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Bread pudding

Bread pudding soufflé from Commander's Palace in New Orleans.

What: Among the traditional New Orleans desserts (bananas Foster is another), Creole-style bread pudding usually starts with milk-and-egg-soaked French bread (traditionally “leftover” bread) that’s sweetened with vanilla, raisins, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and then baked. The soft, sweet, delicious result is often served with a rich booze-infused sauce.

Where: In the leafy Garden District, Commander’s Palace (1403 Washington Ave., map)—famous for its elevated take on Creole classics—serves an incredible bread pudding soufflé, a gourmet twist on the classic that adds a light breadiness to the pudding’s “shell,” which a waiter will ceremoniously break open in order to spoon in creamy whiskey sauce.

When: Mon-Fri, 11:30am-2pm and 6:30pm-10pm; Sat jazz brunch, 11:30am-12:30pm, and dinner, 6:30pm-10pm; Sun jazz brunch, 10:30am-1:30pm, and dinner, 6:30pm-10pm. Sunday brunch is a fun and lively time to visit, or, to keep costs (slightly) down, go during weekday lunch, when there’s 25-cent martinis.

Order: Just about anything you order here will be great—see shrimp & tasso henican, oyster & absinthe dome—though it is recommended you start with the turtle soup and end with this bread pudding soufflé ($9.50). At brunch, the excellent $42 three-course (plus Bloody Mary) prix fixe special includes this dessert.

Good to know: 90% of the ingredients used at Commander’s Palace comes from within 100 miles.

Alternatively: The Bon Ton Café (401 Magazine St., map) in the CBD (Central Business District) does a good bread pudding with a strong whiskey sauce; the white chocolate bread pudding at Palace Café (605 Canal St., map), at the edge of the French Quarter, also gets accolades.


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