Sunday, March 28, 2010

Delicious Hidden Gem on Magazine Street!

Ok, so its been a little while since I've posted on here. I've been busy! Plus, I really didn't have much to write about. But, this Friday evening, my wife Cindy and I had the great pleasure of attending the opening of the theater production of "Wicked" down in New Orleans. It was a terrific play with a wonderfully talented cast. We stayed in the city over night and then on a suggestion from a friend, had brunch on Magazine Street at a funky little place by the name of Surrey's Cafe and Juice Bar.

It was nice to get away from the French Quarter and all of the restaurants that cater to the tourists. I have to say, it wasn't much to look at from the outside, but its one of those smaller old historic houses you see in the Garden District and  Uptown New Orleans that just look so cool when kept up. We got there around 11 and the place was packed with locals. Our wait was 20 minutes and we shared the side walk (no room to wait inside) with some young twenty somethings and their dog, an African-American couple and their small daughter and a group of ladies who were heading further down Magazine to do some shopping after lunch. We also realized that the space above the restaurant is small apartments. While we were waiting, one of the tenants came out of the door adjacent to the restaurants front door carrying his laundry in a large basket. His car was right there curbside, so he loaded in the basket and took off down the street to his local laundromat!

Once we entered the place, we realized how small it really was. It probably only seats around forty-five to fifty people at a time. The walls are covered with funky art work, photos and even a mannequin in a hammock! The menu is robust with an emphasis on breakfast foods and sandwiches. Many of the choices are on the very healthy side too! They also have a wide variety of fresh squeezed juices. They only catch here is they only take good ole cold cash! That's right, no checks and no plastic! Not convenient, but its ok if you know that before you get there!

Since we were there for brunch, we decided to go with the breakfast menu rather than a sandwich. I chose the Bananas Foster French Toast. This is a great dish! The toast is actually french bread sliced thickly, filled with cream cheese and bananas, topped with rum sauce and powdered sugar. A side of creamy grits and a side of bacon a few cups of coffee and a glass of Orange/Mango/Pineapple juice topped off a wonderful meal. Cindy had the Eggs and Salmon. She said it was a delightful mix of spices, eggs and a good helping of tasty salmon. She also added the cheese grits, coffee and juice.

We both really enjoyed the food, atmosphere and service at this funky little hidden gem. So next time you're in the city and are looking for a truly local place to have breakfast or lunch, forget the chains or busy tourist haunts and give Surrey's a try! I think you'll enjoy it as much as we did!

 You can check out the restaurant at their web page here Surrey's Cafe and Juice Bar

One disclaimer....and I only found this out AFTER we ate there, Surrey's may not be quite as "hidden" as we thought. The restaurant was actually in the film "Failure to Launch" starring Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker. It's also been highly reviewed/recommended by GQ Magazine, The Times-Picayune and featured on the TV series "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" on the Food Network. So maybe "hidden gem" doesn't quite fit Surrey's.....but DELICIOUS sure does!