Cafe du Monde

Are you hungry yet? I think we took more photos of food than people on this trip.

The one place I was told I must go, by everyone, was Cafe du Monde for beignets. Up to this point in time, my experience with beignets was at Disneyland’s New Orleans Square. They had apples in them back when I went to Disneyland (before I fell in love with Mexico). This was my image of beignets. Cafe du Monde beignets are world-famous. At least, I think they are. Only Susie was excited enough about this excursion to get up before noon to go.

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Susie came down and ate some of the hotel buffet food with Zung and I. They had scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, grits (what exactly is a grit, anyway?), cereal, yogurt and fruit. If a real New Orleans breakfast wasn’t so damn good, it would have been worth considering more than once.

The three of us head off in search of beignets. We walked down Bienville Street to Royal Street. We turned onto St Peter Street and walked to Jackson Square, looking at the art as we walked by. Some of it was quite good.

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We took a couple of pictures in front of St Loius cathedral. Is it sacrilegious to say it reminded me of Disneyland?

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Susie checked out the banana trees.

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We walked down Decatur street and there it was, across the street, the very famous Cafe du Monde.

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It was in a word – pure chaos. Hmmm, I guess that’s two words…technically.

It was packed. There was a long line for the “to go” window. Every seat was occupied. We stood and watched until someone got up and we sat down. There was no order to how people got waited on. It seemed to be staffed by all Asians. An elderly lady came by to clean our table off, but when we tried to order, she said, “You wait. Someone be by.” I watched as a group of men sat down at another table and  a waitress (young) went by to get their order and one of the guys had his hands all over her as they ordered. It was making me really mad. I was about to go over and tell him to keep his damn hands to himself.

Someone came by about that time to get our order. The choices were beignets and coffee, black or cafe au lait. I don’t drink coffee, but tea wasn’t on the menu. And those squares of fried dough were buried in powdered sugar and were gonna need something to wash them down with.

That is exactly what they were, squares of fried dough, buried in powdered sugar. That is exactly what they tasted like.

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The cafe au lait didn’t have any sugar, but it didn’t need any. I took a bite of beignet and then, quick, swallowed some coffee, and I couldn’t tell the difference.

It was awful. Susie loved them and Zung thought they were good. I thought they were just awful. Nothing like those little, fluffy pieces of sweetness at Disneyland. There was nothing about it that was good, IMO.

But we have a mug (you pay extra for that) to remember it by.

Cafe du Monde opened in 1862. It is opened 7 days a week. It closes on Christmas. I’m guessing it was probably closed a few days when Hurricane Katrina unleashed her wrath on NOLA. I want to know how the conversation went when they decided to open up a restaurant that serves only hunks of fried dough buried in powdered sugar. I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that kind of place wouldn’t fly in Boulder, Colorado (my hometown).

After leaving we made sure not to fall into the Mississippi river, because we surely would have sunk like rocks.

We walked down Decatur Street, checking out the shops and taking note of the line coming out of Central Grocery, THE place to get a Muffaletta (this will make an appearance later in the blog). We checked out the stores and I managed to find some shoes to buy. We had a nice stroll.

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We walk back to the hotel and collect the boys. Next stop on our itinerary: a tour of a rum distillery.

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