When one valued breakfast restaurant shuts down, what’s the best possible replacement? Many would say another.
That’s essentially what’s happening in one Uptown neighborhood. But this new restaurant, Scrambled, is intent on being something beyond just another morning spot.
You can get a plate of eggs and bacon, or a breakfast burrito. But the majority of the menu is devoted to dishes that show more than just a creative streak. Some are downright mischievous, with dishes so rich they could send you back to bed, and others so sweet they could’ve been dreamed up by a kid (in fact, some were).
Scrambled officially opened Nov. 10 at 5433 Laurel St. That was for many years the home of Toast, a breakfast cafe that started here and has since expanded to locations in Gentilly and the French Quarter (those other two Toast locations remain open).
Scrambled is the first restaurant for Steven Green, a chef who comes to the venture with a culinary school degree, experience cooking at high-end restaurants and no hesitation when it comes to mixing peanut butter mousse and Reese’s Puffs breakfast cereal.
Those are two ingredients for the “puff daddy waffles,” a triple stack further layered with bananas and Nutella sauce. It arrives with the splendor and wow factor more akin to a birthday cake than a breakfast plate. The same goes or the triple stack of waffles sluiced with strawberry mascarpone and dotted with blueberries, raspberries and strawberries.
More mascarpone (vanilla this time) oozes from between the thick layers of the cannoli French toast, which gives alternating textures of griddle-crisp surface and fluffy brioche interior as the fork plows through them all.
That French toast dish is the handiwork of Green’s son Kashon, a 6-year-old the chef describes as “an industry kid.”
“For a while, Sundays were the only day I had off and the only reliable day I could see him, so we’d spend time making breakfast together,” Green said. “So some of these sweet dishes are his creations, and I just tightened them up for a restaurant.”
Roots and recipes
Other dishes reflect family traditions and long-standing cravings. Green cures his lox with ras el hanout, a North African spice blend that brings an earthy contrast to the velvety fish. He serves it on bagels from Gracious Bakery for a nod to his family’s Jewish heritage. The same spice goes into a shakshouka, the classic breakfast skillet of poached eggs nestled in tomatoes and peppers.
The breakfast burger, meanwhile, is just a playful riff of flavors. The patty is a blend of beef and Patton’s hot sausage. Two of these are topped with Swiss cheese, egg, bacon and arugula and planted between a sliced glazed doughnut, crisp from the griddle.
“We have your standard breakfast, but we’re here to have some fun,” Green said. “It’s big, funky stuff, a little obnoxious, things it might take two or three people to eat. I wanted things you’d eat when you’re high or hungover, because it’s New Orleans.”
This aim does not preclude running a kids menu, with a smaller burger, blinis and “chicken in waffles,” which is not a typo but refers to chicken encased in waffle batter, with syrup and powdered sugar.
The menu also denotes “slim shady” dishes, which are nominally lighter, like a scrambled tofu bowl, a tofu po-boy and avocado toast.
Books and breakfast
Neighbors have been coming to the intersection of Laurel and Octavia streets for breakfast for a long time. Prior to Toast, the address was Laurel Street Bakery, which kept its name even though it’s now located on South Broad Street, following the grand tradition of confusing New Orleans restaurant nomenclature.
Scrambled is just around the corner from another neighborhood institution, Octavia Books, and it will soon become closer.
Octavia Book is amid a major expansion, taking over a former martial arts studio just next door. The space adjoins Scrambled, and when the project is completed the bookstore and the restaurant will be connected by the wide door. This combination of books and breakfast should debut early in 2023.
Scrambled is a counter service restaurant with a dining bar and a collection of small tables, with a few more on the sidewalk. The restaurant does not have a liquor license. Coffee comes from local roast Congregation Coffee.
5433 Laurel St., (504) 427-2277
Wed.-Sun. 6:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
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