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The American Sector Restaurant – Best Bet by John Besh


Twice in one week is unusual for me but The American Sector at the World War II Museum in New Orleans was good enough for me to splurge and order the same thing twice.

The setup is pretty cute and respectful with period type dishes and a menu the style of which reflects the type of artwork and design used back in the 40’s. Airy and open with lots of glass and lots of class this young bistro is the new talked about place from the prolific and nice guy chef John Besh.

This guy is handsome and dynamic with a killer smile. I admire him and what he has done for our city. Here is a guy who came back after Katrina and started opening restaurants and really helped the city get off its knees and back into the limelight of cuisine culture.

Of course, New Orleans has its own culture of cuisine that no place else can touch. And I can say that without any reservations because I’ve eaten in a lot of places here and abroad and as far as I’m concerned no place can match the mix of culture, class, haute cuisine and low cuisine like New Orleans can.

Folks come from all over the world to bask in our celebration of class and decadence. We have the young and the old, the in and the out, the high and the low. Each style of cuisine is like musical notes and it all blends together in a wonderful symphony of texture, flavor, culture and down-homeness.

Well, I’m getting a little off here from the subject. But I just felt I needed to give a little background to what I am saying.

Anyway, I went with my cousins who were entertaining other cousins from the San Francisco bay area. They come here a least once a year and have their favorite places to go. So we decided to spend a little lunchtime at the American Sector.

The waiter we had was James, a young, nice-looking, sweet, unassuming guy who really took care of us. His service was excellent, very attentive without being overbearing. He was the perfect waiter.

We ordered some appetizers, one of a pickled plate which was delicious, the rabbit pate served in a tin can a la “c” rations and then some fried chicken gizzards. Now I always thought gizzards were tough but these things were as tender as can be, and with a dip of mustard sauce, they were perfect and scrumptious. Yummy. Yum yum.

I wanted to eat light so I ordered the down home tomato soup that came with a grilled ham and cheese. 8 bucks. The soup was great by itself but when I dipped the sandwich in it and took a bite? Incredible. I mean that’s the way it’s supposed to taste.

The soup came in a tin can which they poured into a small white cup. One cousin got lamb meatballs in a delicious sauce, my other cousin got pork cheeks in another delicious sauce that is indescribable and the daughter got a chicken breast sandwich that was so huge that she couldn’t eat it. I mean she just saw it said she couldn’t eat it. It was just too big for her. So the rest of us dug into it and what was left we took home to my mom who later said it was delicious.

The walls are lined with photographs of movie stars and celebrities from the war era and on the big screen TV they show movies and clips from USO shows. What I like about the place is that it feels good. The decor fits the food and is never overwhelming. With little touches like the tin cans and the feeling that maybe you might be eating in an upscale mess hall is just the right note for the American Sector Cafe at the World War II Museum, a place that honors those who risked their lives to help keep the world free.

The American Sector on Urbanspoon


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