SoBou is the newest addition to the Commander’s Palace family of restaurants led by Ti Martin and Executive Chef Tory McPhail. The chef de cuisine is Juan Carlos Gonzales, a native of Puerto Rico. “SoBou” apparently is an abbreviation for “South of Bourbon” – never mind that its location on Chartres Street is east of Bourbon Street. I guess in a directionally challenged city where you have to head east to go to the west bank, it just doesn’t matter. Plus, "EaBou" simply doesn’t work.
|SoBou front dining room|
|SoBou back dining room|
I had a chance to have lunch with a friend at SoBou recently. The menu is divided into sections including “Snacky Things,” “Soups & Salads,” “Small Bites,” “Not So Small Bites,” “Sides,” and “Sweets.” And Monday – Friday from 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. “Two Bit Cocktails,” which include vodka or gin martini, pink gin, commander’s palace cha cha, pink elephants on parade are available with the purchase of an entrée. That’s right, 25 cent cocktails! Three’s the limit though – “because that’s enough.”
We chose to participate in the lunch COOLinary menu - $20 for two courses. I had the cochon de lait gumbo with a scoop of potato salad as my 1st course. The gumbo is thick and rich with a bit of a smoky barbecue flavor. While that may sound odd – it was delicious. For her 1st course, my friend chose the crispy oyster taco with compressed pineapple ceviche, mirliton & Cajun ghost pepper caviar. Even though the oysters weren’t exactly “crispy” because of the sauce – they were damn good! I’d go back just for the oyster tacos.
|SoBou crispy oyster taco|
|SoBou cochon du lait gumbo with potato salad|
As entrees with both ordered the SoBou burger – a 4 ounce patty on a small brioche bun topped with sautéed onions and pepper jack cheese. The burger had a good flavor but was difficult to eat – the onions on top of the cheese made for a slippery mess.
|SoBou burger with pickled okra|
My friend had 75 cents worth of pink elephants on parade, crafted by bar chef, Abigail Gullo. Let’s just say, she was seeing pink elephants when we left. :)
|Pink elephant on parade|
SoBou, located in the W Hotel French Quarter at 310 Rue Chartres, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, 7 days a week. For more information call 504.552.4095.