For anyone who lives in or just visits New Orleans, they know that the city is packed to the gills with some of the best-tasting food in the world. While this is very true, people shouldn't forget about the many other cities in the Greater New Orleans area that offer amazing and accomplished culinary options for their dining pleasure, especially the cities that make up the Westbank. Having lived on the Bestbank for all my life, I'm a bit biased, but I honestly think that the Westbank contains some of the greatest food I've ever had. I mean no disrespect to the Crescent City, but I just want to bring to light some very nice eating establishments that I feel should be more recognized. I'd like to put every single Westbank restaurant on this list, but I don't want to write an entire novel. So, these are some of the restaurants that I personally love to visit as much as I possibly can. Come across the river and check out these wonderful restaurants, as well as the many other food stops the Westbank has to offer. With so many places to choose from, you're bound to find something to make you completely satisfied that you ventured across the Crescent City Connection.
Chateau Orleans Po-Boys
2324 Barataria Blvd., Marrero
It's almost criminal for anyone living in Louisiana not to have eaten a po-boy sometime in his or her life. If, by some chance, you haven't had one (or even if you have), come on down to Marrero and try some of the best po-boys around at Chateau Orleans Po-Boys. Since its inception in 2008, owners Bonnie and Adam Turner have strived to give customers delicious handmade po-boys on fresh French bread from Hi-Do Bakery. Make sure to try their signature sandwich, the Roast Beef Po-Boy smothered in gravy. Along with many different po-boys like the Fried Shrimp variety, Chateau Orleans also offers wraps, salads and seafood platters, as well as a juicy 12-ounce Hamburger Steak. Come on over and get yourself some of the best tasting po-boys in the Greater New Orleans area.
Gretna Depot Café & Spirits
326 Huey P Long Ave., Gretna
Located in Old Gretna, Gretna Depot Café & Spirits has, in my honest opinion, some of the best burgers on the Westbank. Not only do their burgers come with many different toppings, they also have a challenge set up for only the bravest (and hungriest) of souls. The Big John Challenge involves eating an entire 32-ounce (two-pound) burger on muffuletta bread in 30 minutes or less. For those who succeed and don't keel over from heart failure, they are rewarded with a free T-shirt and Gretna Depot's signature drink, a 32-ounce Trainwreck. If you're not feeling that adventurous, Gretna Depot also offers a variety of sandwiches like the Classic Club, po-boys and entrée platters, as well as a good-sized selection of drinks from their bar. So if you think you're tough enough, head out to the Gretna Depot Café & Spirits and see if you can conquer the Big John Burger.
1112 Ave. H, Westwego
If you're looking for some of the best pizza on the Westbank, then Mo's Pizza in Westwego is one of the top picks in this regard. They are particularly famous for their truly massive pizzas with your choice of a number of toppings. Some of these include the great tasting Pepperoni Pizza and the Meat Pizza, as well as two specialty pizzas, the Muffaletta Pizza and the Chicken Spinach Alfredo Pizza. Mo's also has a selection of salads, po-boys, turnovers and specialty dinners like Lasagna and Veal Parmesan. They also hold a special event, Mo's Pizza Fest, every single year and the next fest will be in 2017. If you're looking to be stuffed full with larger-than-life, grade-A pizza, then Mo's Pizza is waiting for you.
The Olive Branch Café
1995 Barataria Blvd., Marrero
Considered to be the one of the top gourmet pizza places in both Marrero and Algiers, The Olive Branch Café was founded in 1997 and continues to provide Westbankers amazing Italian food using the freshest ingredients including high-quality cheeses. Olive Branch's pizzas are out of this world and their dough is prepared in-house every single day. They also have many pasta entrees to choose from, like Pasta Jambalaya with chicken, smoked sausage, green bell peppers and onions, and Becky's Pasta with shrimp, mushrooms, red onions and breaded eggplant. Be sure to also try their signature Caesar Salad, which also includes Olive Branch's famous homemade and delicious Caesar dressing. With so many choices, you won't have a tough time finding something good to eat at The Olive Branch Café.
Tony Mandina's Restaurant
1915 Pratt St., Gretna
Offering Sicilian and Cajun-inspired cuisine to the people of Gretna for over 30 years, Tony Mandina's Restaurant is a great pick for your lunch and dinner needs. I guarantee you won't be disappointed with any of their top quality entrees like the Veal Blake Anthony, "The Best Hamburger Steak In Town," and especially the Redfish Alia made with mushrooms, capers, green onions, parsley and artichoke hearts over linguine pasta. They also have an assortment of appetizers, soups and salads to choose from, like Sicilian Eggplant Sticks and Turtle Soup. Mandina's is known for their very famous Red Gravy, which is available at a good number of stores around Louisiana as well as a few areas in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. If you want a taste of Sicily while saving money on airfare, then travel your way down to Tony Mandina's Restaurant.