Rocky And Carlo’s, New Orleans Lousiana: Baked Mac, Wop Salads And Barq’s Rootbeer

Rocky Tommaseo severely injured himself in a fall at his restaurant; Rocky and Carlos in the eastern New Orleans suburb of Chalmette back in 2009. He later succumbed after complications arose. He was 94 years of age.

The little restaurant across from Kaiser Aluminum is a good long cab ride from the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood but we took that ride with a song in our hearts as Mr. Tommaseo had a delectable version of Sicilian soul food that was both served in yeoman portions and often with a wisecrack from one of the ancient waitresses.

When he came to the USA way back in the 1950s Rocky went to work at the old Angelos restaurant out in St. Bernard Parish. After hustling and scraping for years he teamed up with Carlo Gioe to open their  eponymous cafe in 1965.

With Kaiser Aluminum booming and Chalmette filled with Italian immigrants Rocky and Carlos soon became a mecca for the eating set.

Decades later, after scrambling out of multiple hurricanes and countless violent storms the little roadside cafe is still up and running and still packing in some big crowds.

It’s unlikely you will ever see eaters the size of the patrons at Rocky and Carlos outside of the Crescent City. Pro wrestler-sized diners are hunkered down over enormous platters of fried soft shell crabs, veal parmesan and baked mac and cheese. A platter of french fries is on almost every table.

Although both Rocky Tommaseo and Carlo Gioe have both passed, the eatery bearing their name is still thriving.

It’ll cost you a pretty penny to cab it out to Chalmette from New Orleans proper but it’s money well spent. A giant shrimp po boy, a wop salad and a glass of Barq’s Rootbeer is one of the great southern dining experiences.

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Rocky and Carlos celebrates 50 years of operation this Friday April 24th 2015. They will be doling out their famous mac and cheese for only .50 cents per portion.

 

613 W Saint Bernard Hwy
Chalmette, LA
70043
(504) 279-8323
 
 

 

About RL Reeves Jr

I'm a writer living and working in New Orleans, Louisiana.
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