Biscuits & buns on banks (4337 Banks St., 504-273-4600; www.biscuitsandbunsonbanks.com) is a breakfast and lunch spot tucked in a renovated house on a tree-lined, mostly residential street. As its name suggests, biscuits are a mainstay. Co-owners Yvonne Collazo and Gary Stall refer to each other as "chief biscuit maker" and "chief biscuit tester." The husband-and-wife team applies their hotel and sales experience to casual dining.
"We are creatively comforting," Collazo says. "We hope to fill the gap of what people are looking for in breakfast — somewhere to enjoy, relax and eat delicious food, however you define that."
Although they've tweaked the menu to fit their clientele's tastes, many of its dishes were offered when the business launched in November 2013. Collazo, who works with the team of chefs, cites French toast with caramelized bananas and pancetta as a favorite. The "savory, sweet and starchy" combination hits the spot, she says.
A variety of breakfast dishes along with salads, sandwiches, fruit juices and smoothies round out the menu. Daily specials like pulled pork breakfast nachos and pancakes with fresh peaches are written on the chalkboard in the front room, which serves as the reception area and kitchen.
Biscuits & buns does not take reservations, but it offers a call-ahead policy so guests can put their names on the wait list before arriving. The restaurant is BYOB, and the neighboring Banks Street Bar & Grill opens early, serving mimosas, bloody marys and other drinks to customers waiting for tables.
The dining room walls are decked out with colorful murals by local artist Skip NOLA. Collazo says the building's original owners paid the artist, gave him a six-pack of beer and "he just painted through the night." The colorful murals depict the Treme Brass Band, a dreadlocked Mona Lisa and a poem from Stall's father, local historian Buddy Stall, titled "A Toast to Remember."
"We brought the artist back to do a few other fun things once we took over... my husband is found on the wall as a tuba player," Collazo says. "If you can't locate him, I'm sure one of our staff can help you out."