Hey there! It’s me, Heidi.
Back again today with another exhilarating blog post, only this time I’m writing from Florida! That’s right, be jealous. I’m at the beach! For anyone looking for inspiration, the beach is a great location for writing. The warm weather, the sound of the waves, a salty breeze, and maybe a rum punch in hand make for a nearly perfect writing location/scenario. Anyway… while I’m here in Florida taking a break from every day life, I thought I would use the opportunity to write, write, write, write, write. So, get ready for several posts a day for the next five days!
First up, I’m going to talk about the restaurant where that delicious loaf up in the feature photo came from! If you love food as much as me, this post is dedicated to you – and Denise (bff/eating buddy).
I have been friends with Denise (or as I lovingly call her, Goose… or Bernice… or Heifer depending on the day) since 6th grade. SIXTH GRADE. That’s like… well, it’s a lot of years that add up to well over half of our lives. I don’t have any friends who I have been friends with as long as Goose, and as long as we’ve known each other we’ve had three loves in common – shopping, travel, and FOOD. Food, glorious food! We have even travelled together several times, and the number one question we always ask every single days is, “Ok, where are we eating?” It’s our thing. So, naturally, on Friday night when we were both sitting around bored we decided we were going to find somewhere to eat. Our only requirements? That it is edible and delicious.
Since Denise lives in New Orleans proper, we decided we were going to make it a night out in the city, Uber and all. We chose Willa Jean. The bakery/cafe is part of the Besh Restaurant Group with Chef Kelly Fields at the helm. It features southern style meals and baked goods, and all of the coffee and adorable alcoholic beverages you could ever want. Before I get into how our experience and meal was, let’s talk money.
I’m actually surprised and how inexpensive Willa Jean can be. Sure, you can go nuts like Denise and I did with alcohol, appetizer, main dish, AND dessert, but even so, we didn’t spend as much as we expected to. Our drinks were $11 each, which is pretty typical. Appetizers (or “snacks” as they’re labelled on the menu) run anywhere between $9 and $12. Your main dish (could be a tartine, sandwich, salad + soup, or a hot plate) can go for between $12 and $25. Hot plates are a bit more expensive than tartines, sandwiches, salad + soup, but still relatively reasonable. And, all desserts are $9 – which you can totally split even though Denise and I are pigs and had to have our own… I’m not even sorry.
So, really, you can make it as expensive or inexpensive as you want. We decided to go all out since we were considering this a night out on the town and weren’t going anywhere else. Between our Uber to and from the restaurant, and alcohol, appetizer, main dishes, and two desserts, we spent about $120 total for the whole night. $60 for each of us, which I thought was pretty good for all of that. Not to mention it’s a really hip atmosphere in a good part of the city (look at me using the word hip… I’m not even hip enough to use the word hip much less pretend that I fit in at a hip restaurant).
And now for our food. IT. WAS. SO. GOOD. We both got a glass of frose (frozen rose), which was adorable and pink and girly and made us feel like the hipster princesses that we’re totally not. Then we ordered our appetizer… corn bread (the feature photo above). But, oh no… this wasn’t normal corn bread. It was an entire freaking loaf of the sweetest corn bread I’ve ever eaten, with a side of whipped butter and Poirier’s cane syrup. DELISH. We at the whole thing. THE WHOLE THING. For our main dishes, we went for completely opposite types of meals, but both were so amazing. Goose got a hot plate – braised lamb over bowtie pasta with a mint pesto, tomatoes, english peas, and feta cheese. I had a tartine – avocado toast topped with two poached eggs, olive oil, tomatoes, and sea salt. There was also a lot of arugula on it. Both of our meals had flower petals sprinkled over the top giving them a beautiful, summery, colorful appearance. When our waitress came to pick up our plates (which again, we ate ALL of), she asked us how we were doing. “Full. We are SO FULL.” Do you have room for dessert? “Absolutely yes we do!”
Y’all… we each got our own dessert and shared because WE ARE PIGS, but it was so worth it. Goose had the red velvet cake, which was more like chunks of cake in a bowl topped with a cherry sauce, chocolate squares, creole cream cheese ice cream, and some sort of crunchy delicious unidentifiable something. I got milk and cookies – chocolate chip cookies with salt on them, sweet vanilla milk, and they bring you a chunk of raw cookie dough with it.
To say we were stuffed by the end of the night is a gross understatement. It was so much food. So much yum. So much fun. So much hell yes. We vowed to keep going back until we’ve tried everything on the menu. It really is that good. Would I eat there on a normal every day basis? Probably not. But on a vacation, stay-cation, or just a good ole girls night out like we had it is an excellent choice.
I’m going to post pictures below because honestly, the food descriptions just don’t do it justice. You’ve gotta see it for yourself. And, hopefully, you’ll try it for yourself someday soon!
Until next time,
My gorgeous friend and date for the evening.
Slice of cornbread = slice of heaven.
Braised lamb + bowtie pasta.
Avocado toast tartine.
Red velvet cake.
Milk and cookies.