I’m a dessert whore. If it has sugar in or on it, I’m there. Rather, you can bet I’m eating it. So when I found myself in New Orleans recently you can bet your beignet I headed straight to Café Du Monde for their (world?) famous deep fried dough and coffee pairing.
Luckily for me, the experience lived up to its lofty reputation.
The only way to eat these famous morsels of carbohydrate goodness is piping hot and fresh from the fryer. (Though you can get them to go in a paper bag, I fail to see the point.) In this condition, the powdered sugar that covers the beignets is just starting to melt by the time the plate reaches your table and a gooey expanse of sugary decadence covering fried dough is just waiting to give your dentist a heart attack. Paired with a Café Au Lait that is spiked with chicory, this is the French-American version of afternoon tea one better. With all due respect to the English [whom I love dearly] – this is the best way to take an afternoon break that I have ever discovered. Unless you count beer before five o’clock.
Hot coffee is certainly preferable in cooler temperatures but should the sweltering heat that New Orleans is so famous for accompany your visit, as it did during mine, I recommend the ice-cold Café Au Lait “milkshake”. This is essentially, their coffee blended with ice yet tasting more like a coffee-spiked milkshake.
After your afternoon dessert break, take a stroll through Jackson Square (known alternately as Place d’Armes) and further into the French Quarter. There, the architecture and displays in the abundant antique store windows offer ample distraction to keep one busy long enough that walking off the calories just consumed – might actually be possible.
The original Café Du Monde is at 800 Decatur Street in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is open 363 days a year and is rather hard to miss given the expanse of white and green awning that stretches for some time within immediate view of Jackson Square’s St. Louis Cathedral. There are a number of other locations in and around New Orleans, all of which are listed on their site. If you cannot travel to New Orleans, an online store also sells beignet-making kits and their special blend of coffee and chicory.