Betsy's Pancake House on Canal Street near Broad Street is a 30-year favorite of local New Orleans residents. Yes, they make pancakes and lots of them. Here is a NOLA favorite, shrimp-n-grits. Betsy puts into the dish a little cheese, a lot of green onions, and a hint of thyme (a creole seasoning favorite). This dish is meant to be eaten with a spoon, and there is nearly a shrimp in every bite.
French Toast on French Bread:
Unfortunately, in the city that is famous for French bread, not all NOLA restaurants make French toast on French bread. But Metairie's Corner Cafe does. And it comes with plenty of powdered sugar and cinnamon. Those two sausages on the plate would have never made it through the meal, so I called up reinforcements -- a side order of sausage. Four links work for five slices of French toast.
Crawfish Creole Queen:
Dot's Diners of Jefferson Parish cooks up this decadent dish for breakfast. Dot has six mom-n-pop style diners throughout Jefferson which is just outside of NOLA. This crawfish dish is an open-face grilled biscuit covered with two eggs (any style), Dot's own Crawfish Julie sauce, and Swiss cheese. Talk about good. Note the hashbrowns are brown, they way they should be, not hash whites or half browns like in the big chain restaurants.
Waffles West End:
Russels was the very first place I blogged several years ago. It was my Mom's favorite place to go for breakfast. What makes Waffles West End so good is the fried chicken breasts. Both the meat and the batter is seasoned. The trick to that is using low salt seasoning mixes. That way you can season both without the flavor being too salty. On the side is a spicy maple sauce. I used it as a chicken dipping sauce.
Crabcake Benedict is a mainstay of most New Orleans breakfast places. All three of the previously mentioned places have it. This one comes from the Abita Cafe just 45 minutes from the Greater New Orleans Area. Just cross the Causeway Bridge over Lake Pontchartrain, get on I-12 East, and then get off and go north on LA59. These crab cakes are served on grilled biscuits and topped with poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce. Some places have biscuits or English muffin, and some places just the crabcake. Russels does it with just the crabcake and poached eggs.
Grits & Debris:
Fried Andouille-Sage Grits:
Russels must have concocted this dish on one hungry morning. Cooked grits are mixed with sage and crumbled andouille sausage, then made into paddies and deep fried. The final dish is coated with a béchamel sauce (butter, flour, cream, and whatever).
Grits & Grillades:
This dish comes from a restaurant which has recently re-opened and then closed again -- Louie and the Red Head Lady. This was their signature dish: sautéed veal served with Chef Louie's special gravy. My guess is that the gravy comes from what sticks to the bottom of the pan when the veal is sautéed. See the caramelized onions on top.
When I do it, I season and flour baby veal; then brown the veal in butter. Afterwards, I put cold water in the hot pan to release the flour and flavor that stuck to the bottom of the pan. Careful, some pans don't react well to going from hot to cold. This dish is one of the BEST breakfasts that has ever passed my taste buds. Grits were meant to be topped with Chef Louie's grillades gravy.
Back to Corner Cafe for a crawfish omelet. Picked upon this dish on the ride out of NOLA on my return trip to Texas. Cream crawfish sauce on scrambled egg. Really good. Next time I'll get them to add cheddar. Look at that biscuit, nice and crisp, but not burnt ... cooked all the way through. So far this is my favorite biscuit in NOLA. NOLA.com had a contest and declared the Corner Cafe's biscuit number three in the city.
Fried Oyster and Bacon Omelet:
Russel's calls this the Big Easy Omelet, and it has fried oysters and bacon! I didn't know that those two go together so well. Also complementing the omelet are diced tomatoes, green onions, and cheddar cheese. All of that is topped with Russel's homemade Remoulade sauce. Ohh so good!
Bucket List: Crabmeat Omelet.
Several places offer it. Will update post on my next trip.