Providing more evidence New Orleanians crave neighborhood breakfast spots, a pop-up breakfast concept in Lakeview has morphed into a full-time restaurant-within-a-restaurant.
It's called Bawk and it started in April, serving only on weekends inside Pizza Nola (141 W. Harrison Ave., 872-0731; www.pizzanola.com), a relatively new pizza parlor along the small West Harrison Avenue business corridor. Bawk now serves breakfast daily.
From the start, Bawk was a bit of a twist on the normal pop-up concept, since it is operated by Jennifer and Will Samuels, who run the host restaurant, Pizza Nola. They also run La Dolce Nola (200 Metairie Road, Metairie, 832-1122; www.-ladolcenola.com), a gelato parlor and juice bar in Old Metairie.
"We figured we have the customer base and we have the infrastructure, so we'd try it out," says Will, who was a vice president at the New Orleans music label Basin Street Records before getting into the restaurant business after Hurricane Katrina.
He says customer response to the breakfast has been good, and they decided to expand their schedule.
Bawk takes its name from a child's imitation of the sound a chicken makes. Its menu includes omelets, waffles, pancakes, breakfast sandwiches and burritos, bagels baked in house and brunch dishes like challah French toast stuffed with praline bacon, New Orleans barbecue shrimp with grits, and crab cakes with poached eggs.
The Samuels have still another food venture in the works called Good To Go Nola (www.goodtogonola.com). Samuels says it will be a "healthy meal delivery service" with meals designed for individuals or families to eat at home and a menu that will change each week. The menus will feature low-fat meals emphasizing lean proteins and fresh vegetables, and orders will be packed for delivery or pickup from Pizza Nola and La Dolce Nola.
Bawk serves breakfast 7 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Pizza Nola's menu begins at 11 a.m. daily.