Sweet Tooth Tour
I'm a dessert-first kind of gal. Please help me not to miss any must-eats durin my upcoming mid-Feb trip to NO.
So far, I have:
Emeril's Banana Creme Pie
Antoine's Baked Alaska
Creole Creamery (what are the best flavors?)
Hansen's or Plum Street for a snowball
Haydel's for King Cake
Cafe du Monde for beignets
Where can I get a great praline?
Where is my best bet for bread pudding that is really moist?
Any great bakeries?
Your choices are a great start! My favorite flavors at Creole Creamery are Salted Caramel and Red Velvet Cake. My advice is to avoid any of the ice/sorbet/sherbet flavors there, because they are done much better at La Divina on Magazine St., which you must add to your list.
I prefer La Divina's gelato to pretty much any other icy treat in town (apart from Brocato's). The Azteca (chocolate with honey and pepper), any of the ice flavors, really any of the gelato flavors at all, the hot chocolate, the espresso - this place just rocks, and they have an outpost on St. Peter St. in the French Quarter as well.
Any sweets fanatic should also check out Sucre, conveniently located on Magazine St. just a couple doors down from La Divina. Especially try the macaroons and the marsmallows, and browse the beautiful selection of chocolates at the counter in the back.
You will definitely want to travel up Canal St. by car or by streetcar and visit Angelo Brocato's for Italian ice cream and pastries. Spumoni, cannoli, lemon ice, stracciatella gelato - this place is an institution and you might find yourself here more than once.
Mid-Feb is pretty early for snoballs. The stands won't be open by then.
And unfortunately you'll be too late for King Cake, which is a Carnival season thing.
My favorite pralines are at Southern Candymakers, on Decatur Street in the French Quarter, but you'll find lots of sellers and you should try many and compare.
I like the very moist bread pudding for dessert at Mr. B's, and I also like their profiteroles. The bread pudding soufflee at Commander's Palace is a very well-known and well-loved version, but I wouldn't exactly describe it as moist.
La Boulangerie is a great bakery uptown at 4600 Magazine St. (no website), and Croissant d'Or in the French Quarter (617 Ursulines, no website) also has lovely pastries. Check out Cake Cafe in the Marigny is a great bakery, and visiting there would give you an excuse to explore that part of town.
Last but not least, if the weather turns out to be nice and warm, check out Meltdown Popsicles at 508 Dumaine St. in the French Quarter (no website that I can find). They have very creative flavors made with fresh ingredients, and I have loved the ones that involve ginger.
I second the red velvet cake ice cream at Creole Creamery. Also the Creme Brulee, Root Beer Float, Cafe au Lait, Chocolate Covered Cherry. I thought everything there was better than Angelo Brocato's.
I like Maurice French Pastries - the one on Hessmer in Metairie has a lot better selection.
My favorite dessert is creme brulee. If it's on the menu, that is what I get, no second thoughts. Brigtsen's was very good, the best I've gotten in NO so far. Commander's was good also. I love pastries and cakes but a really good custard-type dessert is my favorite.
I would give up an entire serving of bread pudding for a bite of a good creme brulee.
First of all, great post - I wish the savories in NOLA didn't look so tempting because everyplace I look has 2-3 desserts I want to try. :-)
Secondly, to piggyback - I called Haydel's (I'll actually be down during Mardi Gras) but the lady on the phone mentioned they do King Cake year round so perhaps it'll be worth a try (though it'll anger the locals, I'm sure, if you eat King Cake outside festival season.)
To the local NOLA folks on the board - does anyone know if any of the restaurants do King Cake on their menu during Mardi Gras - or perhaps designer takes on the idea?
Prior to January 6 and after Mardi Gras Day, King Cake tastes exactly like the ashes that mark many of our foreheads on Ash Wednesday.
I do remember seeing a photo of a beautifully decorated individual king cake being served as dessert in a restaurant, but I don't remember where. Maybe Le Foret?
Not miss spots (many of which have been noted): sucre, la divina, creole creamery, angelo brocato's. For traditional bread pudding I like Bon Ton Cafe. Commander's bread pudding souffle' is excellent, too. Tres leches and banana empanadas are two of my fav desserts in town. They're both at Rio Mar. A while back they pulled the empanadas off the menu; I was crushed. I've heard that they've brought them back, however.
Fyi, I live two blocks from creole creamery, and in the last several weeks I haven't seen any of the flavors mentioned in this post. That's not to say they won't be in there when you go. Just go and get what looks good. Their flavors rotate all the time.
I consider myself to be afflicted with sweet tooth as well, chocolate version. My favorite desserts in town are the flourless chocolate cake at One, the blueberry peach cobbler a la mode at Mat & Naddie's, the pecan pie a la mode at Cammelia Grill and the watermelon snowball with condensed milk from Beau Coup Snoballs. Oh and the grand daddy of them all - the beignet from Cafe Du Monde.
I am also of the group that believes Creole Creamery is not that great - the back room full of syrups and powders is a turn off, but the flavors aren't very rich either. For another frozen option - try Meltdown Popsicles. I haven't been able to try it yet, but have heard good things.
Speaking of ice cream, I wonder if anyone on here knows of the best place for a chocolate shake in this town? I love the chocolate freeze at Cammelia, but would love a real chocolate shake somewhere. How is Stanley's?
Thank you for all of the great suggestions. I've added them all to my list. Will try to get to as many as possible!
Between the late 1800's and early 1900's over 100,000 Italians immigrated to United States through New Orleans. One of those immigrants was Angelo Brocato a native of Palermo who dreamed of opening his own Ice Cream shop. Today nearly 105 years later his family is still turning out delicious treats from recipe's that have been handed down for over three generations.
I have been a customer of this establishment since I was 7 yrs old and Brocato's always satisfies my sweet tooth. Used to be that no trip to New Orleans was not complete without stopping at Cafe Du Monde but it's basically become a tourist trap, now no trip is complete unless I stop at Brocato's to get my fix on: Canolli, Spumonti, Cassata and Biscotti.
+1 on La Divina Gelateria. My favorite is the Mexican Chocolate.
It's not the kind of thing I usually buy for myself, but a friend of mine occasionally gets petits fours from Gambino's Bakery on Veteran's in Metairie, and I love them.
I wouldn't really put it at the top of the list for taste, but if you are anywhere and see the Roman Candy wagon, I recommend you buy a stick; it seems to be a longstanding NOLA tradition.
Are you going to get flaming bananas foster?
Update: Just got back from creole creamery. They did have the red velvet cake. But I got banana cane malt and butterscotch english toffee. Both were really good. I didn't see any of the other flavors mentioned in this post.
I forgot to mention that the pineapple upside down cake at cochon is pretty good, too. So is the caramelized banana split at gautreau's.