New Orleans-- If you end up at Luca Eats on Cohn Street, you will find a place serving up big, big flavors and a positive vibe. Owner, Darryl Cortello has been working in the restaurant business since he was fourteen years-old. Cortello and his wife, Ellen had the goal to create a place with a cafe/coffee shop feel and a fresh from scratch approach to its dishes.
The menu is very straight forward. Luca Eats' serves up salads, sandwiches, great sides, breakfast sandwiches and a variety of coffee drinks. Cortello shared some of his favorites with us and they did not disappoint. We sampled a fall salad, two sandwiches, a cup of gumbo, a signature side and a dessert that will blow you away.
The two sandwiches we tried were the Pepper Pepper Pepper and the pressed muffuletta. The pressed muffuletta is very good. All the flavors are there. One great thing about the pressed version of the muffuletta is that everything stays in place. I realize that many for many folks scooping up the olive salad droppings is half the fun of eating the muffuletta. However, this pressed version keeps it all together ensuring even flavors in every bite. Mmmm.
The Pepper Pepper Pepper is Luca Eats' signature grilled cheese. They take a hearty multi grain bread and fill it with you guessed it peppers, peppers and peppers. The sandwich starts with a light smear of pepper jelly. Cortello says that a little pepper jelly goes a long way so he wanted to be conservative with it so it didn't overshadow the other flavors in the sandwich. The next component is pepperjack cheese. The last of this sandwiches pepper trilogy is fried bell pepper rings (which are also served as a side on the menu). Cortello says that they were added to the sandwich for texture. This is a great sandwich. The fried pepper rings and the pepper jelly work so well with the pepperjack cheese. The flavors really ping-pong around on your taste buds. It is an awesome combination.
Being a cafe/coffee shop, the fine folks at Luca Eats finished our tasting off with a delicious and decadent combination that would be the star of any coffee-house in the country. Cortello and crew hit us with a frappuccino and fresh beignets featuring Oreos as the primary ingredient. WOW! I am not much of a coffee drinker, but the Oreo frappuccino has an awesome combination of Oreo and Mocha flavor that is outrageous. Even more outrageous is the Oreo beignets. These confectionary treats stole the show and my heart. No trip to this neighborhood eatery should go without an order of these. That folks, would be a crime.