Food falls from the sky at New Orleans’ largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration, with a torrent of cabbage and potatoes and carrots flung from the floats as the Irish Channel parade progresses on Saturday.
While coveted along the route, you’ll want something else to soak up the drinks that may go along with the celebration or power you through the long parade day.
The Irish Channel is the center of the action for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations on Saturday. The neighborhood also is a very good place to eat before, during and after.
Two key spots, Parasol’s and Tracey’s, each hold their own adjacent block parties and are bustling hubs for grub and grog during the parade. When you’re looking for spots to actually sit down with a meal to soak it all up, here are more recommendations along the Irish Channel stretch of the route, which reveal some menu tie-ins to St. Patrick’s Day, intentional or otherwise. We follow the parade route downriver in this order:
3336 Magazine St., (504) 324-2226
The Magazine Street version of Dat Dog transferred the successful strategy and feel-good vibe of the original pretty much whole. There’s the menu of sausages from around the world, a colorful cornucopia of toppings, the cheese fries variations, and a big outdoor patio reminiscent of a beer garden. All of this is well-suited for parade day noshing. To keep with the theme of the day, get the Guinness dog, with Ireland’s famous stout cooked into the link and dressed up with mustard, onions, crumbled bacon and cheddar.
Amici Ristorante & Bar
3218 Magazine St., (504) 300-1250
Pizza is a traditional choice to soak up some beer, though the pizza at Amici is a bit different because it’s cooked in a coal-fired oven. The crust crunches, crackles and is laced with mild campfire smokiness, with a texture that pulls a little when you bite in but remains crisp. Order a pie with broccoli rabe, the garlicky Italian greens, and you can color coordinate with the theme of the day.
3001 Magazine St., (504) 891-0997
The Creole-Italian neighborhood mix on the menu is matched by a setting that’s come-as-you-are casual (beads, cabbage haul and all). Though corned beef and cabbage is usually a Monday special, the kitchen adds it to the rotation on the Irish Channel parade day too, as well as St. Patrick’s Day itself. And remember, while a voluminous Joey K’s margarita served up a frozen schooner glass isn’t particularly Irish, it is green.
3025 Magazine St., New Orleans, (504) 520-8311
Last year, Sucre introduced the St. Paddy Cake, a holiday crossover dessert. It’s a brioche king cake formed into a Celtic knot with an Irish whiskey glaze and chocolate and salted caramel inside (along with a shamrock doubloon in place of the plastic baby). King cake traditionalists may be aghast at another example of the king cake removed from its seasonal Carnival context. But if everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, maybe a king cake can be, too.
3100 Magazine St., (504) 373-6579
GG’s Dine-O-Rama, previously known as Gott’s Gourmet, changed up its style a bit but kept the same freewheeling spirit on its menu. That means a unique take on comfort food, to the tune of the “St. Patrick’s Day massacre” sandwich, an onslaught of corned beef, fries and slaw on rye; more composed salads, like one with grilled asparagus and generous bouquets of prosciutto over greens; and a banana split bread pudding that’s just plain fun.
District: Donuts Sliders Brew
2209 Magazine St., (504) 570-6945
Sliders are fun, and this modern combination burger grill/doughnut shop/coffee bar makes them distinctively, too. Doughnuts here are more like high-concept cakes in miniature, and if you can imagine a leprechaun burger, well in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, these scaled-down sandwiches can fit the bill.
Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter, @IanMcNultyNOLA.