by Scott Gold
Regulars at Maurepas Foods in the Bywater have a little sweet and sour news for the New Year. Lunch guests at the Burgundy St. eatery will have to bid adieu to the midday meal during the week, although the restaurant will be launching a brand new brunch menu available during the weekends.
New Orleanians have long had a love affair with leisurely, boozy weekend brunches, so it's a little surprising that it's taken Maurepas this long to give brunch a go.
"Lunch has been okay, but nothing crazy," said chef/proprietor Michael Doyle. "Saturdays and Sundays are our busiest days now. Given that I have this great sous chef, a great pastry chef and a great bar, brunch always seemed like a natural to a lot of people, even though I held out against the idea for a long time."
The shift will also allow Doyle and his crew to focus more attention on dinner service during the week. "We’re hoping to be a little leaner and meaner," said Doyle. "With lunch and dinner, we were having to make a few concessions along the way, but with the change, we don’t have to really do that anymore."
As for the upcoming brunch fare, Doyle hasn't settled on final menu, however fans of the restaurant can expect a continued attention to ingredients from local farms.
Said the chef, "Today we got in a big shipment of beef from Two Run Farm, so we’re going to be corning beef. You can definitely hope for a corned beef hash. We have saurkraut working, and we’re deep in the midst of the hash-brown vs. home fry debate right now. We’re also working on a merguez country gravy, and doughnuts are also in the works."
"We’re looking to do something more on the breakfasty-side," Doyle continued. "In other cities, brunch can be more on the lunch side rather than focusing on breakfast items. But we definitely wanted to do something more in tune with New Orleans-style brunch, more eggy and fatty."
Maurepas Foods will serve its last official lunch on Tuesday, December 31st, with the first brunch available on Saturday, Jan. 4th. Weekday hours will begin at 5 p.m., with weekend brunches going from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and rolling straight into dinner service (food will be available all day during the weekends). Maurepas Foods is located at 3200 Burgundy St, and can be reached by phone at (504) 267-0072.