Things started out well enough with a complementary virgin mimosa for Lindsay and a crispy gin and tonic. Then we were brought to our table. Let me rephrase: the absolute worst table in the city of New Orleans. Wedged in between a wall and the passageway between the bar, hostess stand, and dining room we became air traffic controllers.
I've purchased cars that induced less sticker shock than the menu at Brennan's. To wit, the standard breakfast at Brennan's is in the mid $30's and is offered as a Table d'Hote. But order the turtle soup and the signature Banana's Foster, and the price increases by almost 50%. So a three course breakfast of soup, eggs, and bananas flamed in rum will set you back $43.
The turtle soup is fantastic, a rust colored exploration of Creole flavors that shines both on the spoon and smeared with hot French bread. The oyster soup was overly vegetal and bitter on the edge lacking in any of the buttery richness or salty punch of Louisiana oysters.
Halfway through our breakfast, I made the switch to Ramos Gin Fizzes. Of the two I ordered, one arrived in a glass that still had the remnants of the previous tenant's Screwdriver. This is a little like kissing a girl who smells of another man's cologne. I looked in vain for a waiter, server, or busboy to remedy the problem. Unfortunately one female manager was too busy letting everyone know that Ryan Phillippe was due in soon. The other manager had an issue with some of the waiters on the floor. Must have been urgent because he began dressing them down in the middle of the dining room. I found a straw and made do.
Soon enough came the entrees, which meant we were almost two thirds of the way done with this nightmare trainwreck on acid. Eggs Hussarde is a simple enough dish of poached eggs, hollandaise, Holland rusks, Canadian bacon, and Marchand de vin sauce. The Canadian bacon was flabby, the eggs cold, the Marchand de vin muddy, the hollandaise pasty, and the Holland rusk stale. After leaving, I swung by St. Louis Cathedral to make an offering to St. Jude for this dish.
Lindsay got the bargain of the century with her grillades and grits. A plate of instant grits milled personally by Mr. Quaker Oaks were gilded with some chopped parsley. To its right sat a watery gravy loaded with precisely two poorly braised fat slabs of veal. It was at least labeled as veal on the menu. We had our doubts. Just look below and tell me you can't resist this tempting offering at $43 a plate - a la carte. Someone get the President on line 1, the economy has rebounded, and good times are here again!
Bananas Foster are fine and well. But after the show of lighting bananas on fire, our pan sat off the heat for ten minutes as the sugars and fat congealed into a lukewarm mess. This delay may have been due to the arrival of the aforementioned Mr. Phillippe and his twenty year old consort. I hope they enjoyed their meal. We did not.
Breakfast at Brennan's: Is It Worth It? Absolutely Not.
417 Royal Street