I’m not much of a beer drinker, but my go to dive bar in New Orleans is still Cooter Browns, home of 400 bottle brands, and over 80 beers on tap. The beer list rotates on occasion. It’s a laid back sports bar in the uptown area, on the St Charles streetcar, and an occasionally busy hang out for Tulane and Loyola students.
They have fresh oysters, usually pretty cheap, and a kitchen that turns out local favorites including po boys, burgers, and the ubiquitous New Orleans sandwich, the muffaletta. If you’re not familiar with that tasty bite, it was developed by and for Italian immigrants in the early 1900s, essentially a meal on a bun, good for toting off to the job, or eating while balanced on a precarious produce carton in the French Market.
It starts with a 9″ round seeded loaf of bread, has layers of Italian lunch meats including salami, ham, mortadella, provolone and mozzarella. Before putting on the top half of the loaf, the sandwich is covered with an olive salad, a melange of olives, garlic, celery, cauliflower and olive oil….some recipes add peppers. Some places heat the sandwich, some don’t, and it’s sold in whole, half, and quarter portions many places.
I can’t really tell you why Cooter’s muff is my favorite, just is. It’s also the place for wicked bar food like cheese fries and wings. The complete menu is online.