The Second Line
2144 Monroe Ave
Last Wednesday I convinced the family to go to The Second Line for dinner. The Second Line is Kelly English's new casual New Orleans style restaurant, next door to Iris. I think I have been more excited about this restaurant opening than any other. My mom is from New Orleans and New Orleans food just feels like home to me. After our successful meal at Iris, the monkeys (Satchel, 11, and Jiro, 9) were almost as excited as I was.
We arrived around 6:30pm. (I'd hoped to get there closer to 6:00.) The restaurant was already full with several people waiting. We were told 20-25 minutes, which seemed totally do-able. The monkeys were a little amped up, so I sent them to wait outside with Warren.
I stood by the bar and chatted with a few people I knew. Most everyone at the bar was doing more eating than drinking.
Even though we were having a bit of unseasonably warm weather, the patio was not open. (You could go out there, but they weren't serving.) It's going to be really amazing when it's warm for real.
Kelly was making the rounds so I chatted with him too. He seemed calm and confident, as he should, which was a good sign.
Then I grabbed a menu, and started deciding what to order. I knocked on the outside window and motioned for the boys to come in and look too. (They thought our table was ready, so they were disappointed when I just handed them a menu. Warren went back outside when he realized what I was up to.)
Both Satchel and Jiro wanted a roast beef po-boy, but Satchel was insistent that he absolutely did not want to share it. *Sigh*
Thankfully, Jiro is the nicest person in our family and was happy to explore other menu options. He eventually decided to try the Verno, which features braised chicken thighs, one of his favorites.
Kelly came around again, and this time the monkeys got to meet him. They were really a little star struck, which was cute. They wanted me to ask him if he had a million dollars!
We were seated by 7:00pm and we had our awesome waitress from our previous visit to Iris. Everyone was happy. Warren and I started with a couple of High Cotton beers, which I love. ESB for him, biere de garde for me.
(I noticed Brice, one of the High Cotton brewers, at the bar a little later.)
Beer is the only alcohol available at present, but you can bring in wine. Once they get their liquor license, they have a great cocktail menu ready to roll out.
We put in our food order by 7:15pm and then settled in.
The monkeys were pretty hungry by now, so I had to keep them busy. We decided to challenge Warren to a hot sauce taste test with the three hot sauces on the table--Crystal, Louisiana and Tabasco. It ended up being a lot harder than he expected.
By the time we were done, our appetizer was ready. Andouille, crawfish, and pimento cheese fries!
Jiro took one look and said, "That is beautiful." After a few bites Satchel said, "This is equal to Iris if not better."
Oh how I love taking them out to eat when they are hungry!
I'm not sure what was going on, or if it was anything but the restaurant just being slammed, but we did have a pretty good lull before our entrees came. Our waitress was really great about checking in and giving us updates. At one point she said there was a goof up with Warren's oyster po-boy and gave us an oyster salad to nosh on. Fine by me! (This is also on the menu at Iris.)
The monkeys were all, mmmmyummymmmm wait what is this? Once we told them it was oysters they lost interest. Oh well, more for me and Warren!
While we were waiting, Satchel looked around and said, "I bet 50% of the people here are drunk." Since I was on my second beer, I did not argue with him.
Our po-boys finally came out around 8:15pm and we wasted no time digging in. Here's Satchel's roast beef.
Inspired by the "og french fry and gravy" sandwich on the menu, he immediately added fries.
Very happy camper.
Here's Jiro's Verno with a side of cheese grits.
The po-boys are pretty massive as you can see.
Another happy camper.
Warren got the oyster po-boy, like I mentioned, with the crazy ass slaw. "Ass!" the monkeys giggled over and over.
Warren said the slaw was Asian-y.
Finally, I had the fried shrimp po-boy with onion rings. It was perfection.
Neither monkey could finish ther po-boy, so I will definitely make the case for sharing next time. Warren and I had no problem finishing ours. We actually did halfsies, which was super smart.
Satchel needed to go to the restroom, and requested that I go with him since the restaurant was so crowded. There was a problem with the bathrooms, so Jeff, the manager, ushered us through the connecting kitchen into Iris to use the ones over there. I think this impromptu kitchen tour was the highlight of Satchel's night. Well, maybe second to actually meeting Kelly.
Our total bill was $83.00 plus tip, so Second Line is not exactly going to be a place where the four of us regularly dine together, but I plan to be there every chance I get.
In fact, I went back on Saturday with friends and tried the gulf shrimp midnight snack. I highly recommend you drop what you are doing and go get one now!
Right now the Second Line opens at 4:00pm every day, but I believe there are plans to serve lunch on the weekends in the future. They are getting pretty crazy crowds everyday, so plan to go early, enjoy a beer while you wait, and be patient as they fine tune their system. I have no doubt that The Second Line will soon be the toast of the town.
I love it.
My only complaint is that there is no gumbo!! But! I hear it's coming soon.