Cooter Brown's has far and away the biggest selection of beer in town, with over 400 brews of every imaginable style. Seventy-five of those are on tap. They have an oyster bar, which is the best food here. They also boil crawfish in season, and have the full assortment of local sandwiches, including a decent muffuletta. But this is much more a bar than a restaurant, with a sometimes rowdy crowd that includes more than a few students from the nearby colleges.
Long before the current mania for offbeat beers began brewing, Cooter Brown's was making friends with dozens of beers on top and hundreds more in bottles. Enhancing that uniqueness was a big menu of heavy bar food--hamburgers and specialty sandwiches, mostly, with as much of a New York tilt as a New Orleans one. Local cred came from the oyster bar, consistently one of the better ones in town. (Let's not mention that the oyster bar concept is a New York import.)
"As drunk as Cooter Brown" is a phrase dating back to the Civil War, referring to a mythical fellow who lived in a spot where he might conceivably be drafted by either the North or the South. He stayed drunk so that each side would let him go to the other. Many bars around the country bear his name. The one in New Orleans is at the nexus of Carrollton, St. Charles, and the river road. Bronx native Larry Berestitzky opened it in 1977, and immediately attracted a clientele from Tulane University. Many Greenies hail from the Northeast, and like the reminders of home Larry sprinkles throughout the menu as well as the beer and burgers.
The exterior suggest a grubbier scene inside than is the case, although it is unambiguously more a bar than a restaurant. Aside from the inevitable multi-screen sports and video poker, it's not an unpleasant environment. Ceramic caricatures of historical figures, each holding a beer whose connection to the person presents a puzzle for you to figure out, decorate the walls. The crowd is young.
Come here to spend a few hours with friends. It's a guy place that appeals to a fair number of women for that reason. Easy on the food: it's good, and they give you too much of it.