Gambit's 2012 Winter Restaurant Guide: Latin American


BARU BISTRO & TAPAS 3700 Magazine St., 895-2225; The pato en guayabao is guava-glazed duck breast served with roasted garlic mofongo (fried plantains), grilled asparagus and dark rum reduction. Mazorco is roasted corn with salao cheese, pink sauce and potato sticks. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sunday. Credit cards. $$

BRAZILIAN MARKET & CAFE 2424 Williams Blvd., Suite N, Kenner, 468-3533This market offers a range of traditional Brazilian dishes, including coxinha, which are deep fried fritters made with spiced and floured shredded chicken. Feijoada is a traditional black bean and pork stew made with salted pork, smoked pork ribs and smoked sausage and served with collard greens, orange slices and rice sprinkled with tapioca flour (farofa). Reservations accepted for large parties. Breakfast and lunch daily, early dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

CARMO 527 Julia St., 875-4132; www.cafecarmo.comThe Rico is a grilled plantain patty topped with melted panella cheese, spicy passion fruit pork, salsa fresca, avocado and tangy sweet Rico sauce. Acaraje is a black-eyed pea fritter stuffed with a spicy cashew and peanut paste, shrimp and salsa fresca. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

COUNTRY FLAME 620 Iberville St., 522-1138Country Flame is an inexpensive cantina offering a mix of Mexican and Cuban favorites. The ropa viejo is a traditional Cuban version of stewed shredded beef over rice. The classic Cuban sandwich features pressed ham, roasted pork and cheese. Delivery available. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

LA MACARENA PUPUSERIA AND LATIN CAFE 8120 Hampson St., 862-5252; www.pupusasnew-orleans.comLa Macarena serves Salvadoran pupusas and an array of Latin dishes. The house guacamole is made with organic avocados and lime juice and served with corn chips. Flounder Manny features pan-seared Mayan-spiced Nordic flounder topped with Spanish garlic shrimp and served with yellow rice and tropical salad. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

MAYAS 2027 Magazine St., 309-3401; www.mojitoland.comBaked Chilean sea bass is topped with a soft-shell crab, sweet and savory soy, and served with jumbo Gulf shrimp, asparagus, rice and jalapeno sazon sauce. Brazilian moqueca is a traditional dish that combines sauteed jumbo Gulf shrimp, scallops or mahi mahi with baked fresh onions, tomatoes, garlic, fresh squeezed lime, coconut milk and piri piri (spicy chili sauce) with rice or French bread. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Sat., brunch Sat. Credit cards.  $$$

MOJITO'S RUM BAR & GRILL 437 Esplanade Ave., 252-4800; The Caribbean cantina serves Latin and Creole dishes and offers a large selection of rums. Jamaican grilled pork chops are marinated in jerk seasoning and served with mango applesauce, black beans and rice. Pan-seared Aruba scallops come with white chocolate chipotle sauce, jalapeno cheese grits and vegetables. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch Sat.-Sun., dinner and late-night daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

SERRANOS SALSA COMPANY Clearview Mall, 4436 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 780-2354; www.serranos-salsacompany.comSerranos serves Mexican and Latin favorites and has a specialty margarita menu. Brazilian fried calamari takes the traditional appetizer and adds cilantro, Serrano peppers and garlic. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sunday. Credit cards. $$

THE STORE 814 Gravier St., 322-2446; www.thestoreneworleans.comA taco bar at this CBD cafe features 30 different items, including chorizo, blackened shrimp, Cuban pounded chicken and pulled pork. Coleslaw, radishes and hearts of palm are among the vegetarian-friendly toppings. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

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