2550 Golden Nugget Blvd. • Lake Charles
Ah, the annual brunch edition. This is when we showcase the ambidextrous meal where there are flexible choices and no judgment.
Typically, I feature locally owned and operated businesses, and I tend to veer away from the franchised and chain restaurants, as they are generally owned by a group of investors who aren’t usually involved in the community.
I broke from my norm, however, and asked my daughter if she’d like to join me for brunch (and break her norm of sleeping in until late afternoon). We went to The Chart House, located at the Golden Nugget. My wife and I had dined at The Chart House for special occasions and I figured this would be a great opportunity to sample their brunch as well.
In only a few short minutes, my daughter and I were escorted to a table. Jazz music mixed with the chatter of the guests, and a walk-around gas fireplace added a touch of warmth. Limestone pillars framed the towering windows, which provided a stunning view of the golf course and the 210 bridge.
Our server, Sarah, requested our drink choices. My daughter ordered a soda, and I requested the “Big” Bloody Mary. A basket of assorted fresh baked pastries was placed on the table as our drinks arrived.
In comparison to other exaggerated bloody Mary versions, this was a tall and impressive piece. It was not quite a meal, but an appetizer in itself. It wasn’t so overplayed that you would consider not ordering anything else. It was adorned with a large boiled shrimp, skewered okra, lemon, lime and cubes of cheese. It was a tasty and robust bloody Mary served in a glass with a salted and spiced rim.
My daughter and I both agreed that the shrimp, avocado and mango stack would be a great starter to share.
It was a colorful cylindrical display of diced mango, bell pepper, red onion and shrimp over avocado, bordered by thin crispy wafers of mildly sweet taro root.
The Chart House brunch menu offers an array of choices, including traditional breakfast items, such as French toast and eggs Benedict; traditional lunchtime sandwiches; salads; and dinner options, including steak or fish and roasted herbed potatoes and vegetables.
The shrimp and grits caught my daughter’s interest, while I found myself in the mood for a hearty breakfast. While I traditionally admire an eggs Benedict, I opted for the prime rib hash. Sarah took our orders and returned with glasses of fresh fruit — an assortment of strawberries and melon sprinkled with chopped mint leaves.
The shrimp and grits were a beautiful display of cheesy grits, topped with hollandaise sauce. Several large shrimp were carefully positioned among slices of crispy prosciutto, making the dish resemble a Viking long ship.
My daughter offered me a couple of bites, and I found the grits had a little more texture than others I have had and carried a lot of the shrimp flavor. The prosciutto chips were an instant hit with the both of us. They crumbled easily and melted in my mouth.
The prime rib hash was served in a wide semi-shallow plate. The dish was comprised of grilled shredded potatoes and thin slices of prime rib peeking out from under a garnished pair of delicate eggs over-easy.
I have to give due credit to whoever happened to be on the egg station that day. The eggs over-easy were perfection, and arguably the best part of this dish. Many assume that cooking eggs is a single simple task, but doing them well takes true skill, and these eggs saved this particular dish.
South Louisiana is known worldwide for some of the best and most flavorful dishes, full of Cajun flair and pizazz.
My daughter and I both agreed that this was what we would consider “safe cuisine.“ Chart House would be perfect for in-laws and guests from out of state who may not be appreciative of the explosive flavors of Louisiana cuisine.
The service we received, the atmosphere, the view and the presentation of the dishes were on par — no pun intended.