DISH OF THE WEEK: Praline Bread Pudding Souffle at Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen
Have you ever walked into a restaurant and ordered dessert as your main affair? I hadn’t, until recently.
No decisions about which meat or three sides. Skip the soup of the day. Give me the dessert menu and take me to straight to sugar purgatory.
“The first bread pudding order of the day!” said the server.
Oh, the liberation! Not quite. It brought on a mea culpa moment. That I somehow need to explain this dessert lunch to, of all people, my mother.
“Sorry, Mom! You raised me right," went the conversation in my head. "It’s just that I really wanted bread pudding at 11 a.m. on a Monday. But there was almost one whole serving of fruit – plump raisins, chunks of apples. Oh, and a strawberry on the side. The baking spices reminded me of your sweet breads, by the way.”
Oh, for goodness sake. Why apologize? The praline bread pudding soufflé at Pappadeaux is something we all deserve to eat without remorse.
It comes hot to the table, in an oversized ramekin. Take time to pause and admire that top, all crusty and browned. And to sniff the smell of burnt sugar. But don’t linger too long. You need to pour that little cup of thin bourbon sauce onto the vanilla ice cream. Watch them run, filling the crevices with white streaks just as the soufflé begins to slump.
When you finally dive in with your spoon, make sure that every bite combines that moist bread studded with cooked fruit and nuts, the cooling ice cream and the burn of bourbon not quite cooked out of that creamy sauce.
I'd never made a lunch out of dessert. Pappadeaux's made it a practice worth repeating.
Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, 2830 Windy Hill Road, Marietta, 770-984-8899; 5635 Jimmy Carter Blvd., Duluth, 770-849-0600; and 10795 Davis Drive, Alpharetta, 770-992-5566, pappadeaux.com.