“This is the best brunch in New Orleans for a laid-back meal.”
We didn’t believe it when one of our regular customers said it. Then we thought that maybe it was a backhanded compliment.
But no, he meant it – earnestly. He kept repeating it and talking about all the other places he’d been in the Garden District, French Quarter, and way Uptown along Magazine Street. So let’s do something a little odd for a published article.
Please help me to unpack my thoughts on why this kind gentleman, who I still think is wrong (the best brunches in NOLA are obviously Commander’s Palace on Mother’s Day, Atchafalaya when you want to make a reservation, and Ruby Slipper when you don’t).
Let’s try to find some merit or logic in such an outlandish claim.
A more relaxed Brunch
His qualifier, “for a laid-back meal,” is critical. Rising Sun operates on a hybrid or “continued service” model. A restaurant’s service model is the way its front-of-house is staffed and works.
In our case, we only have a single type of front-of-house staff. Everyone is a host, server, busser, and foodrunner.
Diners can order with anyone, including at the bar, or they can order from the app. Staff pool tips and Rising Sun offers a tip guarantee, so even if it’s slow for days, everyone still makes a living wage.
Compare this to the service model at more typical breakfast or brunch-oriented restaurants. There, your server only has a few tables to make their money from and is heavily incentivized to turnover tables as quickly as possible.
The best servers can hurry you along without you noticing. Unfortunately, most aren’t so skilled.
Here at Rising Sun, we want you to hang out for as long as you want.
Another advantage is that we have a lot of space relative to the size of our kitchen.
Most restaurants have to squeeze the tables in to maximize their revenue per leased square foot.
Instead, we’ve got lounge seating spread throughout our courtyard and double parlor. After you’ve finished your entrees, you can move to a more comfortable space to continue your cocktails.
Maybe you’ll even go for a dip in the pool.
Do Mimosas and Bloody Marys make it brunch?
So, back to our customer and why he’s wrong. Our brunch menu is tight and curated.
We’ve got some of the classic brunch cocktails and dishes, but we’re missing many of the creole and cajun classics that built the city’s reputation. We don’t (at least currently) have any poached eggs, eggs benedict, waffles, grits, biscuits, buttermilk pancakes, or hollandaise, and the only way you can get an omelet is in a sandwich.
Worse, our commitment to food that’s healthy enough to eat every day means that we’ll never have the king of brunch Instagram; fried chicken and waffles.
So if not french toast, shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, or bananas foster, what makes a meal brunch?
Maybe it’s just a state of mind?
We have a killer breakfast sandwich with an andouille omelet on brioche, as well as dishes like our beer-braised pulled pork hash and creole chicken sandwich that are tasty and substantial but won’t wreck your day.
Serious about our coffee and pastries
Diner coffee has its place, but it’s not here.
Our lead barista, Rachel Blackstone, ensures that our coffee and espresso drinks are some of the best in the city.
We only use the best local roasters to create creative beverages that won’t be an afterthought.
Meanwhile, our pastry chef, Violet Badflower, interprets the seasons through her baking. All of the pastries are baked fresh on-site each morning.
Open all week, not just for Saturday and Sunday Brunch
Weekend brunch is great, but wait til you discover the boozy weekday brunch.
Whether it’s service industry “weekend” on Monday or Tuesday or taking a client out to close a deal on a Thursday, we’ve got you, fam.
Brunch is a few menu items and a state of mind.
We’re living in the future, and you deserve that escape whenever you want. Besides, New Orleans was built over drunken lunches at Galatoires, and we turned out fine.
Memories of brunches in New Orleans past
Our laid-back atmosphere was born from childhood Sundays at classic New Orleans brunch spots like Dante’s, Cafe Amelie, and even the Country Club.
Like a lot of what we do at Margaret Place, it’s meant to recall a pre-Katrina past when things were a bit slower-paced.
We want to be a place for locals first. But also a place that’s a welcome surprise to someone just walking by. Yet another of those magical courtyard places you used to stumble upon.