Monday, January 11, 2010

San Diego: New Orleans Creole Cafe

When you think about creole/cajun food, the first think that comes to mind is gumbo. Almost anyone can make gumbo at home, but no one can make a muffuletta like they do in New Orleans.

So what's a muffuletta? It's basically a New Orleans sandwich which consists of marinated olive salad, layers of capicola, salami, mortadella, emmentaler, and provolone, all in a round Sicilian breaf loaf. The muffuletta is my ultimate sandwich. I was fortunate to try the real thing while visiting New Orleans a few years back.

Whenever Marc and I have a creole craving, there is only one place that we go to in San Diego, the New Orleans Creole Cafe.

This little cafe is located in the historic Old Town San Diego, considered the birthplace of California.

Warning: The cafe sits right next door to the Whaley house. According to the Travel Channel’s America’s Most Haunted, the Whaley House is the number one most haunted house in the United States.

The cafe's formal dining room is a restored landmark of San Diego's first drug store.

Visitors have the option to dine in the indoor dining room or outdoor patio. We think the best seat in the house is the single table located right next to the kitchen. This is what I consider, the chef's table (shown above next to the Open signage).

The table setting is simple with a Southern flare. We love eating here for its unpretentious atmosphere and home cooked meals. Literally, the cafe has a small kitchen with a staff of two maybe three people.

We start off with traditional iced sweet tea.

Loaves of sliced french bread with butter was served in a bread basket to go along with our first course.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo with Shrimp - $6.75

New Orleans richest soup made with a dark roux and savory spices.

French Onion Soup - $6.75
Beef consume and onions, a touch of garlic and provalone cheese over french bread.

Fried Shrimp Po-Boy Sandwich - $13.75
Golden brown shrimp, served with cocktail sauce on a French baquette.

Quarter Muffuletta - $10.75
In-house made olive salad, sourdough roll, honey ham, salami and provolone cheese.

Afterthoughts: Although service is limited, it doesn't deter us from coming here. It's basically the only place in San Diego to get a decent muffuletta. It may not be like the one from Central Grocery, but it's pretty darn tasty. Did you see the shrimp on that po-boy! They're huge. No skimpy shrimp used here. The gumbo is as authentic as you can get.

The food, the atmosphere was just the way we like it.

Things to know:
  • The cafe is located in the historic Old Town San Diego, next to the Whaley House. Free parking is located across the street on Harney St.
  • Hours: Monday & Tuesday, lunch only; Thursday - Sunday: 11:30 am - 8:oo pm, Closed on Wednesday.
  • Price Range: $$
  • This place can get busy on the weekends so call to make a reservation.
  • Service can be a bit slow but it's worth the wait.
2476 A San Diego Avenue
San Diego, CA 92110
619. 542.1698


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