New Orleans Dining: Breakfast at Brennan’s

Brennan's Table SettingWhen in-the-know baby boomer travelers make their way to New Orleans, “Breakfast at Brennan’s” is certain to be atop their list of things to do.

In July of 1946, Owen Edward Brennan opened his restaurant Owen Brennan’s French & Creole Restaurant which over the years became simply known as Brennan’s.

Seemingly overnight, Brennan’s achieved nationwide fame, started competing with long established French & Creole restaurants, and Owen found himself the “wonder man” of the New Orleans restaurant industry.

Brennan was known for his “Irish smile and a kiss of the Blarney Stone” and found himself entertaining some of the brightest movie stars of his day – Vivian Leigh, John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Taylor, Gary Cooper, Jane Russell and Tennessee Williams, to name a few.

Sadly, at the age of 45, on November 4, 1955, Brennan died in his sleep of a massive coronary.  Today, Brennan’s is owned and operated by Owen’s three sons, Pip, Ted, and Jimmy, and the restaurant still remains world-famous for their Breakfast at Brennan’s.

Brandy Milk Punch

We began our Breakfast at Brennan’s experience hosted by longtime public relations director Bonnie Warren.  Bonnie, herself a veritable icon in New Orleans, immediately ordered us both a Brandy Milk Punch.  Or, as the locals like to call it, an “eye-opener”.

Now, I generally open my eyes with a good strong cup of coffee, but evidently New Orleans tradition has one beginning the day with  a little “hair-of-the-dog”.

On the breakfast menu, we found other eye-openers such as Absinthe Suissesse, Sazerac, Ojen Frappé, Creole Bloody Mary; a Bloody Bull, Red Rooster, Mr. Funk of New Orleans, Fleur De Lis, and even a Nutty Irish Pirate.

As you can see from all of the spoons I photographed in the Brennan’s table setting, we had quite a journey in front of us.  But, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share with you first their famous Brennan’s Hot French Bread.  YUM!

Brennans Hot French Bread

Next up was a Southern Baked Apple with Double Cream for each.

I wish I could share a bite with each of my photographs, but as you can see, this was absolutely divine!

Brennan's Southern Baked Apple

Spoons were flying as next came Creole Onion Soup for Carol …

Brennans Creole Onion Soup

and New Orleans Turtle Soup for me.

My grandmother used to make turtle soup, but I don’t remember it being anywhere near this good.  Sorry grandma!

Brennans Turtle Soup

Are you starting to salivate yet?

As I write this, it’s nearing lunch time in Arizona and I’d sure love a bowl of that turtle soup right now.

However, moving along, next up was Eggs Hussarde (poached eggs atop Holland rusks, Canadian bacon, and Marchand de Vin sauce).

A Brennan’s original.  This is one of the dishes that put “Breakfast at Brennan’s” on the map.

Brennans Eggs Hussarde

While Carol noshed on the Eggs Hussarde, I enjoyed Eggs Portuguese (flaky pastry shells filled with freshly chopped tomatoes sautéed in butter with parsley and shallots ~ topped with poached eggs and covered with Hollandaise sauce).

Alongside, I also enjoyed Eggs Nouvelle Orléans (poached egg served on a bed of lump crabmeat topped with a brandy-cream sauce).

Absolutely brilliant, as my British friends are accustomed to saying.

Brennans Portuguese Eggs Grillades Grits

Now, as you might imagine, our bellies were getting fairly full.  However, Bonnie told us that we were captive until we sampled a few breakfast desserts.

Being ever the obedient ones to our host, our taste buds danced for joy as we dipped our spoons into Bread Pudding St. Joan d’ARC.

Brennans Bread Pudding

And, to end our most delight gastronomic journey called Breakfast at Brennan’s, we ended with their famous Bananas Foster.

This is a Brennan’s creation and has become world famous.

Brennans Bananas Foster

Well, what an absolutely delightful and delicious breakfast.

We’ll long remember Breakfast at Brennan’s, and hope to go back and enjoy it again very soon!

Link:  Brennan’s New Orleans

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