake with meuniere sauce. Whatever you order, be sure to kick off the repast with the fried eggplant railroad ties. They're fried with a crusty breading, greaseless and great. There are two problems here. Details are not the strong suit of the service staff. And side dishes are rarely up to the level of the entrees. Smilie's does a huge catering business. Sometimes that impacts the dinner service, so you might ask what's doing in that regard when you make a dinner reservation.

Dining Room

77

Augie's (Formerly Smilie's)
6005 Jefferson Hwy, Harahan, LA 70123, USA
70123
(504) 733-3000
Website
Accepted
Nice Casual
Breakfast
MOTUWETHFRSASU
Lunch
MOTUWETHFRSASU
Dinner
MOTUWETHFRSASU
Attitude 2
Environment 0
Hipness 1
Local Color 0
Service 1
Value 26
Wine 0