“The Slowest Second Line on Earth” – Turtles ‘On Parade’ & Brunch Celebration
NEW ORLEANS (press release) – In 2012, when New Orleans restaurateur Ralph Brennan and co-proprietor Terry White bought the iconic pink stucco building that had long housed Brennan’s restaurant, they never dreamed that they would be acquiring a family of banana leaf-green colored turtles — ten of them, to be exact — who inhabit the fountain pool under a canopy of greenery in the property’s lush courtyard. While the restaurant underwent a 20 million dollar renovation, Haley Bittermann, executive chef of the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group, housed the turtles at her home on Algiers Point. Little did she know the temporary request would last 19 months! The turtles have proven that the Brennan team’s interest in conservation extends far beyond the building of Brennan’s itself, and these newfound reptiles are now the mascots of the iconic restaurant.
Since 2015, on every Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend, the “Krewe of Turtles” has taken a festive stroll around the French Quarter and back to their “watering” hole, New Orleans style, on ten custom-festooned wagons in a parade led by a bag-pipe procession and police motorcade, all forming “the slowest second line on earth.” This year, due to COVID restrictions, the turtles are taking a break from their annual trip around the “quarters” and will instead be ON PARADE – and their customary decorative floats will be displayed for viewing in the Brennan’s courtyard from 9 AM – 6 PM on Saturday, May 8, 2021. The tradition will “slowly” continue with a blessing at 10 AM from Monsignor Nalty and at 11 AM, a pardon like no other — a clever new tale, penned each year as a poem by State District Court Judge Lauren Lemmon.
In honor of the turtles, Brennan’s is rolling out the green carpet, literally, for a special Breakfast at Brennan’s offering with added festive green drinks, special Chocolate Turtles for dessert, and bundles of balloons – making a picture perfect backdrop for a photo-op with Mom.
Brunch will feature socially-distant seatings from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Signature dishes such as Brennan’s Eggs Sardou and Eggs Benedict promise to warm the heart and please the palate. Notably, Turtle Soup has been taken off the menu on this day, in respect for the event’s honorees.
Guests can ‘pace’ themselves throughout the day with a special Happy Hour from 2 PM to 6 PM, featuring celebratory cocktails including The Topsy Turvy and the vibrantly green-hued Grasshopper.