Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mourning the loss of Brunings on the lake

Responding to a column written by Errol Laboarde in New Orleans Magazine, bemoaning the loss of a beloved West End eatery post-Katrina, a friend e-mailed about her New Orleans-Acadiana buying trips for her ecclectic Chicago retail store.

"I live in Baltimore now but was known in Chicago for my straight-shot drives to NO with Brunings being my first stop...usually between 8pm and 10pm, 3-5 x's a year.

First I'd order a Sazarac and a dozen raw oysters...then I'd order a basket of fried oysters...sometimes another bourbon,then I'd figure out which way my hotel was.

The first time we went to Brunings was Mother's Day weekend, maybe 10-12 years ago. I was in a little shop in the Quarter asking where there was a place for some real great oysters and local fish...this young woman shopper said that it was tradition to take her mom to Brunings on Mother's Day and that's was the only place I needed to off we went.

I remember a full parking lot and the alley cats when we drove up, and I remember the big old white house in the distance and the great sunsets over Ponchatrain...I also remember the first trip after George, after that 913 mile drive...there were no kitties and I kept trying to figure out how to jump over that little bit of water to get into the building...think it was shock...then I realized that there was a funny little building off to the right with some hurricane pictures on the windows and a sign: "Bruning's"...still had bourbon and mmmnnn, my oysters.

When Katrina hit, I figured Bruning's would be gone...just glad I have the memories, wish I had more, wish you all did too!

Sandy Lawler
Baltimore , Md.

p.s. My second stop would be the next morning to the Camellia Grill to see how many Pecan Pies I could get them to make for me in the few days I was in town to bring home...., okay, and maybe I'd eat a mushroom or chili omelette while I was ordering! WELCOME BACK!"

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