Review on the Road: Willa Jean, New Orleans
When I travel, I like to plan my day around doing a thing. Sometimes that means going to an art museum. Or taking a tour. But more often than not, that thing involves food.
Willa Jean was not a place I had planned to visit.
Because as much as it's nice to have plans, it's also nice to just let the wind blow and see where it takes you. And by wind, I actually mean, opening the Yelp app and seeing what's nearby, open, and good.
And that's how I found myself at Willa Jean.
We rolled in around 10am on a sunny Thursday morning and this place was surprisingly busy—always a good sign.
The menu is small but it had lots of hits. But of course in a place called Willa Jean, when your server's name is Dallas (I shit you not), in a city like New Orleans, there was one thing I was hoping for—grits.
And I was not disappointed.
I opted for the classic Willa Jean Breakfast—two eggs, bacon, and cheese grits. There was also the option to add a biscuit. It's at this point I'd like to mention on the wall as a decoration was a mural that said "Would you like to add a biscuit?". When all signs (literally) are pointing to yes, order the biscuit, you bet your ass I added the damn biscuit.
Best. Decision. Ever. Because let me tell you. That biscuit still haunts my dreams. And my arteries as I'm pretty sure it was made from pure butter. And happiness. All served with a side of whipped butter and some delicious homemade strawberry jam.
I'm going to say something controversial here—the South knows its pork. That bacon was some of the best I've had. Nice and flavourful without being too porky. Not greasy, and just the right amount of crisp.
The eggs were excellent. I ordered over easy and the yolks were perfect and very...sturdy. That's the only way I can describe them. The yolk was thick and a vibrant orange/yellow colour. A perfect sauce for the afore mentioned homemade biscuit lathered in butter and jam.
But the grits. Oh the grits. I'm going to go ahead and say that I think maybe grits are an acquired taste. They were not something that I grew up eating, and as a professional breakfast eater I would have been remiss if I didn't at least try them. But I can't say that I exactly loved them. They tasted fine, but I think it was more of a texture thing for me. It was like eating runny quinoa. Which, again, if that's your thing I get it. I just don't think it's necessarily my thing is all. No disrespect.
Did I still eat (most of) them? Yes. Yes I did.
Did I regret that decision two hours later in the middle of a yoga class where the teacher kept referring to our "booties"? Yes. Yes I also did.
All in all, if you happen to ever find yourself in the neighbourhood, Willa Jean will not disappoint. And for the love of god, ORDER THE DAMN BISCUIT.