I’ve been brunching all my life, joining my family at brunches in New Orleans to celebrate birthdays or anniversaries or just because we got out of church before noon. It’s always been part of my life and I like to call myself by the lofty title of High Priestess of Brunch. I’ve been to almost every restaurant in New Orleans famous for brunch, and I’ve enjoyed countless bottomless mimosas. It’s safe to say, I’ve got the brunch range.
And speaking of having the range…you know who has the range when it comes to brunch?
Katie’s Restaurant and Bar in Mid-City.
It’s been a staple in Mid-City since 1984 and started off as a quaint corner lunch restaurant. It has grown over the years to a full restaurant and bar, serving a variety of Creole-inspired dishes. You cannot miss the scent of the chargrilled oysters as you approach the restaurant, or the group of women dancing out of the restaurant with go-cups and continue their party into the street. And as you walk in, the sounds of brunch wrap around you like a hug from an auntie. Or your super-cool friend named Katie.
As soon as we were seated, our waiter stopped by and asked for our drink order, and without hesitation, I said, “bottomless mimosa, please.” The bottomless mimosas (or sangria or Bloody Marys) are a solid $15 and y’all — it’s worth it. It comes in a super cute go-cup, and as a collector of go-cups for use in my house, I appreciated this unexpected gift.
The bottomless mimosas were served and like clockwork, the restaurant bubbled with noise as the Saints game started playing on the TVs. The bartenders seemed to transform into play-by-play commentators and official cheering squad, one wearing a sailor hat and the other pouring Champagne in the bottomless pitchers while wearing sunglasses. You know, your regular New Orleans characters — the ones who remind the city of her magic.
You didn’t come here to hear me talk fluff about this place. So, let’s get down to business.
So, boom, here’s what I ate.
The chicken and waffles – my second favorite food combo, after peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. It came with eight small pieces of waffle and about five chicken tenders and I didn’t waste time digging in. My roommate got the crawfish frittata, and wow, it was amazing and the crawfish were fresh.
While we ate and talked and watched the Saints nervously, I spotted a bottle of sweet and spicy Tabasco hot sauce on our table. I’m usually a Crystal gal, but the bottle — it whispered to me in a way black New Orleans men speak, “Man, put me on that piece of chicken you got right there, love.”
I want to put this hot sauce on everything now. My student loan debt. My credit score. My love life. Michael B. Jordan. All the things. It elevated the already delicious meal, and now, I’m headed to Rouses to get a bottle — or two. Everyone is getting a bottle for Christmas.
I quickly chose the chicken and waffles as my prize meal for the day because I’m a Libra and can never decide what I want to order. But I did stare at the menu for while and tossed around the possibilities of digging into some chargrilled oysters or a frittata (which is just so fun to say) or the lemon ricotta pancakes. And I did the thing diners always do — mind other people’s plates around them. The couple behind me ordered a game-changer — one of Katie’s famous pizzas and I’ll be honest, I almost asked them for a slice. It looked THAT good.
Katie’s marked off all my nonnegotiables when it comes to brunch:
– Must have a bottomless option.
– Must have TVs in case I want to pretend to watch a football game.
– Must have a wide range of menu items.
– Must have a cool as the other side of the pillow vibe.
Katie’s had it all, and I left feeling full (literally and figuratively speaking), with my go-cup mimosa in my hand.
If you’re looking for a cool, casual spot for brunch where you can get chargrilled oysters, bountiful Benedicts, chicken and waffles, and fancy-pants frittatas — come to Katie’s.
Yes, I said that in my Suge Knight, Death Row Records CEO, voice.
Happy brunching, fam!