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Boucherie


MikeHartnett
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I know eGullet tends to shy away from pure single-restaurant topics, but Boucherie deserves its own. The immobile incarnation of the famed big purple truck outside of Tipitina's, Boucherie takes the food a bit more upscale, with fantastic results.

They're currently open only for lunch, from 11-3 (not sure which days, but they are open on Saturdays) in the old Iris space, and I overheard that they plan to start serving dinner after New Year's. The space is comfortable, but still fairly sparse, which I assume is the result of being open only a few days. I was initially surprised because I expected more of a lunch counter aesthetic, and instead received a sit-down, full service experience.

The menu is fairly compact, with maybe six small plates, the same number of entrees, about three sandwiches, and a single dessert. A menu can only afford to be compact when it hits home runs on most everything, and as far as I've seen, this one does just that. The prices and portions are fantastic, with the small plates running in the mid single digits, and the entrees in the low to mid teens. Grit fries and collard greens, served with spicy vinegar, were an unbelievable combination of textures and flavors, worthy of a more haute establishment. A Caesar salad was classically done, but with the twist of grilled lettuce. BBQ ribs with pickled vegetables and brisket with garlic parmesan fries gave me hope for New Orleans BBQ-- literally, the first good BBQ I've eaten in this city that wasn't my own doing. The single dessert made it clear why there weren't any others: a Thai chili and dark chocolate chess pie with vanilla whipped cream. The crust was light and flaky, the spiciness hit the back of my throat following the creaminess of the dark chocolate. Amazing.

This was a lunch that could have easily been a heartily satisfying dinner, and yet it cost less than half the amount I spent the previous night at the immensely disappointing Herbsaint (a topic for another discussion, I suppose). A lot of restaurants seem to lose sight of the fact that while creativity is nice, tasting good is still what food is primarily about. Boucherie delivers on both counts, being creative for the sake of good taste, rather than in spite of it.

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  • 2 months later...

I just visited Boucherie this weekend and absolutely loved it. I expect to be a regular customer. Had the duck confit in broth - delicious. However, those collards are slap-yo-momma good, absolutely transcendent,and I am a collards snob. Anyone tried the bacon brownies?

Write up with pics at my blog: http://teenagechowhound.blogspot.com/

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  • 3 months later...

Brett Anderson reviews Boucherie in the Times Picayune and gives it three beans. Short take: good food, bad service.

The meal stretched on longer than planned -- much longer, in fact -- but my dining mates and I didn't really mind. Our party had plenty to discuss, and the food easily captured our attention. The wait was worth it.

But does that make it OK?

The answer is no, and how much that knowledge ruffles your feathers depends on how closely you believe the quality of a restaurant's food should correlate to the quality of its entire operation.

Boucherie is nearly impossible to dislike -- but is also unmistakably flawed. It announces the emergence of an exciting chef still in the beginning stages of becoming a restaurateur.

Personally, I haven't had the slow service that Brett got, but I've only gone for lunch. What have others experience?

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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I am certainly biased in the 'if the food is good, I can overlook a lot' fashion, but I feel like Boucherie is not pretending to be a fancy, meet-your-every-need restaurant. The goal is to serve high quality food at a low price. Every time I've been, they've accomplished that.

On top of that, I have NEVER had anything approaching bad service there. Maybe amateurish, or imperfect, but I feel like the price benefits outweigh any minor flaws in the service by miles.

ETA: Upon reading the rest of the review, though, I think he essentially comes to the same conclusion as I did. It's worth dealing with the service for the food. While he seems to put more weight (understandably, as a restaurant critic) in the service than I would, the conclusion is the same: the food is delicious.

Edited by MikeHartnett (log)
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We went at lunch, and toward the end of lunch, so the crowd was thinning out, but we didn't find the service to be especially slow. Any complaints we had were not about the service at all. The dinner experience might be different, or even mid-lunch-rush.

Overall we were quite charmed by Boucherie, and certainly would go back, but we were not as blown away by the food as we were expecting to be. Nothing was bad, but almost everything was a little muted, a little less smoky, less vibrant, less...something, than we had hoped. Mike's assessment of the brownies a few posts back pretty-well summed up our reaction to the whole meal: good but not out of this world.

But we did like the place, and would probably go again on our next visit to New Orleans. And if we lived in the city, it would likely be a regular stop.

Sorry for duplicating photos from another thread, but just so they're easier to find, here was our lunch:

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"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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