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Comfort Food

Along with the weekday lunches offered since its opening more than a year ago, Cafe Reconcile (1631 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 568-1157) has begun to serve pain perdu, omelettes and breakfast biscuits in the morning. Just as it's difficult to spend more than $5 on lunches of gumbo, meat pie, smothered chicken and spinach salads with real bacon chips, the new breakfasts are almost unreasonably inexpensive. Located in the heart of Central City, Cafe Reconcile is home to the St. John Francis Regis Hospitality School, a nonprofit program that provides job training for at-risk youth.

Red Room Redux

Another budget rescue mission is currently underway at the Red Room (2040 St. Charles Ave. 528-9759), where management recently revamped and re-priced the dinner menu. It remains a fine-dining venue, offering entrees like filet mignon crusted with blue cheese and herb-stuffed chicken breast with basil mashed potatoes, but the once top-shelf prices have descended into the $15 to $23 range. Not to worry, party people, they wouldn't touch Red Room's happening nightlife schedule.

Brunch With Bianca

Zoe Bistrot's (333 Poydras St., W Hotel, 207-5018) next Drag Brunch (yep, drag at noon on a Sunday), featuring Bianca Del Rio and friends, is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 4. The three-course meal, plus cocktail and show, costs $28 per person. Also check out Zoe for $10 two-course lunches, offering deals on dishes like lobster bisque, a warm onion tart and shrimp crepes; participating in the lunch special also permits you $1 house martinis.

Foodie Fest

On Tuesday, Oct. 23, Foodies Kitchen (720 Veterans Memorial Blvd. Metairie, 837-9695) is sanctioning beer and wurst as acceptable foodie food with a one-time Octoberfest tasting menu. Eight different beers will accompany edibles like bratwurst with sauerkraut, braised pork shoulder with lima beans and hog's head cheese with Muenster and horseradish aioli; for dessert, poached apples with chocolate bread and espresso ganache. The tasting begins at 6:30 p.m. and costs $18 per person.

Market Watch

Halloweenish events at the Crescent City Farmers Market include a tribute to pumpkins and truffles by Bacco (310 Chartres St., 522-2426) Chef Haley Gabel at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27, and then an "eerie" cooking demonstration by Mr. B's Bistro (201 Royal St., 523-2078) Chef Michelle McRaney at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 30. The Tuesday market is at 200 Broadway St. and runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Saturday market is at 700 Magazine St. and runs from 8 a.m. to noon. Call 861-5898 or visit -- Roahen

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