New Orleans Food Tour: Broussard’s

A Taste of the South: Notes from a Trip to Louisiana

Delicious Creole food in a historical restaurant

Creole cuisine was developed in the kitchens of innumerable Creoles during the French and Spanish period, who combined European techniques with native and African ingredients, but it was popularized and brought to its zenith in the kitchens of a handful of now classic restaurants in New Orleans. Several of them still exist today, both in and out of the French Quarter, and no visit to the City is complete without dining at least one of them.

That said, I had not intended to go to Broussard’s for lunch the second and last day of our New Orleans trip. I had previously made and then cancelled reservations to Galatoire’s, another of these classic restaurants, whose Friday lunch is legendary, thinking that we’d want lighter fare for lunch. But it was a beautiful day, and after eating beignets in the courtyard of our hotel, I thought lunch in the courtyard of a nearby restaurant would be just lovely. Broussard not only fit the bill, but it had reservations available. And reservations are a must if you want to sit in the courtyard – walk ins are seated indoors, which is also lovely, but not what I wanted that day.

Broussard’s traces its history back to 1920 when Joseph Broussard, a Creole with French culinary training, opened the restaurant in the childhood home of his wife, Rosalie. After the couple died in the 1960’s, the restaurant was sold and has changed hands a number of times, but still occupies the same lovely building with a comfortable, casual and very sunny patio.

A jazz band plays during brunch, Fridays to Sundays, though that day they were mostly visiting individual tables and playing “Happy Birthday” – the trumpet player was amazing. Given how warm it was that early April day, I feel for them during New Orleans summers.

Broussard’s brunch menu offers Creole, Southern and French classics and I really wish I had been hungrier to try more of them – the baked Camembert, in particular, sounded wonderful. Mike, who hadn’t eaten as many beignets as I had, ordered the Duck And Alligator Sausage Gumbo, with Louisiana popcorn rice ($12) as an appetizer. This was our second gumbo of the trip, and we both agreed that it was the superior one. The soup was very flavorful, only slightly spicy and achieved that umami quality that is essential for any soup. The shredded duck, in particular, was delicious, while the alligator sausage was interesting but not as flavorful as Andouille. We’d definitely order this dish again.

I ordered the Short Ribs & Eggs ($34) which came with brabant potatoes and hollandaise sauce (I asked fo it to be on the side). The short rib was delicious, perfectly cooked, with the absolutely right texture and devoid of extra fat. The kitchen knows how to prepare a short rib. The potatoes were good as well, particularly with the hollandaise. While the dish didn’t appear huge, I was stuffed.

Mike had the Bbq Gulf Shrimp & Grits ($29) and he was in heaven. The “New Orleans style” barbecue sauce didn’t taste like any barbecue sauce I’m acquainted with, but was absolutely delicious. He usually hates grits, but he enjoyed these mascarpone grits swimming in them. If you are going to eat shrimp and grits in New Orleans – and if you like shrimp, you sort of have to -, this is where you should get them.

Neither of us had any room for dessert, but I did have bottomless mimosas ($18) with brunch. I liked that they make them for you at the table, bringing you a small carafe with orange juice to add to the flutes they keep filling with champagne. This way I was able to get the perfect mimosa for my taste – about 2/3rds champagne, 1/3 orange juice. These weren’t the best mimosas in the world, the orange juice wasn’t freshly squeezed, but they were definitely a fun drink to have in a warm day like that one.

Service was great. Our waiter was genial and efficient, even when he had to also take over the mimosa duty when the drink waiter became unavailable.

In all, this was one of the best meals we had in New Orleans, and it very much overshadowed the breakfast we had the next day at Brennan’s. If you are going to one restaurant for brunch, this is the place.

819 Conti Street
New Orleans, LA
M & Th: 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
F & Sa: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm & 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Su: 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Tu-W: closed

New Orleans Food Tour

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