Heather Riccobono calls Cafe Navarre "a po-boy sandwich place, but a little nicer,"* and that's a great description. For years prior to the storm, 800 Navarre was Weaver's, a classic New Orleans po-boy place. It's where you stopped on the way to a high school or Legion ballgame around the corner at Kirsch-Rooney ballpark. Weaver's didn't come back after the storm, and Riccobono (who her dad Vincent considers to be an unlikely restaurant owner), along with a couple of partners, opened the place as Cafe Navarre.
Cafe Navarre is becoming one of my regular spots. It fits well with my schedule and middle-of-the-day plans. I fully expected to get a roast beef po-boy on my first trip there, but ended up getting a Cuban sandwich, on pressed pannini bread. It was wonderful! Got the roast beef on the next trip, and this most recent outing was the cheeseburger po-boy you see above.
There are mixed opinions on the hamburger/cheeseburger po-boy. Some folks will argue that there are enough good burger places around (Bud's, Lee's, Port of Call) that there's no reason to get a burger po-boy. I see it a bit differently. Even some of the best burgers are served on boring buns. A burger on French bread is a tasty experience.
And Cafe Navarre does it well. In addition to a good po-boy and pannini sandwich, I love their fries. They're shoestrings, of a quality on par with the Plastic Arches. Hot, crispy, and tasty.
Cafe Navarre is on Navarre Avenue, between Canal Blvd. and Marconi. If you're out near WYES or City Park, consider them for lunch.
*Read Da Paper's 2007 profile of the Riccobonos here.