Working in the New Orleans central business district certainly has its advantages and disadvantages. Sure, parking is always miserable, unless you’ve hit the big time and have your own parking space, but we all know that’s about as rare as I like my steak. On the bright side, with as many restaurants that are scattered around the downtown area, you’re pretty much guaranteed plenty of delicious lunch options, all within walking distance.
A few weeks ago, I took advantage of the sunny weather and the few extra dollars in my pocket and treated myself to a sandwich from Green Goddess, located on Exchange Place off of Bienville. After reviewing the menu several times, I settled on the Cuban Luau sandwich with a side of the French Duck Fat Potatoes. I called in my to-go order and was thrilled when they said it would only take 15 minutes, which is about how long it was going to take me to walk there.
As I walked in, the first thing I noticed was the temperature of the restaurant. The kitchen is open, creating a good amount of heat, and I don’t think they were rockin’ any air conditioning, but the place was packed! Big tables of people were laughing and enjoying themselves inside, and nearly every table outside was taken. Climbing summer temperatures outside and a packed restaurant with no AC, in my mind, could only mean one thing–that the food was awesome. And it was! My Cuban Luau sandwich came with pulled pork, artisanal salami, manchego cheese, banana peppers and roasted pineapple on pressed ciabatta bread. It was a beautiful blend of so many flavors, from the smokiness of the pork to the sweetness of the pineapple and the pickled banana peppers mixed with the creamy, salty manchego, my taste buds were definitely dancing. The duck fat potatoes, though they sound like they’d be incredibly heavy, were surprisingly light. They slice the potatoes so thin that you can almost see right through them, they’re just the right amount of oily and salty, and come with two delicious dipping sauces, which makes trying to stop eating them kind of hard. I suggest splitting an order with one or two other people.
I must say, having a lunch like this everyday, well, I could get used to it. Of course, most days out of the week I bring last night’s leftovers, Lean Cuisine pizza (they really aren’t bad!), or I go fancy and get a Subway sandwich. But on this particular day, the lingering taste of the Cuban Luau’s sweet and smokey goodness definitely made the work day go by a whole lot faster.