[BR]unch with [BR]ooks (September)
By: Professor Brooks
Every law professor has their area of expertise. For some, it’s civil procedure. For others, it’s evidence. For me, it’s brunch. I am excited and honored to return to The Civilian this year as your guide to Baton Rouge’s brunching and lunching scene. I have bravely faced more plates of French toast than you can imagine in service of bringing you, the reader, my opinions of the best places in this city to enjoy the greatest meal of the week.
For this first column, I decided to do a starter guide to four top Baton Rouge brunch options, all of which are within easy reach of the Paul M. Hebert Law Center.
Where: 3357 Highland Road
When’s Brunch: Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 2 pm
The Brooks Bite: The Chimes brunch is a Baton Rouge institution, which means it comes with a particularly long wait for Sunday Brunch – especially on home game weekends. (The wait is worth it, though!) This is my go-to place to bring out-of-town visitors for a classic Baton Rouge brunch experience. My favorites include the Grits & Grillades ($13, a Creole classic of braised beef or pork rounds in a thick gravy ladled over a bowl of grits), the poached eggs Pontchartrain ($14), and a truly excellent Irish Coffee ($6.50).
The Ruby Slipper Café
Where: 3535 Perkins Road
When’s Brunch: Every day from 7 am to 2 pm (3 pm on weekends)
The Brooks Bite: Ruby Slipper is a New Orleans-based franchise catered around serving classic brunch options. It’s a solid brunch menu, featuring plenty of sweet and savory entrée options, and the restaurant serves surprisingly large portions. I do find myself wishing that the drinks options were a bit more reasonably priced, and you definitely want to make a reservation through their app because it gets crowded quickly, but these are minor critiques of a really solid brunch restaurant. Personal favorites include the Eggs Cochon ($14, Eggs Benedict meets pulled pork biscuit), the Migas ($12, a spicy cheesy egg scramble served with tortilla chips), and the bananas foster pain perdu ($12, pain perdu is “French toast” made with French bread, and they don’t stint on the caramelized bananas).
The Overpass Merchant
Where: 2904 Perkins Road
When’s Brunch: Sundays from 11 am to 4 pm
The Brooks Bite: Overpass Merchant is a great brunch option for those seeking a hearty “true” brunch – late morning to early afternoon – as opposed to a breakfast-y brunch. (TL/DR: A great place to nurse a post-game-day headache.) I prefer their outdoor patio seating to the interior, as indoors tends to get loud and crowded. Personal menu favorites include the house mix Bloody Mary ($5, and the best in Baton Rouge, in my opinion), and the truly massive Buttermilk Biscuit basket ($9, and seriously, it could be an entrée by itself).
Where: 5412 Government Street
When’s Brunch: Sundays from 11 am to 3 pm
The Brooks Bite: Bistro Byronz has by far the largest and most varied brunch menu of my preferred haunts, and it is definitely the most “savory” (as opposed to sweet and pastry-heavy) of the brunch options on this list. My brunch go-tos are the Poché Etoufée ($12.95, which is a classic eggs Benedict combined with a crab meat etoufée), the Bread Pudding Bitez ($5.95, a starter sampler of bits of bread pudding with dipping sauces, definitely satisfies the sweet tooth), and the Brunch Burger ($11.95, a burger served with a poached egg on top and lots of hash browns). I round this out with a frozen mimosa ($5.50 for a glass or $20 for a pitcher).
In future columns, I and some “mystery diners” will do in-depth reviews of Baton Rouge brunch hotspots – if you’d like to join in on one of these excursions, or if you have tips of places we should try, you can reach me at email@example.com.