The coffee: Santa Lucia
The mood: Jubilant, all-inclusive, a little debaucherous (at the bar, anyway).
The booze: Cajun Bloody Marys and blood-orange mimosas are $1 each with the purchase of brunch.
Every Sunday, Acadiana serves up a three-course Mardi Gras brunch that draws a crowd to its large, window-lined dining room. But diners without reservations can partake of the Cajun-inspired feast in the bar area, where a diverse crowd mingles over blood-orange mimosas, crab-topped deviled eggs, fried green tomatoes with shrimp rémoulade, and shrimp and grits with a creamy sauce. A lot of Louisiana-inspired restaurants attempt to re-create the spirit of that region—you can eat well in many parts of the world, but rarely will you have so much fun doing so. The bar at Acadiana actually succeeds: cocktails and Abita drafts flow freely, and twentysomethings mingle with churchgoers in for a post-worship nosh.
When the live band take a chow break, they opt for the smoky jambalaya with sausage and chicken. This dish and the aforementioned shrimp and grits (the grits served in fried cake form) are not to be missed. If you run out of room by dessert, take your beignets to go. The powdered-sugar-covered confections will be a welcome souvenir later in the evening, when drink-y brunch is already a fading memory and the work week looms large.
Brunch is served Sundays at Acadiana from 11 to 2:30.