A relatively new spot to Baton Rouge, Canefield Tavern offers daily lunch and dinner menus, chalkboard specials and breakfast and brunch on weekends.
Situated in the former Brew-Bacher’s at 5251 Nicholson Drive, the restaurant doesn’t offer fancy food, but that’s OK.
What it does offer is a bit of Southern comfort.
Our first stop on our leisurely brunch at the restaurant was the Bloody Mary bar ($10), which featured large wooden cabinets with glass drink dispensers holding the traditional mix, a roasted green tomato mix and plain tomato juice. There are plenty of fixings for your Bloody Mary — pickled veggies, beef consommé, seasonings and hot sauces.
Your concoction could easily be a meal.
I went with the traditional mix and added several different pickled peppers, celery salt, hot sauce and olives and enjoyed the spicy, salty drink. For another dollar, they offer protein additions like shrimp and bacon.
If there had just been just two of us, I would have liked to sit in the wing-back chairs by the windows and share the newspaper over coffee and a meal.
But we had guests coming. While we waited at our table, we ordered the deviled eggs ($6) appetizer served with a small bowl of delicious housemade pickles and pickled peppers. The five eggs were dry and boring and would have been better if a generous amount of the pickles and peppers were added to the stuffing as well as served one the side.
The hearty farmhouse hash ($13) fared better. A large serving of cubed “griddled” potatoes were wonderfully tender and light with a slight crunch. Grilled onions, peppers and bite-size pieces of rotisserie chicken topped two poached eggs. And all of it was drizzled with hollandaise sauce.
The taste combination of the egg yolk all mixed up with the vegetables and chicken was hard to beat, and it was served with hearty, thick wheat toast.
The shrimp and grits ($16) was good, too, but the sauce surprised us. Billed as Cajun, the tomato-based creamy sauce had a spicy kick that reminded me more of a Mediterranean dish with lots of oregano. While the shrimp and sauce were good, the grits were thin and lacked taste. We got this with a side of the aforementioned (read: good) “griddled” potatoes.
The eggs Benedict ($12) was the classic serving of two toasted English muffins topped with country ham, tomatoes, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. We chose grits as our side. Besides the runny grits, this was delicious. The tomato added color and texture to an otherwise routine dish. However, the smoky country ham was the star of this dish.
The large biscuits and gravy ($8) was good and, well, large. The biscuits were light and fluffy, and the generous amount of milk gravy with bits of sausage in it was sprinkled with finely chopped parsley. I cringe to think how many calories were on that plate but would order it again.
Next time, I’ll probably go with the small order.
Also from the breakfast menu, we tried the apple pie caramel waffle ($7). The chopped apples sauteéd with caramel and cinnamon and piled on top of the waffle (sprinkled with confection sugar) were tender. It was so sweet that syrup was not necessary.
One of seven other restaurants owned by David Smith and Doug Hary, these guys know what they’re doing.
We will return. However, we do wish they also offered their lunch service sides with brunch instead of just the breakfast sides. Until they do, order the potatoes.