Liuzza’s By the Track

Review by: Michael Stern

The Creole Neighborhood

If you want something good to eat around New Orleans’ Fairgrounds, home of Jazz Fest, look for Liuzza’s by the Track (the Fairgrounds race track, that is). Here you will find one of the city’s best spots to enjoy neighborhood Creole cooking. By neighborhood, I mean Creole cooking that isn’t downtown. In other words, it isn’t fancy.

Creole cuisine does boast such esteemed high-end citadels of tradition as Galatoire’s, Commander’s Palace, Broussard’s, and the original Brennan’s. Many tourists see only this deluxe side of the Creole repertoire. But the city of New Orleans also is home to unpretentious cafes where time-honored cooking traditions are upheld in a more of-the-people way.

You needn’t dress up to come to Luizza’s, nor do you have to bring a wallet full of money. But do bring eager appetite. Here you can tuck into such classic city dishes as shrimp remoulade, Creole gumbo, turtle soup, and po-boy sandwiches. Sit back, relax, and enjoy New Orleans in a cozy way.

New Orleans BBQ Is Different

Listed on the menu as a “house signature dish,” BBQ shrimp are a Crescent City specialty. They don’t resemble BBQ anywhere else. Originally made famous at Pascal’s Manale, these big, garlic-and-butter-dripping shrimp owe more to the strong Italian influence in Creole cookery than to America’s Deep South pit-cooking. Liuzza’s stuffs them and all their savory juices into a big oval roll called a pistolette. The pistolette is another item unique to the Creole menu.

Sunday Brunch

At brunch on Sunday, neighborhood Creole cooking pairs those same buttery BBQ shrimp with stone-ground grits and sprinkles the plate with diced green onions.

In fact, brunch at Liuzza’s demands a special trip. Reminiscent of Brennan’s famed bananas foster, banana bread pudding French toast comes drizzled with a sauce made from banana liqueur. Bayou Benedict draws Cajun flavor into the formula by adding a crawfish boil cake and buttermilk biscuit. They then top the whole shebang with spicy Creole tomato hollandaise.

What To Eat

BBQ Shrimp


Po Boy


Liuzza’s By the Track Recipes


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