The first time I ever ate in Baton Rouge, I ate at The Chimes. I ordered Red Beans & Rice, a glass of Framboise, and sat right in front of the Greek-style mural of football players tackling one another. Having attended a women’s college as an undergrad, there just weren’t college bars like The Chimes–filled with undergrads donning purple and gold, their families, and pitchers of Abita on half the tables. I loved the atmosphere, the great food, and the LSU + meets southern Louisiana feel of sitting in their restaurant. Today, I bring people visiting Baton Rouge straight to their bar for drinks hoping to share just a little bit of crawfish or gator or oysters or loaded fries with an excellent glass of beer.
Several Sundays ago, after one too many drinks the night before, I found myself cozied up next to Rhett, my best friend Lydia, and her boyfriend Bruno for some much needed Bloody Marys, Mimosas, and good southern comfort food. The wait was hardly long–about 15 minutes–and we were seated at the exact same table I enjoyed five years ago. Returning to The Chimes always brings me comfort as it really feels like a community restaurant instead of some over-hyped campus establishment.
Rhett and I both ordered Bloody Marys for their spicy reviving powers (about $15). For some reason, Bloody Marys only taste good 1.) at The Chimes and 2.) after a night of too much drinking.
Pictured: Chimes’s Bloody Marys – a spicy mixture of tomato juice, vodka, and Cajun Spices. The glasses are rimmed with Tony Chachere’s and dressed in citrus and okra.
Although I don’t know the inner-working secrets of this famous LSU restaurant, I do have some ideas of how to make Brunch just a little bit more Cajun / Creole. First, start with the Bloody Marys pictured above and try my recipe here. I follow the typical south Louisiana concept of infusing tomato juice with spicy peppers, Tony Chachere’s and the atypical garnishes of okra and Tony’s around the rim of the glass.
Since the Brunch menu at The Chimes isn’t advertised on the main website, here’s a look at what you can expect: Eggs Benedict (“The Benediction”), Boudin or Crawfish Omelettes, and French Toast stuffed with Cream Cheese.
Pictured: the Benediction ($10.95) – a Chimes take on Eggs Benedict served over an English Muffin with Ham, Crawfish Tails, and Tomatoes.
Rhett ordered The Benediction and it certainly was a looker….
Pictured: the Benediction.
And I ordered an omelette filled with crawfish.
Pictured: a Crawfish Omelette Garnished in Paprika and Parsley.
To make this at home, you might try my recipe for an omelette with fresh spinach, tomatoes, and Boudin (here).
Although I feel that anyone living in the Baton Rouge area can write a little something about The Chimes, I am continually enamored by their Saturday / Sunday Brunch menu, its atmosphere, and friendly staff. I’ll surely be there this Sunday and maybe…if I’m feeling dangerous…I might just try their French Toast with Cream Cheese.
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Written by: Helana Brigman