Monday, January 24, 2011

Tracey's: Same Old Taste in a Bright New Setting

In New Orleans, we tend to champion longevity and frown upon change. However, there are times when circumstances beyond our control leave us no choice but to adjust and to adapt. Time has taught us that change can be a good thing as long as we don't leave behind those values which are most important to us. Though we may have gone kicking and screaming, the end result sometimes leave us better off than we were before.

Case in point, Tracey's. Remember back in August when everyone was lamenting the plight of Jeff Carreras after his beloved Parasol's was sold from underneath him? Instead of wallowing in self pity, Jeff recognized that what made Parasol's was the food and the staff, so scooped up both, found a better location just a few blocks away, and opened up an improved version of his former po-boy shop. Let that be a lesson to us all in accepting and triumphing over adversity.

In terms of ambience, Parasol's and Tracey's could not be more different. Where Parasol's was simply a dark, old neighborhood bar, Tracey's is roomy and bright with plenty of natural light. The loft ceilings and double doors that open out onto Magazine Street make this a great place to enjoy nice weather like today's, and the numerous flat screens along the walls elevate the bar to one of the city's best places to catch a game.

While the surroundings may have changed, the food tastes exactly the same as it did at Parasol's. The signature roast beef is the same shreds and chunks of beef in a thick gravy. I have always been a Parkway loyalist when it comes to roast beef, but I still enjoy digging into one of these from time to time. Fried shrimp are average in size, but the crustaceans sometimes shed their outer coating. Po-boys are still served as a one-size-fits-all. A bag of Zapp's is still your best choice of side dish, and you better order two bags because the wait can sometimes stretch longer than you think.

One Saturday afternoon while we were lunching at a table outside on the sidewalk, a man walked by and huffed in disgust at the 20 person line forming inside. "Where did all of these people come from?" was his rhetorical question to us. After a few moments of contemplation, he smilingly resolved to wait his turn, took his place in line, and said, "Well, I guess it's better than waiting in line at Parasol's."

Tracey's - Par/Birdie
2604 Magazine Street
7 days per week


Anonymous said...

oh, i did like the boudin balls at parasol's, hope hes still got those.

lots of flat panel tvs? oy...just what the world needs more of. go sports.

BBD said...

Yeah sports really suck- they have absolutely no impact of New Orleans' economy, especially the restaurant industry, at all. Who are you, Tom Fitzmorris?