Frankly, New Orleans has more options for the discerning diner per capita than any city in the south - so many, in fact, it's easy to get lost in the shuffle - and pay the price for your ignorance! Not so at Mena's - no restaurant in the Quarter even comes close to offering such fine cuisine at astonishingly low prices that are nothing less than noble - trust me on this one.
I once worked at Mena's, and I can assure you that the owner/chef, Leo, was a real stickler for fresh, quality ingredients - right down to the table salt - and it shows.
The coffee's hot, the beer is cold, the plate lunches are tremendous and the po'boys are the stuff of local legend - all served with a sort of "kooky" Greek atmosphere and attitude that is somewhat hurried, somewhat comedic, but always charming.
That said - want more? Leo has THE two most beautiful daughters in the city working behind the bar - the eldest is the spitting image of Renoir's "Madame Henriot" - while the younger is literally a mix of Sarah Michelle Gellar (heads up!) and Sophia Loren (you can guess the rest...)
The line forms here, fellas...
Stand aside, cowboy...
Favorite Dish: Po'boys, catfish, fried or baked chicken, stuffed peppers (you won't believe!), muffalettas, fresh salads, red beans and rice with sausage - you name it, it's swell!
Ahh, Mena's...As a local, I have a firm opinion of what a good po-boy is and Mena's is my place of choice. This is a traditional casual po-boy shop that also offers all your other favorites like red beans and rice, gumbo and panned meat (breaded veal cutlet). It is not fancy place but I look forward to it as much as when I'm going to Commander's Palace. There's lots of great standards to fill your belly and make you fee like you just left yo' momma's house.
Favorite Dish: Roast Beef Po-Boy Dressed ("Dressed" means lettuce, tomato and mayo)
Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce
I used to eat here for lunch when I was working in the French Quarter one summer in between semesters; the prices are reasonable and the soups and dishes are really flavorful. It's a favorite of the locals - and New Orleans is a town where the locals know best which restaurants serve the good food!
Recommended for breakfast or lunch - very casual, diner type atmosphere. Don't be surprised to find it crowded and a waiting line.