Elizabeth’s in the Bywater neighborhood of NOLA goes by the mantra “Real Food Done Real Good”. Everything is made from scratch, locally sourced when ever possible and served with love, hospitality and pride in the ramshackle two story white house that it has been its home since 1996 when it first opened up as a catering kitchen.
This restaurant and it’s owner and chef, Byron Peck have weathered storms, both figurative and literal but through it all, the food and hospitality bring throngs of locals to Elizabeth’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
If you are expecting Michelin starred cuisine in a gracious dining room with seamless, reserved, service then you are at the wrong goddamn restaurant. This place is all local flavor, come and get it, neighborhood quirkiness at its NOLA best.
I have been to Elizabeth’s repeatedly, for dinner, for brunch-but always for good food and a good time. This last trip was with my teenaged daughter who was touring Tulane. Within 45 minutes of our morning flight arriving I had us in a rental car heading for brunch at Elizabeth’s. We parked in the bumpy vacant lot across the streets, with a pile of haphazardly parked cars clearly driven by people who had late nights the night before.
After a short and entertaining wait at the bar upstairs we were shown to a cozy table and in our hunger and anticipation started listing off all the things we wanted-the waiter was having none of it, “Hold on darlings, we need to get you a proper drink first and then I’ll bring you anything you like.” I ordered a coffee and my daughter asked for a water, he looked at us, horrified, “I said a proper drink. You are getting mimosas.” I laughed, my daughter was delighted (she was especially delighted to find out under-aged kids can legally have parents buy drinks for them in Louisiana).
Proper drinks in hand, we ordered fried green tomatoes, Boudin balls with mustard sauce, the Red Neck breakfast …and of course Praline Bacon. I say of course, because Praline Bacon was invented at Elizabeth’s. What the heck is that you ask! You pork philistine! It is amazing thick cut bacon, done in the oven and then coated with cane sugar, chopped pecans and brown sugar and baked again until chewy and caramelized. It is heaven. It is something that needs to be eaten “prison style” so you get your fair share, or even better, more than.
Everything arrived and we tucked into these southern delights. I especially loved watching my daughter take bites, close her eyes as if in mediation and then open them up to me in revelation. Oh yeah. That’s right baby, Mama knows!
We left with full bellies and my daughter’s new found appreciation for my cred and charm—because we also left with the ‘kitchen recipe’ for Praline Bacon.
601 Gallier Street, New Orleans, LA 70117, United States