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Jun 10, 2009 11:21 PM

Inexpensive Sunday Brunch

I wanted to go to Commander's...but DH has nixed that idea. He seems to think that we need to remember that the reason we'll be in New Orleans is to send our youngest child off to Tulane Medical School...and that the cost of said institution will make a big enough dent in our wallets....

I posted earlier about a Sunday dinner, since we'll really only have time for one or two meals the short weekend we'll be there for orientation. But it turns out that Tulane is having a "family Barbque" that night, so we're down to Sunday am. (I fly in late Saturday night and leave Monday pm; DH will have driven out with our son...). I'm not too worried; after all there have been many good meals in New Orleans in the past, and now that we have a great excuse to visit I'm sure there will be many more. But I haven't been to New Orleans post-Katrina, and I'm not that familiar with the breakfast scene.

So help me out, hounds: Breakfast/brunch for four, cheap but with some New Orleans flavor. Preferably reservations not required, in case I fill like hitting the town when I arrive around 10pm the night before and then want to sleep in. Oh, and we're talking early August, so summer friendly locations/food will be welcome. Suggestions??? We're staying in the French Quarter but we will have a car......

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  1. EAT on the corner of Dauphine and Dumaine. VERY reasonable and delicious. It's BYOB so that really makes it reasonable if you like mimosas and/or bloody mary's. Get the shrimp and grits. Soooooo good!

    1. A couple of Sundays ago I was invited to brunch at Buffa's Lounge on Esplanade (corner of Burgundy). You're not going to find a Commander's level of cuisine there, or a Commander's style atmosphere for that matter. But they have good food -- some standard brunch and breakfast items, quiches, and burgers that some consider the best in town. A fun dixieland jazz band plays every sunday. And if you're looking for inexpensive, this is it (two dollar mimosa, anyone?). I should mention that it might not be for everyone. it's a funky, hole-in-the-wall type place. but staff and patrons (i sensed that it was filled with regulars) were all very nice and had a fun-lovin vibe. note: you enter the burgundy street entrance for the jazz brunch, not the main corner entrance.

      edit-just found this video that will give you a good idea of the sunday brunch scene at buffa's:

      also, the website:

      3 Replies
      1. re: Shiloh

        I will second EAT as well as the shrimp and grits. It is a fabulous place for lunch. In regards to Buffa's...I have been there quite a few times but had no idea they had a brunch. Very interesting suggestion and i will have to check it out. Everytime i have been there it is full of friendly people and bartenders/servers.

        1. re: ScarlettNola

          Well, considering that shrimp and grits is among my top five favorite dishes, EAT may have to be the choice. I have to admit the Buffa's lounge option sounds fun too....a little Dixieland is always a good option. Do you think we could do shrimp and grits at EAT and then head over to Buffa's for Mimosas and Jazz??

          1. re: janetofreno

            I don't see why not. You may want to call first just to make sure it isn't an "inclusive" brunch as this bar has 2 distinct and separate rooms and you may have to pay full price to enter into brunch area.

      2. I will give the third thumbs up for EAT.

        In the FQ, there is also the Coffee Pot on St. Peter and Stanley on St. Ann, and a very nice Sunday brunch at Begues in the Royal Sonesta .

        1 Reply
        1. re: TaTee

          Here is my report from an April brunch at EAT:

          I will also add Elizabeth's as an option, but it will probably require a short cab ride:

        2. I can't figure out why so many of the posts recommend EAT. My experience there was sub-par at best, and that has been the case for all of my friends. If you are in the Quarter, Petunia's is great for brunch - very New Orleans, and reasonably priced. Just be prepared to wait in line. If you can leave the Quarter, head to Cafe Atchafalaya (on LA Avenue, Uptown). The jalapeno cheese cornbread is sensational.

          6 Replies
          1. re: NolaGirlie

            Petunia's is unfortunately closed. I agree with you about EAT though. Maybe you and I know each other in real life because I and all my friends who have been there were not impressed. I wouldn't recommend it enthusiastically. They do apparently fill a niche for a reasonably priced brunch, and the BYOB thing is nice. Still I'd go to Elizabeth's.

            1. re: uptownlibrarian

              Ah, yes. Elizabeth's! Of course! Highly recommended.

              1. re: NolaGirlie

                If you have a vehicle, Mike's American Grill in Metairie does brunch on Saturday and Sunday 4300 Veterans Blvd. and its nicely priced

              2. re: uptownlibrarian

                I'm not really impressed with EAT either. I used to really enjoy breakfast/brunch at the Quarter Scene so maybe I'm being unfair with the comparison but the food and service at EAT has really seemed to have gone down hill. The servers are unkempt and rude and the food is subpar.

                1. re: pinkbayou

                  I was there about 3 months ago and really loved it. Had dined there several times prior and always had good service and good food. I think it is at a great price point and the byob is great for those on a budget. It may not be the best, but for a budget brunch, it can hold it's own. I also used to love petunia's but in the past year, they have gone downhill as well.

              3. re: NolaGirlie

                heh, been wondering the same about Eat -- time i was there the food was blah and the service unfriendly.

                i will try it again tho, in light of the many posts (by a few?) ringing its bell.

              4. OK, child is going to be a Dr. in a half-dozen years. Unless the US healthcare system is nationalized, the child will do well. You do not need to leave an estate! [Grin]

                Down to Earth now: we've loved the brunches at Ralph's on the Park. The cost is not at the bottom of the scale, but is less than what we've spent at Brennan's, or Commander's Palace. Food has always been great, though they did remove the white Burgs from the wine list. Reservations would be highly recommended, though probably not a real necessity. With the exception of the very last trip, they have become our "go-to" Sunday brunch spot, and then we fly back to Phoenix. I've done several reviews of the last 4-5 experiences on this board.

                Just my rec.