Nola is known as a New Orleans restaurant close to Ritan Park. They are famous for their Southern-style food, such as Jambalaya, fried chicken and waffles etc. I had read mixed reviews about the place before I made my way there for a Sunday brunch. My first impression was really good. The restaurant is tucked on a street corner in the embassy area, it feels really quiet, peaceful, and green with all the trees around. The perfect setting for a brunch, or a lazy afternoon.
We ordered their special fried chicken and waffles, as well as some eggs benedict. Also, I couldn’t not order their beignets, after I had some really delicious ones during my trip to New Orleans two years ago. The beignets arrived first, piping hot. Beignets are pretty much just a square of fried dough, powdered with icing sugar. They were maybe a little more doughy than my perfect Louisiana beignets, but for Beijing standards, they were very good. The eggs benedict were satisfying: the egg was well poached and the hollandaise was tasty, but there was room for improvement on the biscuit. I was surprised to see that Nola uses slices of steak instead of bacon or ham in their eggs benedicts, but it was not bad.
Finally, we were all looking forward to the fried chicken and waffles. I had never had this combination before, but I had had tried fried chicken a few weeks before at Apothecary for their specials on Sunday nights, and I knew this one would be hard to beat. Unexpectedly, Nola’s fried chicken didn’t beat Apothecary’s. Although quite tasty and perfectly fried, it just tasted more normal, like something I could do myself, rather than the very special taste of Apothecary’s chicken that keeps you going back for more. However, Nola’s chicken costs maybe half the price of Apothecary’s, and is available all the time. The waffles were just ok, at least for a picky waffle maker like myself.
Overall I rather enjoyed my visit to Nola. The food is quite good and the charming setting makes for a perfect brunch. I actually returned there a few days later to take advantage of one of their evenings specials: 50% off burgers on Monday night. This time as well, the service was very good. I didn’t enjoy the upstairs decoration as much as downstairs. However, there was something about the burger that prevented me from really enjoying it. After thinking about it for a while, I realized that the patty was most likely made at least with half pork meat, giving it a very sausagey taste. I first liked the different experience, but then the taste got too overwhelming with the amount of meat on my plate, and I couldn’t finish. I didn’t ask for confirmation from the staff, so does anyone know more about this? I don’t know if it’s a way to cut costs on the 50% off night or just a normal thing, but I wasn’t a fan. I will also have to return to try their andouille and their jambalaya.