Each week, the Shreveport-Bossier Journal’s always hungry reporter visits a different restaurant and tells you about the experience.
By ANON E. MUSS, Journal Services
I’ve never been a brunch person.
My taste buds are wired for breakfast in the morning, lunch at midday, and dinner in the evening.
But I know I am in the minority, as I often hear people talk about their enjoyment of weekend brunch.
So, on a recent Sunday and to fulfill my duty to you, the reader, I asked a friend to join me for brunch at Sauvage (608 Absinthe Court, Shreveport).
Why Sauvage? A: I had never been. B: The food pictures they post on social media look outstanding.
Sauvage is not one of those places you’re going to stumble upon. It’s located on a side street near the entrance to Twelve Oaks subdivision. In fact, Sauvage doesn’t have a stand-alone sign facing Flournoy-Lucas – the main road bordering the restaurant.
Our reservation was for 12:30. If you want to make a reservation, you will have to call. I tried making one by going to what I thought was Sauvage’s website. Instead, the link took me to the restaurant’s Facebook page. As I have said before, a Facebook page is not the same as a website. In 2023, a website is a must for any legitimate business.
We arrived on time and were seated on time. The gentleman who greeted us wasn’t the friendliest, but did his job in showing us to our table. He gave us two choices – sit in the bar area, or the main dining room. The bar area was lively and had televisions showing NFL games. We chose the quieter dining room. It was pleasant but lacked atmosphere. The room could use some color, as we were surrounded by mostly plain white walls and a dull-looking stained concrete floor.
Soon after, Patrick, our server, was filling our water glasses. “Sauvage” is French, and in keeping with French custom, the glasses were without ice.
Early on, Patrick let us know it was his first day on the job. We appreciated Patrick’s honesty, as he did not have full knowledge of the menu. Patrick is working his way through welding school. We wished him well.
While I nursed my water without ice, my friend wanted to order a Poinsettia, which was on the menu as one of the restaurant’s “Brunch Drink Specials.” Who knew the Christmastime plant was also a drink? Patrick wasn’t certain of the Poinsettia’s flavor but offered to find out. He reported back that the Poinsettia was a mix of cranberry juice and champagne. My friend took a chance, and that chance paid off. She really liked it. The glass was filled to the top, prompting Patrick to say, “I tried not to short you!”
While reviewing our food options, my friend pointed out that this was a true brunch menu. There were a variety of breakfast and lunch entrees. Those food options included six appetizers. Being a brunch novice, I didn’t know if it was typical to have a starter. But one item caught my friend’s attention – Spring Rolls ($12). They were described as Beef, Asian Slaw, and Sweet and Spicy Aioli.
The spring rolls were beautifully presented—six of them positioned diagonally over each other—with with garnish and a side of dipping sauce. I enjoyed them more than my friend, as she said they tasted bland. I agree the taste was a bit mild, but they were served warm, which counts for a lot. Unfortunately, the spring rolls were the only thing served warm. As the late, great radio host Paul Harvey used to say, “Standy by for more!”
When Patrick seated us, he described a couple of “Specials.” One prompted me to ask him to repeat what he said. “Key Lime French Toast.” I like Key Lime Pie, and I like French Toast. But I had never heard of combining the two. I almost ordered Shrimp and Grits but let’s be honest, how many times are you going to have the opportunity to have Key Lime French Toast ($16)? I couldn’t pass it up. I also ordered a side of bacon ($5).
My friend went more traditional – Steak and Eggs ($19). The dish was described as a grilled and sliced 6-ounce New York Strip, breakfast potatoes, and two sunny side up eggs. She requested her eggs be served scrambled, and they were.
While we waited for our meal, we took notice of food others were being served. Everything looked just like the pictures – beautiful. We saw everything from Asian Nachos to Chicken and Waffles to the Brunch Burger. This only raised the anticipation level of how our food would look and taste.
Upon arrival, both our dishes looked delicious. Unfortunately, neither of our dishes tasted delicious. My Key Lime French Toast wasn’t cold, but it certainly wasn’t hot. In fact, it wasn’t close to being warm. Who wants almost-cold toast, even if it does taste like Key Lime? And it did. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought I was eating key lime pie. Think of key lime pie, with bread replacing the crust. Except for its warmth, the Key Lime French Toast was good. But that was a big “Except.”
The bacon was tasty. It was crisp, and absent of grease. When was the last time you ate bacon which didn’t have grease?
It only took one bite of steak for my friend to express disappointment. While it was cooked to her preference (slightly pink in the middle), she said the steak was tough. Real tough. I took a bite and, after chewing for several seconds, agreed. In fact, I will go a step further. The steak was terrible. It was also borderline cold. My friend only ate a couple of pieces.
She did say the eggs were good and “fluffy,” while the potatoes were seasoned well and had a “great flavor.”
Patrick gave us a couple of dessert choices – one being Key Lime Pie. I already had my daily quota of key lime, and while Patrick said something about crème brulee, and lemon cake, we decided to pass.
Our meal before tax and tip was $52. Had our food been satisfactory, that would have been a fair price. (Note: The 20% suggested tip was based on the after-tax total – not the subtotal. That’s a pet peeve of mine.)
I thought long and hard about how to rate our Sunday brunch. We were mostly disappointed. However, our food – and the food of others – looked great. The service was good (especially considering it was our server’s first day), and the prices were reasonable. So, I decided to give Sauvage the benefit of the doubt – Three Forks. We would visit again, but not go out of our way to do so.
If there is a next time, we will definitely order something different. And without a doubt, I would ask our server to please tell the cook to make sure our food is hot if it’s supposed to be hot.
Is that too much to ask?
Is there a restaurant you would like the Journal to review? Email: SBJRestaurantReview@gmail.com
1 Fork: Would rather eat a box of dirt
2 Forks: Will return, but only if someone else is buying
3 Forks: Will return and look forward to it
4 Forks: Will return and go out of my way to do so