Coop's Place

It seems like I visit New Orleans just as often as I visit Pensacola these days. It sure felt like it. This time, four of my friends, a new acquaintance and I decide to spend the weekend before Fat Tuesday in the Crescent City.  We started out our trip with lunch at Panda King, the push cart dim sum place I've blogged about before. But it's really dinner that I wanted to blog about.  One person in our group asked a clerk at a voodoo shop where we should go for dinner and she recommended Coop's Place on Decatur Street. If you've been to French Quarter, then it's just a few block away from Cafe Du Monde.  The nicest way to describe this place is a straight up dive. Being out of towners, we gauge the popularity of this place with the number of people waiting outside.  There's about seven people.  Being the friendly sort, I walked up to the nice, BIG biker and asked if Coop's is any good.  He tells me, it's the best "damn" place to eat in the French Quarter. Alright then, I guess he likes the place.  After looking over the menu, we decide it's worth a try and get in line.

If you were counting, there's six of us on this little trip.  Our table turned out to be this rickety 4 top with steel lawn-style chairs. Needless to say it was a pretty tight fit.  I don't think my knees were underneath the table at any point and time. As is most dive bars, it's not really one of those places you take your family with small kids too. But for a few friends out looking for a bite to eat before letting loose on Bourbon St. it couldn't be a better place to start the night. 

For the appetizer, we all agreed on the crab meat stuffed jalapeƱo peppers. I thought it was be stuffed with just a little crab mixed with a lot of cream cheese. Instead it was exactly like the name, jalapeno peppers stuffed full with crab meat.  It was served with a horseradish sauce which was also very good. We also ordered the Bayou appetizer.  It's a mix of fried crawfish, oysters, shrimp and crab claws The plate it was served on (traditional desert plate) was full.  The order we got failed to have oysters, darn but everything else was good.  One of the girls said the shrimp wasn't cook thoroughly.  I didn't try the shrimp it was the crab claws and fried crawfish I was more interested in.

Remember that big biker guy? Since he was so nice the first time, I also asked him what he recommends from Coop's. Mr. Biker says he gets the Rabbit and Sausage Jambalaya every time. It's just a traditional jambalaya made with rabbit meat instead. Then, I saw the Jambalaya Supreme.  It's the rabbit and sausage dish that's "dressed up" with shrimp.crawfish and tasso.  Tasso is a boston butt that has been rubbed with a special mix of spices. smoked and then pulled apart.  I didn't taste the dish first and heaped chili sauce right on top. Turns out, the jambalaya is already pretty spicy. I still liked it though.  It was a very meaty dish. The tasso was especially good.  It was like a little flavor burst in your mouth when you eat a bite. The shrimp on top wasn't up to par. I thought it tasted a little rubbery.  Overall, Mr. Biker was right. The jambalaya was very good.

One of our group tried the pasta jambalaya.  It has shrimp, smoked sausage and tasso in a creole sauce.  I didn't try any so this is based on observation only.  The pasta looked like a linguine, very large and wide. It basically dwarf everything else.  The creole sauce also had a lot of okra and big chunky tomatoes. I don't know how it tasted but the person who ordered it didn't eat very much.

The surprisingly simple yet delicious dish is the Cajun Fried Chicken.  It's your basic chicken seasoned with Coop's special blend of seasoning. The chicken was very moist, the breading thin and there was a perfect amount of seasoning.  It was the BEST fried chicken I ever had. In fact, we ordered four more drumsticks at the end of the meal for later. The chicken is served with a side of rabbit and sausage jambalaya and cole slow. Perfect.

Like most restaurants in the French Quarter in Downtown Mobile, Coop's raised their prices for Mardi Gras. The meal wasn't ridiculous but for the portion it was pretty high, The total ticket cost just about $120 with tip. I checked out their website and each dish was hiked up 1 to 3 dollars. Not too bad though.  I will try this place again, but it will have to depend on exactly who I go with.  Coop's is one of those hole in the wall places where you have to just focus on the deliciousness of the food and not the overall atmosphere.

For Coop's Place full menu click here.
Coop's Place on Urbanspoon


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