This nonprofit, which provides at-risk teens with work experience, serves up great food in an appropriately informal setting. Well-lit and bustling from breakfast through lunch, this busy room is packed early with city workers and downtown executives. Teenage "waiters-in-training" receive guidance from more experienced servers, so be patient during peak hours.
Classic New Orleans dishes rotate though a consistent workweek schedule, with other simple lunch-counter fare (soups, salads, po'boys) filling out the bill. The chicken and sausage gumbo is a spicy comfort any time of year, especially when followed by a spicy slab of tomato-smothered meat loaf and real mashed potatoes (Monday) or creamy white beans and shrimp (a Thursday must). Crispy salads are big enough to split between two diners, as are the irresistible Brie and roasted pepper po'boys. All desserts come with a sizeable dollop of rich, sweetened whipped cream that borders on perfectly mousse-like.
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