Whether you’re marching down Bourbon Street looking to get as drunk as possible for as cheap as possible, listening to Grammy-winning jazz musicians in the back of a dingy little club, or dining at world class restaurants, there’s a lot to be inspired by in New Orleans.
Brandon Carr, owner of the new NOLA-inspired restaurant The Quarter, said he fell in love with the Crescent City on his very first visit.
“Immediately it captivated me, the city itself, every inch of it,” Carr told us. “Every little detail was just mind blowing. From the atmosphere of the music in the streets and the jazz that was playing and everything there to the food, the food was just magnificent. I couldn’t believe how incredible and diverse the food was.”
Named after the historic French Quarter neighborhood in Central New Orleans, the Quarter focuses on food, cocktails and live entertainment. Created by head chef Donald Breitkrus, the menu features Crescent City classic like shrimp po boys, crab cakes and the massive Muffaletta sandwich. The cocktail program is extremely ambitious, featuring at least 50 different cocktails, most of them classics.
“What I have been trying to do is bring a little bit of the French Quarter in to Buffalo with Cajun and Creole cuisines,” Breitkrus noted, “and I think it really works hand in hand with Brandon’s cocktail program.”
We found the NOLA vibe to be on-point: Good food and good drink with zero pretentiousness. The crab cakes (2 for $12) we’re just as good as any you might find on Bourbon Street and while the Muffaletta ($12) at The Quarter probably won’t be mistaken for the original anytime soon, it was still a tasty sandwich that delivered on all the right flavors.
“We are not super, super high-end, so we are not unapproachable,” Carr added. “As far as price point, I think that the price point we are at is a great price point to get people in there on a daily basis. You can come there one or two times a week and it is not going to break the bank on you. But, you are also going to get quality food, quality service and great cocktails.”
There’s a term in New Orleans — lagniappe — that means “a little something extra” and at The Quarter that something extra is the Llama Lounge, a rec area upstairs from the main bar and dining area. Festooned with llama-inspired works of art, the Llama Lounge has two dart boards, shuffleboard, foosball, and a custom bubble hockey game that features the voices of Sabres play-by-play announcer Rick Jeaneret and KeyBank national anthem singer Doug Allen.
On top of that, there’s live jazz every Friday and Fat Tuesday specials every Tuesday.
All in all, The Quarter offers a little je ne sais quoi to a strip of bars and restaurants along this part of Allentown.
“There is Station House, Rowhouse, The Quarter, Mother’s, Fat Bob’s, Don Tequila’s all within almost a single block, a quarter mile of each other,” Carr said. “Many of those restaurants being staples of Buffalo, so, we are very prideful to be in that area right there. It is such a diverse and just incredible location, where we are. We are very happy to be there.”
26 Virginia Place, Buffalo NY, 14202
Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday 5 p.m. – 12 a.m., Thursday through Saturday 5 p.m. to 4 a.m., Sunday – 12 a.m.