Eleven a.m. on a Thursday morning, hunched in my writing hole, gulping my second cup of coffee, scanning the news on the net, and Times-Picayune restaurant writer Brett Anderson puts brunch in my face. It's not fair. Anderson has a story about the restaurants in New Orleans - small restaurants with high profile chefs - who have begun to make brunch a calling card. He lists Patois, Coquette and Cochon Butcher, some of my favorites, and then makes a flying leap across the Atchafalaya Basin to Lafayette.
And the brunch fever does not appear to be restricted to the New Orleans area. At the French Press in Lafayette, chef-owner Justin Girouard, a former Stella! sous chef, is selling foie gras, fried softshell crabs and picture-perfect flapjacks to overflow crowds during weekend brunch service. It's worth the trip.
It's rare for Anderson to write about restaurants outside of the Crescent City, but I do know, because I talked to him about his breakfast chez Justin, that he was wowed by the French Press. Thanks for the Acadiana shout-out Brett, and kudos to Justin Girouard. I think I'll make that trip, for me, a stroll across Vermilion St. (ah, the benefits of working downtown) for that dazzling bellykiller, Cajun Benedict, ie, french bread toast under boudin patties, topped with poached eggs and sauced with a ladle full of chicken and sausage gumbo. Just what the doctor ordered. Or didn't. Who cares. I'll die happy.