Maple Street two-fer

Breakfast all day and fusion-y Thai food:  doesn’t the combination, served together in one place,  sound like a college student’s dream come true?  At Chill Out Cafe (729 Burdette St, at Maple, in uptown New Orleans, 504.872.9628),  pecan & coconut waffles coexist on a menu with tom yum, pad kee maw, beef salad, and spring rolls.  I didn’t sample the breakfast offerings, but the Thai food was about average for New Orleans–freshly prepared, slightly on the sweet side, and generously portioned for the price.

Presentation showed a bit of effort; sliced spring rolls stood at attention atop a sweet chili sauce, and pad thai was plated with cabbage shreds, a tidy pile of chopped peanuts, and wedges of lime. Two wide, outdoor seating areas are appealing, though not in the current season.

If the Thai and breakfast combo isn’t enough to satisfy, pop down the block to Maple Street Patisserie (7638 Maple St, 504.247.7912), a new bread and pastry bakery next door to PJs coffee shop.  Banana nut and bran muffins, fruit danish, cannoli, fruit tarts, baba au rhum, eclairs, strawberry tarts, and more fill the cases, and open shelves hold assorted braided sesame loaves, baguettes, focaccia, and so on.  The enthusiastic, helpful owners happily give out tastes & samples.

My favorite part about Maple Street Patisserie?  The fanciest items (tiny chocolate and vanilla pecan tartlets, fruit tarts, babas, and so on) are available in standard and mini, two-bite sizes….I like to sample a variety of flavors, so I’m always happy when things come in smaller portions.  Who needs a huge cookie or muffin?  I’d rather have four different small cookies.

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