It’s easier than ever to find a good hamburger around New Orleans, where a burger boom continues in full stride. But plenty of people still have been missing the original location of Bud’s Broiler, that odd building of Seuss-like angles and neon signs hard by a cemetery that has evolved into one of Mid-City's quirky icons.
A kitchen fire just before Halloween knocked this particular Bud’s Broiler out of commission, but now it’s expected to reopen this Saturday, Feb. 9, just in time for the surrounding neighborhood to welcome Endymion and the surging crowds that this biggest of Carnival parades always brings.
For the uninitiated, the Bud’s Broiler burger is an old fashioned bit of New Orleans comfort food that stands apart from the modern “better burger” trend. This is not a place to look for house-made buns or gourmet toppings, unless your definition of gourmet extends to piles of grated, yellow cheddar and the thin, red, smoke-flavored “hickory sauce” that gilds many of the patties here.
But Bud’s Broiler got its start at this City Park Avenue address in 1952, and it developed into one of those homegrown local chains (now with seven other locations) that become freighted with nostalgia and grow immune to change, much less trends.
You order by the numbers here — the No. 1 is a plain burger with a mayo and relish sauce while a No. 9 gets you a split hotdog with hickory sauce — but everyone seems to have a story about the place that goes beyond the food.
The City Park Avenue Bud’s Broiler will resume its 24/7 schedule.
500 City Park Ave., (504) 486-2559