Where’s the beef? At these Corner Bars in New Orleans and its Suburbs
Sure, New Orleans has its classic steakhouses, and they’re great for what they are. But if you think those are the only places to get a delicious cut of beef, you’re probably in the middle of a series of big missed steaks.
While the tradition seems to be less well-known than in days past, there are still plenty of bars around the Crescent City and its suburbs that offer at least a weekly steak night, offering filet mignon or other delicious cuts at prices that won’t break the bank. And while the steak specials are presumably an incentive to bring people into bars on what otherwise might be slower nights, there’s no pressure to order a drink — as fans of Netflix’s “I Think You Should Leave” know, “they can’t stop you from ordering a steak and a glass of water.”
If you’d prefer to dine at home, many of these locations will happily sell you a steak to go.
Here are a few of the best steak nights (and a steak day) around New Orleans, but check with your neighborhood taverns to see if they’re running any steak or other specials, since many are still adjusting their menus as pandemic restrictions ease.
This ultra-cozy Lakeview neighborhood bar just off Canal Boulevard proudly dates its history back to 1937, shortly after the end of Prohibition. It offers a few different specials during the week, but the one we’re concerned about is Monday steak night, when you can get a 12-ounce ribeye for $15 or an eight-ounce for $20, cooked as rare or well done as you wish and served up with a side of mashed potatoes and a vegetable.
The multiroom bar with Midwestern rec room-style wood paneling and an outdoor patio is typically relatively quiet on a non-football Monday, and, if you come promptly at 6 p.m. when they begin to set up steaks, you can often find neighborhood locals playing along with “Jeopardy!”
Whenever I’ve visited this classic Jefferson Parish haunt with anyone who grew up in Metairie, they knew at least one other customer in the bar. But all, including New Orleans transplants, are welcome, including on Wednesdays and Saturdays, when notably juicy, well-seasoned eight-ounce filets are served up with salad and mashed potatoes for $13.99 from 6 until 11 p.m. If you’re looking to maximize your savings on drinks as well as steak, remember that happy hour lasts until 7 p.m.
If you haven’t been to the Swamp Room in a while, remember that the bar moved to this new, glossier and arguably less swampy location in late 2019, though the menu and at least some of the alligator decor remains the same. And if you or anyone in your group isn’t interested in steak or you happen to come outside of steak hours (since the Swamp Room is also known for its late night dining), the bar’s signature “swamp burgers,” wings, and appetizers are also excellent.
Don’t let the name fool you: The Harbor doesn’t actually adjoin any body of water, except possibly in the case of bad street flooding, though in fairness it is just a few blocks from the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. And while this bar might best be known for its 12-ounce burgers available late into the night, Thursday is steak day, with a filet, garlic mashed potatoes, salad, and garlic bread available for $16.50 while supplies last.
Since the restaurant opens at 11 a.m., you can technically visit steak night at the Swamp Room and, in under 12 hours, be enjoying a second discount filet courtesy of The Harbor, but after careful research, this is probably not advised unless you are writing an article about steak specials and coming against a deadline.
The steak special is dine-in only, but there are plenty of places to sit at the bar or in the dining rooms, as well as a few outdoor tables.
Yes, it’s another Wednesday night filet mignon on Veterans in Metairie, running from 6 p.m. until the bar closes or runs out of steak. But Moby’s, which naturally is decorated with a whale-themed logo, gives off a decidedly different vibe from Swamp Room.
While Swamp Room feels like more of a regional food hub, Moby’s is more of a neighborhood bar. On a recent visit, the bartender was kind enough to guide me and my dining companion to another bar (Vinnie’s Caddyshack Bar & Grill, at 3217 Ridgelake Dr.) for dessert. Also, the mashed potatoes are excellent, and while I personally needed to add some Worcestershire to my steak, others preferring a plainer serving of meat will doubtless enjoy it as is.
Tuesday night is steak night at this late night lower Decatur Street haunt that’s probably better known for serving up pizza and burgers to service industry workers coming off shift and people needing a snack after a night of carousing in nearby bars and music venues.
The special is an eight-ounce filet mignon for $16.25, served up with a cheesy potato and a slice of buttery bread. Tuesday isn’t the only night steak is available: ribeyes are served up all the time, but it is the only night to grab a cheap filet mignon right in the French Quarter. And, if you find yourself running late, remember that steak night typically continues while supplies last, even after midnight when the calendar has technically rolled into Wednesday.
If you don’t think of Chalmette as a food destination, you’re honestly missing out. MeMe’s (not to be confused with Mimi’s in the Marigny, of course) is just a few blocks from increasingly popular Thai food destination Secret Thai and near to numerous other restaurants worth exploring.
And while you certainly can come in and sit at the bar in shorts and t-shirt, as I and others did, MeMe’s is a bit more high end than some of the other steak night venues, so you’ll see couples dressed up and enjoying date night across white tablecloths. Steak night also works a bit differently at MeMe’s: instead of getting a discount on the steak itself, with options starting with a petite six-ounce filet at $29.95, you get a free side salad or glass of wine with the steak. All MeMe’s steaks also come with mashed potatoes.