Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Jazz and brunch go hand-in-hand.

I indulged in a couple of my favorite things this weekend: live music and good food.  The live music was totally fabulous.  And then there was brunch (with more live music!) the next morning.  Equally fabulous.

I made the trek up to Charlotte for the weekend.  My dear friend K was a wonderful hostess, and was very excited to take A, S, and me out for brunch on Sunday morning.  We went to one of K's favorite brunch spots in the NoDa district: Boudreaux's.  As you might have guessed from the name, Boudreux's had us traveling to Bourbon Street, without actually having to drive to New Orleans.

Boudreaux's is a funky little place that captures the spirit of the area.  They only serve brunch on Sundays, starting at 11 a.m.   Heads up if you're of the bloody mary or mimosa persuasion: they open at 11, but state law prohibits them from selling alcohol until noon.

Powdered sugary goodness.
In true New Orleans fashion, we started with an order of beignets.  They were perfect.  Fluffy and light and smothered in powdered sugar.  Each order comes with three beignets, which worked out well for us.  Yes, there were four of us, but K claimed that she had had the beignets enough times that she could refrain from having one that day. 

The beignets were a good start, and actually bought us a little time since none of us could decide what to order off of the menu.  It took me forever to decide because everything looked so good.  And, by all accounts, the menu lived up to the hype.

In addition to the standard menu, there were also specials.  One of them was a Black Angus Benedict, and that's what A ended up ordering.  He was very happy with his decision.  It was what you would expect - steak topped with a poached egg and Hollandaise and served on an English muffin.  I didn't get to taste it, but it looked awesome.  Especially once A started cutting into it and the egg yolk and meat mixed together....I would probably order this if it is on special again the next time I'm there.  Each breakfast meal comes with a side of fresh fruit (in this case, strawberries and grapes) and a choice of grits, homefries, baked cinnamon apples, or an English muffin.  A opted to get cheese grits, and those I did try.  As a general rule, I don't eat grits, unless they have more cheese than grit.  These grits would probably be the exception.  They were creamy and cheesy and well-seasoned.  It was almost like eating risotto instead of grits.  I approve.

Tell me this doesn't look delicious.
Since she's had just about everything on the menu at one point or another, K decided on the pancakes with a side of cheese grits.  She also ordered the pork sausage patties that were on special.  The pancakes were outstanding.  They were big, but still light and fluffy.  That's how I like my pancakes.  Plus, K drowned them in butter and syrup so they really tasted great.  K was also the only one of us to avail herself of the Bloody Mary bar.  I'm not a huge Bloody Mary fan, mostly because tomato juice is not my favorite thing to drink.  The plus side of the Bloody Mary bar is that you can make your drink exactly how you want it.  K's ended up being really good, so it may be something I have to attempt the next time around.

Pancakes, grits, and sausage: Breakfast of Champions

K garnished her drink with citrus and pickled okra.  Not too sure about the okra.....
Both S and I ordered omelettes.  S got the garden omelette, which contained mushrooms, spinach, roasted red peppers, garlic, and cheddar cheese.  It looked pretty good to me, and was actually one of the two things that I was deciding between.

The omelettes were STUFFED with veggies.
I decided that I was also in the mood for an omelette, so I chose the Cajun Chicken Omelette.  It had blackened grilled chicken, mushrooms, tomatoes, and cheddar cheese.  The chicken was great.  It added just the right amount of spice for breakfast.  It wasn't overpowering, but it still added a nice kick.  Both S and I ordered homefries instead of grits.  I'm not quite sure how the homefries are prepared, but wow, are they delicious.  They're salty, as you would expect potatoes to be, but they're also sweet.  It's totally unexpected, but absolutely amazing.  And heads up...they season their french fries the same way.

See the inside of the omelette?  How packed with goodness it is?
The food at Boudreaux's was outstanding.  But it was hardly the only good thing about the restaurant.  Boudreaux's is a little bit funky, and a definite compliment to it's New Orleans style heritage.  On Sunday morning, they had a couple of guys who were playing live jazz - one guy on guitar and one playing a muted trumpet.  It wasn't overly loud, but rather just a nice compliment to the atmosphere and the food.

We also had a wonderful server.  She was personable and very attentive.  She didn't even mock the six cups of coffee I had with breakfast.  K ordered her bloody mary before noon, and at about 12:01, the glass was in K's hand so she could make her drink.

Boudreaux's also has a lot of outdoor seating.  Unfortunately, it was kind of rainy while we were there, so we sat inside, but I would imagine that a lazy brunch on a Sunday morning while sitting outside and people watching sounds great to me.  I'll definitely be heading back to Boudreaux's on my next trip to Charlotte.  I'd love to try their dinner menu.

Final Rating

You can follow Boudreaux's on Twitter or on the web

Boudreaux's Louisiana Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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