French Quarter Bar & Grill, 2341 N. Federal Highway, Pompano Beach. Call 954-781-5222.
If you've ever had a poor boy in New Orleans, you know that it's not the freshly fried seafood that makes the sandwich. That honor goes to the flaky, airy bread shipped around the Crescent City by the G.H. Leidenheimer Baking Co. It should come as no surprise, then, that the catfish poor boy at the new French Quarter Bar & Grill in Pompano is missing something: namely, a quality piece of bread to hold its thin-sliced curls of cornmeal-battered catfish together. In most other ventures, though, French Quarter gets the spirit of the Crescent City right. You can sit outside on the patio and listen to live music almost every night of the week, drinking pints of Abita Amber and slurping down Gulf oysters by the dozen, either raw, Rockefeller, or "black and blue" (that's smothered in blue cheese and broiled). There's also thick seafood gumbo, jambalaya, muffulettas, and crawfish when they're in season. And although it ain't exactly Bourbon Street, the place does have a certain boozy charm.