Laissez les bons temps rouler at French Quarter

French Quarter Bar & Grill

When thinking of the French Quarter in New Orleans, good times, great music and the best food around come to mind. And with Mardi Gras right around the corner, what better time to visit Southeast Texas’ own little slice of the Big Easy right off I-10 East in Vidor — French Quarter Bar & Grill at 500 South St.?

French Quarter Bar & Grill opened in 2013 and is owned by Alfred Kulici, who also owns the popular local chain of New York Pizza and Pasta restaurants and Italian restaurant LaVoglia, which opened last summer in Lake Charles. So you can expect the same classy and clean environment that you are accustomed to at Kulici’s other establishments.

Enjoy happy hour every day from 2-7 p.m. with $2 drafts, and catch live music Wednesday night – Saturday night. Shoot some pool with friends or just unwind after a hard day’s work by watching the big game on one of French Quarter’s HD TVs at the full-service bar or from one of the restaurant’s cozy booths.

Beers on tap include Miller Lite, Coors Light, Dos Equis, Shiner Bock, Shock Top Belgian White, ZiegenBock, Michelob Ultra, Budweiser and Bud Light.

The fully-stocked bar has a wide selection of your favorite spirits like Bacardi, Crown Royal, Southern Comfort, Jack Daniel’s, Seagram’s, Absolut and more.

As far as the food goes, you won’t be disappointed. We started our visit off with an appetizer of six crispy golden fried boudin balls served with spicy ranch, then moved on to the jambalaya. This delicious dish is made with chicken, rice, andouille sausage, and creole tomato sauce and is topped with green onions. We chose the fried okra as a side to add that classic southern flavor.

The chicken fried steak is another must-try. Yes, we know what you are thinking – every restaurant has a chicken fried steak on the menu. Well, this one stacks up. What we like first is there isn’t a gimmick. Some restaurants try to overdo the “CFS” by making it bigger than your plate or smothering it with so much gravy that you need two pieces of meat to soak it all up. At French Quarter, it cut relatively easy; it’s not a good CFS if you have to saw it with a steak knife.

Hand-battered and cooked to perfection, this meal is filling, especially when you choose the creamy mac and cheese as your side like we did. There are several other tasty sides to choose from as well including baked potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, red beans and rice, potato salad, sweet potato fries and more.

These dishes only scratch the surface. There are a wide variety of menu items to choose from including steaks, po-boys, burgers, wings, gumbo and salads.

There is also a daily lunch menu from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. that features appetizers, soups and salads, wings, burgers, catfish and shrimp entrees.

You don’t have to fight your way through smoke while enjoying your meal either. There is an outdoor deck for the smokers.

Another great sign was the interior was clean and properly decorated, but nothing too over-the-top with cheesy imitations you can buy and hang on the wall from a party store.

So give French Quarter a try if you haven’t already, and laissez les bons temps rouler.


Kevin King can be reached at (409) 832-1400, ext. 227, or by e-mail at kevin [at] theexaminer [dot] com.