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A Broadmoor block of bagels and baked “fries”

27 Oct 2013

On consecutive days earlier this month, Broadmoor saw the debut of a neighborhood bakery turning out bagels, chocolate croissants and roast-beef-and-gouda melts, and a vegan-friendly purveyor of decidedly nontraditional french fries, which are promoted as being neither French nor fried.

The two new businesses are on the same block but do not appear to have much common ground at first glance, especially not when glimpsed at the speed of a cross-town commute.

But take a closer look, and a shared narrative comes into focus.

The new Laurel Street Bakery (2701 S. Broad St., (504) 897-0576; laurelstreet bakery.com) is the second shop from Hillary Guttman, whose original Laurel Street Bakery opened Uptown in 2004 and has grown to supply cafÃ(c)s and restaurants all over town. New Orleans has been eating Guttman™s hand-made goods for years.

The fry shop requires more of an introduction. It•€(tm)s called 3 Potato 4 (2727 S. Broad St., (504) 298-7761; 3p4shop.com/nola), and it™s the local expansion of a franchise concept based in Salem, Mass.

It was developed here by Jehan Strouse, one of the founders of the NOLA Veggie Fest, a celebration of the vegan lifestyle held each spring.

The menu at 3 Potato 4 is simple: three types of potatoes, baked in a small convection oven and served in paper cones with an array of ketchups, nondairy mayos and flavored salts. Add some soups, chili and juices, and that•€(tm)s the full range at a shop that trades on an organic, health-conscious appeal.

Each business opened independently, though also in conjunction with a big-picture vision for this stretch of Broadmoor. Green Coast Enterprises redeveloped the vintage commercial buildings they now call home, and for years this local firm has been working closely with New Orleans Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell and other officials on a public/private plan to reinvigorate the crossroads area, which sees a lot of traffic but has struggled with persistent blight.

There is a lot more going on here than eateries. The innovative business incubator Propeller is right around the corner, there™s a community health clinic on the way, the environmental group Global Green is headquartered here and other businesses have taken root.

But if you want New Orleanians to take a second look at something new that•€(tm)s stirring, food is a reliable draw. Bagels and baked fries are giving that a go in Broadmoor today.