Friday, September 6, 2013

A Slice of the Big Easy in Fullerton

Bourbon Street
110 E. Commonwealth
Fullerton, CA 92832

There are so many good places to eat in Downtown Fullerton, that some places kind of get lost in the shuffle. I mean, restaurants seem to be opening up in a rapid rate in DTF. Just within this year, Hopscotch opened to some rave reviews, JP 23 started serving some barbecue out of the old Church location at the corner of Commonwealth and Harbor, and on this latest trip up to Fullerton we spotted a new pizza joint, Fuoco Pizzeria, which one of our friends told us we must try on our next trip up the 57 Freeway. This excursion was all about a restaurant that has been around for over five years, and has been serving up California Cajun cuisine, Bourbon Street.

To be honest, I had Bourbon Street confused with another restaurant that I used to eat at as a kid, Sombrero Street, which was a few streets over. We used to go over there for brunch when I was in elementary school. That restaurant is long gone now. Bourbon Street is located right next to Stubriks, and in the same shopping area as Knowlwood's and the Old Spaghetti Factory. Kind of in a corner spot, it is well worth the trouble finding it though.

We got here at 7:30 on a Saturday night. The whole downtown area was practically deserted on this Labor Day weekend, which we at first thought was odd, but made sense when you think about it. The Orange Street Fair was going on, the heat keeps a lot of people at home, and a lot of people head out of town for the last big weekend before school starts up again. We took advantage of this lull in the almost always busy Downtown Fullerton area, by getting a great parking space, less than thirty feet away from the entrance to Bourbon Street.

When we walked in Bourbon Street, the first thing I noticed was the great decor that really captures what they are trying to bring to California from New Orleans. They had a cobblestone walkway, the lampposts were reminiscent of New Orleans, and colorful walls brought back to mind the Crescent  City. The other long wall is made of brick, and is dominated by maybe 15 to 20 large HD TVs, which were all playing a different college football game on this particular Saturday night. They were even gracious enough to turn the TV nearest to us, to my beloved Washington Huskies, as they dominated Boise State. Hopefully a sign of things to come this season.

Much like the rest of Downtown Fullerton, Bourbon Street was not very busy on this night. There were maybe about five tables eating here during our visit. Most of the action was happening at the long bar, which was at the end of the long, narrow restaurant. We were greeted promptly, and given one of the nice sized, comfy booths facing the bank of TVs. Our waiter gave us a few minutes to ponder the menu, and this is what we came up with.

It was a very warm night out, and we had a long drive up from South OC, so I definitely felt a drink was in order. Katie opted for her usual designated driver inspired iced tea, so I went for a New Orleans beverage staple, the New Orleans Style Hurricane. At Bourbon Street they make their hurricanes with Myer's Plantation Rum, Myer's Dark Rum, orange juice, cranberry juice, and grenadine. I love rum, and this really hit the spot. It was fruity, but I could still taste the rum in this drink. It brought me back to when I was having one of these at O'Brien's in Cancun. So refreshing.

Checking out the appetizer portion of the menu, a lot of things popped out at us, Bacon Mac and Cheese, Wings, and the Onion Rings, but when it came right down to it, we could not pass up the Louisiana Fries ($12). This heaping mound of fries was topped with pickled vegetables, pulled pork, baked beans, ginger slaw, BBQ sauce, and garlic aioli. This kind of resembled a Philly cheesesteak to me. The fries were crisp, seasoned well, and provided a very sturdy base for this appetizer. The pork was very tender, while the garlic aioli had a great flavor. I was a little skeptical about the pickled veggies used here, but they added a nice tang to the dish. Even though this was a big mound of fries that could have easily fed four, with the absence of cheese here, this was a much lighter appetizer than it would appear to be. Don't make a mistake and leave Bourbon Street without getting this appetizer.

Who could come to a New Orleans style restaurant, and not try their Shrimp Jambalaya ($6)? Not me, that's for sure. This chicken and rice stew, with assorted peppers, and shrimp came out scalding hot. Even with the scorching temperatures outside, I still think I made the right decision to have this jambalaya. It was real solid, with plenty of shrimp in it. I think I counted six good sized shrimp in just this one cup. The spice was spot on. No need asking for hot sauce with this jambalaya, it really brought the heat.

Katie's not much into spicy things, so it was not a surprise to me that she did not try the jambalaya or the gumbo here. She was much more content with the Bourbon Street Salad ($13). This was a very good sized salad, with a whole laundry list of things in it. Starting with mixed greens, then adding Roma tomatoes, red onion, Gorgonzola cheese, candied walnuts, and cranberries. This salad usually comes with a ginger balsamic vinaigrette, but Katie opted for ranch dressing with this salad. She liked all the different textures and flavors of this salad. She liked the crunchiness of the nuts, and the fresh produce here. She would definitely get this salad again.

I usually share Katie's meals first, but I can not wait to share what I got with you. The Black and Bleu Sirloin ($20) was a big hunk of meat. This sirloin was cooked to a prefect medium rare, then had plenty of Gorgonzola cheese in the middle of it, along with plenty of mushrooms, onions, and Cabernet sauce poured on top of it. This steak was big on flavor. The sweetness from the onions counterbalanced the Gorgonzola a bit. I ended up taking a quarter of this home. This steak was also served with veggies and au gratin potatoes. The vegetables here are organic, and come from Melissa's Produce, so you know they are good. I have a love hate relationship with au gratin potatoes, but these were pretty solid. They had plenty of cheese on top of them, and I liked that some of the potatoes were crisp. This was a big plate of food for a person with a large appetite.

When I saw the menu, I had it narrowed down to two things that Katie would get, one of which she eventually did get, the Cajun Penne Pasta ($16). I guess after four and a half years of being together, I should have her figured out by now. This dish not only had penne pasta, but came with chicken, andouille sausage, peppers, mushrooms and onions, with a creamy cayenne sauce. I tried this, and really enjoyed the smokiness of it. Katie was pretty happy that the cayenne sauce did not get to be too spicy. She called this comfort food at its best. The noodles and chicken were cooked well, but she did think that the sausage could have been more prominent in this dish though. She was pretty impressed with the garlic bread that came with this, and even took a slice home for the next day.

We were very full, but we allowed ourselves to be talked into having dessert. They had three choices, which all sounded good, but we went with the one that involved ice cream, the Bananas Foster. This was prepared table side by our waiter Scott. They used three large scoops of ice cream to make this traditional dessert. I always like when the ice cream to banana ratio is in favor of the ice cream. The bananas were good here, and the rum they used was pretty evident. Even though I was full, I ate a good amount of this to cool me down.

As we were sitting here, we could imagine that this place gets pretty crazy for NFL football on Sunday mornings. On the door they advertise this as a Saints bar naturally, but our waiter, Scott, said that a lot of other teams fans come in on Sunday mornings to root on their team. He told us that we were sitting in the Minnesota Vikings booth, so I felt we were in good company, since neither the Vikes, or my beloved Jaguars have any shot of making the Superbowl. Back to Bourbon Street though, they have a pretty solid brunch menu for Sunday mornings, and one item definitely caught my eye, The Big Easy. This breakfast chimichanga is filled with pulled pork, bacon, sausage, eggs, Gouda and cheddar cheeses, pico de gallo, and a chorizo cream sauce. Yeah, this is something I can really get behind. We are really going to have to make Bourbon Street one of our stops during this football season.

We really enjoyed our time at Bourbon Street. Everyone we encountered was very nice, and answered all of our many questions about this restaurant. They even do a lot for the community as well. They are very active raising money for Autism Awareness, with many events held throughout the year. It is always nice when a restaurant not only wants to feed the community, but also wants to give something back to the community. We really look forward to coming back to Bourbon Street again real soon. With the wealth of restaurants in Downtown Fullerton, Bourbon Street should not be missed.

For more information about Bourbon Street, go to their website, which is here:


  1. Great blog! The information you provide is quiet helpful. Welcome to Vineyard Limousine and Wine Tours. Temecula wine tasting tour. We offer 4 Winery Stops for $35. We are experts in providing wine tasting tours of the Temecula Valley.

  2. Fantastic description! You really captured the mood of the place. Thank you!

  3. Jenny - Thanks for the kind words. We are always up for wine tasting.

    Cheryl - Thanks so much. We really enjoyed ourselves, and look forward to going back again soon.

  4. Thank you for the suggestions. I need to get to downtown Fullerton more often.

  5. If it was any other weekend and two hours later, you'd be surprised by the sea of people in there dancing. It's one of be only places to dance in DTF and it gets packed.

    I've ate there as well--their kettle chips and aioli are addicting.

  6. Jesse - There is a lot in Downtown Fullerton. Every time we go, we seem to add another place to our list of places to hit up.

    Cody - Thanks for the heads up about the kettle chips and aioli. I'll have to try them next time. I'm going to skip the dancing though, I don't want to put anyone through watching me dance.