A slew of local restaurants have recently upped the lunch game allowing for exciting, diverse dining options often at value-driven prices. Check them out.

Marjie’s Grill (320 S Broad Ave, 603.2234, marjiesgrill.com) offers a unique take on the meat-and-three lunch. The cost of your lunch is based on the number of sides you select – one for $13, two for $16, three for $19. First, select a protein – such as honey-butter yard bird rubbed with chili and garlic, slow-roasted over hardwood coals and glazed with Louisiana honey; peel-and-eat jumbo Gulf shrimp marinated with garlic and chili, and served with lime and herbs; or buttermilk-fried wild Des Allemandes catfish crusted with heirloom corn flour and served with a zippy buttermilk dipping sauce – then select one, two or three sides, which include coal-roasted sweet potatoes finished with cane syrup and sea salt; cucumber and melon Som Tam salad with chili vinaigrette, lime and herbs; grilled Alabama sweet corn slathered with lemongrass sambal butter; Louisiana field greens with olive oil and satsuma; grilled shishito peppers; and grilled okra.

Compere Lapin (535 Tchoupitoulas St., 599.2119, comperelapin.com) is now offering a $30 two-course prix-fixe lunch on weekdays. Choose from one first course lunch offering and one specialty second course item. First course offerings include beet & carrot salad with pecans; cold smoked tuna tartare with avocado and crispy bananas; whipped ricotta with roasted apples, truffle honey and pine nuts; and marinated shrimp with roasted jalapeno jus. Second course items include pumpkin agnolotti with curry granola; snapper with roasted squash and Brussels sprouts; and hot fire chicken sandwich with pickles.

Tantalizing lunch offerings at Toups Meatery ( 845 N. Carrollton Ave., 252.4999, toupsmeatery.com) include confit lamb belly with sumac yogurt, and green tomato chow chow; smoked salmon melt with dill, fontina, and fried capers; pastrami Reuben with gruyere, braised onions, and pickled slaw; turmeric poached shrimp salad with charred green beans, radishes, ginger dressing; and the Chef’s Lunch of boudin, burger and a beer is only $23. Lunch is served Tuesday – Friday.

Why should adults have all the fun? Chef Isaac Toups, undoubtedly under pressure from his two gustatory-minded young daughters, Poppy and Ivy, recently added a Kids Menu to the offerings at Toups’ Meatery. The menu is perfect for pre and post visits to the nearby Louisiana Children’s Museum in City Park. Offerings include ham and grilled cheese; butter and cheese noodles; chicken tenders (grilled or fried); and grilled or fried Gulf shrimp. All selections are served with house-made chips. The Kids Menu is now available daily during lunch and dinner.

A major bargain, beautiful Copper Vine (1001 Poydras St., 208-9535, coppervinewine.com) offers lunch on weekdays. The lunch menu has a pick-two option for the unbeatable price of $13. Guests may combine two of the following lunch items: baby herbs salad – seasonal fruit, candied pecans, house cheese, citrus vinaigrette; chicken & boudin gumbo; tomato basil soup – egg, Serrano ham, micro basil; half of a smoked chicken salad club sandwich – Chisesi ham, bacon provolone, butter lettuce, heirloom tomato; half of a Copper Vine Cuban – Chisesi ham, house smoked pork loin, pickled peppers, provolone, yellow mustard; or half fried shrimp poor boy – white Gulf shrimp, pepper jelly, tasso ham, pickled okra.

With offers this exciting there is no excuse for enduring a boring mid-day salad or a ho-hum sandwich at your desk. Get out and enjoy this glorious weather. It will not last forever.


Have a great weekend, everyone. Use it to celebrate the people and the community you love.