Better by the Block



NOLA Grocery, the Warehouse District sandwich shop I wrote about this week, is big on Cajun flavor and very scant on creature comforts. So scant, in fact, that it's strangely entertaining.

This is a take-out place for sure, but owner Murray Tate has made some accommodations for people who want to unwrap their po-boys and eat them right away. This amounts to a pair of glass-top patio tables pushed together in an area wedged between a bank of drink coolers and a metal garage door. The garage door is usually open, and the view it affords (above) is primarily of a marine industry workshop.

More interesting, though, is what goes down on some days just around the corner. An alley there is often jammed with trailer-mounted crawfish boiling rigs and assorted other catering prep operations for events at the convention center a block away.

So up the street we have Cochon, which is turning so many heads with its upscale Cajun cuisine. Down the block we have NOLA Grocery, banging out great po-boys with Cajun sausage and smoked chicken. And down an obscure alley we have crawfish boiling and gigantic vats of jambalaya simmering.

There may not be many functional warehouses remaining in the increasingly chic Warehouse District, but this stretch of Andrew Higgins at least shows how the neighborhood is growing more delicious.

- Ian McNulty

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