The Campus View shopping center on Burbank Drive is full of dining options. There’s excellent sushi at Umami, good pizza at Lit Pizza, and even burgers and beer at Walk-On’s. Breck’s Bistro, a restaurant and pasta bar full of rich Louisiana flavors, is another option here that you shouldn’t overlook.
Led by owner Breck Mapp, Breck’s Bistro opened four years ago, serving up everything from burgers to brown sugar BLT sandwiches, salad bowls to spicy fried shrimp (called “Dante’s Level Six Banging Shrimp”).
A recent Saturday brunch visit left us with full, happy bellies that appreciated how Mapp and the restaurant combined mouth-watering, decadent flavors in dishes that are familiar to locals.
We started our meal with appetizers — crab cakes ($19.90) and baked marinara ($10.50). Though a little pricey, the crab cakes had a crisp texture that was spot-on. These golden, pan-fried cakes had little filler and tons of well-seasoned crabmeat. The Dijon aioli drizzle was a nice bonus, too. The baked marinara, a bowl of marinara sauce with feta cheese, was served with pita bread. We added Italian sausage for an extra dose of texture and flavor. While this app was pretty good, we admit we were still thinking about those crab cakes.
For our entrees, we tried the Jam-Jam Pasta ($16.90) and a shrimp po-boy ($13.90). The first is a Cajun-inspired bow tie pasta bowl with seasoned chicken, sausage and tasso, sautéed with the Cajun holy trinity, then immersed in a spicy jambalaya sauce. If you have cravings for an amped-up version of pastalaya, this will satisfy. The portion size was daunting, though. As soon we saw the plate, we immediately thought, “We’ll need a to-go box.”
On the other hand, the po-boy was an unexpected favorite. When you think of a bistro or pasta bar, a fried shrimp po-boy isn’t the first dish that comes to mind. These large shrimp were fried crispy, overflowing from a buttered bun. Again, we knew we would need a box, but a simple po-boy done well is always welcome.
For dessert, we found room for the lost bread pudding ($7.90). This take on the Louisiana staple features baked white chocolate bread pudding that is laced with spiced butter rum, then topped with cranberries and toasted pecans. A little bitterness from the sauce took away from this otherwise rich and decadent version.
This wasn’t our first visit to Breck’s Bistro, and like previous visits, the service was attentive and consistent. And after this brunch, we can safely say, it won’t be the last time we make a point to go to Breck’s.
WHERE: 3930 Burbank Drive, Suite F, Baton Rouge
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday
INFO: (225) 389-6597 or brecksbistro.com
PROS: Good balance of flavor and familiar Louisiana food; consistently good service; shrimp po-boy; crab cakes.
CONS: Located in a strip mall with so many dining options.