The restaurant Fullblast Brunch (139 S. Cortez St.) will open as early as this week in the corner building that previously was the home of The Ruby Slipper Cafe's flagship location. Ruby Slipper opened a new Mid-City location nearby on S. Broad Street early this year.
Fullblast is run by former Ruby Slipper employee Christopher Belou, who worked as a chef at the Windsor Court Hotel during the 1990s under executive chef Rene Bajeux. He also has helmed brunch operations at the Ritz-Carlton's restaurant and worked for several years at a restaurant in Yucatan, Mexico.
Fullblast will serve breakfast, lunch and brunch, and Belou says the menu will feature typical New Orleans brunch dishes and some Latin-inspired offerings stemming from his tenure in the Riviera Maya. More traditional dishes include poached eggs with hollandaise, Caesar salad with shrimp remoulade, a Caprese salad, crab cakes, steak frites and a daily Gulf fish special. A dish called The Yucatan features roasted pork with black beans and what Belou has dubbed "abuela's avocado sauce," made with a recipe from his wife's family in Mexico.
In a spin on brandy milk punch, a Mexican-inspired eye-opener features Kahlua, vodka and coconut milk.
Early this year,The Advocate reported that Ruby Slipper Cafe owners had filed a federal lawsuit against Belou, claiming he used trade secrets from the company and urged them to vacate the building earlier than they originally planned. The lawsuit alleges that Belou did not disclose to them his plans to take over the space and open a competing restaurant. Belou declined to comment on the suit, but said the building has undergone a "complete renovation."
Belou says the restaurant will be open 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursday through Monday.