Jun 7, 2022

Going Full Blast for brunch in the Big Easy

The older I get, the more I have come to realize how much I enjoy brunch as one of my favorite social activities.  Going out to brunch is the perfect compromise for both the morning procrastinators and those who are afraid to let the day slip away. After all, what’s not to like?  It could be breakfast.  It could be lunch.  And there could be adult beverages involved. 

Perhaps this is why New Orleans seems to have so many brunch-worthy places to dine.  From famous restaurants like Brennan’s to smaller neighborhood bistros, I know of no town with more places devoted to brunch.  And it’s at one of those little neighborhood gems where Punky and I like to go that I first came to this realization – the appropriately named Full Blast Brunch.    

Located on the corner of Cortez and Cleveland in the Mid-City neighborhood, and conveniently one block from the Canal streetcar line, Full Blast Brunch stands out as the rare business among blocks and blocks of shotgun-style homes and Airbnbs.  It’s immediately quaint, charming and welcoming.  The tasty aromas emanating from the kitchen only add to the draw. 

The place is a little on the cozy side, so seating can be a little hard to come by during peak hours.  But Punky and I have found the food to be consistently worth the wait.  A small dining area in the front of the restaurant leaves just enough room for patrons to approach the bar area.  A couple of steps beside the bar lead to an even smaller but slightly more appealing and quieter dining area.    

But honestly, this is New Orleans, and if the seating is set up and the weather allows, try to get a spot outside.  It’s an ideal setting to begin your brunch with sunshine and a refreshing adult-oriented beverage. 

As you can probably guess by the small size of Full Blast’s bar area, it’s a limited drink selection, but they do what they do quite well.  You won’t go wrong with a Full Blast bloody mary or a whiskey mango blast.  Non-alcoholic beverage choices include a decent variety of juices and coffee drinks.    

The mimosas are probably the best sellers off the drink menu, though.  When busy, the bartender always seems to be pouring one.  The bartender Full Blast’s mimosa trio – we chose the mango, cranberry and traditional orange juice – is well worth the splurge.    

As for the food, Punky and I have never been disappointed by anything we’ve ordered here.  On her first visit, she went with a somewhat traditional choice with a New Orleans twist – the crab cake breakfast (two eggs, grits, toast, and a loaded Louisiana crab cake with Hollandaise sauce on the side).  By all accounts (her account, anyway, which is what matters), it was scrumptious.   

I opted for a Full Blast menu favorite, the Cajun scramble.  That delicious layer of melted cheese on top hides an omelet of eggs blended with smoked sausage, shrimp, tomato and onion … all ladled on top of fried potatoes.  It’s filling, full of flavor and has everything perfectly portioned.   

It’s hard to stray from my favorite item on the menu, but on other trips to Full Blast Brunch I’ve found their benedicts and omelets to be just as delightful.  And benedicts are very popular among New Orleans brunch spots, so you need to do them right to stay around. 

Full Blast is a fine representation of New Orleans’ popular neighborhood brunch restaurants and an excellent way to start your day if you’re staying in the Mid-City area.  It also happens to be just a block off the Canal streetcar line, so it’s easily accessible to visitors wanting a quieter brunch outside of the French Quarter.  Consider adding a Full Blast Brunch experience to your next NOLA adventure.

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