2251 Sam Houston Jones Pkwy., Moss Bluff
What happens when a talented chef finds himself transplanted into the middle of Moss Bluff? Luckily, for us here in Southwest Louisiana, we get to experience some of the best off-the-cuff dishes ever imagined.
In early 2018, chef Chris Wise, a chef proven throughout the east coast, and his wife Bonnie, a Moss Bluff native, opened the doors to a little creation named The Brown Bag Café. Since then, we’ve all been more than pleased by what’s being offered.
It’s a tiny but warm and welcome spot. It seats maybe 20 people. Some are eager to experience the Brown Bag for the first time, while others add to their experiences.
The popularity of the restaurant can make it challenging to find a seat at peak times, and the morning we went was no exception. However, there was only a short wait as we tried not to gawk over all the food coming out of the busy kitchen to a packed dining room. Some diners were first timers, while others were regulars. The servers were bustling, shuffling their way through the spaces between tables, never letting their friendly smiles fade.
Once we were seated with fresh coffee before us, we glanced through the menu. Suffice it to say it’s expansive. While we wanted to order everything, we also agreed future visits were inevitable.
My wife decided to order the B.E.L.T. Sandwich. It’s not just a typical breakfast sandwich — it’s peppered bacon, a fried egg, lettuce, tomato and aged cheddar on toasted bread with roasted pepper aioli. In her description, she’s adamant when she says this sandwich is on a different level, and was very pleased with her choice.
As for me, it was hard to narrow it down to one option, or even two. When you find yourself faced with options such as breakfast burritos, steak and eggs, shrimp and grits, pancakes and a hangover burger, how can you choose? Well, when you see Truffled Lobster Benedict, you pause, and select. Where else are you going to find this locally? You’re not.
The dish is made up of delicate truffled lobster salad atop a croissant, with smoked provolone, grilled tomatoes, Provençal herb hollandaise, and two beautifully poached quail eggs. This was honestly heavenly. The natural sweetness and salinity of the lobster salad with the blend of truffle was simply amazing. All the flavors made for an outstanding morning meal.
While putting this piece together, I wanted to stop by to snap a few photos of The Brown Bag Café, with the full intention of grabbing lunch. My choice for this visit was The Mississippi Delta Catfish Hoagie. This was a giant catfish fillet breaded in cornmeal, with aged cheddar, fried pickles, peppered bacon, pickled green tomatoes, lettuce and smoked bacon aioli on a hoagie roll, with seasoned fries. This is a great hoagie, with all these different flavors coming at you, and all working together. It’s a lot of food, and I couldn’t finish it all.
If you haven’t been here yet, do yourself a favor and see what it’s all about. There are many options and creations from Chef Chris and his team for all diets and appetites. There are plenty of keto dishes, burgers, steaks, pizza, pasta, shrimp and grits, wraps, tacos, desserts and kids’ choices as well — in house, delivery or to-go. I promise you’ll find something you’ll love.
I did get a chance to ask Chef Chris if there was any truth to the rumors of some sort of expansion of The Brown Bag Cafe. His reply, “there are always options.”
An Extra Dish
Cafe Du Bayou • 20909 Frontage Rd., Lacassine
The premises, along with the distillery, gift shop and tours, boast the Cafe du Bayou coffee house, which offers pastries, small sandwiches and other comfort drinks. The cafe is nestled inside a turn of the century home relocated from Iowa.
Also, new to the beautiful property, is the completion of a $7,000,000 project — the event center. With a capacity of nearly 300 people, a courtyard, covered outdoor stage, and an elegant display of aging Louisiana Spirits Bayou Rum barrels, it’s certainly a welcome spot for corporate parties and weddings.