In a city devoted to tracking the next big thing in the restaurant world, there still are a number of below-the-radar pop-ups bringing something completely new to the city. Here are three fresh spots (plus a bonus food truck) worth checking out:
Congresso Cubano — If there's any week that you should be celebrating Cuban food, this one is it. Popping up every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night at Hi-Ho Lounge (2239 St. Claude Ave., (504) 945-4446; www.hiholounge.net), Congresso Cubano offers an ever-rotating, always impressive array of Cuban favorites, from salted cod salad to ropa veja and beyond.
Pizza Rustica — Martine's Lounge (2347 Metairie Road, Metairie, 504-831-8637; www.facebook.com/martineslounge) is a Metairie cocktail bar that also is home to some of Jefferson Parish's best pizzas, served every Friday and Saturday night as part of a project called Pizza Rustica. The fresh dough is made in house, and breakfast pizzas are available on any day the New Orleans Saints have a game that starts at noon.
Lahpet: A Taste of Burma — This brand new pop-up might be the first step toward introducing Burmese food to the New Orleans landscape. Its menu features pickled tea leaf salad, golden egg curry and Burmese milk tea. The inaugural lunchtime event took place at board game-hub Rook Cafe (4516 Freret St., 618-520-9843; www.facebook.com/therookcafe) last week, with more meals in the works.
Saigon Slim's (504-339-8129; www.facebook.com/SaigonSlims) — Yes, there probably is a brand spanking new Vietnamese place near your house already, but seeking out new food truck Saigon Slim's still will be worth your time. Parked regularly outside of The Club Ms. Mae's (4336 Magazine St., 504-218-8035; www.facebook.com/theclubmsmaesnola) and 45 Tchoup (4529 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-891-9066), Slim's marries New Orleans flavors with Vietnamese sensibilities, creating dishes like bananas Foster spring rolls.