Want to see New Orleans like a local? As a visitor, you will probably never experience a backyard crawfish boil – you will never know the joys chasing your sister around with a live crawfish – but seeing crawfish boiling in the window of the Original French Market Restaurant & Bar, and eating it just seconds after it comes out of the pot, comes pretty darn close.
Since 1965, this eatery on the corner of Decatur and St Phillip streets has been giving visitors from all around the world a taste of the real New Orleans. We dropped by last Friday night and can confirm: it’s still as unpretentious and delicious as it ever was.
The Original French Market Restaurant and Bar has been in the Marullo family since 1965. While a restaurant had been on this corner for over 150 years before that, we think the reason the Marullos have been so successful is because they insist on cooking everything from scratch. There are no canned sauces, powdered mixes, or frozen anything in their kitchen, and the Marullos have longstanding relationships with local distributors who bring them only the freshest and biggest shrimp and oysters available. Plus, many of the Creole recipes on the Marullo’s menu were handed down by the current owner’s grandmother, Annie Marullo, who owned a restaurant in Grand Isle in the 1940s with her husband Anthony Marullo Sr.
Along with great boiled crawfish and shrimp, you’ll find a lot to love on the menu. The St. Phillip’s Fried Green Tomatoes, topped with sweet pepper crawfish sauce, are a must try. The Crawfish Etouffée is perfect in every way. And the Eggplant and Crab Pasta is exquisite.
The bar is a lot of fun, too. Come in for a Louisiana Lemonade (made with Don Q Limon, fresh lemon and lime juices, simple syrup, soda and grenadine) or experiencethe Cajun Nooner, our favorite (made with Absolut Mandarin Vodka, Bayou Satsuma Liqueur, Sweet Community Iced Tea and garnished with an orange slice).
Of course, everything on the menu tastes that much better when enjoyed on the restaurant’s balcony, overlooking the famous gold statue of Joan of Arc and the beignet and bustle of the French Market.
Next time you’re in town, follow the scent of the crawfish boil to the Original French Market Restaurant & Bar. It may just be the closest you come to experiencing the real New Orleans.
See Our Best of Guide: Crawfish
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