As you walk through the glass-paneled wood doors, you pass below an ornate sign resembling the one hung over sister restaurant Peso’s Kitchen & Lounge next door. This sign, however, is laced with the curves of New Orleans style wrought iron, and reads “Toulouse.”
Inspired by the French Quarter, Toulouse Petit opened in lower Queen Anne in November and has been packing in crowds ever since.
On a recent spring-like January morning, sunlight streamed in through the wall of paneled windows, reflecting a warm glow off the mottled walls inside. The mosaic tile floor, blown-glass amber lamps hung from above, and wrought iron fixtures made it seem like we’d just walked into a Bourbon Street bar. Although the upholstered, tall-back chairs and velvet booths were all occupied, the open space on this bright Seattle day made it seem lightly busy and gave it a casual laid-back feel.
Another mom and I were there with babies in tow for Toulouse Petit’s Breakfast Happy Hour. On weekday mornings through the end of January, almost everything on the menu is $5 (with only a couple exceptions, like the Rib Eye Steak and Eggs, which is $10). In February, the price goes up to $6 an item.
They offer an ambitious menu, whether you’re there for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Even the happy hour menu (4:30-6 p.m. and 10 p.m.-1 a.m.) lists dozens of items, many for around $5. The breakfast menu includes beignets, crawfish etouffee with corn grits, red beans and andouille with eggs, bananas foster pancakes, and more than a handful of different eggs benedicts.
Portion sizes are not huge. I was hungry that morning, and with the lure of $5 price tags, I ordered two plates and ate nearly all of both.
Biscuits and spicy Creole sausage gravy came with two eggs any style. Biscuits and gravy is often a heavy, dense dish, but these biscuits were small and the gravy, while tasty, was applied with a light touch. The breakfast potatoes served alongside were crispy and nicely seasoned.
The crème caramel pain perdu is served with pecan butter, maple syrup, and strawberries. The bread was thick and custardy with a crisp coating, and as insanely sweet as it sounds.
With such extensive offerings, you’d have to live down the block to make any kind of appreciable dent in the menu. But for the happy hour price, breakfast is more than worthwhile, so I expect I’ll be back soon to explore the menu further.
601 Queen Anne Avenue N, Seattle