Courtside Eats

Situated in the shadow of Orleans Parish Criminal District Court, on the corner of Tulane Avenue and South White Street, it’s an inconspicuous, family-owned neighborhood joint. And unless you’re paying a traffic ticket, getting out of jury duty or maybe even jail, it’s pretty easy to miss Courtside Grill.

This is another restaurant where a lot of food for a little cash is the norm.

An entire box of food and a drink costs less than $6. And that’s the lunch meal – breakfast meals are cheaper than $4.

The menu, while not that expansive, is actually pretty vast and includes everything from hot lunches to traditional po-boys and sandwiches. The variety comes from the number of entrées available to customers who chose a lunch plate.

Really, it’s hard to go wrong with anything on the menu.

On one recent visit, I had a dressed, hot sausage po-boy. Unlike a lot of hot sausage po-boys that can have you chugging Pepto-Bismol shortly after consumption, this one is unique in that it’s spicy enough to be enjoyable, but not hot enough to send your stomach on a wild ride that will only have you parked … um, elsewhere the rest of the day.

In addition to being good, it’s filling. There’s nothing special about the size of the po-boys. They’re relatively standard. But knowing you’re full and you’re wallet’s still just as full is always a plus.

A second visit found me with a box of ribs, green beans and corn. The ribs were bathed in a thick, sweet – but not too sweet – barbecue sauce. The sauce is what made the ribs. The green beans were a surprise, too. The pieces of sausage mixed in were spicy – again, a bearable spicy – and added a little kick to what can sometimes be a bland side item. I found myself wanting more. Much more.

Yet again this month, I found myself with leftovers. It surprising just how much food some restaurants can stuff into a Styrofoam box – when they want to, that is. Courtside obviously wants to please the customers. Victory is theirs.

While this was not as packed as a Verti Marte meal, for example, it was still a whole lot of food for fewer than $6. About equal to the cost of a fast-food meal, better tasting more food and more selection: That works for me.

If nothing else, the atmosphere of the restaurant is welcoming. It’s a small place with a few tables in the dining room, and even after one visit, the operators recognize returing customers. During the day, it’s not uncommon to see Orleans Parish Sheriff’s deputies or New Orleans police officers chowing down. While it’s in their neck of the woods, the location really isn’t that far away from the medical district and downtown office buildings. If you can have a little patience with the parking (there’s not a parking lot, just on-street spots in the neighborhood), it’s worth a trip.

Can’t make it during a workday? Next time you’re getting out of a gut-wrenching trial at Tulane and Broad, stop on in. Food is ready and waiting nearly 12 hours a day, six days a week.

Courtside Grill
2800 Tulane Ave.
(504) 822-8050
6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Saturday

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