12.30.16 / THEADVOCATE.COM
Bar food in HD: Finding New Orleans hangouts beyond typical sports bars (including a few family-friendly spots)
IAN MCNULTY| IMCNULTY@THEADVOCATE.COM / Dec. 30, 2015; 0:15 p.m.
The new year is upon us, and with it the customary food and dining ideas for a healthy start. Don’t look for any of that here.
Instead, I bring you burgers and barbecue, chicken wings and tacos and boudin and pizza for a long holiday weekend with lots of football.
New Year’s falls smack in the middle of a majestic run for football fans. The college playoffs are here, the Allstate Sugar Bowl is in our Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Friday, and many other bowl games dot the TV schedule. And if the Saints manage to win Sunday and sweep the Falcons, maybe this desultory season will have a mark of grace after all.
The mainline sports bars will be busy, and of course the convergence of the holiday and the Sugar Bowl means downtown around the Dome will be packed.
That’s fine, but there are other options. The spots below are each good for watching a game, with many TVs tuned to sports. But they aren’t typical sports bars. They’re off the beaten path for visitors, they serve bar food at least a few rungs up from the standard and some (as noted) are even family-friendly.
3021 St. Claude Ave., 504-272-0205
This bar is run by the same crew behind the French Quarter’s famed Molly’s at the Market renown. This explains for the appearance of Molly’s signature frozen Irish coffee at Junction, and even the walk-up sidewalk counter feels like a nod to Decatur Street. But Junction has its own style – namely a Deco rail road motif - and stakes its own claim with an impressive selection of 40 drafts and a specialty burger menu. They start with grass-fed beef from the owners’ family ranch upriver in in St. Amant, La.. They’re mid-sized and succulent without being too greasy, served without fuss from the bar alongside fries and wings. Junction has just a few TVs but the setting is a good one to settle in with a spread of bar food and a sampling from the taps.