Dining Out: The Green Goddess

Green Goddess

Photo by Caitlyn Ridenour.

To call The Green Goddess funky would be like saying Louis Armstrong just played the trumpet. The restaurant combines the talents of Paul Artigues and Chris DeBarr to create a multi-disciplinary album of cuisines, favors, and techniques. In an area of the city most associated classic Creole cuisine, this French Quarter gem is in a category of its own.

Artigues presides over the brunch/lunch menu, which ranges from shrimp and grits to poached eggs and Creole queso fresco over corn tortillas and fruity, soft pads of cactus. Leftovers from dinner are transformed in delightful ways, such as the bacon and bison meatloaf sandwich tucked between thick slices of bread, slathered in Creole mustard and topped with bacon. When available, the heirloom tomato stuffed with boudin makes a wonderful lunch, with a creamy dressing and peppery arugula surrounding the main attraction.

Chef Chris delivers an evening menu so diverse and eclectic that visitors from all over the globe will feel welcome. Uthappam, an Indian lentil pancake, shares space with duck sausage and mashed sweet potatoes, a.k.a. Louisiana “Bangers and Mash.” Hawaiian-style pork wrapped in banana leaves mix with an Irish cheddar grilled cheese while the table next to you sears beef tri-tip on a brick of Himalayan salt. The place follows no rhyme or reason at dinner, improvising its own cuisine as the audience waits for them to strike a wrong chord.

That rarely happens. But when it does, as in duck-fat-fried potatoes that were a soggy mess, the waiters/cooks are more than willing to swap out the item or take it off the check. Those checks can run a little high, but prices are still lower than other Vieux Carre restaurants that are cooking this innovatively.