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Caffeinated Responders
PJ's Coffee (www.pjscoffee.com) has created a commemorative Preservation Blend coffee to help raise money for local disaster recovery. PJ's says it will contribute a portion of proceeds from the sale of the limited edition whole bean coffee to relief efforts. Of PJ's 25 stores in the metro area, 15 have reopened locally and more are expected to reopen soon, including two at Tulane University later this month or in early February. PJ's was founded in New Orleans in 1978, though it is now based in Atlanta as part of the restaurant-franchising company Raving Brands. But its roasting facility remains in New Orleans on North Peters Street, where roast master Felton Jones and his crew have been processing the company's beans since October. Abita Brewing Co. (www.abita.com) started a similar fundraiser with its new Fleur-de-Lis Restoration Ale, which was introduced in October. The Northshore brewer says it will give $1 to the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation from each six-pack of the brew sold.

Brocato's Bringing it
On Angelo Brocato's Ice Cream & Confectionary (214 N. Carrollton Ave., phone n/a; www.angelobrocatoicecream.com), New Orleans' century-old gelato parlor and Italian dessert purveyor plans to rebuild its flood-damaged Mid-City business. Owner Arthur Brocato says extensive repair work is now underway in the building, which was flooded up to about counter level inside after the levees failed. He says most of the production equipment for gelato and baked goods can be salvaged. Even the vintage wire-back chairs and cafe tables in the front parlor are being restored, as is the antique expresso machine. The Brocato family hopes to reopen this spring. "We plan on continuing our 100-year anniversary celebration through 2006," says Brocato. The business was founded in 1905 by Angelo Brocato , who had been an apprentice at a gelato parlor in his native Palermo, Italy, before coming to Louisiana. Before the storm, Brocato's supplied many local restaurants and grocery stores with gelato and other desserts.


Island Hopping for Lunch
Martinique Bistro (5908 Magazine St., 891-8495), the Creole/French Caribbean restaurant with the lush Uptown courtyard and intimate dining rooms, has for the first time begun serving lunch Thursdays through Saturdays as well as a Sunday brunch. Chef Nick Wood says the lunch menu will include some favorites from Martinique's dinner menu, like coq au vin, with the addition of dishes like tuna nicoise, duck confit salad, quiche and croquet madame sandwiches. Some of these new additions will show up on the Sunday brunch menu, joined by dishes like barbecue shrimp with grits, flat iron steak with poached eggs and omelets with crabmeat, brie and herbs. The restaurant's Tuesday through Sunday dinner service remains unchanged.

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