Aug 13, 2013

A commoner reviews Mother’s Restaurant, New Orleans

I have a confession.  One main reason I was excited to walk with the Young Curmudgeon to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans was because I knew it would be convenient to stop at Mother’s Restaurant for dinner on the way back.

Stop me if you've heard this before (actually, don’t), but Mother’s is, hands down, one of my favorite places to eat in the Big Easy.  Mother’s has been a New Orleans institution in the Central Business District for more than 70 years, and once you've eaten there it’s easy to understand why.  Apparently, I’m not alone in that assessment, as the walls are lined with pictures of famous visitors through the years.  And if you’re a social media follower, you can keep track of who’s stopping by on their Facebook page.  (I go back for the food and drink pictures, but food has always inspired me more than fame.) 

The "World Famous" Mother's Bloody Mary, spiced just right :-)

My usual Mother’s experience includes their outstanding breakfast, which is served all day.  I tend to vacillate between the shrimp Creole and crawfish etouffe omelet – both are outstanding after a night of carousing, and both pair well with a Mother’s “World Famous” Bloody Mary, which is among the best I've had anywhere (and believe me, I've had my share of Bloody Marys).  For dessert, the bread pudding is a must-have.  It always comes coated in their brandy sauce and literally melts in your mouth.  

This almost never happens ...
On this day, while a little late to have breakfast for my tastes, we arrived at their Poydras Street entrance just in time to beat the dinner crowd and walked right in.  This, by the way, is a rare thing.  On past visits, I've literally waited out the door 20 minutes, then another 30 minutes inside as the line winds its way to the cafeteria-style counter where you order.   

It's usually more like this ...
Yes, Mother’s is that popular, and it’s worth the wait because it’s that good. 

Since it was Monday in New Orleans, dinner was a no-brainer – the red beans and rice special. 

The red beans and rice were piled so high, the plate couldn't hold them!
Yes, this mountain of deliciousness was only $12.  Red beans and rice, your choice of meat (I had ham; most pair it with sausage) and two sides (in an unexplainable fit of healthiness, I chose cabbage and turnip greens).  I could go into great detail about how everything was prepared and seasoned perfectly, but I think you can tell that just by looking at the picture. 

In fact, I enjoyed the challenge of finishing this plate so much that I forgot to take any pictures of the Young Curmudgeon enjoying his Turkey Ferdi po-boy.  It’s a variation of Mother’s “Famous Ferdi Special,” which consists of their off-the-charts excellent baked ham, roast beef and debris (bits of roast beef that falls into the gravy).  You just add turkey for the Turkey Ferdi.  Reportedly, the Young Curmudgeon gave it a strong “thumbs up,” although he ordered his without any mayo or mustard.  It’s so hard to train kids properly these days.  Every po-boy must be properly dressed to be fully appreciated, in my opinion.      

Before I close, you've probably noticed a lot of items on the Mother’s menu are advertised as “world famous.”  That’s not hyperbole.  Again, look at the walls to see who stops by.  They've earned their reputation.  They've also received their fair share of publicity from such media outlets as “Food Paradise” and “Man vs. Food” on the Travel Channel, and too many websites and blogs to mention.            

Mother’s has been practicing good, affordable down-home New Orleans cooking for seven decades, and in my uneducated opinion, I believe they've practically perfected it.  I give them my strongest recommendation for any time you visit the Big Easy.

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