Krewe where the dirty south moves to the northside

Krewe outside. NOLA

Capel Street is fast becoming Dublin’s food quarter and its latest addition is by the r.i.o.t. bar owner Conor McCrohan and his business partner Michael Monaghan. Their new venture Krewe is a brand new NOLA (New Orleans Louisiana) inspired bar and restaurant that opened last December. You might be wondering why they chose the name Krewe. Well over in NOLA, Krewe is an organisation or association that stages a parade or other event for a carnival celebration during Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

So what makes NOLA food some of the best and interesting American cuisine?  Is it combining local Creole, haute Creole, and New Orleans French cuisine? Or is it local ingredients being used alongside French, Spanish, Italian, African, Native American, Cajun, Chinese and a dash of Cuban traditions, producing something unique that only New Orleans can produce? Actually it’s both, and my lunch companion and I were looking forward to trying a Big Easy lunch in Krewe.   

Last Friday, I happened to be in the Capel Street area around 2:30. I popped into Krewe to take in its ambience. To my surprise, it was hopping. Which made me book a lunch reservation, as my lunch companion and I might not get a walk-in table when we visited there. Arriving for lunch yesterday I noticed that Krewe was not as busy as I expected. This was mainly down to Storm Brendan and on any other day a booking would be required.    

Walking into Krewe I noticed a vibrant bustling place with plenty of staff. Ensuring that all customers would be well looked after. The music was a bit louder than I expected. But that was due to the fact that there was a speaker right above us. On the plus side, the music was old school American funk and soul. Hearing music from Marvin Gay and James Brown amongst others put a smile on my face. The tables are small and I guess this is so that Krewe can have more sittings.     

Krewe, NOLA

The lunch menu is all about po boys, a Louisiana sandwich which is a staple of NOLA cuisine. Po boys are normally served with New Orleans French Bread, but as we are not in New Orleans, the next best thing is a fresh Waterford baguette. There are seven different po boys to choose from and you can also get any of them prepared salad style in a bowl if bread is not your thing.

We both had the House Hot Fire Chicken Po Boy which comes with smokey bourbon hot sauce, slaw, pickles, crozier blue cheese mayo and lettuce and costs €10.95. Of course, being a fussy eater, there was no slaw, pickles, and crozier blue cheese mayo on my Po Boy.

Po boy, NOLA

We also had two portions of naked fries which is their dirty fries without any toppings. Dirty fries with topping are not available for lunch. Our naked fries were shoestring and handcut. But you can also get polenta fries, sweet potato fries and debris fries all costing €4. We were also given a free sample of their excellent cornbread. Which was a nice touch and was typical of the excellent service we got throughout our visit.

The typical po boy is normally eaten as a sandwich but the chicken in the po boy that my friend and I had was so big that you could not fold over the sandwich. The smokey bourbon sauce was spicy with just the right amount of kick in it. As the chicken was not been eaten as a sandwich. There is less chance that you will get any of the sauce on your clothes. As well as fries you can get other sides to go with your po boy. Such as kimchi slaw, buttermilk crispy onion rings and Cajun mac-n-cheese.

If you come here at night time you can also get another NOLA staple dish. Jambalaya along with other dishes such as a double stack beef burger, Cajun blackened cod and potato flatbread. Plus sharing dishes which include a rack of lamb and a 16oz steak. But enough about the night time menu, the best part of the meal, the dessert was yet to come.

To me, the dessert was all about another NOLA staple dish, the Beignet Bowl. Beignets are sweet, square and hole-less deep-fried choux pastries also known as French doughnuts.

beignet, NOLA

The Beignet Bowl which comes with 5 beignets, and two dipping sauces, bourbon salted caramel and chocolate sauce, costs €5.50. Being lighter and smaller than regular doughnuts you won’t feel as guilty eating them. So, whenever you go to Krewe make sure to leave some room for the beignets.

Krewe is going to deservedly have a busy year as the food is perfect, and their cocktail menu is something you will enjoy trying. There is an upstairs room that can be hired for private parties or larger groups. I have a feeling that this room will become fairly popular. So bring your crew along for lunch or dinner as you won’t be disappointed.

Krewe, 51/52 Capel St Dublin