Rocky & Carlo’s
WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
Rocky’s is as intense and unreconstructed a piece of whereyaat culture as exists. It’s an old bar and cafeteria-style restaurant serving poor boys (both familiar and unspeakable varieties) and ridiculously overloaded homestyle platters, without a hint of delicacy. Watch other diners carefully, and see some offbeat but quintessentially local tastes express themselves. (Example: baked macaroni and cheese drenched with brown gravy.) This is not brilliant food. But it’s hard to imagine New Orleans without Rocky & Carlo’s.
Operating like a cafeteria, Rocky & Carlo’s does most if its business in the platters of the day, poor boy sandwiches, and latter-day New Orleans-Sicilian pasta dishes. The most outstanding quality of the place is the massive size of the portions. Few people can eat a whole entree, although many try.
Restaurants very much like this existed in St. Bernard Parish long before Rocky Tommaseo and Carlo Gioe opened their restaurant in 1965. It has not changed much over the years, and most of those changes were results of disasters (fires, hurricanes, etc.). Nothing has ever knocked the place out permanently–a condition that is unimaginable to most St. Bernard people.
It looks a lot nicer since the most recent renovation (about seven years ago). But it’s the most casual of the casual places. Noisy and unintentionally entertaining.
Stuffed or fried artichokes
Garlic bread (fresh garlic & parsley)
Baked, broiled or barbecue chicken
Meatballs & spaghetti
Red beans & rice
Fried oysters, shrimp, crab cakes, or combo
Ribeye or T-bone steak
Green beans, tomato sauce, smoked sausage
Macaroni & cheese
Lemon berry mascarpone cake
Chocolate mousse cake
Spumone cheese cake
FOR BEST RESULTS
You only need half an order of anything here.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
It always seems to me that the food isn’t quite hot enough.
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 +1
- Wine & Bar
- Hipness -2
- Local Color 2