A new brunch spot is opening on S. Cortez Street next month in a location familiar with many Mid-City breakfast fans.
Fullblast Brunch will open as early as next week at 139 S. Cortez St., in the corner building that previously was the longtime home of the Ruby Slipper Cafe's flagship location (that restaurant relocated to a larger space on S. Broad Street at the beginning of the year).
The new operation, under the helm of former Ruby Slipper employee Christopher Belou, will focus on breakfast, brunch and lunch.
Belou worked as a chef at the Windsor Court Hotel during the 1990s under chef Rene Bajeux and also has helmed brunch operations at the Ritz Carlton's restaurant. He then worked for several years at a restaurant in the Yucatan region of Mexico.
Belou says the menu at Fullblast Brunch will center on “typical New Orleans-style” brunch dishes but also will include some Latin-inspired offerings stemming from his tenure in the Riviera Maya.
A dish called “the Yucatan” features roasted pork with black beans and what Belou has dubbed “abuela’s avocado sauce” — a recipe gleaned from his wife's family in Mexico. In a spin on the traditional brandy milk punch, a Caribbean-inspired eye-opener features Kahlua, vodka and coconut milk.
More traditional dishes run the gamut from poached eggs with hollandaise to a caprese salad, Caesar salad with shrimp remoulade, crab cakes, steak frites and a Gulf fish of the day,
Earlier this year, news outlets reported that Ruby Slipper Cafe owners had filed a lawsuit against Belou in federal court, claiming he used trade secrets from the company and urged them to vacate the building earlier than they originally had planned. The lawsuit alleges that Belou did not disclose to the owners his personal plans to take over the space and open a “competing restaurant.” Belou declined to comment on the suit, but said the building had since undergone a “complete renovation.”
Belou says the restaurant will open in early June and serve breakfast, lunch and brunch Thursday through Monday from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.