New Orleans is peppered with bars and restaurants that have been doing their thing for generations. Over time these social institutions have fed, poured drinks, entertained and taken care of New Orleanians and tourists alike. On the edge of the French Quarter or as they like to say on “the border of the Quarter,” stands a bar, restaurant, lounge and all around social oasis called Buffa’s.
A neighborhood bar since 1939, Buffa’s has been a staple for so many morning, noon or night. The Front bar and kitchen are open 24/7 and the seats at the bar are rarely empty. Whether I have stopped in at two in the afternoon for a late breakfast or lunch or two in the morning after an evening listening to music, The Rachel sandwich always brings a smile. The sister sandwich to the Reuben (also on the menu), Rachel is turkey,instead of corned beef, piled high with coleslaw instead of sauerkraut and topped with 1000 island dressing all on toasted rye bread. I add an order of fried green beans with sambal sauce and you have a meal to remember.
The front bar is not all there is to Buffa’s. The back bar is where Buffa’s really struts her stuff. Weekend specials feature a Buen Ano Redfish, A redfish filet topped with rich bacon and black eyed pea relish and a tangy warm coleslaw. Also, watch out for the decadent peanut butter chocolate cheesecake. Saturday and Sunday is the Jazz brunch Buffa’s hosts, featuring live traditional New Orleans Jazz alongside brunch standouts, Redfish croquettes and the Happy Days potatoes, inspired by the Fonz: Home fries topped with dill hollandaise and scrambled eggs. Simple, but oh so delicious.
The music doesn’t stop with brunch. Buffa’s features live music almost every night of the week starting at 5 pm and going until midnight. Some of New Orleans best musicians hold court in the backroom at Buffa’s. The great Pianist Tom McDermott and Saxophonist Aurora Nealand are performing most Thursdays from 8pm-11pm. Check out their music calendar to see the breadth music genres and styles.
Buffa’s is one of those neighborhood New Orleans jewels because it has kept its vision simple. Take care of the neighborhood folks with delicious food, proper full bodied drinks, great music and service that lets you know you are one of Buffa’s neighbors. Located at 1001 Esplanade with the front bar and kitchen 24/7 and the back bar M-F 5pm-close, Sat 11am-close and Sunday 10am-close. So if your in the area, stop by and get you a dose of New Orleans neighborliness.