Down home cooking is something that Louisiana is incredibly well-known for, as is sugary sweet Southern charm. On our visit to the Where Y’at Diner in Mandeville we were served up with a healthy dose of both. The owner of this adorable diner, Liz Munson, puts her heart and soul into everything that goes on inside this brightly colored building. Her effervescing personality shines through in everything from the staff to the food to the inspirational decor. She went from waitressing for others for 15-years to opening up her own restaurant and became an overnight success. We woke up ready for a great brunch and now we know Where Y’at in Mandeville is definitely where it’s at.
Stepping inside the Where Y’at Diner is like taking a walk into the 1960’s. Everything is extremely vibrant and there is peace, love, and happiness everywhere. Cute little signs adorn the walls and motivate you into wanting to be all sunshine and rainbows. Then it hits you…the aroma of deep fried southern cuisine. The sweet smells of waffles and the spicy meaty flavors coming from the kitchen make me realize I am absolutely starving.
We started our brunch with an appetizer. This is a biscuit with debris, but don’t let the name fool you. This slow roasted beef in delicious jus on a grilled house-made buttery biscuit was the perfect way to start my morning.
I opted for a benedict dish for my entree, but I was left with a major dilemma, which benedict did I want? Well, here at Where Y’at Diner, you can chose two different benedicts and have them on the same plate for breakfast. This was perfect for someone like me that shouldn’t make any important decisions before I consume a pot of coffee in the morning.
I chose the N’awlins Benedict which is a fried green tomato with grilled asparagus, crabmeat, poached egg and a to-die-for hollandaise sauce and the Fried Chicken Benedict which was a biscuit topped with a slab of fried chicken with poached egg topped with sausage gravy.
These bennies are served with spuds or grits. I opted for grits since I was in the South and my mission was to consume enough butter to give my cholesterol a little spike.
My husband, Kenin chose the daily special, and special is exactly what this dish was. Pulled Pork tacos topped with avocado, a bit of sour cream, cheese and served with house potatoes. Needless to say we shared our meals as we always do, but today it was a little begrudging to do so.
Just when we were stuffed to the gills, Liz in all her Southern glory drops, one of these off at our table. This mother of all dishes is the Bananas Foster French Toast. Usually an entree, Kenin and I gluttonously put one away for dessert. Who could pass up a French Toast topped with sauteed bananas in a butter rum sauce, whip cream, and powdered sugar. Not me!
My visit to Where Y’at Diner was fantastic. We came for the food and left with full bellies and full hearts. It’s hard not to be touched by the sweetness of Liz and her amazing staff. She’s a dreamer and a doer and proof that if you want something bad enough and have enough faith in yourself, you can achieve great things (like bananas foster french toast).