No, you didn’t accidentally stumble upon another health site. I’m talking about the other “Healthy”, as in “of a satisfactory size or amount”. How to eat well in one of the greatest food cities in America. It took me a few trips to come up with the secret formula and now I am ready to pass this on to you dear reader(s). Its all about what you eating for Breakfast that will set you free to fly with the Kale munching foodies of today (ok not sure what it means either, but I think you get the idea). So grab a pen and pencil (because you know the lone pencil you have in the house is never sharpened) and write down the following recommended breakfast schedule…
Day 1: Beignets
Day 2: Beignets
Day 3: Beignets
Day 4: You guessed it… … Crackers! (Preferably with honey… to cure the hangover accumulated from the past 3 days)
If there’s one thing I learned from all those trips to Italy is this… Eat like an Italian. A croissant, pastry, coffee for breakfast and you are on your way to enjoy the two main things you came here to enjoy: Lunch and Dinner. I approach travelling to New Orleans the same way now, but it wasn’t clear to me at first. On my first trip as I would normally do, I researched the heck out of the city including the towns best breakfast spots, and had solid plans for the usual 3 meals per day. The result was coming to dinner fairly full. I recall hours before dinner I would wish that by the time dinner came I’d be hungrier than I was at that moment. I was fantasizing about “Hunger Pills”, not pills that reduce hunger, but the ones that increase it. But of course, in our backward society our scientists keep concentrating on the former!
Its very simple my friends. New Orleans cuisine is fairly rich. And even big eaters like Ziggy here will have trouble fitting in three full meals. Something has to give, and that something is breakfast, which is why Beignets is the perfect breakfast choice. Here are the obvious and not so obvious options you have in/near the French Quarter and my feelings on who is better.
Café Du Monde – As much as I like the underdogs, CDM won the Beignet war by a small margin. Great texture, not too daughy, not too airy, just perfectly executed Beignets. The lines for seats look longer than they actually are. The lines for takeout look exactly as they are. Get a table, order the amazing Café au lait, Beignets (the only thing they have) and take your time to enjoy this one. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or trying to pass a town not supported by Chris Christie, you probably already know about Café Du Monde, one of the greatest American institutions. BTW, once you are in looking for a table take a peak inside the building and try to grab seats there. Even while sitting out, take a look at the scene inside.
Café Beignet – Two convenient locations and very solid Beignets. The reason I wouldn’t rank them higher is that some beignets were a bit more dense and chewier than others. Both locations are very popular and the lines can get painful at times, but the Beignets (below) are top notch
Morning Call – We tried the one at City Park and while I was expecting something that would at least rival the other two due to its extensive history, it did not. These were simply not as fresh and not as great, but still a decent convenient option at the park
You’ll have to come back down sometime during king cake season, around Mardi Gras. There’s practically fights broken out over which bakery makes the best kind cake. We are the beneficiaries of this.