Willa Jean (New Orleans, LA) – A place renowned for biscuits? You sold me. I went to New Orleans over summer 2016 for a bachelorette weekend (this was previously posted on my Tumblr before I moved to WordPress) – and I ate A LOT. We saw a lot too but when you’re going to the South, you need to eat. Especially when you’re in a foodie mecca like NOLA.
Willa Jean was at the top of my list after seeing it on a bunch of travel and food websites. I was not disappointed by any means. The front of the shop has a bunch of baked goods that you can pick up or order it at the table. We got there on a late Friday morning, so we were just in time for brunch, but they also have a lunch and dinner as well (which I’m sure is awesome too). We were a large group, but it wasn’t terribly busy so it was nice to have our section of the restaurant to ourselves.
They have different bakery specials (like those mouth watering Nutella buns) and serve a special Willa Jean blend of Intelligentsia Coffee. And of course, because it is New Orleans, they got dranks too – like frosé! The service is really friendly – which I feel like pretty much happened in all of the South, honestly. It’s not a stereotype – people really are welcoming and friendly.
I started out with a simple latte – even if it was soggy and hot outside. I like that cozy feeling of drinking something warm out of a mug. Their Intelligentsia blend is really smooth and I liked that it wasn’t very bitter. But then, I like my coffee with milk and a splash of coffee, heh.
I had to take pictures of everyone’s food because it just looked so good. This is one of their mornin’ snacks: summer berries, cream, granola, and elderflowers. The cream was, fresh thick, and creamy. I think that makes all the difference with granola!
Below that is their avocado toast. It was honestly delicious – and it was the toast that made it. I believe they make it in house, judging from the bread on display at the front of the store. This one had poached eggs, avocado (of course), arugula, beets, and sea salt.
I was here to get biscuits so I had to order them. I got biscuits with fried chicken and tabasco honey. I wish my picture was a little better to show you, but underneath the giant biscuit drizzled (more like drenched) with tobacco honey, was a giant piece of fried chicken. It was lit, you guys. The fried chicken was juicy and tender, the biscuits were thick and fluffy, and it was harmonious with the heat of the tabasco and the sweetness of the honey. Such balance.
And finally, there there was the brisket, potatoes, cipollini onions, and fried eggs with a side of cheesy grits. New Orleans knows how to do brisket – It was sliced perfectly, while being tender and flavorful. The potatoes were also really good – I really don’t know how you can mess up potatoes though. Also my first time trying grits. It pretty good – I love the creaminess of it, it reminds me of oatmeal. I don’t think I could’ve eaten that whole bowl though since it becomes a lot for me with the cheese and the corn. Back when I tried it, I didn’t think I could eat that much, but 2019 me is totally down for a bowl of grits.
I’m honestly in love with the interior of Willa Jean. From the brick walls to their whisk light fixtures, I want every bit of it. You can order anything off their menu and have a cozy Southern meal. I only wish we could’ve gone back to try lunch and dinner as well!