Everything has a history in New Orleans’ French Quarter. Every building has been around since the 1800’s, and the narrow streets that now teem with tourists allow you to be transported back to the antebellum port city. Today most of the buildings are home to restaurants, hotels, bars, and art galleries. One of these on St. Louis Street is an exceptional place to grab breakfast, Petunia’s Restaurant.
Petunias is in the former home of Barthelemy Bacas, who was a cabinet maker in New Orleans in the mid 1800’s. Mr. Bacas’s handiwork still can be found in the innate woodwork that you find in the dining room. The restaurant is cozy and has the old world charm of much of the rest of the French Quarter.
The breakfast menu at Petunia’s also has some of that southern charm. There are daily omelet specials that include red beans or andouille sausage. And they have staples like grits and café au lait. My new bride and I decided to start our meal with a Mimosa for her and Bloody Mary for me. Our main meal choices were Pain Perdu (i.e. French Toast made with French Bread) for her, and I got a very unique choice of Eggs Melenzana, which is fried eggplant rounds as a base with layers of shaved ham, tomatoes, and poached eggs with all of it smothered in Hollandaise sauce. I also ordered a side of grits.
We had a little bit of a wait for our meal, but when it arrived we saw what really sets the restaurant apart: the portions! My beautiful bride’s French toast was immense and could have fed us both easily. On top of it she had eight (8!!) links of sausages. My eggplant and eggs dish was also colossal and completely filled the platter. My grits filled a large soup bowl and could have been a breakfast in and of itself. Besides being immense, the breakfasts had great flavor. The Pain Perdu had a light and aromatic batter with tons of flavor. The only negative on the meal was that the poached egg on my dish was way over done with the yolks already hard.
We couldn’t finish the meal, and we know that next time we will order only one breakfast for us to split. The $50 bill (including tax and tip) was an excellent buy and a wonderful meal in the historic French Quarter.