Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Cafe Du Monde - New Orleans

It can easily be argued that New Orleans has more iconic foods than any region in America. For starters there's muffaletta, po boys, gumbo, red beans and rice, and etouffee, just to name a few. But on top of that list has to be the beignet. And when you're in New Orleans, not going to Cafe Du Monde to get your beignets is tantamount to refusing to take a picture of yourself in front of the Eiffel Tower. You just have to.

Yes, the original Cafe Du Monde in the French Quarter is touristy. It's a mess, actually. The floor is sticky, covered with powdered sugar where there's not puddles of spilled coffee. Trying to find a table is chaotic. There's no attempt at any sort of order. And if you go when it's busy, which is all the time, you're going to have to troll the open-air dining area until something opens up. And when you find a table, you will most likely have to wave down one of the many busboys/waiters to clean up the refuse from the previous occupants.

But as soon as you order your own plate of beignets and coffee, you realize you're just as messy as everyone else is. You use up more napkins than you've ever used before. You spill your coffee. And the powdered sugar? You get it everywhere.

Cafe Du Monde piles their beignets with so much powdered sugar your fried dough mountain looks like the summit of Everest after a blizzard. And if you lift one up to your mouth, and you breathe on it wrong, the sugar goes airborne. No matter what, some will get on the table, on your hands, all over your face.

We read from a guidebook not to wear black at Cafe Du Monde. That was one of the best pieces of travel advice we ever took.

But oh how lovely these beignets were. Despite all the trouble and messiness, they were delicate objects. Fluffy and moist on the inside, just crisp on the outside--the whole thing eaten hot out of the fryer. Of course, we took a selfie of ourselves eating it. You just have to.

Cafe Du Monde
800 Decatur St.
New Orleans, LA 70116

P.S. This post is the first of three that chronicles the best food we had during a recent trip to New Orleans. Stay tuned for more!

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