Dining Features

Schiro’s, a Marigny mainstay
A fixture in the Marigny, Schiro’s has been in business for more than 100 years. It’s a café, bar, Laundromat, bed-and-breakfast and it also sells groceries, beer and wine. The food served is mainly indigenous to New Orleans as well as India. Manager Zak Rahman says Schiro’s has a café atmosphere, with a hand-painted bar and a funky art-deco feel. “It’s very Bohemian,” he says. “It’s artsy, funky and elegant at the same time.”
The bed-and-breakfast above the restaurant has a “romantic, peaceful atmosphere,” he adds.
Signature dishes he recommends are the curry and vindaloo with shrimp, chicken or lamb. “The daily lunch and dinner specials are always excellent as well,” he says.
Schiro’s appeals to people from all walks of life. “They stop in for lunch, dinner and meals in-between. We have homemade cakes and bread pudding and a fantastic chocolate mango cheesecake.”
Information, 945-4425, 2483 Royal St., www.schiroscafe.com.  –Sarah Ravits

Parkway’s Poor Boys
Parkway Bakery has been a local legacy for years, known for serving “every kind of poor boy you can imagine,” says owner Jay Nix. Though Parkway was once renowned for its roast beef poor boy, it’s now known for innovative sandwiches, including the Cuban poor boy and one that contains fried soft-shell crab. This month, the restaurant will begin serving a Chicago-style hot dog poor boy and a Chicago Vienna Beef Pastrami poor boy. Executive chef Justin Kennedy also makes desserts including rum cake and banana pudding.
But it’s not just the sandwiches that garner praise; the atmosphere too is unique, putting customers at ease for a relaxing meal.
 “The bar has the feel of the 1890s – the dining room is like Mama’s kitchen; the patio dining takes on a feel of the islands and the outside covered seating feels like Jazz Fest!” Parkway offers “good food at a fair price, a good atmosphere and a friendly staff,” says Nix.
Information, 482-3047, 538 Hagan Ave. –Sarah Ravits

Gourmet lunch at Gambino’s
For a quick summer lunch that won’t leave your inner gourmet high-and-dry, head to Café Gambino. Owned by Michael Varisco and open Monday through Sunday from 11 to 3, the cafe relies in large part on its lunches for survival, and has perfected them accordingly. Chef Wanda McKinney offers a trio of noontime specials priced at only $7.50, but there’s no skimping on quality; the value is “exceptional in today’s economy,” McKinney says.
Specials include Wednesday’s crawfish enchiladas, Tuesday’s pan-seared fresh calf liver accompanied by a side of caramelized onions, grits or mashed potatoes; Friday requires the tough choice between crabmeat au gratin, barbecued shrimp and fried catfish. Beer and wine are also available, making the restaurant an ideal spot for a low-key Sunday brunch.
Additionally, everything on the menu, with the exception of the pasta, is made in-house.
Pieces from award-winning local artists hang on the walls, and are rotated out regularly every six weeks for the enjoyment of the patrons and for the benefit of emerging talent and wine receptions are hosted on Saturday nights, 6-9 p.m., to kick off the artists’ new “exhibits.”
Information, 4821 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 835-9717.  – Carrie Marks

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