Merchant (#275, 9/3/13) – 56
In the quest to eat at every restaurant in New Orleans, I am slowly knocking off a string of lunch stops in the Central Business District. My latest stop was Merchant on Common Street.
It’s a very basic lunch stop with a counter with about 8-10 seats. You order at the register and can sit at the counter and watch them make your food. There’s also a large picnic-table type seating spot. It’s an open, bright area, but quite small, doesn’t look like that space was ever intended to be a restaurant but someone forced it in. I wasn’t a big fan of the seats at the counter – they’re bar stools, but they are locked down with a foot rest, so if you have longer legs, it’s kind of hard to sit comfortably at them. Not awful though. So overall atmosphere, well, it’s open and clean, so will give it a 15 out of 30 (seats took away a few points).
The menu is somewhat limited, which isn’t all bad. I went for the prosciutto sandwich; it appears all sandwiches are pressed on either a baguette or “sprouted grain bread” (not sure what that might be). The guy recommended going baguette because with their current press, the other bread wouldn’t hold up well – and I like that. I appreciate when they give you advice like that. Anyway, the sandwich was very good and I heard the kale n’ beans sandwich was also good (though I may doubt a little bit, I’m not sure kale is actually supposed to be eaten). Each sandwich came with a small side salad as well and that was decent. I’m not sure if it was worth $12, but it was good, so I won’t knock the price. One warning is I saw other reviews said the crepes are not enough food at all. For me though, the food was solid, I’ll give it a 27 our of 50 on food.
As far as service, again, I’ve seen other reviews saying it’s slow, but no issues for us. Since there was nobody else waiting for food (bad sign that a CBD lunch spot has very few customers at noon?), ours was very quick. In and out in less than 30 minutes. As noted above, the guy serving gave a solid recommendation as well. So good service; I’ll give them a 14 out of 20.
Final scored = 56.