The Pizza Snob decided to close out his NOLA pizza adventure by seeing what the famed French Quarter had to offer. One of the most unique destinations in America, this historic district is home to some of the world’s finest restaurants. Amongst its many open-air, music-filled bars and cheesy souvenir shops, I spotted several pizza offerings in some rather undesirable, quick-dining locations. Still smarting from similar encounters in Atlantic City, I passed on those that offered pizza slices amongst an assortment of other fast, greasy foods.
I did, however, notice Vieux Carre Pizza, a small joint in a historic building on a side street that looked worthy of my time. (Vieux Carre means “Old Square” in French and is another less-common name used for the French Quarter.) It was a tiny little place with an order counter and a small seating area off to the side. They had a sister spot next door that sold wings as well. I decided to pay them a visit for a quick slice before dinner. Bummer for me, my visit was delayed an hour because they were temporarily closed due to sidewalk repairs. (Later, I learned that the whole Quarter is in disarray due to preparations for Super Bowl XLVII.)
Vieux Carre felt like a French bakery rather than a pizza joint—name-driven I suppose–but reinforced by the layered glass tower displaying their fancily adorned wares with a variety of toppings. The thick, fluffy texture of the crust and the rich-looking cheese gave them a pastry look. I opted for a single cheese slice setting me back exactly three Washingtons, tax included. Hurricane Sandy was about to hit the Northeast, so I waited beneath their large screen TV watching reports of the impending devastation.
My slice came quickly, and closer inspection further broadcast the fact that I was in for something different. True to this city’s passion for food, this pizza was made with a serious effort for greatness. While it was all-around delicious, it was far too heavy a slice for the Snob–rich and delicately-cooked with too much cheese and dough. More a taste of France than of Italy.
If you like fine food and are looking for a quick snack in the Quarter, I recommend that you give Vieux Carre a try. I suspect that it’s a good late night place to visit after you are finished bar-hopping, since they are open until 3:30 a.m. during the week and 4:30 on the weekend.
Although I am glad I tried it, it’s not classic NY style pie, and therefore, not for me.
PIZZA SNOB RATING *** Better than Dominos
Vieux Carre Pizza
733 St. Louis Street (at Bourbon)
New Orleans, LA 70130