the thing about the Quarter is you can’t always tell from the entrance how a place is going to turn out. Some of the nicest facades are those that any local or foodie would be aghast when tasting their food and some of the worst looking places are mainstays for those same folks.
One of the exceptions to that nice front rule is the little pâtisserie on Ursuline, Croissant d’Or. Located on the site of the legendary Angelo Brocato’s original gelato home, it has a lovely vibe even with the small ebbs and flows in their quality over the last few owners.
The latest folks (who are quite nice which is a welcome change from previous counter people) are bringing things back and their baguettes, their napoleons and their croissants are worth the trek. Unfortunately, because of people like me writing about them, lots of tourists do descend on the place around 8 am in the high seasons, but it is still possible to find a seat or at least grab a baked good to go almost all of the time. The best thing is to sit there and read your paper, work a bit (Guess where I am writing this?) or to slowly prepare for the day in a lovely setting with hot coffee in front of you.
The other place is Juicy G’s and is the opposite in facade and in location: it’s a donut shop on Iberville right off N. Rampart. It’s a bit hard to find (look for his board out front) and sits next to a bunch of empty storefronts. But, like any true New Orleans place, inside you find warm people and heavenly smells. The young baker Gregory earned his cooking stripes working at many places headed by the infamous family restauranteurs often in the news lately, although not at the one Brennan’s on Royal currently padlocked!
G’s idea and hope are simple: make good food for workers, students and visitors without making them shell out the big bucks. I hope that his place is the start to rejuvenating Iberville and bringing back Creole and African-American entrepreneurs to the Quarter. His donut holes are very tasty and his lunch plates are filling and flavorful-when he has those. He slows down in production a bit in the summer of course, but you can find him open early for hot morning comfort.
Here is my original post on this place: