(From the travel archives of Burgerdogboy) Heading out to Bucktown for seafood is a local tradition in the Crescent City; Bucktown is roughly at the end of Canal Street, on Lake Pontchartrain, it used to be the hub of the fishing fleet, and a town where a young “buck” could sew his wild oats, get a tattoo or three, and have a beer while eating the local catch.
If tourists happen out to that neighborhood, they invariably end up at Deanie’s or Syd-Mars, two long-established restaurants renowned for piled platters of poisson and other creatures that swim. Deep fried, of course.
A relative newcomer, R&O’s, (previous review) is also in the neighborhood, but has only been serving up seafood for the past 20 years. A mere babe in the bucktown bevy of bars and cafes. (Yes, it IS alliteration day – did you know that y’day was “Speak Like a Pirate Day?” Arggggh).
R&O started serving boiled seafood in the back of a small grocery store, expanded to a new building, then expanded to a newer building.
For a town that is steeped with Italian tradition, New Orleans is sometimes a difficult place to find a good pizza, but fortunately, R&O fills the void. If you get tired of menus chock-a-block full of “deep fried everything,” you might try the Italian specialties at R&O. (But of course they do have all manners of local seafood, po-boys, and dinner entrees, as well).
They serve a variety of pastas and “ala parmesan” dishes, but I did go specifically for the pizza, which comes in thin or thick crusts, with diameters of 8, 12, or 14 inches. Basic price for a large is a very economical 8.85 for thin, 9.45 for thick.
If you wonder whether I ordered “thick” or “thin,” you haven’t read many of my posts!
With an attention to basics, you won’t find any of those pukey non-pizza ingredients available – there isn’t a sun-dried tomato, piece of pineapple, or a shred of chicken to be found anywhere on the menu. There is, however, very traditional hand-formed, fennel-laced Italian sausage; a good pepperoni that doesn’t cup or char in the oven, and fresh chopped garlic. And of course, anchovies for you purists.
I always say the “true test” for the quality of a pizza is how it tastes the next day, after sitting in the box, on the counter all night.
At 4AM Saturday morning, 16 hours after it came out of the oven, I am pleased to be able to pronounce R&O’s pie “superb.”
As much as I like discovering the “new places” this city has to offer, sometimes it’s just as much fun to discover the old ones.
R&O is at 216 Old Hammond Hwy, officially a Metairie address, but just go out to the end of Canal Street, turn left at Robert E. Lee, and you’ll run into it. Open til 10P Sun-Thurs, and 11 on Fridays and Saturdays, you can fax in your order in advance, which probably isn’t a bad idea – there is invariably a lengthy wait for tables at the lunch hour. Their phone is 831-1248.