Brennan’s has been a New Orleans institution for 70 years, and while the iconic pink building on Royal Street recently received an updated look and menu, traditions from its early days still enchant today’s diners. When Ralph Brennan and business partner Terry White purchased Brennan’s in 2013, they brought in Executive Chef Slade Rushing to refresh the menu while highlighting dishes from the past. Eggs Benedict, Eggs Sardou, and Eggs Hussarde are still favorites on the breakfast menu, but Bananas Foster is far and away Brennan’s most ordered item. As a child, Ralph’s favorite dishes were Steak Diane and Bananas Foster, which were prepared tableside. “I was always enamored by that tableside cooking, which is something you see very little of today,” he says.
Ralph credits the popularity of Bananas Foster to the novelty of the experience of ‘Breakfast at Brennan’s.’ “[My family] really created a unique meal period, and this dish was a critical part of that. The combination of going out to eat breakfast like never before and then finishing with this lavish dessert of Bananas Foster…it was just so unique and different at the time.”
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup banana liqueur
- 4 bananas, cut in half lengthwise, then crosswise
- ¼ cup dark rum
- 4 scoops vanilla ice cream
- In a large skillet, combine brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Stir in banana liqueur; place bananas in pan.
- When bananas soften and begin to brown, carefully add rum. Cook until rum is hot; tip pan slightly to ignite rum. When flames subside, lift bananas out of pan, and place 4 pieces over each portion of ice cream. Generously spoon warm sauce over ice cream, and serve immediately.