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Beignets

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Heading to New Orleans this summer with plans to hit Cure, Cochon, Dante's Kitchen and more. However, I'm a little stuck for breakfast. Any suggestions? I would love to have some good beignets but Cafe du Monde is too touristy for my taste. Any other thoughts?

Please send through some suggestions. We will be staying in the French Quarter.

Thanks!

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  1. For breakfast EAT, Stanley, Ruby Slipper Cafe (just off of Canal), Elizabeth's(Bywater) or there is also Cafe Beignet, which is a little touristy as well. They have a few different locations. I still think Cafe du Monde has the best beignets. You may just want to get them to go.

    1. What do you mean, "too touristy for my taste?" You're a tourist, for christsake, and the Cafe's beignets are great.

      3 Replies
      1. re: pikawicca

        When I read Pam G's post, I assumed she was a frequent visitor and was looking for an out of the way place since Cafe du Monde is sometimes VERY crowded. Only problem is that there really are not any places so everyone-tourists and locals alike go there regularly.

        1. re: ScarlettNola

          Actually, I missed CDM last visit, because the line was down the street. Normally, I hit them very early, or very late, but did not get the chance then.

          Still, with the history that I have with the place (and with the old Morning Call), I feel bad for missing it. Next trip for sure, even if I have to get up before 5:00AM, or stay up past 1:00AM!

          Hunt

        2. re: pikawicca

          Nice response. You know there are people, such as myself, that frequent New Orleans on a regular basis, and we tend to avoid tourist traps because we know better. These are people that want to enjoy the city for all it offers. I think the OP's question was absolutely fair.

        3. A fairly quick trip out to Metaire, just off of Vets and Causeway will lead to The Morning Call, which used to be just down-river from CDM. Far fewer "tourists" there, and the beignets are very, very good.

          In the "good old days," we'd split our visits between these two, when they were but a very long block apart.

          Enjoy,

          Hunt

          -----
          Morning Call Coffee Stand
          3325 Severn Ave, Metairie, LA

          8 Replies
          1. re: Bill Hunt

            Is it worth a trip over the causeway to avoid tourists when you ARE a tourist? Seems crazy to me. The beignets at CDM are to die for. There are alternatives, but in my 50 years visiting NOLA, I've found none better. I couldn't care less whether these delicacies are consumed by locals or tourists -- they are delectable.

            1. re: pikawicca

              Personally I love the atmosphere at CDM. You see all sorts. Great people watching, especially at 5 a.m.

              1. re: pikawicca

                Please take a look at MapQuest. Morning Call is in Metaire, and is not "over the Causeway," unless one is on the North Shore. It's just off of Vet's Hwy. and Causeway Blvd, on Severn.

                For me, over the decades, we were in the position of Morning Call vs CDM, just like Acme vs Felix's. Do you not recall Morning Call, when they were in the FQ? Do you not recall when they moved to Metairie? The new (about 25 years ago "new") even has the same counter from the original location. The one difference is that the powdered sugar is in shakers, and is not on the beignets, when served.

                I think that you might have confused Morning Call with one of the satellite versions of CDM "over the Lake."

                Hunt

                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  I guess if you're driving and not walking, Metaire doesn't matter, but we usually stay in the quarter and don't rent a car.

                  1. re: pikawicca

                    Given that set of circumstances, then you'd better queue up in line at CDM.

                    I saw nothing in the OP's request, that indicated that no auto would be involved. The question was regarding "non-touristy" beignets, and no more. Did I miss a criterion for the choice of locations? If so, I apologize for making a recommendation that is outside of the FQ. Otherwise, Metaire is not really THAT far away. Actually, I used to bicycle from Little Farms (prior to the renaming to River Ridge) to the FQ, then to City Park and back to Little Farms, via the Lakefront. This was at least twice per week, and often more often, if holidays were included.

                    Sorry if I have offended you senses, regarding travel within the Metro Area.

                    Hunt

                2. re: pikawicca

                  Morning Call is in Metairie: not "over" the Causeway, but rather within easy reach of I-10 to or from the airport.

                  1. re: Hungry Celeste

                    I agree Cafe Du Monde is the best for beignet, yes a touristy place, not too crowed, just has some hot beignet couple weeks ago at Cafe Du Monde, Cafe Beignet in FQ, the beignets are not the same as Cafe du monde.

              2. Personally, I say go to Cafe du Monde. They really are the best, tourist or not. But, if driving is an option, I agree with Bill Hunt: Morning Call in Metairie is very good. As for breakfast in general, EAT (which is in the FQ) is a great option and Stanley makes for a nice breakfast/brunch.

                4 Replies
                1. re: gastrotect

                  I do agree on Stanley. Wanted to give it a go, especially as there were polarized views on this board. Now, I am a Stella! fan, but tried to be totally objective. Had one morning to myself, so I went. I was watching every aspect of the venue, the service and the food. All were very good. No, it was not really cheap, but turned out to be a good value for me. Predicated on that one visit, I will be back without hesitation.

                  Have never dined at Eat, so I cannot compare in any way.

                  Enjoy,

                  Hunt

                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                    Thank you all for your suggestions and comments. I meant not to deny that I am a tourist when in New Orleans - just that I tend to avoid crowded places and if there were a better option I would take it. BUT if Cafe du Monde is really the best then so be it, I will eat my hat and visit again.

                    Though I am staying near the FQ, I do like to venture farther out. We may get a car but even without one we seem to manage to check out the city's other neighborhoods. So will likely also fit Morning Calling in too!

                    1. re: PamG

                      It's really a toss-up, regarding who has be best. I think that both are good, and really only slightly different. Cannot say that about some of the satellite locations of CDM. Some are pretty bleak.

                      Because of the change in location, the Morning Call has a totally different atmosphere now. It is more local, with a few folk stopping by, who might never have done it before. Except for after church, or similar, it's not that likely to have much of a wait.

                      Now, I still pine for the FQ, and will often just go queue up for CDM. Luckily, I tend to hit them at off hours, and most of the crush has yet to awaken, or are standing in the piano bar at Pat O's.

                      Either will be good. If the lines look long at CDM, get there earlier the next day, or plan on a nightcap, when others are doing Hurricanes®.

                      Most of all, enjoy,

                      Hunt

                    2. re: Bill Hunt

                      I have been to Stanley twice now. The first time was for lunch and my girlfriend and I split the Korean BBQ beef and Kim-Chee po-boy. It was ok, but overpriced and not great. However, while there we noticed how good their breakfast/brunch items looked, so we decided to give it another try. The second time we did Stanley for breakfast and it was well worth it. A waitress had called in sick apparently, so they were understaffed and our waitress was working her tail off and somehow still managed to be very nice. And when our potatoes (which were great) were late getting to us, they comped them. All in all, very good service considering the circumstances.

                      As for Eat, it's just a nice, local and laid back spot. The prices seem reasonable if a smidge high for the food and ambiance, but once the food comes out and a) it's delicious and b) you realize you unknowingly ordered enough food for two breakfasts, it's very worthwhile. I got a great bowl of grits and grillades that also served as a late night snack and breakfast the next morning too.

                  2. Do NOT waste your time at Mother's. We heard about Surrey's and it sounded great but we did not have a chance to try it. Look into it and report back on your experiences!

                    1. Do not skip CDM just because it is touristy (though I do wish the tourists hadn't made the habit of stealing the sugar shakers, so you could control the amount of sugar on what we always called French Market doughnuts at my house.) In this case, the tourists go there because it is the real deal. And cheap, to boot.

                      On some other morning, I would suggest Croissant D'Or, on Ursulines in the quarter. (though they were closed the Monday after Mother's Day, the last time I tried to go, for a late observance of the holiday.)

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: jamy

                        Are you certain about the sugar shakers at CDM? Since the '50s, all of our orders of beignets at CDM came with the sugar applied. The Morning Call had shakers and the beignets were served without sugar, that could be applied by the patron. TMC still has those.

                        Last trip to CDM the sugar was about 1/4" thick. I always liked being able to apply just what I wanted, even if I made a mess of myself in the process.

                        Maybe my memory is just failing me.

                        Hunt

                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                          I clearly remember sugar shakers when I was a child in the late 70s and early 80s. There may have been sugar applied too, but it wasn't as thick as it is now.

                          1. re: jamy

                            At my advanced age, maybe I have forgotten them at CDM. Not an unlikely situation.

                            I will say that the ones at Morning Call look like the originals.

                            Hunt

                      2. I would go to Cafe Du Monde at least once no matter what.

                        As for other breakfast options, the omlettes at Clover Grill are absolutely insane. So good.

                        And brunch at Lil Dizzy's in Treme was fantastic (athough we peeked in on the Lil Dizzy's in the CBD and it was just depressing. We ended up not staying)

                        1. Beignets are fried dough covered in sugar, and because of that, they're inherently yummy. There's not much that separates the really good from the perfectly OK beignet. Cafe du Monde serves a great order, and it's right near where you'll be.

                          That said, I agree with the other posters: Morning Call makes a better beignet. It's usually fresher, perfectly crispy on the outside and soft inside.

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: HalfShell

                            Um, we will be making our first trip to nola, reading this makes me nervous- do we really need to get up at 5 am to avoid crazy lines????????

                            1. re: peacepug

                              Sorry to say, I don't know what these people are writing about, NO there is no long lines nor is Cafe du monde really crowded as people have wrote. People order their coffee and bignets, pay, eat and go. I just came back from NOLA two weeks ago and I had no problem getting my CDM bignets. I was in and out in no time.

                              1. re: nola1421

                                Hm-m, I guess that you were not on Decatur Street one and a half weeks ago then. Now, I did not pass by any time before 9:00AM, and also did not pass by after about 4:00PM. Still, I'd guess that the wait would have been 30-45 mins. on every day that I did pass.

                                Now, is it worth the wait - I'd say so, and I am not one, who likes lines, or waiting. Is early better than mid-day? I'd say so. Is late better than mid-day? Again, a resounding yes.

                                Just looking (we did not do CDM on this trip), it appears that they have added more tables to their limited space. It looked far more crowded, than in years past.

                                In some ways, this is a good thing, as it might indicate that the tourist business is up in NOLA.

                                Hunt

                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                  i was in NOLA during jazz fest, so it was not an empty time. I went for beignets at normal beignet hours (say 10:30, and post lunch)

                                  no wait whatsoever

                                  1. re: thew

                                    Cool. Maybe the OP needed to go then?

                                    Hunt

                              2. re: peacepug

                                I think that 5:00AM is a bit more of a "lead," than you will need. I would think about doing something in the 7:00AM - 8:00AM time frame, or waiting until after 9:00PM. OTOH, it does not hurt to pass by, scope the line and decide if it's too long for you. These things seem to cycle a bit, so an hour later, the masses might well be doing something else. If so, then grab a table and enjoy.

                                Hunt

                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                  Not to worry. Summer is the low tourist season in New Orleans, so things will be emptier. There was a line midmorning Monday after Mother's Day, but don't let a short line deter you. Tables turn quickly, as indicated above.

                            2. The Cafe Du Monde is your best bet. There's a reason they have lines.. If your visiting during the week it would be better. They are very busy on the weekends. You can also try their 4700 Veterans location. Not the same atmosphere in the suburbs, but the beignet's and coffee are the same. And they have a drive thru.....

                              -----
                              Cafe Du Monde Coffee
                              4700 Veterans Memorial Blvd, Metairie, LA 70006

                              Cafe Du Monde
                              1814 NORTH CAUSEWAY, Mandeville, la

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: NOLAJOE

                                One of the main differences in the CDM and the MC is that there is usually much more foot-traffic at CDM, because of its location. Unless one drives to "the Parish," or is shopping at Lakeside, the average tourist is not likely to make the trek, unless someone has mentioned it.

                                Personally fo rme, I find CDM difficult to resist. Many were the nights that I'd pick up my wife from Ochsner at Midnight and head to either, when they were both in the FQ.

                                Hunt

                              2. We just go back and had no wait at all at Cafe Du Monde in French Qtr but we did them again walking through RiverWalk and they were even better/fresher. We caught them frying right there and then. Sitting out of the river was very nice. I'm a people watcher and love the music playing over in Jackson Square so the ambiance of that one is better for me.

                                I'll report soon on our visit: love love loved Cochon and found a great local neighborhood breakfast joint one block off Canal: "Commerce Restaurant".

                                1. HalfShell very reasonably writes "Beignets are fried dough covered in sugar, and because of that, they're inherently yummy." Stepping back to a long focus, that claim could go for donuts too. In fact (deep breath), that's exactly what they are. Older (1800s) US cookbooks dropped blobs of dough in deep fat and called them "dough nuts" (the ring shape came much later). Both bestselling national US cookbooks of the 1800s were from the Southeast; one of them called dough nuts a "yankee" pastry. NOLA locals needed a French word and dubbed them beignets, which "took," but the evolution to ring shape didn't. So they're like a snapshot of early dough nuts. Someone should supply a footnote to avoid confusing innocent readers, because everywhere besides NOLA, to everyone acquainted with French cooking or cookbooks or the French language, even inside the US, beignet is a fritter (tempura), with something inside it. (The dough nut or NOLA "beignet" is unknown in French repertoire -- I've checked.)

                                  Back to the original query, I'm with HalfShell, it's hard to make bad dough nuts. Also I've always seen them piled in sugar at CDM -- some people joke that you get a plate of powdered sugar with some pastries hidden inside.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: eatzalot

                                    In the LA french (language & food) doughnut pantheon, you'll also find croquignolles, orieilles du cochon (pigs' ears, large, thin fried dough sheets drizzled with syrup and chopped pecans)....and good ol' fried bread dough, which is far more common in cajun home cooking than other doughnut cognates.

                                    1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                      Très gentil! Celeste, can you suggest anywhere to get any of those freshly made today (in addition to home cooking) ? The orieilles sound verrrrrry interesting!