New Orleans restaurants offer college-budget meals without the college student scene

Tyler Mead, Staff Reporter Maricela Murillo

Though restaurants like Dat Dog and The Milk Bar hold a special place in Tulane students’ hearts, there are a myriad of other restaurants in the surrounding areas that merit attention. From dining available on a college budget to more expensive restaurants more suited for your visiting parents’ wallets, The Arcade deems these establishments some of the best in the city.

Elizabeth’s

Brunch holds a special place in New Orleans’ heart, and one of the best brunch spots in New Orleans is Elizabeth’s. Located at 601 Gallier St., Elizabeth’s can be a bit of a haul, but is well worth it. The two-story restaurant comes right out of a yuppie’s dream. From the outside, Elizabeth’s appears to be an old house, but its interior is warm and welcoming, with large tables and signs with proclamations like, “Real food. Done real good.”

The signs do not lie. Elizabeth’s brunch menu offers everything from fried chicken livers and eggs to savory breakfast po’boys. But Elizabeth’s number one menu item is the French toast stuffed with bananas foster and praline bacon. It’s a classic French toast filled with rich banana cream cheese filling and topped with an equally decadent caramel sauce. The praline and bacon combine in the ultimate sweet and savory bite. The dish costs an affordable $16.

Sukho Thai

Sukho Thai’s lofty, modern atmosphere and ample space make it a perfect Saturday night gathering place. Waiter Cameron Holmes explains exactly how Sukho caters to the college crowds. “We have a great lunch menu and dinner, we have great drink specials, $5 cocktails on Sunday and on Wednesday night we have 50 percent off all our bottles of wine,” Holmes said. “Dinner portions are very large, so you can bring friends and split plates. Food is spicy, music’s good, service is better.” Sukho also delivers directly to your residence hall through NOLA Food Delivery.

Most of Sukho Thai’s vegetables and herbs are grown in a small but lusciously green garden in the back of the restaurant or in the owner’s personal garden at his home in the city. The cobblestone back lot is overfilled with stalks of lemongrass, overrun with Thai spinach, and is decorated with bright red and orange chiles.

Sukho’s Pad Thai is the perfect combination of sweet and savory, topped with golden brown peanuts and interspersed with bright green highlights of scallions, all coated in a slightly tangy tamarind sauce and served piping hot in a reusable plastic container.

Midway Pizza

Midway Pizza on Freret Street is located just ten minutes or so away from campus by bike, and is incredibly college student-friendly. Its pizzas are large, economical and easy to share with friends.

“We do a variety of specials,” General Manager John Rae said. “We do a half-priced pizza after 8 p.m. on Mondays that’s definitely designed not only for the neighborhood, just specifically for the college crowd. Happy hour, now that’s Monday through Friday, pretty traditional time, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.”

The pizza selection contains everything from vegetarian options like the Don Flamenco to meat heavy dishes like the Money Pie to classic New Orleans cuisine laid out on a circle of dough, specifically the King Creole.

“Probably 25 percent of [the customer base] is college students or college-age,” Rae said. “For instance I’d say probably a third of our delivery [last night] was up to the university. I know Tulane is going to be drawing a big crowd this year with their football program, so we are hoping to work on maybe tailoring some type of special to that this year.”

The restaurant has ample space, a very large bar, and a cozy, neighborhood feel. Both college students and families of four alike enjoy dinner and happy hour at Midway Pizza.

K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen

Parents are great for funding dinners out, so let them pay for only the best. K-Paul’s is located in the French Quarter at 416 Chartres St. and is a gateway meal to Creole cuisine. Renowned chef Paul Prudhomme opened K-Paul’s with his late wife K in 1979. Since then, it has been serving up quintessential New Orleans dishes, some of which chef Prudhomme invented.

The restaurant can be a bit crowded, and you’ll need a reservation, but once the bread arrives at the table, it’s clear why. The kitchen bakes assortments of fresh bread every day and guests can receive anything from jalapeno cheddar cornbread to cinnamon muffins. Along with Creole favorites like fried green tomatoes and jambalaya, Prudhomme also serves up a mean pan-fried rabbit appetizer that will never let you look at a bunny again without your mouth watering. Prudhomme also invented the technique of blackening fish, and the drum served at K-Paul’s will be a solid standard in New Orleans for years to come.