As much as I loved the food in New Orleans, after a week of bad coffee I seized on the excellent french presse style caffeine fix offered at Lüke, located in a former historic Masonic temple in the heart of New Orleans CBD. Self-described as ‘homage to the grand old Franco-German brasseries that once reigned in New Orleans’ this place is sophisticated yet full of homely and historical details.
Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and anything you require in between, I loved our breakfast and I loved the coffee. While utterly unlike coffee I drink at home in Brisbane, it had incredible body and none of the burnt notes the Americans usually favour. It was decidedly French, and well suited to the fare.
We sat at a table that gave us a great view of the kitchen, a well oiled machine with a couple of friendly chefs who signalled to us when they’d received our order and seemed proud that we took such an interest in what they were doing. The kitchen also had one of the most incredible fire control systems I’ve ever seen – regulations in Louisiana must really be something else.
We’d ordered a Croque Madame – sweet grilled ham, emmental and white corn bread sandwich with an organic fried egg on top, served with hand cut frites. There must have been slices of ham piled on an inch thick. Along with this, the New Orlean version of a ‘Man Meal’, a traditional Southern breakfast of two fried eggs, twice smoked bacon, biscuit and creamed white corn grits. I’d happily return at least a dozen more times to work through the amazing breakfast and brunch menu which features buttermilk fried chicken and waffles, buttermilk pancakes with berry cane syrup, omelet with local crab meat, asparagus, fromage blanc and fries.
Lunch and dinner at Lüke look similarly grand, and dinner is served from 4pm to 11pm each day. That’s right – 11pm. Featuring the best local oysters, clams, crawfish, crab and ceviche as well as lobsters, shrimp and Prince Edward Island mussels at the raw bar and a sophisticated a la carte menu, next time I’m in New Orleans I’ll be making a dinner reservation at Lüke.
Some excellent photos of the dining room at Lüke and the food can be found on their website. I was rather too caffeinated to hold the camera straight!