30 Restaurants: Broussards & L’il Dizzy’s

Broussards

We went to fancy jazz brunch on Father’s day, even though we have no kids–well we have SoCo, who is basically a human.

We got seated in a corner by the window. One of the older waiters said it was the best table in the room both because of the placement–you can see the whole room from that spot–and because of the table number, which was apparently the table some character sat at in a well-known movie (that I haven’t seen).

For an appetizer, I had the crab claws with truffle oil. Light and tasty, but not necessarily something I’d have to get again.

For the main course, I was undecided between getting the Fried Chicken and Waffle or the Shrimp and Crab Benedict. Since E got the fried chicken, I went ahead with the Benedict. Variations on Benedicts are a big thing around here, and even though I like them, I feel like they become a safe choice and keeps me from trying other, potentially more interesting, breakfast options. After tasting this one, though, I had no regrets. It was fantastic! Instead of an English muffin as a base, they used a shrimp & crab cake, making it lighter and more flavorful. I took a bit of E’s fried chicken and waffle, and honestly, I would’ve been sorely disappointed if I had chosen that for breakfast; it wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t as good as the Benedict.

I’m still in the midst of my year of not drinking, so I couldn’t partake in the bottomless rosé or try the Ramos Gin Fizz, which they’re well known for. One of our waitstaff gave us a great history lesson about how the Ramos Gin Fizz was preserved and revived and their particular recipe. The other person we went to brunch with ordered it and it looked really good.

Overall, brunch was an enjoyable experience. It’s a beautiful restaurant, there was a three-piece jazz ensemble that walked around serenading tables, the waitstaff is very knowledgeable about the menu and about the history of the restaurant, and the food was delicious. I think it’s an experience anyone should have, and I’ll certainly go back so I can try their cocktails and maybe eat something different.


L’il Dizzy’s Cafe

Y’all I messed up. I have no idea why it has taken me 7 years of living in New Orleans to come eat here. I’m mad. I could’ve been enjoying this food for 7 whole years. At the same time, if I had been eating that food for 7 years I’d be rolling around this city. We went for the lunch buffet. It’s a small building, basically it’s a house turned restaurant where the front room of the house has tables jammed in there and the buffet is lined up along the back wall. It’s not fancy, it easily gets crowded, everybody seems to know everybody (the chief of police showed up and had lunch); it’s kind of reminiscent of the late lunch/supper you’d go to after church, in the room behind the worship hall, with the dropped ceiling tiles, folding tables, and those chairs with the built-in tan seat cushions. The only thing missing (luckily) was terrible fluorescent lighting; L’il Dizzy’s has a good amount of natural light, thank goodness, and is otherwise probably under-lit.

Anyway, the food. The food!! It doesn’t look like much, there was no presentation, the buffet wasn’t labeled or well lit, but damnit, that was some delicious food! I cleaned my first and second plate at the buffet before I remembered I didn’t take a picture. I took a picture of E’s second plate, which doesn’t do the place any justice.  I ate some greens cooked in pork, sweet potato casserole, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, sweet cornbread, and filé gumbo. For dessert, a version of bread pudding with (I think) pears and peaches in it. They also had some white beans, which I didn’t taste, and a salad bar that I wasn’t trying to eat.

As much as folks like to argue about who has the best fried chicken in New Orleans, usually crediting Dooky Chase or Willie Mae’s, in my opinion L’il Dizzy’s has them all beat! Perfectly crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, not too salty, not dry, very flavorful. The mac n cheese was perfect. A recipe that makes you want to stand at the counter with a fork so you can eat it directly from the dish. A recipe you could hurt yourself eating. And the sweet potato casserole tasted like sweet potato pie filling, decadent but not so sweet it makes your teeth hurt. Finally, although I like gumbo, I don’t typically go looking for it (except for the gumbo at the Munch Factory!). The gumbo here was second-helping good, with sausage and chicken and huge pieces of crab…This will be one of my repeat-visit places and a place I highly recommend to visitors!

Happy Diners!