Many have wandered by the neon signs that illuminate the sidewalk below Nourish and Gumby’s, but fewer have walked down an elusive set of stairs into The Quarry, a new restaurant with Cajun influences.
The small space houses a dining area and a bar with Boulevard and Logboat on tap. A mix of classic rock and country plays quietly over the speakers. This low-key environment is the product of co-owners Mike Pratt and Chris Flood’s imaginations: a simple, easygoing dining experience perfect for socializing.
“We wanted it to be a hangout place, a place where people come, feel comfortable, have a few drinks, have some appetizers, share some stuff,” Pratt says. “We want this to be a hangout, not a sit-down vibe.”
The menu is filled with hearty New Orleans-style dishes. The owners’ favorite, though, is the $13 Spicy Garlic Shrimp Po’boy, a sandwich stacked high with baked shrimp, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, a remoulade sauce and served with fries or a salad.
The shrimp is tossed in a spicy garlic sauce before baking. The classic bread is then piled with the shrimp and a tangy remoulade sauce, which creates what Pratt calls a harmony between lots of flavor and not too much spice. The spicy garlic breading on the shrimp is balanced by the crisp lettuce and tomato.
The fries are thick-cut, beer-battered and seasoned. Crunchy, yet not too heavy, they serve as a new twist on a lunch staple.
Pratt recommends pairing the dish with an Abita Amber, a Louisiana classic brew, or with any domestic beer.
Following his graduation from MU, Pratt moved to New Orleans, where he acquired his love of Cajun cuisine. After Pratt worked in restaurants downtown such as Quinton’s and CJ’s, he partnered with Flood, who also owns Campus Bar & Grill, to open The Quarry. Pratt and Flood wanted to create a menu that featured pub food but was just different enough to set The Quarry apart from other casual downtown restaurants, such as Broadway Brewery. The classics are still on the menu; one could order a simple burger or wings. However, the fried oyster plate or crawfish quesadilla offer delectable experiences.
Pratt and Flood say they source the food locally, including their staple boudin and andouille, which come from the Culinary Arts Career Center. All of their sauces, spices and dressings are crafted in-house with New Orleans in mind. ￼