Green Cash for Green Gumbo
Dooky Chase Restaurant (2301 Orleans Ave., 821-0535) remains out of action while it awaits extensive flood repairs, but one of its most beloved and uniquely New Orleans food traditions is back this season thanks to the hospitality of Muriel's Jackson Square (801 Chartres St., 568-1885; www.muriels.com) and others rallying around the hard-hit Creole soul culinary landmark. Each year during the week before Good Friday, Dooky Chase proprietress Leah Chase prepared gumbo z'herbes Ñ a greens-based gumbo traditionally made by New Orleans Catholics during Lent Ð at her restaurant that had both the faithful and the foodies lining up for a bowl. This year, she'll be cooking her recipe at Muriel's for a benefit luncheon in her honor, with proceeds going to help rebuild Dooky Chase. The lunch will be held on Holy Thursday, April 13, and the gumbo will be served with Chase's fried chicken and bread pudding and an assortment of wines. There are three seatings on Thursday only, and contribution levels begin at $75 for lunch, with higher levels including other benefits like cooking classes hosted by Chef Chase, commemorative posters and invitations to the future reopening of Dooky Chase. Reservations are required. Call 568-9021.
Wake Up, Smell the Recovery
Community Coffee (www.communitycoffee.com), the Baton Rouge-based company that runs CC's Coffeehouses throughout the area, has been deploying its Brew Krewes to local neighborhoods that suffered particularly bad damage during and after Katrina. The Brew Krewes take to the streets of certain neighborhoods on Saturday mornings to give away free coffee and T-shirts to the people they find working on homes, offices and other buildings there. The krewes have visited the Lakeview and Broadmoor areas and Slidell on weekends earlier this month and are scheduled to be in parts of St. Bernard Parish and the Lower Ninth Ward on April 22 and then return to the Lakeview and Broadmoor areas on April 29. Look for the krewes making their rounds in these areas in Community Coffee trucks between 6:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.
Best Bank Brunch
The Red Maple (1036 Lafayette St., Gretna, 367-0935; www.theredmaple.com) has added a West Bank entry in the competition vying for your Sunday morning appetite and thirst. The Gretna restaurant has introduced a new Champagne brunch service on Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The menu, prepared by Chef David DeFelice , includes eggs Benedict, turtle soup, made-to-order omelets, a carving station, a chocolate fountain, seafood, fruits, cheeses and pastries. Champagne and mimosas are included on the reasonably termed Òall-you-care-to-drinkÓ basis. Brunch is priced at $29.95 for adults and $10.95 for children. Ñ McNulty