Brasa Churrasqueria

2037 Metairie Road, Metairie, (504) 570-6338

Through the swinging kitchen doors you can catch a glimpse of Brasa’s burning heart. That’s la parrilla, the grill, and you can taste its influence all across the menu. Brasa has enough beef to qualify as a steakhouse, but it’s more versatile and fills a unique local role as an upscale showcase for South American flavor. La parrilla puts its aromatic mark on steaks, and also whole fish, chicken, sweetbreads and chorizo, corn and carrots and even strawberries paired with cream for dessert. The mid-century modern design fits its old Metairie neighborhood to a T-bone. Dinner Tue.-Sun. $$$$

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Picanha steak is a classic South American cut served at Brasa Churrasqueria in Old Metairie.

Carmo

527 Julia St., (504) 875-4132

Carmo is a casual, colorful, low-key joint that has also quietly become one of the city’s most innovative restaurants. Its unifying theme is “tropical,” which doesn’t imply a specific region so much as a fresh, verdant style. Staples from chef Christine Honn’s native Brazil turn up, like the black-eyed pea croquettes. Caribbean-inspired smoked pork and plantain sandwiches and Thai-style fermented tea leaf salads also share the table. The raw bar is masterful with ceviche and tiraditos. Sourcing is pristine, and the omnivorous kitchen is vegan-friendly. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Sat. $$

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Honduran enchiladas are prepared on flat corn tortillas at Norma's, a grocery and deli in Mid-City and Kenner.

Norma’s Sweets Bakery

2925 Bienville St., (504) 309-5401; and 3221 Georgia Ave., Kenner, (504) 467-4309

For the city’s best Cuban sandwich, a box of pastries or meat pies for the next party and for a glimpse of Latino immigrant life in New Orleans today, this grocery store and deli is a must. There’s a small seating area inside, between the money order counter and a bakery that produces sandwich rolls and Technicolor cakes that are sugary enough to kick any kid’s party into overdrive. The deli is mostly about Central American flavors, with hangover-killing soups by the quart and pupusas and bargain baleadas hand-formed while you wait. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. $


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