Like many who joined the hoards in singing the praises of, and standing in line for, Cochon Butcher, I loved the place when it opened and could eat there with some frequency. About a year ago I ate at St. James Cheese Company for the first time and, as I think I reported on this board at the time, enjoyed it very much. Well now that I've eaten here numerous times, I am prepared to announce my verdict. (Ok, well I guess I already did in the title to this thread.) The sandwiches at St. James are more interesting and better prepared. And St. James offers a much more comfortable dining experience. Both places require you to wait in line, order at the counter, and place a number on your table to have your order delivered. But St. James is less crowded and less frenetic, has a brighter, more comfortable, and more attractive dining room. And most will find the location more convenient.
Today I had their sandwich special, roasted lamb shoulder with Moroccan pickled fennel, feta, cilantro and harissa, pressed on ciabatta. It was as delicious as it sounds. As with all of their sandwiches, it comes with either chips or a salad. The salad on the side was hardly an afterthought: it was beautiful, fresh and delicious, a salad of simple greens with a light vinaigrette with a hint of horseradish and some grated hard cheese. It was such an overall satisfying experience. In addition to sandwiches, they offer beautiful looking larger salads, and cheese and charcuterie boards. And as at Cochon Butcher, beer and wine are available.
I don't mean to suggest that there's anything wrong with Cochon Butcher. Their offerings are delicious, and their sandwiches more New Orleans style, for those looking for more of a local flavor. But nine times out of ten, I'd opt for St. James.
(I am typing this inside of Revelator, the coffee bar right next door to St. James, which offers delicious coffee and great wifi!)