By Patrick Alexander
Oregon Coast TODAY
The weather might be cooler, the trees taller and the accent a million miles away, but the Oregon Coast offers a slice of New Orleans for anyone who walks through the doors of Lord Brixxton’s.
With bright colors, frequent live music and a mouthwatering menu, this Lincoln Beach restaurant and bar is determined to let the good times roll.
Owner Michelle Long said her aim is to create a welcoming atmosphere for locals and visitors, with upscale food in a casual environment. In place of linens, Lord Brixxton’s tables are covered with butcher paper so guests can scribble as they sip and doodle as they dine. And it would come as no surprise if those impromptu inscriptions were to include the occasional note of undying love directed at the kitchen crew.
Leading that crew is Rebecca Ottensmann, supervising a team that delight the taste buds with Cajun, Creole and Italian dishes as well as recipes that combine all three styles. Many might wonder how these seemingly unrelated cuisines came to be under one roof. The combination stems from a trip Ottensmann and Long took to New Orleans, where they discovered a strong Italian presence — and a famous restaurant, Adolfo, in the French quarter, which served both Italian and Creole dishes. The two agreed the seasonings definitely complement one another.
“We all developed this menu together” Ottensmann said. “My kitchen is staffed with seasoned professionals, constantly learning, constantly putting out surprises.”
Long, a longtime Italian food aficionado, said having familiar items like spaghetti, chicken parm, ravioli and tortellini on the menu allows the restaurant to gently introduce some Cajun and Creole elements to guests who might not be ready for full-blown classics like étouffée, gumbo and jambalaya.
“To me, this is someone’s dream, and you really need to be gentle with it,” Ottensmann said. “We are making everything ourselves; from croutons to desserts to salad dressing. We do pay attention to the culture and the history. We will come out and talk with anyone who has a question about it.”
The bestseller on the Italian side of the menu is spaghetti and meatballs, while étouffée has the most fans on the Cajun side, followed by jambalaya.
For dishes that unite both sides of the menu, try Cajun spaghetti, given a little kick through the addition of Andouille sausage from Zenners of Portland. Andouille sausage also serves to spice up the Cajun flatbread pizza. Meanwhile, Crawfish Monica offers all the comfort of a pasta dish with the added zing of a Cajun-spiced alfredo sauce.
The Creole burger is a standard third-of-pound grass-fed patty served with a house Creole sauce, a chunky, relish-like condiment made from tomatoes, bell pepper, celery and onion.
That same sauce also goes on the po-boys, traditional Louisiana sandwiches served with either shrimp, smokey sausage, Andouille sausage or blackened catfish.
“The PoBoy sandwich got its name when the cable car boys went on strike in the 1800s,” Ottensmann said. “Someone delivered sandwiches for the strikers and said ‘these are for those po-boys.’”
Ottensmann loves to share her knowledge of how recipes came to be, and can reel off the story behind each menu item. The Muffuletta sandwich, for example, began as a lunch tray of bread, cheese, meat and olive salad served up by a Sicilian grocer in New Orleans. But when he saw people having trouble eating it on the go, he combined the items into a pressed sandwich, and a classic was born. Customers can find two versions of the Muffuletta on the menu: one served warm and one served cold — both integrating the famous olive salad and layers of Italian meats.
“When I cook I can’t just cook,” Ottensmann said. “I have to know the history.”
The Brixxton’s crew are only too happy to tailor dishes for guests with dietary requirements, offering gluten-free pizza crusts, bread and spaghetti, as well as a vegan pasta sauce that acts as a jumping off point for several dishes.
Daily specials serve to spice up the regular menu, and prime rib is served up every Friday night.
All the desserts are made in house, with the selection normally including a cheesecake, a bread pudding, pie, crisp and chocolate cake.
The restaurant welcomes large groups that want to eat family-style; and those who want the true New Orleans experience are encouraged to ask their server for suggestions.
While the word is spreading about Lord Brixxton’s menu, the restaurant is also developing a reputation as a great spot to hear local music. With gigs scheduled most nights of the month, the venue caters to most styles and is always looking for musicians who want to play.
Occasionally, guests might find a karaoke, rock ‘n roll bingo or sweet 16 birthday event as well.
TVs in the bar and restaurant screen games from both the PAC 12 and NFL, while a full bar and wide wine and beer selection provide the perfect fuel for celebrating victory or lamenting defeat — New Orleans style: Laissez les bon temps rouler!
Lord Brixxton’s is located at 3245 N Hwy. 101, Depoe Bay, and is open from 11:30 am to 9 pm Sunday, Monday and Thursday and 11:30 am to 10 pm Friday and Saturday — dark on Tuesday and Wednesday for the winter months. For more information, or details on catering and meeting options, call them at 541-764-4222 or go to www.lordbrixxtons.com