“The stars at night (clap, clap, clap)
are big and bright (clap, clap, clap)
Deep in the heart of Texas….”
Sorry, that’s relevant to nothing other than the fact a Pee Wee Herman movie is on at the moment. I generally have four televisions on concurrently, but never watch any of them. Well, except I admit to being a West Wing addict. Alpha waves bombard my house, and in addition to the TVs, one would usually find every light, and two computers on in my house all night long. I guess I’ve grown used to sleeping that way — silence wouldn’t be a comfortable atmosphere for me.
But that has nothing to do with Flora’s, another establishment in the ‘hood of Marigny, adjacent to the French Quarter in New Orleans. Located at the corner of Franklin and Royal, Flora’s – formally known as the “Café Flora and Gallery,” is not a coffee “shop” per se, but a “coffee house” in my parlance.
Much like its neighbor Schirro’s, Flora’s is a neighborhood-gathering place, although it caters to an entirely different audience. They claim to serve “breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and everything in between,” and are open from 7AM – Midnight.
Like any coffee house, Flora’s has the usual espresso-based drinks – the upside being that they are about a buck cheaper than anywhere else in town. You’ll pay a mere $2.50 for a giant latte or cappuccino, and only a buck for a single shot.
When it comes to food, Flora’s excels in fresh baked goods; although I don’t have a sweet tooth, per se, I occasionally will pop in for a piece of cake or a sweet roll. Selections in this segment also include croissants, quiches, muffins, and a few specialty items like baklava and rugala.
Breakfast is bagels, with your choice of toppings. The “Pemesto” includes pesto, cream cheese, and sliced tomatoes. Add any veggie for a mere quarter, any meat for four bits.
Almond granola is served daily with your choice of fruit yogurt, whole, skim, rice, or soy milk.
Lunch or dinner choices lean towards the Southwest and Mediterranean cuisine, including huge burritos, a hummus plate, falafel, salads, and an assortment of soup and cold sandwiches. Be patient! Flora’s prepares food plates one at a time, when you order. The kitchen leans towards “minimalist,” and you should know that in advance.
There’s plenty to do while waiting, however, as Flora’s is a local repository for every single free newspaper and magazine printed in New Orleans, and there are always ample copies available, as well as a bin for discard daily newspapers. You can easily find the Living section of the T-P, or the NYT crossword among the papers in the bin and amuse yourself for free while waiting on your meal.
You could also just sit, observe, and eavesdrop, as Flora’s attracts a pretty “unique” crowd. Let’s just call them the “arty types” and leave it at that.
If you’re not in the mood for coffee, Flora’s offers a wide variety of teas, juices, soy drinks, and bottled water.
Flora’s has a few chairs and benches on the sidewalk for those sunny winter days. For those of you who “partake” (and those who don’t want to be near it) – Flora is one of the few coffee houses in the hood that allows smoking inside.
P.S. This was written back in the day of my vagabond in residency period in New Orleans. Flora is historically significant – as the site I first met Mrs. Burgerdogboy!
2600 Royal Street, NOLA, 947-8358.