Bananas for Desayuno Catracho

It’s easy to find a flavorful, Honduran breakfast plate in New Orleans that’s both generous and affordable. The only hard part is choosing!

The Greater New Orleans Area is fortunate to have one of the largest Honduran populations in the country. Since the mid to late 1800s, bananas and other tropical fruits have been a hefty part of our city’s import trade, a significant percentage of those bananas coming from Honduras. Initially, things like improved healthcare and education enticed wealthier Hondurans to immigrate here en masse, so much so that 2004, they made up nearly 10% of our population.

Another influx was spurred by Hurricane Katrina, when Hondurans and thousands of other Latinx people came to work, helping us to rebuild and bring the city back from the brink. Luckily for us, many of those ardent craftspeople, carpenters and others decided to stay and make New Orleans home. Among other areas of expertise, they’ve also brought their love of food and cooking, and hoo-boy, are we ever grateful.

This brings us to bountiful Honduran breakfasts. Everyone has their own favorite way of breaking their morning fasts, and because we have a wealth of different cultures in New Orleans, why not take advantage of it?

Across the river in Gretna, there’s a tiny Honduran restaurant tucked behind Tony Mandina’s on Van Trump Street called Nany’s Antojitos. While Spanish-speakers will definitely have an easier time communicating, the staff is incredibly patient in helping monoglots (like myself) navigate the menu. Every meal they serve could make an appearance in this article, all of their dishes fall under (if not well below) the $20 mark, but if you’ve got a hefty morning appetite, or you don’t mind leftovers, may we suggest the desayuno supremo. Served with warm, fresh corn or flour tortillas, you get two eggs, refried beans, a thick slice of queso fresco(soft and milky, similar to farmer’s cheese), fried sweet plantains, bright green avocado slices and your choice of meat which could be steak, pork chops, or even fried chicken, all for only $12.99.

At Alma, a more modern, and dare we say bougie, Honduran spot in Bywater, chef/owner Melissa Arujo is still keeping it real with breakfast. We’re not knocking the blueberry lemon ricotta pancakes or lump crab and shrimp-stuffed Louisiana omelet, but why visit a Honduran restaurant and not eat Honduran food? Opt instead for the baleada sencilla – a still-warm, flour tortilla topped with eggs, refried beans, house-made crema, crumbled queso and avocado. Go even meatier with chorizo or smoked pork bringing your grand total to $16. Add a cup of their eponymous, San Sebastian-grown, small batch-roasted java and it’ll be a glorious morning regardless of what comes afterwards.

El Sabor De Mi H, or β€œThe Flavors of Honduras, is a newbie on the local restaurant scene who opened their doors on Metairie Road last June. While you should definitely attend their (now annual) fall baleada festival, just get to the ‘burbs right now fill up on smashed red beans, crema, and cheese-stuffed baleada for only $4 a pop, or add steak, chicken, or pork for only a few dollars more. Not only will you get a hearty breakfast that’ll keep you going all day long, you’ll also have plenty of change left in your pocket for a large coffee, or even sweeter, hot chocolate.

Way down in Kenner (brah), La Cocina De Karla (aka Karla’s Kitchen) is serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner from a modest pink and white building on Williams Boulevard. The space gives great neighborhood vibes and the food is both plentiful and affordable. Karla’s offers the usual Honduran breakfast plates with eggs, fried red beans, and sweet plantains, crema and cheese-stuffed baleadas and hot coffee all at prices sure to make you smile and (hopefully) tip excessively.

On Tulane Avenue between S. Broad and S. Norman C. Francis Parkway lies Tia Maria’s Kitchen. Though it’s in walking distance between two other Honduran restaurants, it seems to be the most popular, but perhaps that’s due to familiarity. Tia Maria’s was located in Gretna for a few years but closed in 2010, and it seems people are happy to see it return, regardless of what side of the river they’re on. They’ve been open on Tulane since November 2022, serving family recipes Along with baleadas and farmer/peasant breakfasts, Tia Maria’s also serves a belly-busting sandwich with grilled steak, fried egg, refried beans, crema, and avocado stuffed between two cheese pupusa and served with maduros (aka fried sweet plantains) for on $12.

Las Delicias de Honduras might be the last spot we’re talking about, but know our list only scratches the surface. Located on the corner of S. Broad and Banks Street in Mid-City, this cozy spot has egg, refried bean, cheese, crema, and avocado-filled baleada for $5.95, and huge desayuno plates with all of the aforementioned with the addition of griddled sweet plantains, grilled beef, and corn or flour tortillas for on $11.50. Add a natural blackberry, passion fruit drink, or cinnamony horchata for $3.75 and all is right with the world . . . at least for today.

*Article was originally published in the April 2024 Jazz Fest issue of Where Y’at Magazine

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