Dig Baton Rouge

Not Your Mother’s Brunch

By Kaci Yoder

Sunday brunch is as much a Southern staple as early morning mass, and Baton Rouge offers up its fair share of options. From Mason’s to The Chimes, a hungry bruncher can find dozens of places to meet their mimosa needs, but one unlikely spot has recently taken the brunch scene by storm: cocktail bar Olive or Twist.

Known for their innovative creations, the team at Olive or Twist has put a fresh, southern spin on the classic Sunday morning fare. Buttermilk biscuits transformed into andouille sliders, crepes stuffed with boudin and shrimp and grits packed into cheesy cakes — this isn’t your mother’s brunch.

According to co-owner Josh Duke, the biggest hits include their savory take on chicken and waffles, which comes with a creamy Monica sauce instead of maple syrup, and crawfish pies smothered in a Tabasco-infused crawfish etouffee. And, fired up in a skillet and topped with bananas purchased fresh each Sunday morning, the bananas foster French toast wins over crowds each week.

Even with this original menu, Duke says what really sets Olive or Twist’s brunch apart from Baton Rouge’s other waffle and omelet peddlers is their drinks menu.

“We have more than just the usual, which is what we try to do across the board with everything, but especially these drinks,” says Duke, the mind behind the bar’s mix of Sunday cocktails. “We have Bloody Marys with bourbon and jalapenos. We have mimosas with tequila and gin.”

$10 will buy a visitor bottomless mimosas, but $15 unlocks an unlimited supply from the “craft mimosa” list. This elevated mimosa menu includes the London Springs spiked with dry gin and cucumber, the tropical Tiki-osa and a variety of flavor infusions ranging from strawberry to violet. The most popular variation, the Mimosa Rita, marries mimosas and margaritas with a combination of tequila, lime, agave nectar and champagne in one refreshing and effervescent drink.

Savory drink fans can also rejoice — the Bloody Mary menu is equally creative. While the Bloody Butcher, Booker Noe complements bourbon with meatier flavors like Worcestershire, bacon and jerky, other options pack serious heat with Sriracha and jalapeno tequila. For your weekly dose of vitamin C, the Bloody Garden fills the glass with spicy green beans, pickled okra, green olives, celery stalks and more.

Serving up these specialities and more every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Olive or Twist aims to shake brunch up.

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