I need a Peeeeenoh Grijio
As restaurants continue to explore reopening, it is nice to revisit some of the historical establishments that have made New Orleans the foodie capital of the world. We had a hankering, yes that word is southern and I think we learned it from our Alabama friends, for traditional NOLA Italian food so the big Liuzza's, as opposed to the little Liuzza's next to the race track, was our choice for a weekend lunch.
Liuzza's is nothing fancy as you can see from the formica tables as well as the very sought after Terrazzo flooring that lines both the bar and main dining room, but it sure is typical New Orleans. Things are a little different with the Covid because you currently cannot sit at the bar although makeshift tables have been placed near the bar. Video poker is also out since social distancing on a gambling machine in a restaurant is tough to accomplish. The waitstaff has not changed which offers you some sort of normalcy, and our favorite waitress who shouts out the drink orders to the bartender is still there. If you have never heard her shout "PINOT GRIGIO" on a busy Saturday, it is well worth the trip even if you do not drink that particular flavor of wine.
Second Line Batture Blonde was our drink of choice and the oversized, heavy glass mugs are another favorite feature. It's a two handed lift for the first couple of sips until the glass becomes emptier for a single hand. As for food choices, we have always started out with the Italian salad which has lost its former name because it was not entirely "PC" but the contents are the same. The menu is the same even though you have to read it off a whiteboard at the entrance rather than getting a copy in your hands.
My favorite feature remains the red "bat phone" which hangs at the service entrance to the bar. The phone has no keypad which reminds me of a bygone error when owners did not want employees chatting on the phone during work hours. You can also have your own private history lesson by examining the ads on the formica table tops and learn about "ain't there no more" companies.
3636 Bienville Street