Refuel – What’s for Breakfast?

Once in awhile, there are things in New Orleans that remind me of L.A. There’s an area of Uptown where there’s a Pink Berry right across the street from a Whole Foods. That’s a one-two L.A. punch. But I was always a Trader Joe’s and Cantaloop girl, preferring cheaper food with more “character.”

Like Brad Pitt’s environmentally friendly Katrina response homes, there are anomalous spots throughout town that appeal to the transplants here, longing for buildings without gingerbread trim. Not many, but a few, and that feels about right.

I was in the mood for brunch Sunday, but it was after 11am so choices were limited. There are all-you-can-eat buffets in many of the hotels downtown as well as the legendary lavish spread at the Court of Two Sisters. For photos:

But, I’m not always in the mood to mingle with tourists, or battle them for crab legs.

There are places that serve breakfast all day. Mother’s boasts “the world’s best ham” but is best known for its wait staff who buzz through the dining area, lavishing mother’s love on every patron with endearments like, “sugah” and “dahlin’.”

And there’s Camellia Grill, where bow-tied men in crisp white shirts serve breakfast with a smile.

But both Mother’s and Camellia have omnipresent lines. The wait to get in the door is usually 40 minutes minimum. Both offer something of an “authentic” New Orleans experience and are, therefore, big hits with tourists. Camellia is also a must for Tulane students and sits in a neighborhood, so it has a loyal local following. But locals take great pride in going to the place down the street from where the tourists go, the place not on a tour pamphlet.

Some of these places are dives or lack flash, but some just serve great food. Refuel is one of those places. Refuel, with it’s stripped down modern  looks and contemporary artwork, looks like it would be right at home in West Hollywood. There’s espresso and French press coffee as well as teas and fruit smoothies. The food is beautifully presented and the portions are generous without overloading the plate.

This website has great photos of the restaurant:

And this one has menu items and photos of the food:

I had the Baja Omelet; 3 eggs, avocado, applewood smoked bacon and mixed cheeses. I also had fresh fruit that was actually fresh (except perhaps the  pineapple) and grits so creamy, they ought to be renamed, “smoothes.”

I never intended for this blog to include restaurant reviews, but sometimes eating is the best experience of the day. And this culture values food somewhere in the neighborhood of family, God, music and football. Can’t wait to go to a Saints game where food, family, God, music and football all converge in a stadium of chanting Who Dats.

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Filed under Local Cuisine, moving, the Saints

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