Dining Notes: Basting burgers with (garlic) butter in Fat City

Fire House Burgers

Hot dogs are out and hamburgers are in at one very casual Fat City restaurant space, though there’s a little more behind the story. Fire House Burgers (3224 Edenborn Ave., [504] 875-4600; firehouse-burgers.com) opened recently at the address that had been the short-lived Fat City Franks hot dog parlor. The new burger concept comes from one of the area’s best-known restaurateurs, Tommy Cvitanovich, who runs the Drago’s Seafood Restaurant just around the corner, along with a second Drago’s in the CBD.

A redevelopment push has been underway in Fat City, and restaurants have been leading the way here. Cvitanovich said he has long had an infatuation with straightforward burgers and thought the time was right to build a restaurant apart from Drago’s to focus on them.

“We obviously have a big investment in Fat City, so when this place became available, we thought ‘OK, let’s do our part to revitalize’,” Cvitanovich said.

While Drago’s is best-known for oysters, there’s no seafood on the Fire House Burgers menu, which has a selection of specialty burgers, including a turkey burger and a veggie burger made in-house with chickpeas, brown rice and spinach. But one Drago’s touchstone is part of the operation: burgers are basted with the same garlic butter sauce Drago’s uses on its famous char-broiled oysters.

Fire House Burgers serves lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday.

Three Muses, Two Shifts

Since opening in 2010, the Three Muses (536 Frenchmen St., (504) 298-8746; thethreemuses.com) has deftly toed the line between bar, music venue and dinner destination. Beginning this weekend, it adds another role: lunch spot.

While this stretch of Frenchmen Street is known primarily for its nightlife, chef Dan Esses said daytime activity is picking up, prompting the expanded service. The Marigny restaurant now serves its new lunch menu Friday through Sunday, starting at 11 a.m.

Some of the lunch dishes come straight from the dinner menu (like lamb sliders, butternut squash ravioli and feta fries) while joining the mix are new sandwiches, salads and more pastas (like shrimp and linguini, meatballs and house-made “Spaghetti O’s”).

The Three Muses still serves dinner and hosts live music every night except Tuesday.

Tiki Meets Tequila

One of the ways Felipe’s Taqueria has set itself apart from other fast-casual eateries is by developing bars at each of its locations with surprisingly suave cocktail operations.

Last year, the taqueria team upped the ante by converting the special events room above the French Quarter location (301 N. Peters St., [504] 267-4406; felipestaqueria.com) into a dedicated tiki bar called Tiki Tolteca, trimmed out with thatch, sofas and a surf guitar soundtrack.

Though initially open on a limited schedule, last week Tiki Tolteca expanded its hours and is now open every night except Tuesday, beginning at 5 p.m. The cocktail menu mixes classic Polynesian drink themes with an arsenal of tequilas, mezcals, piscos and other liquors for unique concoctions.

Tiki Tolteca doesn’t have its own menu, but you can order from the normal taqueria menu at the bar. It does have its own entrance, however. Look for it around the corner on Bienville Street.