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Green Goddess, New Orleans, Louisiana

307 Exchange Alley
New Orleans , Louisiana
Tel: 504 301 3347's insider take:

Located in the heart of the French Quarter, yet worlds away from the main tourist drags, this pedestrian-only, back-alley spot seems both blessed and cursed in the local restaurant scene. In recent years the compact storefront has housed a cake bakery and a Honduran taco joint, and has served as the launching pad for several ambitious young talents. Since May 2009, it's been home to chefs Chris DeBarr and Paul Artigues, both of whom arrived with their own enthusiastic followings (DeBarr came from Delachaise Wine Bar; Artigues was a veteran of Surrey's Juice Bar). Working the dinner shift, DeBarr pursues a style that's aggressively eclectic, incorporating exotic ingredients from every conceivable culinary culture into a wide-ranging menu. Griddle-seared boudin patties sneak into a ploughman's lunch, along with locally made chorizo and a chunk of Manchego; his "Cochon du Lait/Lei" is a banana-leaf packet filled with tender pulled pork and served with sesame seed–encrusted sweet potatoes and a pile of adobo-laced collard greens. Artigues, who runs the lunch and brunch shifts, helped DeBarr develop a cocktail list (alcoholic and non) that matches the tiny kitchen's inventive streak. Cashew fruit juice, for example, anchors a savory-sweet rum drink chilled with coconut juice ice cubes; the Bloody Mary is made with roasted Creole tomato purée. Until the weather cools, diners have a delicate choice: Opt for indoor seating and you'll get A/C but very little personal space (the four tables are essentially elbow to elbow) or choose the alleyway experience if you prefer open-air dining in the city's sultry historic center.—Pableaux Johnson, first published on

Open Mondays and Wednesdays 11 am to 3:30 pm, Thursdays through Sundays 11 am to 3:30 pm and 6 pm to 11 pm.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.