Cooter Brown's Tavern & Oyster Bar
Ratings: 30 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by kensuthe:
3.1/5 rDev -19.3%
Cooter Browns is located in the Riverbend area of Uptown New Orleans, right near the corner of Carrollton Ave and St. Charles Ave. It is close to Tulane University, Loyola University, Audubon Park, and the St. Charles streetcar line. It is also right across the train tracks from the Mississippi River, but don't expect a scenic venue. Apparently it was a really good beer bar at some point before the hurricanes, and while it's still a good place to go to pick up a beer, it does not compare well to good beer bars in other parts of the country.
Atmosphere - This place is primarily a sports bar, with TVs lining the upper part of much of the back wall and a few of the supports in the main bar area. The bar is a little bit dingy and a little cramped inside, even though there is a lot of floor space. There is a main bar with taps near the front of the place, a bar that connects to that main bar along one side of the room that is lined with coolers, and a back bar with taps and coolers that is around the corner from the jukebox and video poker machines. However, you can only order at the main bar these days, and you will have to wait a fair bit if the place is buys. There is a kitchen that puts out pretty decent bar fare, and there are tables and a few booths lined up throughout the front and back rooms to sit and eat or drink at. The tables and chairs have seen better days, and there are probably too many in the place which makes it feel crowded and closed in even during slow times. There are some pool tables in a back corner as well, and the jukebox has a decent selection of music.
Quality - Don't expect to find the freshest of kegs or the widest selection of glassware here, and don't be surprised if your beer is less carbonated or cloudier than it should be. Most of the bottles we've had from the place have been okay, but there have been one or two times where you could just tell that the bottle had been sitting there for quite a long time and the beer was past its prime.
Service - The bartenders can easily get swamped during busy times, and since only the main bar is open for business you can find yourself waiting for quite a while to get a beer. The bartenders can seem a little rushed and be a little standoffish at times, which doesn't do anything to improve the atmosphere of the place. If you're not drinking out a beer that's served out of a pint glass then you'll have to ask for another type of glass, and they may or may not be able to provide what you want. The service tends to gravitate towards buying one drink or round at a time, and running a tab can be problematic if the place gets too busy.
Selection - There is a decent selection of bottled beers from Germany, the UK, Belgium, other parts of Europe, and domestic breweries, and you will occasionally find some things available here that are otherwise extremely hard to find in the region. The coolers have not been close to filled the last several times we have gone, and the variety of beers available seems to be less than what it was even a year ago. The draft selection is around 10 to 20 taps on the front bar, but it is not uncommon for certain taps to run dry and be unavailable, especially during a big sporting event.
Food - The kitchen area serves up some tasty bar food ranging from cheese fries and onion rings to philly sandwiches and po-boys. There are a few non-meat selections as well, but don't expect the kitchen to fit in to your diet plan. It does not take an extraordinarily long time for orders to come up, but it is also not an extremely fast turnover. You get a number, and you can look at a display near the side bar to see which orders are up at a given time. The kitchen closes earlier than the bar, so keep that in mind if it's late and you're getting the munchies.
Value - The prices range from cheap to costly, depending on what you're looking for. You could definitely save by buying at a store and bringing it home, but then you don't get the experience of going out to the bar. Many of the draft beers here are not a better deal than their bottled versions, which is somewhat contrary to similar practices at similar establishments in the region. The food is a little bit pricey, but it's not more expensive than most other Uptown establishments that are nearby and open late.
If you're doing Uptown, give Cooter Brown's a shot. After all, the more good beer people drink, the more good beer they will stock.
03-26-2008 23:02:09 | More by kensuthe
More User Reviews:
4.76/5 rDev +24%
I used to work just around the corner in the river bend area. Cooter Brown's is a great place to have a beer(s) and some local food. It is at the opposite end of St. Charles, away from the tourists in the French Quarter. My favorite time to go there was mid-day on a week day. Quiet, relaxing place to have drink. Cooter Brown's has huge selection of beers in bottles and quite a few on tap. I am getting home sick just thinking about it.
10-12-2013 22:42:48 | More by rev_jimmy
3.93/5 rDev +2.3%
Cooter Brown's has probably the best beer selection in NOLA (although I never did make it out to d.b.a. so I'm not quite sure).
It's in what I think is still called the "Black Pearl" neighborhood to the west of the city, past Audubon Park where the river bends at S Carrollton Street.
There are outside tables which seem to be the most popular, and not surprisingly so, as the inside is kind of dank and dirty (like most bars in NOLA). The tables also share residence with a Thai or Indian restaurant next door, although I didn't see anyone eating anything more interesting than Po' Boys and fried foods.
Moving inside, the food area is to the right, the bar is to the left, and there are communal tables in the center. There's another back bar to the back right, and there are some video poker machines back there as well (because nothing's better than drinking and gambling - and there's a pool table too, just-in-case-in you're a hustlin' pool shark. AIIIYEEE!). Some things I noted about the decor and the amenities: Tin ceiling above the main bar, tile floor, cute historic characters carved in wood hanging about, smoking, and smelly bathroom with a trough (mens, not women's - although I would never be surprised in NOLA ;)
The beer selection is impressive, although I was concerned about the freshness of the bottles. The coolers run a decent number of feet and they're pretty well packed. They've got beers I've never had, and they've got lots of classics - I can't even estimate a number - it's a lot. Draft taps number 34 to 36 out of the 40 because they've got some mixed drink things on a few.
The line-up as I saw it was:
7 from Abita (but of course!)
2 from Lazy Magnolia in Mississippi (LA's slower cousin)
2 from Covington (just above Lake Pontchartrain)
2 from Tin Roof
3 from NOLA Brewing
with the rest made up of fairly common domestics and imports.
The food is mainly sandwiches and fried foods, although they do boiled crawfish on weekends (not to be missed!). Burgers run $7.25 to $9.75; their Muffaletta (a big thing in NOLA) is $16, or $8.50 for a half; and a shrimp Po' Boy is within average bounds at $10.25. The Fried Seafood Platters with fries and garlic bread round it all out at $12 to $14 depending on what you're interested in (i.e. Catfish is just $12, Oysters are $14).
04-30-2012 14:44:16 | More by NeroFiddled
Cooter Brown's Tavern & Oyster Bar in New Orleans, LA
87 out of 100 based on 30 ratings.