NEW ORLEANS -- There is a cool little spot tucked between Decatur Street and the French Market that can really take you back in time.
Belle's Diner is part pin-up museum, part classic '50s style, American diner and part bar and grill. This spot, which is open seven days a week, can certainly offer up dishes do to conquer any appetite. It also has some liquid refreshments that not just everybody in NOLA is doing.
Belle's menu offers up not just Louisiana fare such as red beans and rice, jambalaya and poboys but it also dishes up great breakfast grub and classic diner dishes like a mean patty melt, a classic cheeseburger and a killer club sandwich.
When we dropped in, general manager Preston Titus showed us three great dishes that certainly give you a taste of what you'll get at Belle's. We started with a milkshake that reminds you of a great Southern dessert and will put a hem in your skirt.
See, the folks at Belle's are doing boozy milkshakes. Titus whipped up a big seller at the diner named the Brooke. This shake combines Pecan Pie flavored whiskey with vanilla ice cream, caramel, whipped cream and fresh pecans. I am not normally a fan of whiskey, but after one sip of the Brooke I can totally understand why this shake is such a popular choice.
The booze doesn't overpower the other components of this shake. All the ingredients work so well together. The shake (while not for kids) is flat-out just smooth and refreshing. Titus tells us that the boozy shakes do so well that he goes through twenty gallons of ice cream a week. Wow!
But man cannot live on boozy shakes alone. Titus also offered up a couple of signature items from Belle's food menu. We had the great pleasure of trying Belle's fried PB&J sandwich. This thing was the perfect combination to go with the boozy shake. The fried PB&J is smooth peanut butter and grape jelly slathered between two pieces of thick-cut sourdough bread. The sandwich is then dipped in pancake batter and fried up until it's got a crispy crust sealing in all that PB&J goodness. It's kind of a take on the classic Monte Cristo (which by now you know is one of my absolute favorites) applied to a sandwich we've loved since we were kids (unless you are allergic to peanuts).
The final thing we tried was Preston's Patty Melt, That's right, this sandwich is Titus' favorite item on the menu.
It starts with that sourdough bread buttered and grilled to perfection. Tucked inside is a decadent combination of fresh ground beef patty, provolone, cheddar and bacon melted all together. This sandwich is the bomb. Titus and the crew at Belle's nailed it with this sandwich. It delivers everything you would want in a patty melt: melty cheese, a juicy beef patty and crispy bacon.
So for classic diner feel and eats plus a unique WWII pin-up touches it's Belle's Diner.