Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Working Stiff

Guess what? I have returned to work. I loved being retired and I look forward to re-retiring in a few weeks, but I couldn't resist being invited back to fill in for a couple of colleagues who are out of the office for personal reasons.

I now can boast banker's hours (10am-3pm), short weeks (Mon-Thurs only) and a nice little salary for doing what I would have happily done for free. See what I mean about being so amazingly lucky?

And, as if that wasn't enough practically my first day back in the Civic Center, I was introduced to a new-to-me restaurant in that neck of the woods, Brenda's French Soul Food on Polk Street. This place, for all it is teeny-tiny and incredibly noisy and has long lines at lunch time, is a wonderful cut above any other restaurant within easy walking distance of my work. The menu is N'awlins Creole-French - beignets are on all menus - and delightfully different.

On my first visit, I chose - yes, again! - shrimp and grits, figuring this would make a fun comparison with those I had tried in the South last fall. This dish was quite different, with almost-smooth white grits covered in melted cheddar cheese and colorfully presented next to a very generous portion of sweet shrimp in a mildly spicy roux topped with a tickle of green onion.

I also had a sip of their watermelon iced tea (very fresh and tasty), a bite of an apple beignet (a perfect breakfast for next time) and their signature savory crawfish beignet (an interesting twist with eye-opening heat) - I will be back for more!

Don't go there if you are short on time - I literally had 10 minutes to eat in my lunch hour due to the wait - but if you have time to wait a bit for a table, I can highly recommend both returning briefly to work and eating at Brenda's.

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Blogger namastenancy said...

Brenda's is a fun place - my friend and I went there on a quiet day so we didn't have to wait in line (in this chilly weather). I liked the food but it didn't blow me away (for some reason). The meal was so rich that I couldn't eat for another day. But now that you are working, we can meet for lunch in the area whenever your schedule and mine permit. I

Tuesday, January 12, 2010  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Congratulations on reentering the work force, and under such nice conditions. Including the nearby restaurant.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010  
Blogger Moonbear said...

Spend the paycheck on something completely frivolous. Going back to work after retirement is like getting Free Money. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010  
Blogger dancingmorganmouse said...

How wonderfully ego boosting to be asked back, and under such nice conditions. And finding a new place for lunch is always a bonus, I did this week and went back the next day!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010  
Anonymous Evlmprs said...

I've had breakfast here several times, and LOVE this place... especially the biscuits and the grits. I also tried lunch recently, and thoroughly enjoyed the shrimp po'boy. The only things that I haven't enjoyed were the beignets (chocolate was ok, but they are somewhat dry) and the andouille sausage and cheddar omelette. Everything else... delicious!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Nancy, I'll call you soon to meet for lunch - it can be elsewhere if Brenda's doesn't float your boat.

Cookiecrumb, I'm loving it so far - great students!

Moonbear, I'm hoping to splurge on a trip to Hawaii to visit my brother and his family later in the spring.

Morgan, you are so right about the ego feed. I'm feeling very appreciated right now.

Evlmprs, thanks for the tips. I didn't try the chocolate beignet, just had a bite of the apple. Gonna order the shrimp poorboy next time.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010  

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