Brenda’s Oakland is now open for dinner. I went yesterday at 6:00; there was a line out the door, but the way the cash registers are placed means that it goes out the door when 2 people are in line. Can’t wait to see what it’s like when the rains finally come, especially since they deliberately designed it to have more outdoor than indoor seating, and most of the indoor seating is reserved for parties of 3 or more.
Foodwise, my oyster and catfish po’boy was really good, though impossible to pick up given the amount of remoulade. Looking forward to having the gumbo and etouffee, and maybe having brunch there someday. Note: they are closed on Tuesdays.
I went Monday for lunch, got in line around 12:15 and waited for 30 minutes. The food came out 20 minutes later, so not a place to grab a quick bite if you’re on the typical 1-hour work lunch break.
Got the shrimp and grits (ok), BBQ beef brisket (not fatty at all - more like tri-tip), and fried chicken (didn’t like the jelly - needed more vinegar for my taste). Standouts for me was a cornbread stuffing ( I don’t see on the menu, so it must have been a special), the watermelon sweet tea, and the watermelon pickles. I was so-so on the grits, although the tomato jam was a nice touch, because I had grits at Top Hatter that I’m still dreaming about. They tasted like fresh corn! I have no idea how traditional grits are supposed to taste, so take my opinions with a grain of salt. I also thought the biscuits were dry - no one had more than a bite. We also had the collard greens, spinach, mac and cheese, and coleslaw. None of them memorable.
I was with a 3 people and I was their guest, so I didn’t order. If I go again, I’ll get the po’boy, gumbo, or étouffée and maybe the food will wow me more. The items I had didn’t really stand out, especially for the long wait. Or I’ll go to BanhMi-Ni next store instead because I’m dying to try it out.
Gumbo and any one of the seafood po-boys is my standard order at Brendas and it has never failed me. Sometimes the gumbo is better than other days but always solid. Start with a Bloody Mary - spicy.
I went a couple of Thursdays ago after 1 and didn’t have to wait at all, but there was a line when I left.
I had gotten tired of the wait and the crowd at the Polk Street location, so was thrilled when I found out about Oakland. The gumbo was top drawer, reminiscent of what I had in New Orleans. Red beans and rice were good too. Both had a lot of meat, chicken with the gumbo and Andouille with the beans and rice.
The best part of the meal was the cream biscuit which was light and slightly sweet enough that it didn’t need the strawberry preserves that came with it. There is a serve-yourself jar of watermelon pickles on the counter. The biscuit was so good I bought one to go but it degraded by the next day.
Now I have someplace to eat when I see my cardiologist at Pill Hill!