Summer dishes and drinks to try at Baton Rouge restaurants before the season ends

With Baton Rouge under a heat advisory today, it sure feels like peak summer. On the plus side, local restaurants updating their menus with seasonal items means it tastes like summer, too. If you go out to eat, you may notice some light, refreshing and even tropical flavors taking over the list of specials.

But just like summer, these items won’t be here forever. Here are a few new dishes and drinks to try before they take a long vacation from local menus. 

What other new menu items have you noticed this summer? Tell us at [email protected].

Sonoran-style hot dogs, summer camp-inspired s’mores and daiquiris from The Overpass Merchant 

This Perkins Road staple is bringing nostalgia this summer with a cleverly themed menu called Camp Merch. But these dishes and drinks aren’t like anything you’ve ever been served at a mess hall. From now until Aug.14, diners can feast on the Campfire Sonoran Dog, a Sonoran Mexican-style hot dog made with a bacon-wrapped dog from Iverstine Farms Butcher and paired with crisp tater tots. You can’t have summer camp without the s’mores, and the restaurant is roasting the marshmallows for this quintessential summertime dessert. Of course, there are seasonal drinks to complete this menu, including daiquiris and Camp Waters. Come see the counselors and stay awhile at Camp Merch. 

Watermelon salad, veggie pizza and Italian cream sodas from Reginelli’s Pizzeria 

Reginelli’s has seasonal menu items to cover each course of your meal. To start, cool down with a watermelon salad, which includes chunks of watermelon dressed with feta and candied pecans and garnished with orange mint syrup and mint leaves. For your main course, try the new Sunpie Pizza. This veggie pizza contains roasted tomatoes, mushrooms, red onions, goat cheese, mozzarella and pesto. End your meal with some new flavors of Italian cream sodas. You can choose from watermelon or wedding cake, but you can’t go wrong either way. 

Galettes, mango-topped seafood and summertime lemonades from BLDG 5 

From lemonades and sangrias to salads and refreshing dishes, BLDG 5’s specials are packed with summer flavors. The restaurant has introduced two seasonal galettes: one tropical with mango, pineapple and coconut flavors and one with spiced peaches, grapefruit and blueberry. Continue your meal with main items like Seared Jumbo Scallops over a Mango Cream Sauce or Asian Ground Turkey Lettuce Wraps, and always check Instagram for other specials. Wash it all down with refreshing seasonal lemonades and sangrias. 

Craft cocktails and lemon icebox pie from Eliza Restaurant and Bar 

Eliza is bringing back some summer menu favorites. Its homemade Lemon Icebox Pie and Summertime Salad (with grilled shrimp, cucumber, mint and watermelon) have both returned. Eliza has a summer cocktail spread with tropical flavors and new craft drinks like the Peach Old Fashioned and the Blueberry Lemon Martini.

Ceviche, frozen cocktails and more from Modesto 

Modesto has been refreshing its menu with new items that are both seasonal and permanent. New for summer: Shrimp Ceviche, Ahi Tuna Ceviche and the Pineapple Mojito. New dishes that will live permanently on the menu include Beef Empanadas, Pollo Del Rey and Steak Tampiquena. They’re all great reasons to change up your menu-ordering routines. 

Seasonal pies, sangrias and cocktails from Elsie’s Plate and Pie

There’s always specialty pies hitting the cold case at Elsie’s, but did you know Elsie’s also has specialty cocktails for the summer season? The summer cocktail menu features five new drinks along with a selection of house-made sangria with seasonal flavors. Be sure to follow Elsie’s on Instagram to see what new pie flavors are in the case. 

Refreshers, cold brews and lattes from City Roots  

At City Roots, the best way to cool down on a hot summer day is by treating yourself to an iced coffee, latte or tea. With a brand-new list of iced drinks, you can cool down with new flavors for a limited time. The first two drinks to hit the summer menu were the Cinnamon Bun Cold Brew and the Raspberry Patch Tea Lemonade made with SoGo’s Raspberry Patch tea blend. Recently, the coffee shop launched a part two to its summer menu with two colorful refreshers and a Beach Day Latte. Enchanted Refresher features sparkling butterfly pea-infused green tea, and the Sea Glass Refresher contains sweet peach and blue spirulina with refreshing ceremonial matcha. The Beach Day Latte contains vanilla blue spirulina, which gives it a bright hue. 

Staff photo

Iced lattes, cold espresso shots and more from Rêve Coffee Lab

The baristas at Rêve cleverly crafted some unique drinks to enjoy this season. This summer menu has the perfect balance of espresso creations and tea drinks served ice cold. If you’re looking for a sweet latte, try the Butterflies & Bees which includes espresso, your milk of choice, salted local honey and homemade basil syrup. Low on energy? Try the Figarato which is a chilled espresso shot shaken with house-made fig and tropical fruit syrup. If you’re more in the mood for tea, try the Hawaii Five-O which is made of  Lili’uokalani tea sweetened with honey and shaken with lemonade and orange juice. Or try the Pineapple Under the Tea made with matcha, sparkling water and oat milk and flavored with homemade pineapple-jalapeño almond syrup. All of these drinks are garnished and perfectly presented to make your day and sweeten your summer.