Sometimes in life, there’s nothing better than a good soup-sandwich combo.
As we’ve detailed before in our article about The Sammich on Maple Street, New Orleans has always been a city infatuated with delicious things between two pieces of bread. Recently, though, we’ve gone through a sandwich renaissance the likes of which have never been seen before in this city.
Whereas at one time we were relegated to the po-boy, we now have a number of options to choose from, depending on your style. Between Stein’s, The Milk Bar, St. James Cheese Company and several others, a sandwich place is almost always within arms reach.
But where there’s supply, there’s demand. That’s where Maple Street Patisserie comes into play. What was once a quaint bakery on Maple Street has quickly evolved into a quasi-chain of (soon to be) three restaurants, all serving similar but different menu items and each with slightly different names.
Besides the original Maple Street Patisserie, co-owners Patricia-Ann Donohue and Ziggy Chichowski recently opened Maple Street Patisserie et Bistro inside of the former American Chicle building on Earhart Boulevard in the Hollygrove area. They will also open Maple Street Patisserie et Deli in the former Artz Bagelz location on Magazine Street.
We went to the one on Earhart, and we were not disappointed.
Right off the bat, the atmosphere had me. Before you even walk in the door, you’re awestruck at how beautiful the building is, especially considering that it’s been abandoned since Katrina.
The inside bares a nice juxtaposition from the historic outside. Though modern and sleek, it’s spacious, clean and comfortable. The entrance looks like your run-of-the-mill bakery, but opens into a huge dining area.
On top of the pastries, breads, and decadent sweets, Maple Street Patisserie et Bistro serves breakfast, lunch, and brunch on weekend. The menu revolves around three staples: sandwich, soup, and breakfast.
If the soup-sandwich combo is your lunch of choice, this place is for you. Sandwich options include slow roasted beef, applewood smoked turkey with bacon jam (awesome, I know), and “grandma’s meatballs” with fresh mozzarella, amongst others. Though the soup menu is limited (French onion soup and a soup of the day) it impresses nonetheless. Even better, they’re served in mini-cast iron pots.
Any sandwich lover will tell you that the bread is a make or break for any sandwich. And because Maple Street Patisserie et Bistro also serves as a bakery, the bread is fresh and delicious.
Having said that, no sandwich is complete without a well-crafted combination of ingredients. This place does exactly that. All of the ingredients, from the pastrami to the mustard, are made from scratch and the menu emphasizes locally grown produce.
Though the food is great overall, you might want to consider going somewhere else if you are a vegetarian or a vegan. There’s only one vegetarian sandwich, the grilled cheese, and not one vegan product. I personally don’t care, but vegetarians be warned.
Overall, the food won’t blow you away, but is great nonetheless. I know it’s tough, but there are other bread-and-meat options besides a po’ boy. Give it a try.