by Ian McNulty
People who arrived at the Den on Sunday to watch some football, catch a brass band and maybe get a bite to eat were in for a pleasant surprise in that last category. That’s because the Den’s menu, normally a roster of pub grub, this time featured items like roasted ratatouille and goat cheese quesadillas, Korean-style beef skewers and Buffalo chicken confit.
The Den is the bar and grill adjunct to the Howlin’ Wolf music club, and on Sundays now it’s also where to find food from chef Nathanial Zimet, the chef/owner of the Uptown restaurant Boucherie and operator of the Que Crawl food truck.
The Que Crawl itself happens to be undergoing some repairs at the moment, but no matter. Zimet and business partner James Denio set up shop in the kitchen inside this Warehouse District bar, doing the sort of fare they would normally serve from the truck. This “Que Crawl at the Den,” as they’re calling it, happens each Sunday. The food starts at noon (a.k.a. NFL Sunday kickoff) and continues on through into the night, when the Hot 8 Brass Band performs in the Den's back room for a standing weekly gig beginning around 10 p.m.
“We’ve wanted to get this going for a while, so we decided to just start with Sundays and work from there,” says Zimet. “Eventually we want to expand it to weekdays too. I think we could do a great lunch there.”
The Howlin’ Wolf hosted the largest in a string of benefits organized this summer on Zimet’s behalf as the chef recovered from gunshot wounds suffered during a robbery outside his home. The Que Crawl truck and dozens of restaurants from around town provided food both inside and outside the music hall.
The Que Crawl was once a fixture outside Tipitina’s music club, where Zimet built the reputation and fan base he would parlay into opening Boucherie in 2009. Zimet intends to have the truck back on the street for regular service around New Orleans some time in the future.
Meanwhile, Boucherie is back open again after its annual summer hiatus and has a new fall menu.
Que Crawl at The Den
907 S. Peters St., 529-5844
Here’s the current menu:
fresh cut French fries $3.
cornbread and baby squash panzanella with cane syrup brined grilled chicken$7.
smoked jerk wings with fresh made potato chips, cilantro lime crema $7.
buffalo chicken confit with a celery and carrot salad, bleu cheese vinaigrette$8.
Korean bbq beef skewers with rice noodle and fresh herb salad$8
housemade andouille sausage po boy with charred onions and Dijon mustard $8.
smoked beef brisket and cheese po boy with homemade bread and butter pickles $8.
b.l.t. (housemade bacon, arugula, fresh tomato, garlic aioli) $7
roasted ratatouille and goat’s cheese quesadilla $8
end of summer peach cobbler with vanilla bean ice cream