Sunday, February 21, 2010

American Sector (Chef John Besh) New Orleans

The American Sector
Chef John Besh
945 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Sun-Thursday: 11 a.m.- 9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

By Jane Feehan

Chef John Besh scores again with his American Sector restaurant at the National WWII Museum. It’s fun, the food is great and it adds a perfect ending to a day at the museum. If you’re not into WWII but would like to sample American food a la 1940s with a dash of Louisiana thrown in – go.

Soups, salads, sandwiches, milk shakes, sweets, and main courses make this establishment worthy of a visit for anyone, any time of the day. Sloppy Joes, slow cooked beef tongue, and house-made bologna sandwiches are just a smattering of lunch offerings. Delivered on wooden blocks and more than six inches high, sandwiches are big enough to share.

Those hankering for a hot meal can choose from a menu of chicken and dumplings, meatloaf, spaghetti and meat balls, pork cheeks, blue crab and sausage stew, shrimp creole and more. I ordered the Crispy Buster Crabs with baked jalepeño cheese grits –soft shelled crabs tempura fried - and it was scrumptious. I brought more than half of it home for dinner. Dessert for me was Sector Jacks: house-made cracker jacks in an American Sector box replete with a toy soldier, and served with house-made ice cream.

For children under 12, lunch ($7) is served with fries, a cookie, soft drink and a surprise. To the delight of some little ones I watched, their meals were delivered in large lunch boxes.

Lunch boxes and Sector Jacks are just part of the fun eating here. American Sector is as much about the experience as the food. Servers and hostesses dress in 1940s garb, music from the war decade plays continuously and men dressed in vintage military uniforms drop in and walk through the dining room.

The adjacent Stage Door Canteen presents a jazz and swing music performance on Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday matinee for $30. American Sector is a great place for a pre-show meal or Sunday brunch. The full bar – a large square affair in the main dining area – offers a complete list of New Orleans favs: Sazerac cocktail, Ramos’ Gin Fizz, Salty Dog, Mint Julep and plenty more. Reservations suggested. Restaurant will deduct price of parking at museum-designated parking lots. Bring receipt and show before bill arrives. ©2010 Jane Feehan All rights reserved. See my post about another Besh establishment, Domenica. (Search box). Other Besh Restaurants: August; Besh Steaks, Lüke, La Provence.

Tags: New Orleans restaurants, New Orleans restaurant reviews, New Orleans dining

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