Brenda's French Soul Food
Chef-owner Brenda Buenviaje calls on her New Orleans roots to create refined, Creole-influenced fare at her namesake French soul food restaurant. The beignet, a deep-fried pastry similar to a doughnut, is one of her specialties, with varieties including chocolate, apple, or crawfish. Customers fill the Civic Center Plaza diner (expanded in 2011 to accommodate the crowds) for budget-friendly staples like gumbo or shrimp and grits with spicy bacon gravy. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays; choices include a beignet sampler, gumbo, and traditional Benedicts or Southern-style versions with fried chicken or catfish.