Let’s Reminiscence Over Brunch! Bijoux Sunday Brunch at Le Pavillon Hotel

The Le Pavillon Hotel holds a special place in my heart, well my belly too. My Daddy took us out to fancy restaurants, but none would compare to the fabulous Le Pavilion Hotel. My sixth-grade graduation dinner was held there in the early 80s, look I’m telling my age lol. In my last year at Allen Elementary which is located Uptown on Nashville Ave, the school building wasn’t damaged by Katrina but it has been renamed. In addition to a six grad graduation ceremony, we were gifted with a field trip to the Le Pavilion Hotel for a celebration dinner, a very fancy one at that. I’m smiling from the memory, that experience in itself made me feel deserving of the finer things in life. We had a full pledge VIP experience including an actual red carpet just for us. Not sure what going on back then but, the New Orleans Public School system and parents would raise money to show us the grander side of living when we graduated from kindergarten, sixth grade and twelfth grade. Most of us kept our noses in our books because we were anticipating our Senior Trip to Washington, DC, and the HBCU College Road Trip. But grade usually meant a field trip to a fancy hotel or restaurant for a fancy dinner and my kindergarten graduation was the OZ theme with a yellow brick road, actors and the works. Yes, we may not have had much, but when it came time to celebrate our accomplishments they went all out.

The majority of my sixth-grade class were underprivileged black children who caught the city bus from nearby urban communities. Our field trip to the Le Pavillon Hotel would be our first fine dining experience and our first times in a grand hotel… And most of our parents worked in the hospitality industry, and never had the opportunity to walk through the entrance, sit in the elegant dining, partske of the fancy cuisine they cooked or just stare in amazement at the beautiful chandeliers. Yes, it was a big deal to not only to us, but our famil.

I remember being filled with excitement and anxiety. I didn’t want to embarrass myself or my teacher. We had a table etiquette class before the event, and I was so worried about forks and elbows, but the table set up was simple but elegant. In addition to a delicious, extravagant meal, we were given a tour of the first main floor. ; Everything was beautiful and as you can get, memorable so much so I can close my eyes see and taste it all, especially the decadent triple layer chocolate cake/pie dessert that was served at the end.

I promised myself that when I “grew up,” I would return and stay as a guest in one of the best suites and order from the menu without worrying about the price. Sadly, I haven’t returned yet. I haven’t reached the level of success that allowed me to afford to stay at the Le Pavillion, but I can provide a Bijoux Brunch. Just think if I weren’t included in the email, I would have waited until I won the lottery or started writing for Oprah magazine to go lol. But seriously, let’s reminiscence over brunch!

Glamorous and grand, Le Pavillon Hotel’s signature restaurant, Bijoux, will once again offer Sunday Brunch every Sunday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Under the leadership of award-wining Executive Chef Derek McKenna and centered around a Czechoslovakian crystal chandelier, the brunch will provide visitors with an innovative menu of seasonal dishes served in an awe-inspiring atmosphere.

Bijoux’s Sunday Brunch features scrumptious starters, such as local-made pastries, and oysters and shrimp on ice. Diners choose from five southern classic entrees served with a French twist, including herb buttermilk biscuits smothered in andouille sausage gravy, a poached egg served over pan-seared jumbo lump crab cakes, or opt for the ever-changing Chef’s special of the week. The Sunday Brunch also features five fresh stations, including made-to-order omelets, Belgian waffles and marble slab mashed potatoes to name a few.

Served every Sunday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., the Bijoux Sunday Brunch costs $50 for adults and $25 for children 13 years and under. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling (504) 581-3111.

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A native of New Orleans, who left her beloved New Orleans to spend twenty years of living in the land of Minnesota Not So Nice. Minnesota was full of opportunities but would learn that the soul of the state and the people who made it was just as icy cold as the temperatures. After the years and my 40th birthday flew by, I decided it was time to pack up my youngest child and come back to my roots, my birthplace the city that not only birthed me but gave me life. I would not be who I am without my New Orleans beginnings. I am all things that would challenge the belief of growing up in New Orleans. I was a 16yr old teen mother of a premature baby born with a severe medical disability. And only With the help of my mother, was it possible for me to BE! I was able to endure and survive the obstacles laid before my child and me. In a city that was built by my family, but did not allow for us to reap the benefits I overcame. Charity Hospital was my second home — a building filled with miracle workers who made it possible for my daughter to have life. I have lived a life of rainy days with peeks of sunshine, that are my children, including those not of my womb. I'm the proud mother of three and a grandmother of three. My dream was to live the life of the nursery rhyme of ”The Old Lady Who lived in a shoe,” and for the most part, I did. I cared for several children over the years as a special needs foster parent. I would learn that my love was not enough for some children, but I loved them through their pain. I'm not sure if I ever had a case of true love or came close to what love looks like on television, but I had my share of men and the mirage of love. I survived two abusive marriages. Though I longed to return to New Orleans on a daily bases, I must admit my move was one of the best decisions made for me. I am a college graduate; I was a successful entrepreneur. I coowned a soul food restaurant and catering company in Minnesota for 12 years. I developed the talent of creating custom cakes after the murder of my beloved cousin Melvin Paul. He survived Katrina only to go to Minneapolis six months later to be murdered over a parking spot dispute. But with the challenge of creating a simple wedding cake, I was able to find healing. I created the House of Cakes in honor of him. Minnesota life had me pretty materialistic. I worked to the point I do not remember much, but work and handing my children love money. I thought by having the big house on the hill, a husband, having a family, the ultimate provider and being involved in all things that matter, plus having the funds to match would cure me of what I was told was a generational curse of lack of everything from money, love to even self-love. But for the most part, that life poisoned my heart and soul. I was blinded by visions fed to me by the media. I was told I wasn't anything unless I was better than the Jones's. I lived being ok with a broken, bleeding heart. Life like this did not exist in my family while living in New Orleans from what I viewed with my eyes and soul. We may not have had all the things I acquired over the years, but we were happy, we were together. Family outside of New Orleans wasn't family anymore. We lived separate lives and had awkward moments when we bumped into each other in public. I hated living in Minnesota even though life their helped me in so many ways. I felt deep down the only way to repair it was to get back to my roots, my soul, my home, myself, my New Orleans. I'm here, and I love it. Even being in the so-called Blighted Area of New Orleans and not having all the financial and material security, I'm happy. I am determined that She, yes, New Orleans is a woman is just like me; together, we will overcome and will rise from all that tried to kill our spirit. Nothing like starting from the bottom and making your way back up!. I just know in my heart that New Orleans will provide for me. There's a bank account with funds in it owed to me by way of back pay for my ancestors. And I will receive my inheritance, and I will continue the traditions and customs of the old to keep the heartbeat of New Orleans beating. I'm down in the boot, living the life that feels right to me awaiting my destiny...

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