Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen - Sunday brunch - September 29, 2002

It had been a while since we'd had lunch at the Jazz Kitchen, so we decided to make a return visit, especially since we'd discovered a couple weeks ago that they had brought back their Sunday brunch special.  We'd been to the brunch a few times previously, but on our last visit about eight months ago, we had been disappointed to learn that while they still had a brunch seating, the brunch special was no longer being offered.

The Jazz Kitchen's Sunday brunch special includes choice of appetizer, choice of entree and bread pudding for dessert.  They also bring out a baguette of freshly baked French bread, which is excellent - crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle.  The price of the meal depends on the price of the entree.


The appetizer selections were Gumbo Ya-Ya (chicken and andouille, smothered in dark roux and creole seasonings, served with rice) and House Salad (mixed greens with carrots, purple cabbage and cherry tomatoes with choice of dressing).  My husband had the soup and really enjoyed it.  I had the salad and found it to be ok, but the iceberg lettuce wasn't as fresh as I would have expected, and the Italian dressing was a bit on the sweet side, which I don't prefer in an Italian dressing.


The entree selections were Bananas Foster French Toast (New Orleans lost bread - thick French toast made from brioche bread topped with Bananas Foster syrup, powdered sugar and Nueske bacon strips) for $13.25, Andouille Hash and Eggs (andouille sausage, Brabant potatoes, green onions and creole seasonings, served with a fried egg and topped with Bernaise sauce) for $14.50, and Crabmeat and Brie Omelette (jumbo lump crabmeat and brie cheese folded into a fluffy three-egg omelette served with a florentine tomato) for $15.75.  My husband had the french toast and absolutely loved it.  The serving size was quite large, so much so that he only finished about two-thirds of it.  Three fairly large slices of bread are halved into triangles, with a few banana slices in between the layers of bread and the sauce drizzled on top.  He said that the entree wasn't too sweet, unlike what you might expect, and that it was actually less sweet than if they had just used maple syrup.  While there weren't very many banana slices, the syrup was banana flavored, so that added to the taste.  The bacon (which was brought in a separate bowl) had been smoked with apple wood, so that added more flavor.  I had the hash and eggs and enjoyed that as well, though I found the Bernaise sauce to be a bit heavier than what I prefer, so if I were to order this entree again, I'd probably ask for the sauce on the side.  The portion was also quite generous when it came to the potatoes, so I ended up leaving some of that.


As I mentioned, the dessert was New Orleans Bread Pudding (rich in cream, eggs, sugar and raisins, served warm with whiskey creme anglaise), and that was quite good, though I'm now spoiled for what I expect bread pudding to taste like.  I'm not fond of raisins, so I just ate around those.


Since I love brie, I'm definitely planning on ordering the omelette next time, and there are also items from the regular lunch menu that sounded good as well.  The waitress told us that this was the first weekend that the Bananas Foster French Toast was being offered.  When we had had brunch at the Jazz Kitchen previously, my husband had ordered the eggs benedict, which he had enjoyed very much, and I had ordered the creole seafood cakes and eggs, which I had liked very much.  Those entrees are no longer offered as part of the special brunch but rather on the regular lunch menu.  On previous visits, the brunch special offered a choice of desserts, either the bread pudding or a slice of pecan pie.  We had both chosen the bread pudding previously.  The pecan pie is also on the regular lunch menu, along with other desserts.


Seating for the brunch is available indoors (Flambeaux room), on the patio (which looks out onto Downtown Disney) or the courtyard inside, which is where we sat.  We'd previously sat indoors, and while it's nicely decorated, there is a band that plays during brunch, and it does get a bit loud inside, making conversation prohibitive.  While the view from the patio would have been nice, I wasn't particularly interested in having passersby watching me have brunch, so sitting in the courtyard meant we could enjoy the nice outdoor weather, be able to hear the band that was playing inside and still engage in conversation.


Brunch is served on Sundays from 11am to 4pm.  In addition to the brunch special, there is an a la carte lunch menu and a children's menu available.


For more information about the restaurant and menus, go to their website at http://www.rbjazzkitchen.com/.  Note that the brunch menu is still the old version and not what is currently offered.  (The old brunch menu is also what's printed on the little handout cards available at the restaurant.)


We've not had an opportunity to have dinner at the Jazz Kitchen and hope to do so sometime, both from the regular menu and from the menu served in the parlor upstairs.  However, I do know that I won't be ordering the jambalaya from the regular menu.  I happen to like jambalaya, but I've ordered it once from the take-out menu and found that I didn't like it at all.  I wasn't crazy about the taste, and it was entirely too salted, which is telling if you know that I happen to like salty foods.  Both my husband and I ended up throwing away more than half of each of our orders and going to get hot dogs elsewhere instead.  I confirmed yesterday that the jambalaya available from the take-out window is the same as that served inside the restaurant.  But, there are a number of other things on the menu that look interesting.


To read about the December 7, 2003 dinner, please click here.


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