It’s always a gluttonous affair at Elizabeth’s Restaurant. Situated on the corner of a partially desolate road parallel to the railroad tracks on Gallier Street in New Orleans’s Bywater neighborhood, this local neighborhood eatery has a history all its own.
Originally born a catering kitchen in 1996 by Heidi Elizabeth Troll, her knack for delivering cheap breakfasts and truck driver size lunch portions put Elizabeth’s on the map. Two years later, her signature praline bacon is featured and Saturday brunches rock the scene despite major construction transformation on Chartres Street. In 2004, Heidi is ready to sell the restaurant and hires Chef Bryon Peck to help transition the sale to new owners, Floyd Mclamb and Stewart Anthony. Renovations take place until Hurricane Katrina bares her ugly head. Chef Peck is displaced for almost one year and the restaurant reveals a shanty demeanor. Elizabeth’s is sold again to Jim Harp and Holy Lafevers and they commission Chef Peck to orchestrate the menu and staff. Sunday brunch and dinner come alive and Elizabeth’s receives local and national reviews. These accolades are a testament to why Chef Peck is made managing partner of Elizabeth’s in 2008; to continue delivering bang-up comfort food to native folk and wayfarers seeking culinary goodness.
Elizabeth’s is the off-beat, far-out, bohemian place food foragers seek to find. Tattoo laden servers spill the beans about daily specials such as golden yolk eggs with fried catfish and huge caramelized hash browns. The backdrop displays a shamble of countless signs with quotes such as, “Shut up and eat!” and oversized chalkboards with other menu offerings. It’s 50’s retro and a “too cool for school” vibe that demands a spicy house made Bloody Mary in the morning. Some of Elizabeth’s staples include; ridiculously good blue cheese oysters, the sweet and savory marriage of praline bacon, fried boudin balls with creole mustard sauce, a head-spinning duck waffle with sweet potato and duck hash on top of a corn bread waffle with pepper jelly, gorgeous grillades and grits and traditional smothered steak with creole gravy.
Don’t expect conventional dining with superior service at Elizabeth’s. The deal is, your server and meal arrive when they’re ready. You’ve gotta have a “go with the flow” mentality to enjoy the experience. It’s worth embarking upon the journey not only for good sustenance but an encounter that will have the right patrons hooked for sure.