Brenda's French Soul Food is a local favorite for down-home New Orleans fare, with the lines to prove it. And while Brenda Buenviaje and wife Libby Truesdell have expanded Brenda's space and opened a next-door takeaway cafe, they haven't stepped outside their block of Polk—until now. As Tablehopper reports, the duo have taken over Divis' long-running BlueJay Cafe for a new project, to be called Brenda's Meet & Three. (The name is a play off of "meat and three," the traditional Southern plate of a meat dish and three sides.)
While Brenda's focus is strictly Cajun, Meet & Three will be more generally Southern, with dinner options like fried chicken, ribs, oxtail, and fried catfish paired with one of 15 sides (think bacon fat fries, smothered green beans, mac and cheese, and creamed biscuits, with some vegan and vegetarian sides to allow non-carnivores to construct a plate). Lunch will feature blue-plate specials like a fried baloney sandwich or more of that fried chicken, and breakfast will offer rice-pudding donuts and a version of toad-in-the-hole inside Brenda's famed biscuits, with cream gravy and ham. Add in some beer and wine, and all that's missing is a sassy waitress instructing you to kiss her grits.
Buenviaje and Truesdell didn't buy BlueJay outright from André and Jennifer Larzul, the current owners, but they are majority/part-owners. BlueJay is now closed, with remodeling kicking off today in hopes of a mid-November opening (there's a patio, too!) Amazingly, Buenviaje's two-years-in-the-making po'boy shop, Brenda's Original Po'Boys, is still kicking as well; it should open in 2015.