Sunday, March 23, 2008



That would be pig in French. This place is all about the pig, head to tail. We went to Cochon for lunch our last day in New Orleans. We had eaten at another restaurant owned by the chef who runs Cochon. The two places are really different. Herbsaint, the place we had dinner at the night before is a little more stuffy and the food is a little more classic. Both restaurants share a little Cajun/ NOLA flavor of course, but both also stand out very much on their own.

Cochon is a large, bright, open room in the warehouse district. There is a lot of natural wood used in the tables, chairs and benches. We were the first two to get there for lunch, as planned, we had a plane to catch. The young lady that waited on us was good and very informative. She gave us a rundown on most every dish on the menu, pointing out the best sellers as she went. She also explained that this was a Southern restaurant, with many little southern twist here and there on the menu. She also let us know that they prepared everything from scratch. Everything, from curing their own meat to making their own mustard.

Stacey and I ate wood-fire roasted oysters to begin with. They have a wood-fire oven and they know how to use it. The oysters were real good and roasting them is something I have been trying to perfect lately. They were gulf coast oysters, they were just the right size and had that briny taste, as usual. They were roasted to where they were right between raw and cooked. Really good. Everything we ate was good, real good so I’m gonna just tell you what we had to eat and hold off on some of the verbage til the end.

We also had Bloody Marys, they were good but a bit spicy. That makes sense, they called them Cajun Bloody Marys.

We also had the house cured sausage with grits. This came with wood-fire roasted peppers and creole cream cheese.

Cheeks. Yes cheeks! It is considered the best meat on the cochon, pig, if you must. This dish was served with about four pieces of cheek that looked like a nice hunk of pulled pork that had been braised. He put these with a cornbread bean cake with mustard cream. I have never heard of a cornbread bean cake, sounds really southern. I have heard of bean cakes and I plan on finding out more. I noticed a restaurant in my hood has them, more on that place at a later date.

We ordered a plate of greens for a side dish, Stacey loves greens. This came with a few big pieces of cornbread and I swear it was just like Grandma used to make. So much so that I went in the kitchen to see if they had Grandma back there.

There was hardly a thing on the menu I didn’t want to try. Crawfish pie, fried rabbit livers, alligator, ribs, fried pig ear, catfish and brisket. It all sounded good to me.

I walked to the back where there is chefs bar at an open kitchen. I could see a huge fish on a metal platter and what I guessed to be a ramkin full of crawfish, as in pie, both up in the woodfire oven. These guys use spoonbread, pepper jelly, chow chow, hell they don’t just use it they make it all fresh themselves. They cure their own meat. They make their own boudin, andouille, head cheese and smoked bacon. Man you can get ham hocks with hoppin’ john if you want. These guys have really reached back for some really old southern dishes.

Oh yea, one last thing, a fried oyster and smoked bacon sandwich.

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