Blankets Of Red Sauce Satisfy

Tom Fitzmorris February 05, 2020 12:11 Dining Diary

Pizza is important everywhere, and for some reason, we have been thinking about it a lot lately.  Maybe it started when we picked MA up at the airport earlier in January. We talked about the Fiery Crab, Little Chinatown, and The Brick Oven Cafe. We figured Gendusa’s might be better, but that was too far out of the way that evening. We ultimately settled on Little Chinatown, which we still haven’t written about. I would say we are eating too much, but that's not what you want to hear from me.

 So when we hatched a plan to meet up with my sisters, it was decided that we would do it at the Brick Oven Cafe. We have fun memories of this place when the kids were little, and have been operating under a misconception for a long time. It is not owned by the family that owns Deanie’s, though the portion size might make one wonder. It was briefly in the Deanie's portfolio but has been under the same ownership, a couple named Bruno, for some fifteen years.

 We arrived to the news that there could be no alcohol consumed on the premises unless it was brought by a customer. The Briick Oven Cafe is BYOB for now. This was inconvenient only to one or two of my sisters, the rest of us aren’t drinkers. I would have had a glass of wine maybe, but it wasn’t an issue for me either.

 The place hasn’t changed since Jude tried a pick-up line at the bar at 2 ½  years old. We still laugh about it. We have been since then, but that is our strongest memory here. We came some when Mary Ann's mother lived out there, but she has long since passed away. We don’t get to Kenner much.

 But the Brick Oven is exactly the same as back then. The place is straight out of the 1980s, something that would normally bother the Marys, but it was strangely charming to them. You walk in and are greeted by the imposing brick oven where someone is always making pizza. Mary Ann got one. It was my favorite, which surprised her. I am usually a Margherita person, but I really like the Liberta. That’s usually her kind of pizza, with olives and mushrooms and Italian sausage. A very large pie, it was a steal at $15.

 We used this as an appetizer and MA’s entree. Everyone else got pasta with a red sauce. There were two salads on the table, and both were green, free of blemish, and crisp. Beautiful, in fact. My niece Holly is a regular, and always gets the Cafe salad. This has chicken, sunflower seeds and feta. Everyone who tried this loved it. ML got a beautiful house salad.

Eggplant was in high demand, with my sister Karen and niece getting that. It was an enormous portion of pasta blanketed in a red sauce, and the only thing distinguishing it from the other red sauce plates on the table was that the eggplant itself was in a large ramekin alongside the pasta.

There were two large clocks of lasagna going to sisters Lynn and Judy, also blanketed in red sauce. My manicotti was in a bowl, and looked the same. ML got a chicken parmesan that was different in that the chicken peeked out a little from the red sauce.

These descriptions make it sound less good than it was. The pizza MA got was great and loved by everyone who tried it. There was a lot of Italian sausage on it and all other ingredients were plentiful. Very good. Crisp and substantial crust, this was everything you would want a pizza to be. New York style-not Italian. MA’s favorite anyway.

 All the pasta dishes had a great thick old-style Italian sauce that no one can complain about. The pasta was cooked well and there was enough for two, just like an Italian grandmother would serve.

We left thinking about all the good restaurants out there that people forget about in their rush to the new places. Too bad. The Brick Oven Cafe and countless others are doing exactly what they have always done, offering good food with good service. And what is wrong with that?

 We will do this again, and soon.


The Brick Oven Cafe

2305 Williams Blvd  Kenner


Tues-Sat 11-10

Sunday & Monday till 9