NEW ORLEANS – It was New Year’s Eve 2009. I had just landed in NOLA, and I needed to find a place to eat. I checked Urbanspoon, but in a city as gastronomically dense as this one, a list of hotspots only complicates matters more.
So I decided to follow my nose.
I wandered around the Warehouse District reading menus in windows, but nothing struck me. Then I smelled something. The odors of roasting pork and toasting bread formed a cloud that grabbed me by the nostrils and yanked me into Cochon Butcher. The woman behind the counter recommended the pork belly sandwich, and then she mixed me an Old Fashioned. From that moment, I was hooked.
I’ve probably been back a dozen times since. When I want to take someone to lunch in New Orleans and look like an insider, I take them to Butcher. Its next-door big brother, Cochon, gets more publicity, but Butcher – also home to the late-night Swine Bar – feels like a secret spot even though anyone with a working nose can find it.