TruOrleans Restaurant & Gallery sits on the early part of H St NE, before all the hustle and bustle you’ll find closer to Sticky Rice, Toki Underground and Granville Moore’s. If you stand across from it (by Ethiopic), TruOrleans really seems to command the entire block.
It is 2 floors with an open deck. The space is great, and the staff is friendly. Every time I make my way around the place, I’m greeted by the hostess, a waiter and a bartender. This friendliness is a saving grace.
To me everything tastes like bar food, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but just call it what it is. The gator tenders were fine. Nothing special. The fact that they came out about two minutes after putting in the order didn’t make me feel much better. The dipping sauce here was the best part.
The Crawfish Étouffée was a dish I should have sent back, salted to the extreme. Thankfully, I had some extra (good) rice. The hushpuppies were not much better, though the free price tag is always a plus and the outside was perfectly crisp.
What rocks here are the drinks – hurricanes by “category” and a fun selection of specialty cocktails to read through.
So go here to be wowed by the service and the cool drinks, not the food, which is average at best – at least for now. I definitely see the place succeeding though, and I’m definitely hoping for some nice improvements.
TruOrleans is located at 400 H Street, NE. The closest metro stop is Union Station. For more information, call (202) 290-1244.