When it comes to Southern-style brunch, we expect classics that we know and love, like warm biscuits covered in thick gravy.
But local chefs behind the modern Southern cuisine movement have taken these items up a notch, preparing them with local ingredients and contemporary culinary techniques. Their brunch menus are wide ranging, offering both simple à la carte treats and entrée size platters, and they are sure to leave early-afternoon diners pleasantly satisfied, for the rest of the day.
1032 Chartres St., (504) 308-3106; angelinenola.com
Brunch Saturday-Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
At Angeline, chef Alex Harrell pays homage to the culinary traditions of the South with local, seasonal products. An example of this is the Gulf Shrimp and Country Ham dish, served with roasted sweet potatoes and kale, placed on top of Louisiana rice grits, and covered in a pumpkin seed pesto.
“You can’t have Southern brunch without biscuits,” said Chef Harrell, an Alabama native. Angeline’s buttermilk-fried chicken biscuit is served with a black pepper-milk gravy, and honey butter. A variety of fresh juices and imported teas are offered during brunch, along with a cocktail menu that’s not to be missed.
231 N. Carrollton Ave., (504) 609-3871; brownbutterrestaurant.com
Brunch Sunday, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Although Brown Butter is new to the brunch game, their Sunday morning menu is already packed with innovative breakfast options created by chef Dayne Womax. The hearty Waffle Pressed Sandwich, which Womax describes as a “cross between a Cuban sandwich and a waffle,” features chicken confit, ham and white cheddar cheese, pressed between two slices of crispy sourdough bread, and topped with a fried egg. A glaze made with Steen’s cane syrup and mustard provides the finishing touch.
But somewhat surprisingly, the Lox and Toast dish, with house-smoked salmon on grilled ciabatta bread, has become one of the most popular menu items. The Pancake Flip, made with brown butter pancake batter and caramelized fruit, served like an upside down cake, is another favorite.
8132 Hampson St., (504) 252-9928; carrolltonmarket.com
Brunch Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Starting Nov. 7, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
At Carrollton Market, an elegant bistro in the Riverbend, Chef Jason Goodenough blurs the lines between dinner and breakfast. His signature dish, The Oysters Goodenough French Omelet features fried Gulf oysters, creamed leeks, and Benton’s bacon, tucked in a French omelet, resting beneath a Bearnaise sauce. The Biscuits and Debris plate begins with cornbread biscuits, toasted in butter on both sides, covered with braised oxtail debris, poached eggs and a spicy Hollandaise sauce.
Goodenough recommends The Creole Cream Cheese-Stuffed French Toast, made with brioche from Gracious Bakery and dipped in a custard that’s also used alongside their dinnertime Pan-Seared Foie Gras dish.
428 E. Boston St., Covington, (985) 400-5663; oxlot9.com
Brunch Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Situated in Covington’s historic Southern Hotel, Oxlot 9 offers new interpretations of familiar food items, such as Cajun deviled eggs and beignets. Chef Jeffrey Hansell noted that the “fried oyster dish” is so popular, patrons also order it during the restaurant’s dinner service. The entrée features cornmeal fried oysters and Brussels sprouts, house-made Andouille and caper ravigote sauce.
The Shrimp and Stone Ground Grits plate uses yellow hominy grits as a base, followed by Louisiana shrimp with the heads still intact, because Hansell believes that’s the way shrimp should be eaten, a poached farm egg, rosemary, lemon and Abita Amber beer.
611 O’Keefe Ave., (504) 509-7334; willajean.com
Brunch Saturday and Sunday, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Willa Jean, the bright and airy CBD bakery, welcomes guests with a big “U need a biscuit” mural, painted on its exposed brick walls. And, of course, the heavenly aroma of fresh baked pastries and other southern-style breakfast items.
“Our approach at Willa Jean is to do a brunch that’s rooted in southern tradition, but on a lighter scale,” said Executive Pastry Chef Kelly Fields, a South Carolina native who collaborates with Pastry Chef Lisa White at Willa Jean.
Their version of the Eggs Benedict is a hot item and features a poached farm egg on a house-made English muffin, sautéed blue crabmeat, and whipped hollandaise sauce. Sandwiches, and smaller items like cornbread with Poirier’s cane syrup, are on the menu. And, diners can “build a biscuit” with country fried steak and sausage gravy, among other sweet and savory ingredients. Be sure to try one of Willa Jean’s invigorating, coffee-based cocktails.