You won’t find a more honestly named restaurant than Toups Meatery in New Orleans, where husband and wife Isaac and Amanda Toups serve up fork-tender beef ribs, double-cut pork chops in dirty rice, and side dishes of house-made boudin, cracklings, and head cheese. Even the doberge cake has bacon in the icing.
That’s not to say that chef Isaac, who grew up two hours away from the Crescent City in the small town of Rayne, Louisiana, overlooks seafood. Toups cooks soft-shell crabs with Cajun gusto, crusting them with buttermilk and pulverized local rice before dropping them into a bubbling vat of peanut oil. He serves the fried crabs with a hunk of French bread, a swipe of lemon aioli, and a mound of cabbage cooked in bacon fat with pickled peppers and green onions. The result is a hedonistic mélange of textures and flavors not unlike New Orleans itself. Pair it with plenty of cold beer.