Booty’s* (#286, 1/13/14) – 66
An interesting place in the Bywater is Booty’s Street Food. I like the concept of Booty’s a lot; basically, the owner has worked and traveled all over the world, so he is trying to bring different basic “street” foods to one place in New Orleans. Don’t go here looking for New Orleans-style food; this is the place for non-New Orleans food. Although don’t be surprised if something New Orleans pops up. I understand the menu is changing constantly, so always worth checking in to see if there’s something new that interests you.
Having said that, the biggest problem we had was that things were not available that we expected/hoped to see, so the online menu may not always be up-to-date. For instance, online reviews talked of the best ceviche in town, but it wasn’t available (this wasn’t on menu either, so not knocking them, just saying). The shrimp tacos, from the menu, sounded good, but they were moving away from any shrimp (due to some sort of shortage, apparently). Thinking fish tacos would be a good substitute, but they didn’t have that. Interestingly, there were no fish products on the menu at all, which seems crazy in New Orleans (of course, see above, not serving “New Orleans” food). None of this is a big deal unless you’re trying to eat vegetarian or pescatarian. In that case, you get a salad, I guess.
Being a dedicated carnivore, I opted for the moros y cerdo (from Havana, Cuba, 23-08′N, 82-23′W; if I could figure out how to make the “degree” symbol, the latitude/longitude would make more sense). This was a tasty pork dish with rice, avocado and chimichurri sauce (each dish has its traditional name and where it’s from, but also, a very helpful description of what it is). Not only was it very good, but it could also be made without pork for the vegetarian population. They have a variety of pepper sauces from around the world and I sampled them all. Not sure which one I liked best, but it was kind of yellow colored, so go with that. I’d like to go back and try some different things, but based on what I had, I’ll give it a 28 on food. Ohh, prices are all pretty much under $10, so it’s reasonable, but again….for a small mason jar of iced tea, it was $3! Since this is common now, I won’t knock Booty’s, but what is with these places? Do they hate making iced tea? Do they figure everyone will just pay it without noticing? I’m adding a New Year’s Resolution of no paying for iced tea!
The atmosphere was good here as well. It fits into the Bywater neighborhood, so a little hipster, very casual-type place. It has a good-sized bar and seating for 20 or so, I’d say. I’ll give it a 22 for atmosphere.
There were lots of complaints about service online, but I didn’t have any problems. I guess it’s not a place to go if in a big hurry (and keep in mind, it’s way out in the Bywater, not going to be a convenient run from the CBD for a one-hour lunch break). Not only weren’t there problems, but they gave us a free drink that they were experimenting with. It was a pinkish color and had mezcal and some sort of Peruvian brandy-style liquor in it. Not sure I would order it, but always like free samples. I’m going with a 16 out of 20 on service.
Final score = 66.