Eats: Taste of Bourbon serves up a bit of New Orleans in Ocean Springs

JULIAN BRUNT/SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALDThe Hot Sausage Po-boy served at Taste of Bourbon is spicy and just right.
JULIAN BRUNT/SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALDThe Hot Sausage Po-boy served at Taste of Bourbon is spicy and just right.

Taste of Bourbon's name is a reference to Bourbon Street in New Orleans and is the best hint of what you are going to get when you visit this small family-run restaurant.

Don't think expensive fine dining. This is home cooking with a NOLA flair: friendly, hearty and delicious.

The Ocean Springs restaurant on Washington Avenue is small. There are eight tables for two in the Taste of Bourbon, plus a four-seater bar. The small space, however, lends itself to the type of food served. It is a great place to come with a friend, enjoy a simple, well-prepared meal and catch up on old times.

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The menu is a one pager with a few salads, sides, po-boys and sandwiches, but the entrées are divided into two categories: meals and family meals.

Some menu items have imaginative names such as the "Swamp Thing" and the "Five-O" (both burgers, by the way).

We ordered Second Line Fries ($3.99) to share as a small plate that included a generous portion of french fries covered in melted cheese, and what must have been a full cup of homemade bacon bits. A side of ranch dressing made for the perfect dip, and we dipped and snacked heartily.

A Hot Sausage Po-boy ($7.99) was next on the list and exceeded any sausage lover's expectations of what this classic po-boy should be -- thick slices of grilled, spicy sausage, fully dressed with plenty of dill pickles. The French bread was thick and chewy, and if a better sausage po-boy has ever been had, I know nothing of it.

My partner gambled on the Five-O burger ($6.99). Gambled, I say, as anyone of my generation would bet nothing on a burger that is put together with ingredients best reserved for a pizza. She took a bite or two and to my chagrin said, "Definitely one of the best burgers I have had."

What the heck do I know? It was a good-sized burger loaded with a good red sauce, and lots of thinsliced pepperoni.

If you were wandering around New Orleans and found a family restaurant on a side street, this is just what you would expect to find. The food is solid, the staff is friendly, the prices are moderate and I can't wait to go back and try the Philly St. Charles.

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