Lunch at SoBou: Get in the spirit.

A friend who lives out West could never get over the fact that We Who are Lucky to Live Here just get in the car and go to New Orleans for lunch. An hour’s drive over, park, walk, eat, drive back. It is pretty cool.

Last Thursday was the perfect day – sunny and warm – to head out to the French Quarter for lunch at the Brennan-owned SoBou, a “spirited restaurant south of Bourbon.”

Emphasis on spirits is obvious by the creative cocktail menu and shelves lined with clear bottles. And the Brennans’ 25 cent martinis.

SoBou fills the spot at 310 Chartres next to the W Hotel that used to house the family’s great Italian restaurant, Bacco.

SoBou’s emphasis is small and large plates inspired by Louisiana street food: pork cracklin’, boudin balls, hogs head grilled cheese and such.

By a happy coincidence, SoBou along with Commander’s Palace and Cafe Adelaide are offering special dishes in November in honor of Miss Ella Brennan’s 90th birthday.

In deference to the celebration, I took a taste of the Dirty Duck & Mirliton Bread Pudding (pulled duck leg confit, foie gras nibbles, and jalapeno corn bread with foie gras fondue & Old fashion duck sauce). Yes, foie gras. It was deliciously creamy rich and totally worthy of Miss Ella’s milestone.

Another birthday treat: the Jumbo Lump Blue Crab Escabeche (rum simple syrup marinated satsuma’s, pickled red cabbage and blue crab crackling). Oh, my.

The Surf & Turf (24-hour smoked Cochon de Lait, crispy Louisiana oysters and sugarcane mirlitons with grilled tortillas) was a great blend of smoke, sour and crunch.

Ready for a road trip?