WE WERE FORTUNATE to get dinner reservations at Tujague’s on Sunday evening. Established in 1856, it is the second oldest restaurant in New Orleans. In case you are wondering, Antoine’s is the oldest by sixteen years—1840. Both restaurants are located in the French Quarter.
In existence before New Orleans even bore its name, Tujague’s restaurant has survived decades of war, depression, fire, and plague.Tujague’s
Tujague’s Serves Up Cuisine Dating Back to Old New Orleans – Creole Style
Table d’hôtewas the only menu served at Tujague’s from 1856-2013. Step back into history and partake in the five-course tradition.
- 1st Course – Shrimp Rémoulade
- 2nd Course – Gumbo or Turtle Soup
- 3rd Course – Brisket Appetizer
- 4th Course –Entrée
- 5th Course – Bread Pudding
- Gulf Fish Lorraine, which is blackened gulf fish, Tujague’s court bouillon, crawfish rice, green tomato chow-chow
- Grilled Lamb Chops with braised red cabbage, whipped goat cheese, roasted pecans, pomegranate molasses, herbs
- Shrimp and Grits—Parmesan stone-ground grits, andouille, baby shrimp, roasted peppers, jumbo head-on shrimp, New Orleans-style BBQ sauce
- Roasted Airline Chicken features Joyce Farms airline chicken breast, mashed potatoes, roasted corn, crispy potato crumbs, chicken jus, grilled green onion
- Pimento Cheeseburger—brisket chuck with pimento cheese and pickles.
Other Creole Fare
- Charbroiled Oysters
- Crawfish and Goat Cheese Crêpes
- Deep-fried Brussels Sprouts
- Pork Belly
- Boudin Ballshouse
- Boiled Brisket
- Oysters Braden which are crispy corn fried oysters
LARRY IS MORE ADVENTUROUS in trying new foods than I am. He, of course, tried the turtle soup. I dipped my spoon in it to say I tried it, but Larry actually enjoyed it. He also chose Tujague’s boiled brisket, which was prepared cajun style. I had the chicken airline for my entre. The chicken breast was coated in potato chips—yummy idea!
But it was the dessert that I was most looking forward to—bread pudding Tujague’s style. I love bread pudding, and Tujague’s did not disappoint. They prepared theirs with blueberries and white chocolate.
A Historic Restaurant
AS I WROTE AT THE OUTSET, Tujague’s is New Orleans’ second oldest restaurant. Tujagues’s is the birthplace of brunch and has the oldest stand-up bar in America.
Tujague’s history is steeped in food lore—with ghost stories, butchers’ tales, and presidential visits. When the restaurant opened adjacent to New Orleans’ first public market in 1856, local workers came daily to enjoy a mid-day “butcher’s breakfast” now known as brunch.
Trademark dishes from their earliest days include Spicy Shrimp Remoulade and Boiled Beef Brisket, and Chicken Bonne Femme.
Cocktails are equally crucial to Tujague’s history; the Grasshopper was created behind the stand-up bar—ithe oldest in America.
More About the Bar
TUJAGUE’S claims the oldest stand-up bar in America dating back to 1856.
The original bar was located at 823 Decatur Street and featured a mirror that stood behind the bar is said to be older than the United States itself. It was brought over from France in 1856 from a Parisian cafe. It was already ninety years old before arriving in New Orleans, making it now over 250 years old.
America’s oldest stand-up bar can also be credited with the Grasshopper Cocktail. Invented by Philip Guichet in 1918, the cocktail includes white and green crème de menthe, white and dark crème de cacao, heavy whipping cream, and brandy. It was created for a cocktail competition in New York City, where it came in second place.
After a fire, the restaurant moved four blocks down to 429 Decatur Street. The antique mirror was too fragile to be able to make the journey. But the original foot rail, light fixtures, and the large portrait of Otis Guichet made the trip.
In addition to the Grasshopper, other classics cocktails offered include Sazerac (see yesterday’s blog)and Ramos gin fizz.
TUJAGUE’S offers a cookbook, Tujague’s Cookbook: Creole Recipes and Lore in the New Orleans Grand Tradition by Poppy Tooker, copyright 2015. The cookbook features creole food and old New Orleans lore. The book is available on Amazon.
Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse
WE ALSO DINED AT Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse in the French Quarter. They do know their steaks and coconut cake. The next time you’re in New Orleans, do give them a try. Reservations are a must.
How to Make a Grasshopper Cocktail
IN CLOSING TODAY, here’s the recipe for the Grasshopper cocktail.
- Primary alcohol: Creme de cacao and Creme de menthe
- 3 cl creme de menthe (green in color), 3 cl creme de cacao (white), and 3 cl cream
- Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake briskly and then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
I’ll post other recipes from the Big Easy.
The Write Stuff
Looking at life from a different point of view.