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First impression: The New Orleans Connection: Smyrna

posted on April 29, 2009 at 5:42 am
Cheesesteaks, Cubanos and po’ boys all have one thing in common aside from being sandwiches. They are, by far, among the most challenging sandwiches to find authentic versions of outside of their birth places. I’m not saying you can’t find good versions here (I love Roy’s Cheesesteaks), but a true representation is almost as elusive as good Atlanta dim-sum. And that is why we trekked up to New Orleans Connection in Smyrna after reading the raves about it on Atlanta Cuisine.
The restaurant, which is tucked away in a mini strip mall, has all the markings of a New Orleans style restaurant: File gumbo, jambalaya, beignets and po’boys. We tried to show a little restraint despite the abundance of Creole classics and “only” ordered two po’boys (oyster for Moon and shrimp for myself), an order of jambalaya and some beignets.
Moon’s oyster po’boy: This looked delicious, but the sandwich fell flat in a big way. The oysters tasted off, the bread was stale and no amount of hot sauce or seasoning from having it fully “dressed” could save this sandwich.
Oyster po’boy innards
My shrimp po’boy: This sandwich had the same problems the other suffered from and the shrimp were tiny and tough. I left 3/4 of it in the basket and made a meal out of the semi-acceptable hush puppies we were told came from a bag. Sigh.
Hush puppies
The jambalaya tasted like it came from a box. It was dry and processed tasting. I needed two big gulps of soda to choke it down. The beignets–something I haven’t found a good version of since Huey’s closed–were a mess. They tasted like they’d come from a package (sensing a theme here?) and reeked of old oil. To make matters worse, the interior was completely dense like a donut instead of puffed and airy as a true beignet should be. Massive FAIL.

Verdict: Would I go back? Definitely not. The trip was a waste of gas. Moon and I could barely make it through half a sandwich. Meh. We had to go have a second lunch to wash the oyster and old oil funk off our tastebuds. I can’t say there is any reason go here when there are so many better options like Muss & Turners, Tasty China, Tandoor, etc. nearby. Try it for yourself and let me know what you think.
INFORMATION
Address: 1669 Spring Road, Suite B, 30080
Phone: 770-874-3404
WEBSITE
New Orleans Connection on Urbanspoon
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21 comments

  • Re: First impression: The New Orleans Connection: Smyrna
    posted by: Uncle Seymour · April 29, 2009  8:29 AM

    Pity. Used to be a fantastic tlayuda place.

  • Re: First impression: The New Orleans Connection: Smyrna
    posted by: Rach · April 29, 2009  11:42 AM

    Try Artisan Foods in historic Roswell for made-to-order melt in your mouth beignets. I know you don’t venture OTP too much, but it is SO worth it : )

  • Re: First impression: The New Orleans Connection: Smyrna
    posted by: Jessica · April 29, 2009  3:43 PM

    Those do look delicious, too bad!

    I didn’t even think Huey’s beignets were especially outstanding. Must be something in our Louisiana water that makes them great, like NY pizza crust maybe…

  • Re: First impression: The New Orleans Connection: Smyrna
    posted by: Eat, Drink, Man... · April 29, 2009  5:44 PM

    You somehow make mediocre or bad food look so good though

  • Re: First impression: The New Orleans Connection: Smyrna
    posted by: Anonymous · April 30, 2009  4:53 AM

    it IS sad because they are the nicest people in there. I used to live right across the street and my roommates used to live in NoLa. We got takeout once. It’s hard to do nawlins outside of nawlins. The owners are for real, but the food just ain’t.

  • Re: First impression: The New Orleans Connection: Smyrna
    posted by: Broderick · April 30, 2009  4:56 AM

    And the food looks sooooo good. Too bad

  • Re: First impression: The New Orleans Connection: Smyrna
    posted by: Anonymous · April 30, 2009  8:29 AM

    Bliss,

    Thom Maicon over on the Atlanta Culinary boared panned it as well.

    http://www.atlantacuisine.com/index.php/atlanta-restaurant-reviews/76-review-new-orleans-connection.html

    Proving once again that the membership over there doesn’t know its ass from its elbow when it comes to food.

    Sad.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Re: First impression: The New Orleans Connection: Smyrna
    posted by: David · April 30, 2009  8:51 AM

    So 2 people have panned it but quite a few more have given it high marks on the AC board. So who is to be believed?

    And what does ‘the oysters tasted off’ mean? Shouldn’t a food blogger be more descriptive if they’re saying a restaurant’s food isn’t worth the gas?

  • Re: First impression: The New Orleans Connection: Smyrna
    posted by: The Blissful Glutton · April 30, 2009  8:56 AM

    David: “Off” implies spoiled, bad, not fresh…I was trying to be a polite since the people working there are so nice. But the oysters were so bad I spit it out into my napkin and felt sick for the rest of the day. Descriptive enough?

    And don’t know what to tell you re: post not jiving with what you read on AC except try it for yourself.

  • Re: First impression: The New Orleans Connection: Smyrna
    posted by: Anonymous · April 30, 2009  9:40 AM

    Hope this helps!

    off

    adjective

    1 the fish was a bit off rotten, bad, stale, moldy, sour, rancid, turned, spoiled, putrid, putrescent; (of beer) skunky.

    antonym fresh.

  • Re: First impression: The New Orleans Connection: Smyrna
    posted by: Anonymous · May 2, 2009  4:12 AM

    No one can get Italian beefs right outside of Chicago either. Sadness. 🙁

  • Re: First impression: The New Orleans Connection: Smyrna
    posted by: Anonymous · May 2, 2009  12:43 PM

    There are certain things in life that can not be faked. Food is one of them. Making love to a woman is another. Luckily I am good at both. Sounds like these guys are not. Such is life.

  • Re: First impression: The New Orleans Connection: Smyrna
    posted by: Anonymous · May 4, 2009  7:24 AM

    Okay, well I have a solution to get that bad taste out of your mouth. Star Provisions is well known in these parts for their Shrimp Po'boy, which is quite good, but I found one yesterday that takes the crown for best in class. Think H&F, Sunday Brunch, The Peacemaker. The Peacemaker orginated in New Orleans. The story is, a husband upset his wife terribly. He created this sandwich to appease her. Well, she took a bite and instantly all her troubles subsided and they lived happily ever after, hence the Peacemaker. I can only describe it as a shrimp and oyster po'boy with all the fresh ingredients and bread you would expect from H&F. You need to try this sandwich soon. It is delicious. It will certainly bring you peace, love and happiness.

    philip d

  • Re: First impression: The New Orleans Connection: Smyrna
    posted by: The Blissful Glutton · May 5, 2009  4:07 AM

    Philip,
    I totally agree with you about Star and H&F. I have had more than my share of Star's po'boys for lunch. They recently had a scallop version, which was sick!

  • Re: First impression: The New Orleans Connection: Smyrna
    posted by: Anonymous · May 8, 2009  8:56 AM

    Also in Roswell, a five-month-old eatery called The People’s Restaurant offers very good beignets. Chef is from NoLa and this tiny restaurant is an outgrowth of his catering business. He told me he worked at Huey’s when he first came to Atlanta and they used a hot roll mix for their beignets. Can’t say if that’s true or not, but he makes his own from scratch.

  • Re: First impression: The New Orleans Connection: Smyrna
    posted by: Anonymous · July 11, 2009  9:52 PM

    All of this is crazy talk! I go to this place all of the time and it is one of the greatest, non-commercial, family-owned places I have been to since I've been in Atlanta (10 yrs.) It's sad when one person's or two people's opinion can guide the perception of so many. I'm from New Orleans and this is real neighborhood New Orleans food made with love by real New Orleans natives. People should not discorage others from patronizing great family-owned businesses like this. HOW UNFAIR & UNTRUTHFUL!

  • Re: First impression: The New Orleans Connection: Smyrna
    posted by: The Blissful Glutton · July 12, 2009  4:15 AM

    Sorry, Anon. But "family-owned" does mean it automatically good. I have been back since I posted this and I stand behind my original opinion.

  • Re: First impression: The New Orleans Connection: Smyrna
    posted by: Anonymous · July 12, 2009  12:43 PM

    One of the reasons I enjoy reading this blog is that minor errors in English are so elusive. ^^

  • Re: First impression: The New Orleans Connection: Smyrna
    posted by: The Blissful Glutton · July 12, 2009  12:57 PM

    Good catch, Anon. I did mean to say "does not."
    And so pleased to hear you enjoy reading the blog, Douchebag. Did I spell that right or is there a hyphen between "douche" and "bag?" I can never remember!

    Thanks for reading.
    ~ Jennifer

  • Re: First impression: The New Orleans Connection: Smyrna
    posted by: Anonymous · July 13, 2009  3:06 PM

    Oh dear. I was not being sarcastic and I was referring to the word illusive in the original blog post. Forgive me for coming across as a douche bag, which I believe is two words.

    Your faithful reader,
    D.B.

  • Re: First impression: The New Orleans Connection: Smyrna
    posted by: The Blissful Glutton · July 13, 2009  3:12 PM

    Well, it looks like I am the DB in this situation. I was sick in bed all weekend and obviously jumped the gun on that one. Thanks for the catch.

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