I can’t say that the last thing I want to do is hang out all morning at the International House of Pancakes eating stack after stack of buttermilk pancakes while drinking weak coffee from a never-ending pot. It’s not the last thing I want to do. It is, however, pretty close to the bottom of my bucket list.
Why would I want to chill with my peeps at IHOP when every morning I have breakfast in good company with the delightful and interesting guests who choose to stay at La Belle Esplanade?
I’ve got nothing against IHOP. There is a time and a place for an IHOP breakfast. You may disagree, but I don’t think that time and place are during your New Orleans vacation. There’s an IHOP on Canal Street and it’s always full, so there are obviously plenty of people who disagree with me. Needless to say, those people aren’t staying at La Belle Esplanade, the #1 boutique experience inn in New Orleans.
Breakfast at La Belle Esplanade is very different from breakfast at IHOP. For one thing, we don’t have a menu. Every morning, we serve what we feel like serving. This isn’t a democracy. When you check in, you place yourself under our professional innkeeping care. Every morning at La Belle Esplanade starts with a curated breakfast salon. We go out every morning before everyone else is awake and we pick up whatever we think is going to be interesting for our guests at artisanal bakeries and patisseries, and at farmers’ markets. We support local restaurants, caterers, delicatessens, and bread pudding chefs. Everything we serve at breakfast is local. At La Belle Esplanade, you get a full-flavored taste of New Orleans’ culinary kaleidoscope.
Nobody leaves IHOP hungry. With that all-you-can-eat pancake special, how could they? Nobody leaves our dining room hungry either. Our breakfasts are more than just pancakes, sausage, eggs and syrup, though. In fact, our breakfasts are anything but those things, except we do sometimes serve sausage—alligator sausage, andouille sausage, Italian sausage, all made, not from a machine in the industrial part of Chicago, but, by people in shops that have been making sausage by hand for between 90-30 years. We support New Orleans traditions when it comes to sausage making.
What do we serve? Well, I’m not gonna repeat it all here. Check out this page and read for yourself. You’ll be salivating by the time you’re done.
At La Belle Esplanade, breakfast is not just about good chow. It’s about good conversation, too. Frau Schmitt and your humble narrator enjoy serving as unofficial goodwill ambassadors for this wonderful city we call home.
Got a question about New Orleans? We have an answer. There are over 800 restaurants in New Orleans. As of this writing we’ve eaten at about half of them. It’s very hard to have a bad meal in this city that prides itself on its food. [March 15, 2018 update: We have now eaten at over 470 New Orleans restaurants. It is still hard to have a bad meal here.]
Got a question about New Orleans history? I’m a licensed tour guide. I’ve steeped myself in New Orleans history. Our tricentennial is next year. A lot of facts, facets and stories have been hatched in the past 300 years.
Got a question about New Orleans culture? Talk to two people who live here. New Orleans is a city like no other place. New Orleans is unique. There is a lot about being here that’s confusing, so we’re happy to explain. There is a lot about being here that’s magical. We are more than happy to unlock those mysteries, too.
What’s the real difference between La Belle Esplanade and IHOP?
Firstly, we don’t have a menu. You’ll have plenty of options but they’ll be artfully arranged on a buffet table so you can pick and choose what want. Take what appeals. Leave what doesn’t. Most people try everything except the fruit. Unless they’re European, a lot of our guests don’t eat fruit at breakfast unless we cut it up into fruit salad. We have fruit available, strawberries and satsumas in season, because we like to support our local farmers and we think you should get more vitamin C when you’re on vacation.
Secondly: Pictures. There is a lot to look at in our inn. It isn’t all cluttered and fusty like most B&Bs. In fact, La Belle Esplanade is the opposite of most B&Bs. That’s why we don’t call ourselves a B&B. We are a boutique experience inn. Come see for yourself. We do have some high quality original artwork in all of our suites and in our dining room. We don’t like to simplify things and dumb them down with just pictures though. Heck, you’re about a thousand words into this blog post. You probably realize by now, ours is a thinking person’s inn. We don’t rely on flash and distraction. We’re not interested in delivering empty calories and eye candy. We like to deliver an appreciative understanding of the New Orleans state of mind.
Thirdly, if you don’t think our inn is colorful, you must only see in black and white. There is no more colorful house in all of New Orleans, inside or out. Every room and every ceiling in our inn is a different color. If you’re afraid of color, beware! If you love color, you’ll feel right at home. A feast for the eyes as well as a feast for the palate is what we serve up for breakfast every morning.
Fourthly, we don’t make money off breakfast. It’s included in the price of your suite. We want you to start the day happy and satiated, in both the gustatory and spiritual senses. If you have any food allergies or restrictions, let us know. We can accommodate any diet. We’ve been ranked the #1 place to stay in all of Louisiana, not just in New Orleans, for almost three years month-after-month in a row. Why? Because we aim to please. We never charge extra for anything we offer. No Jedi mind tricks. Great value for an honest dollar.
Whaddaya waiting for? If you like breakfast at IHOP, a hotel in the French Quarter may be the better option for you when you’re looking for a place to stay. If you want to get outside the French Quarter and into the real New Orleans, La Belle Esplanade just may be the best place for you. We only have five suites, so reserve early. Use the light blue “Availability” button at the top of this page.
Frau Schmitt and I look forward to meeting you and to sharing in your adventures in this wonderful city we call home.
À votre sante,
La Belle Esplanade
…where every morning starts with a curated breakfast salon.
Thursday, January 26, 2017: In a New Orleans state of mind, anything and everything is possible. Every day is full of New Orleans moments!