It’s one of the easiest dinners I’ve prepared this spring – a time when easy is essential. My three kids, one each in elementary, middle and high school, are in the thick of homework, school projects, swim practice, track meets, community plays and charity work, and they all come with their own mom-involved to do list. A simple dinner is key to survival, and I’m here to tell you that Grill Night checks that box and whole bunch more.
Okay, it’s Saturday morning.
Where do you go for breakfast when you’re short on time and not inclined to wait for a table? (I’m not talking about fast food sausage biscuits, although I admit to occasional trashy lust).
Lately, this is the situation I’ve found myself in, as my husband and I juggle early morning swim practice, cross country meets and general family insanity. As nice as it would be to linger over a carefully composed plate of eggs Benedict, it ain’t happening on our Saturday schedule. I want something yummy, but I need it to go.
The good news is that there are plenty of delicious breakfast eats you can get on the fly around town. Here are a few of my favorites.
Tiger Deaux-nuts on Government Street in Mid City has made a name for itself with gourmet cake-style doughnuts in trendy flavors, including maple bacon, caramel apple and strawberry lemon basil. Don’t look for a large case of pre-made pastries in this stripped-down eatery. The small batch doughnuts are made throughout the morning. Less known on the menu, but equally appealing, are the sweet-savory breakfast sandwiches. Layers of fried egg, cheese and either bacon, sausage or a boudin patty are stuffed between two halves of a grilled unglazed doughnut. Yum. Just yum.
I love this place. Fruit-filled or savory kolaches, breakfast tacos, stuffed-to-oblivion empanadas, sweet rolls and other stuff, the Kolache Kitchen has more hand-held breakfast items than you have room to eat. And the kolache dough is made fresh on site. I’m a big fan of the breakfast taco with chorizo, and my son is still dreaming about his spicy sausage and cheese empanada. Great prices, too.
Locations on Nicholson and Jefferson.
Downtown parking is not so awful on Saturday mornings, enabling you to dart into Strands on Laurel Street, a European-style bakery with a pastry counter brimming with beauty. Check out the plump cinnamon rolls, Australian scones and all manner of plain and stuffed croissant. There are also frittatas and great coffee and tea. Hours vary. Definitely call first.
Before I take a thrashing about Whole Foods being a national chain, let me say that they do a great job of supporting local farmers and food producers, and I’m digging that Mississippi River mural in the newly renovated cafe area. In the morning hours, the hot food buffet features changing breakfast items, including breakfast pizzas, scrambled eggs, grits, biscuits, Belgian waffles and so on. And when they’re not on the buffet, the store stocks freshly made breakfast tacos and breakfast bagels in a case near the deli meats. They’re hot and delicious, and breakfast doesn’t get much faster.
Boudin links are great. We all know that. But boudin balls are better, because as we also know, what pork and rice really need is to be deep-fried.
This weekend, as LSU fans across the state prepare for the game against Auburn, many of them will stock up on Cajun charcuterie’s greatest guilty pleasure. Whether you tote your boudin balls to a tailgate party in a grease-stained paper bag, or on a behemoth disposable platter gilded with parsley, boudin balls are the pinnacle of gameday finger food.