We ran by the brand new St Roch Market last weekend to survey the lay of the land, look into eating from the host of New Orleans chefs, cooks and con men who hoodwinked the brain trust running the market into letting them set up shop, and see if we needed to be worried about getting our asses shot off in the neighborhood that a few years ago was referred to as “the killing fields”

Glowering Girl

Glowering Girl

The 5th District is regularly getting its shit rocked by local thugs who prey on residents, visitors and passersby who are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

We Don't Like Peaches But These Sure Were Pretty

We Don’t Like Peaches But These Sure Were Pretty

It was just one year ago that nearby St Roch Tavern was robbed by two young gentleman who walked in with pistols and relieved the bar of its days proceeds as well as absconding with the belongings of three patrons.

Young Tuba Man

Young Tuba Man

Let’s not kid ourselves into believing that the St Roch neighborhood is in anyway “safe”St Roch Market

But we’re a rough and tumble crew who regularly take our lives in our hands in the 9th Ward so it was just another day at the office for these young bucks.

The Life Of A Restaurant Worker

The Life Of A Restaurant Worker

Rolling up on the new market we were chuffed to see a marching band out front as well as a host of cheerleaders doing jumping jacks.

Cheering Can Be Intense

Cheering Can Be Intense

Our kind of scene.

Kriss Doll Of Shank Charcuterie

Kriss Doll Of Shank Charcuterie

New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu gave a brief pronouncement and we were off to the races. Over the course of the next two hours we ate at a handful of food stalls scattered across the facility. Here’s our take:

Sweetheart Counter Girl At Dirty Dishes

Sweetheart Counter Girl At Dirty Dishes

First the bad news: Elysian Seafood (run by Brandon Blackwell formerly of Upperline and Jennifer Sherrod x-Martinique Bistro) was one of the vendors we were most excited by but their food was the only disappointment in the room. Roasted Louisiana Gulf Shrimp sounded divine but the three small shrimp provided zero value for the just-under-ten-dollar tariff.

Wee Shrimp

Wee Shrimp

These shrimps had been cooked, cooked, then cooked some more and had turned into a mealy mess by the time they hit our gullets. We have full faith in this restaurant and will give them another chance in the future. Let’s hope they have replaced the mini-shrimps with some big, plump 10-15 counts and get them out of the oven in a more timely manner on next visit.
New Orleans Musical Future Is Secure

New Orleans Musical Future Is Secure

Next up, PDR NOLA. The couple running this booth put the best plate of food we had all morning long in front of us. Billed as Curry Braised Chicken Wings, their bird was on point, perfectly cooked and served in a yeoman portion. Not pretty in the least but man did it eat good. We can’t wait to eat from the kitchen of Rita Bernhardt and William Barial again soon.

Child Dancer At St Roch Market

Child Dancer At St Roch Market

The best build-out in the entire market is the raw bar that houses Curious Oyster Company (Melissa Martin and Effie Michot).

The Shucker At Curious Oyster Company

The Shucker At Curious Oyster Company

As soon as we sat down one of the ladies brought out a warm basket of Bellegarde bread with Steen cane syrup butter and two tall, cold glasses of water. Hospitality deluxe.
Gawd The Crab Claws At Curious Oyster Company Were Good

Gawd The Crab Claws At Curious Oyster Company Were Good

We immediately vectored in on the marinated crab claws and raw oysters (Gulf-only please) and sat back as the oyster man provided steady patter about his life in the New Orleans restaurant scene. Cool cat, nice ladies; their food was bone-jarringly simple and delicious.
A Troupe Of Cheerleaders At St Roch Market

A Troupe Of Cheerleaders At St Roch Market

We grew up eating crepes and were chuffed at the prospect of sitting down at the table of Artis and Leslie Turner at the Dirty Dishes crepe stall.

Dirty Dishes NOLA In The St Roch Market

Dirty Dishes NOLA In The St Roch Market

The couple had planned to make waffles at St Roch but waffle irons are forbidden at the market so the couple had to do an about face and come up with a new angle. We ordered the Dirty Cheesecake crepe and a few minutes later were on the business end of a massive, perfectly-cooked crepe stuffed with strawberries and cheesecake filling. We’re dyed in the wool gluttons and this sweet treat was an embolism to our consciousness. So good.
The Crowd At St Roch Market

The Crowd At St Roch Market

We visited a couple other booths that had promising sounding items that were unfortunately already sold out.

Will There Always Be Cheerleaders At St Roch Market?

Will There Always Be Cheerleaders At St Roch Market?

We were totally sprung over the KFC Chicken at Koreole but the nice lady running the booth had already ran out of what we imagined was an homage to the Colonel himself.
We Love The Rough And Ready St Roch Tavern

We Love The Rough And Ready St Roch Tavern

Lagos, an African booth had run dry on their tankard of Cow Foot soup.

Lagos Nigerian Cuisine In New Orleans

Lagos Nigerian Cuisine In New Orleans

Something to look forward to in the future we reckon.

A Fancy Lad Relaxes At St Roch Market

A Fancy Lad Relaxes At St Roch Market

We eat off the King Creole food truck at least once a week so we felt no need to visit Chef Micah Martello’s stall.

Chef Micah Martello Of King Creole

Chef Micah Martello Of King Creole

He’s putting out one of the best shrimp and grits in New Orleans and we can’t wait to try his high dollar ($22) muffaletta. If anybody can build value into that radical price it’s Martello as his portions border on the absurd.
Certified Louisiana Produce Is Available At St Roch Market

Certified Louisiana Produce Is Available At St Roch Market

We’re really looking forward to visiting Shank from charcutiere Kriss Doll. His meat cabinet was strung full of some gorgeous cured hog flesh and we know this man to be devoted to the craft. Plus he looks like a complete psychopath, something we find really charming in our butchers.

Rita Bernhardt Of PDR NOLA

Rita Bernhardt Of PDR NOLA

Coast Roast Coffee provided us with a dirt cheap, ice coffee. We’ve always marveled over how when coffee is turned from hot to cold all of a sudden it’s value increases manifold. Not so at Coast Roast. They’re not into screwing their patrons.

Maggi bouillon cubes are pure umami bombs

Maggi bouillon cubes are pure umami bombs

We missed out on visiting a few vendors at St Roch Market but we live in the neighborhood so it was no great tragedy.

Affable Giant William Barial of PDR NOLA

Affable Giant William Barial of PDR NOLA

What will be a tragedy will be when the gun thugs figure out there’s a new option in St Roch for them to ply their deadly trade.st roch market

We would never let that deter us from visiting the market however.st roch market

But we couldn’t help but wonder how long some of the vendors would last in their new digs. Running any kind of business from 9am to 11pm 7 days a week is going to be an unbelievable grind unless you’re staffed to the rafters. Top flight, hardy, durable help is almost impossible to get in New Orleans these days with new restaurants opening each and every week.

It’s going to be interesting to look at the lineup in St Roch Market one year from now.

What Year Did St Roch Market Originally Open?

What Year Did St Roch Market Originally Open?

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