Ocean Springs has a new hotspot that promises to serve brunch as it was meant to be.
Located on the rapidly developing Porter Avenue, Lazy Oak Brunch + Bistreaux offers many unique twists to classic brunch and breakfast dishes, and is a wonderful choice for those wanting a leisurely meal with friends or family.
Debuting last September, Lazy Oak is the brainchild of Greg Schwartz and his wife, Haleigh. Having been in the bar and restaurant industry for over 15 years, Greg says he has long dreamed of owning and operating a small family business, and he and Haleigh hope to make Lazy Oak their legacy.
“We wanted to bring the fun, exciting, and ever- evolving New Orleans flair to the Gulf Coast,” Greg says. “We like to call it brunch with a twist. From the neighbor next door that we know by name to the unfamiliar face walking through the front door for the very first time, we have something for everyone.”
As for what inspired the name Lazy Oak, he explains that it came from a casual conversation over a beer with a friend, who referred to the leaning oak on the property as a lazy oak.
“After that, it just kind of stuck,” Greg recalls. “We felt like it was the perfect name to portray our lovely property surrounded by beautiful oak trees.”
Inspired by their passion for providing delicious dishes that excite customers’ palates, they set out to create a unique breakfast and brunch menu that is served all day in addition to steak, oysters, pasta, fish and chef specials for dinner on Fridays and Saturdays.
“Our menu items are based off our own creations,” Greg says. “With the exception of a few items, when you scroll through our menu, you won’t find things similar to those around. From fun and adventurous specials to your most basic breakfast essentials, we’ve got something for everyone.”
On a recent visit, my girlfriend, Lauryn, and I found what Greg said to be true. We started with an item off the “Brunch- A-Tizers” section of the menu — the Bourbon Street beignets. Traditional New Orleans puffed pastry beignets topped with a creole crawfish cream sauce and green onion were a decadent way to start our meal.
Up next was one of the po’ specials, which are served on either traditional French bread or a biscuit — a rather large biscuit to say the least. Jeff mentioned that his biscuits are made every morning and their size is a point of pride.
“You know cat head? Well, this is a dog head biscuit,” he says with a laugh.
Dressed like a regular po’ boy with lettuce, tomato and mayo, the deep-fried softshell crab version we had also came with lazy sauce, which is the restaurant’s take on a Cajun remoulade. For a side, it was served with hashbrown sticks, which I would describe as large mozzarella sticks without the cheese. The savory, hand-held goodness of the hashbrowns with minced onions was the perfect accompaniment.
Found under the “All-Day Favs” section of the menu, wings n’ waffles were served next. Slow-smoked wings that are fried for crispiness can be drizzled with buffalo, tai chili or sweet heat sauce.
I must say they were lick- your-fingers delicious and the perfect pairing for the sweet goodness of the fluffy, crisp waffle.
The “Kiss My Grits” offerings constitute a unique section of Lazy Oak’s menu. The good morning grits are topped with egg, sausage, bacon and pico. The Southern is topped with fried chicken and sausage gravy. Other options feature shrimp, crawfish and chargrilled oysters, and each week brings a different special. We had the debris — a hearty plate of grits, roast beef and gravy that definitely was a comfort classic with a twist.
We ended our meal with a plate of bananas foster beignets. The pillowy pastries were covered with a homemade, donut-like glaze and topped with caramelized bananas. It was the perfect New Orleans-style flourish to top off our wonderful meal.
Lazy Oak Brunch + Bistreaux is open Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. with indoor and outdoor dining available. A full bar serves craft and New Orleans specialty cocktails and is the perfect place for private parties, catering and holiday events.