An expansion for the popular Creole soul restaurant Li’l Dizzy’s at the Rendon Inn proved short lived. But the buffet lunch, weekend brunch and bar food menu at the neighborhood watering hole all continue, now with more of a Cajun touch, plus a Tuesday taco bar.
In April, local pop-up Lee’s Cajun Cuisine set up shop in the kitchen of the Rendon Inn, the longtime barroom on the border of Broadmoor and Gert Town.
Look for cheese-stuffed boudin balls, crinkly cheese fries with tasso gravy, fried oyster and spinach salads, burgers and wings, fried chicken, lobster mac and cheese and a triple decker grilled cheese on Texas toast (see full menu below).
Li’l Dizzy’s, the mainstay in Treme from the Baquet family, added a second location at the bar in January. It served many of Li’l Dizzy’s signature dishes, including its renowned gumbo, and prepared a daily buffet similar to the one cooked up at the original restaurant.
At the time, it looked like a way for the always-bustling Treme restaurant to expand its footprint and for the bar to expand its own draw with a well-known name in New Orleans food.
Successive generations of the Baquet family have run restaurants in New Orleans dating back to the 1940s, and Li’l Dizzy’s is a longtime food vendor at Jazz Fest.
However, Li’l Dizzy’s proprietor Wayne Baquet and Rendon Inn partner Billy Perez each said they parted ways after it became clear the arrangement would not work long term. Baquet said he wanted more control over how he ran the kitchen; Perez said he wanted longer hours for his bar patrons.
Lee’s Cajun Cuisine stepped in shortly after Li’l Dizzy’s departed. It’s the first permanent home for a concept Adam Lee started as a pop up.
A native of Grand Prairie, a tiny Acadiana town outside Ville Platte, Lee moved to New Orleans after a hitch in the Army and started making Cajun meats himself.
"I just missed the stuff we used to get all the time at home, the boudin, the tasso," he said.
The Rendon Inn is now his homebase for other pop-ups, including one at Uptown's Prytania Bar.
At the Rendon Inn, Lee fields a lunch buffet that follows a daily theme of red beans and fried chicken on Mondays, build-your-own taco bar on Tuesdays, pasta bar on Wednesdays, barbecue (chicken, Boston butt steaks) on Thursdays and fish fries on Fridays.
A recent visit to the Monday buffet brought crisp, well-seasoned fried chicken, meaty and deeply smoky red beans, cheesy broccoli, carrots and salad for a homey spread with distinctive Louisiana flavor. The weekday buffet costs $14.50.
On Saturday and Sunday, a brunch menu brings dishes like crawfish Benedict, a cochon grits bowl, omelets and breakfast po-boys.
During crawfish season, the Rendon Inn hosts a boil each Friday, with the first batch at 6 pm.
The Rendon Inn dates to 1933, the not-coincidental year of Repeal. It has undergone a series of renovations, different eras and different owners through the years. Today it feels like a neighborhood joint with a new polish. There's a line up of local craft beer on tap, old newspaper clippings on the walls and a covered patio out back.
The bar also still doubles as a de facto club house for Cleveland Browns fans, who finally had more to cheer last season.
The Rendon Inn
4501 Eve St., 504-218-7106
Lunch and dinner daily; lunch buffet 11 a.m.-2 p.m., brunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
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