Cafe du Monde’s beignets: how many ways can you say fabulous?

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There are simply not enough words in the English language–même le Français–to describe how much I love beignets at Café du Monde in New Orleans.  The crispy, pillowy goodness of fried dough, arriving in triplicates buried in a mound of tooth-achingly sweet powdered sugar, were just far too much for my senses to process.  They caused a temporary bend in my space and time continuum, and before I knew it there were mere crumbs left on the plate where three, six, nine of those babies once were.  Aided and abetted by the bottomless cup of sweetened, milky, nutty, chicory-infused New Orleans coffee, I couldn’t resist but to ask–no, beg–for more.

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Clearly I was not the only one enjoying these marvelous bites.

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Plus a gaggle of school kids wating impatiently for their turn at the window.

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The cafe sells beignet mix and even their specialty ground coffee so everyone could experience the magic at home.  It’s, of course, at once precisely the same thing and something else entirely. 

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  • http://engineerbaker.blogspot.com Caitlin

    That is so freaking weird – I’ve never commented here but always read, and was looking at the pictures and craving beignets. But what’s really weird is the four girls in the pic. I went to high school with the two on the right! In South Bend, IN! Crraaazy!

  • http://kitchenmusings.typepad.com veron

    Throught the blogging community here in Richmond, we got our New Orleans restaurant to serve beignets on Wednesday mornings. It is so close to the beignets I’ve had in New Orleans. Crisp pillowy goodness sure describes it. I picked up a dozen and brought it back to the office last week and it was devoured in minutes – great while they are hot. I have to get my co-workers hooked ya know so the restaurant will have more customers and will keep serving it — not a lot of people know what beignets are. Okay…I’ve babbled enough. As you can tell…I’m real passionate about them… :D

  • http://cheaperinbaht.blogspot.com/ Ava

    Sometimes it’s hard to sit here and see the wonderful things you get to experience. How wonderful for you. I’m gonna heat up my fish sticks now. I think I’m gonna use some tobasco just to bring me a little closer to NO.
    Really though, it’s good to know they are still in business after the storm. I’ll get there one day!

  • Vincent

    Yes Pim…Oui Pim…
    they are a wonderous thing. thank you so much for this post.

  • http://eatingasia.typepad.com Robyn

    I was in New Orleans on a business trip 20 years ago, in town for less than twelve hours. I remember absolutey nothing of it – except beignets at Cafe du Monde. Great post, lovely pics!

  • http://www.msadventuresinitaly.com/blog Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy

    I first had Cafe du Monde’s beignets almost 10 years ago on a Spring Break trip around the south. We sat and people-watched and wondered…how many times can we order them? :) Thanks for the reminder….so much powdered sugar!!

  • http://www.restaurantreviewworld.com foodette

    Hi Pim,
    That looks amazing, as always. I wanted to drop by and congratulate you on your appearance on Iron Chef America. Not only is it an honor, but it also seems quite nerve wracking to know you could end up eating any sort of entrails under the sun. I loved what you said about tomatoes and their delicate flavor as well. I hope you enjoyed being on the show!

  • http://www.realthairecipes.com/ cee

    Pim -
    Just got back to Bangok from a trip to Japan yesterday and was quite surprised to find a Cafe du Monde at the train station in Kyoto. Funny to read your post — we’ve been talking about beignets for days now.

  • http://www.justinschwartz.com Justin

    I was just there too, but your photos so much better than mine. And reading this, I want to get back on a plane for NOLA right now. By the way, I’ve made the beignets at home from the mix they sell, and they’re pretty darned good, as long as you don’t mind deep frying.

  • http://www.cookinginstilettos.blogspot.com Lys

    I have ALWAYS wanted to try Cafe du Monde beignets but a trip to New Orleans is not in the cards – yet. However, I did see the mix in the local Fresh Market and was interested in trying it.
    You did fabulous on Iron Chef, btw!! 2nd appearance – pretty soon you’ll be a regular judge.

  • http://www.spicedish.typepad.com EB

    Pim-
    I happened to snag a box of the mix at a boutique here in SF last week. True… the same and completely different.

  • kudzu

    Pim–
    Woke up this morning thinking of New Orleans, since this is the time of the Jazz&Heritage Festival….then lo and behold, your beignet binge. Perfect timing. Will grab a bag of the mix today (though I know it won’t/can’t ever be the same).

  • Nu

    Hi Pim,
    It’s my first time on your blog and I would like to congratulate you for the job well done on the Iron Chef. Hope you become a regular judge?? :-)
    I’ve never been to Cafe Du Monde, but my friend just got the Cafe Du Monde’s mix for me recently and I had made it twice. As you said it can be the beignet or something else entirely, I managed to get both regardless. :P The nice, fluffy and crispy ones ,though, remind me of the thai donut or we call it “Pah-tong-kow” in Thailand. I made it and my Thai friends asked me for some sweet condensed milk. (that’s the way we eat it in Thailand). From the recipe I read, the difference between the Thai donut and Beignet probably should be the fresh milky flavor that seems to be missing when you make it from the box. So I would think it’s better to make the beignet from scratch, wrap the dough and leave it over night in the refrigerator before you fry it in the morning.

  • Jeanette

    Those sure look yummy, my husband and I always talked about going to get some beignets in New Orleans. If you are ever in Seattle, you have to try out the doughnuts at Tom Douglas’ restaurants – Dahlia Lounge or Dahlia Bakery (breakfast only) and I think Lola serves it for breakfast. It’s the yummiest and closest thing to the beignets.
    They are rather small and served shaken in a brown paper bag, which is poured onto your plate in front of you. I was saying to the server, no I don’t think I can eat six of them but I did, within minutes.

  • http://divaoftinyfoods.blogspot.com PopArtDiva

    Oh, lovely, lovely beignets. There is nothing quite like a fresh, hot beignet from Cafe Du Monde – unless it’s five fresh beignets!
    There is something close that we have out here in the Southwest called Indian Fry Bread. If you can get a truly authentic Fry Bread, cooked properly. and drizzle a little honey on it you’ve got the next best thing to a Cafe De Monde beignet.

  • http://www.kittalog.com Kitt

    Mmmm. Beignets. For some reason, the Asian groceries here in Denver all carry Cafe du Monde coffee in the can. Well, maybe it’s the Vietnamese-French connection.
    There’s a place called Powderface at the Fruitvale Bart station that I just tried out on Saturday. Their beignets are pretty good! Check it out: http://www.powderface.net/

  • http://mintyraminta.blogspot.com Raminta

    The simplicity of that place knocked me down, the taste brought me back to life and the price was friendly for my very low budget.
    Straight away I knew there was something epic about that black coffee and the pillowy goodness floating in powdered sugar.
    I took pictures, I ordered more, I came back for more and if anyone is going to NOLA, I tell them not to miss Cafe du Monde.
    By the way, my grandma in Lithuania makes very similar ones, so I guess that every corner of the world have their own type of beignets.

  • http://www.blogsmonroe.com/food/ Luna Pier Cook

    It’s interesting here in Michigan that we really don’t have a decent-size town for anyone to set up anything like this! Having never been to NYC this is the kind of info and images which make me want to get there ASAP. Thanks for making me jealous! ;-)

  • http://happygomarni.blogspot.com Marni

    Well hello! Love your blog!!!
    Now, if you could only teach me how NOT to cough and choke on so much powdered sugar! How do you do it? I think I might never stop wheezing from that mound of sugar snow!

  • http://wheelersblacklabelveganicecream.blogspot.com Wheeler’s

    Oooh, those look so tasty! I need to try some of those soon. They sort of remind me of funnel cakes from carnivals and fairs … but way more classier! (And probably tastier too.) Yum!

  • http://chezpim.com Pim

    Thanks everyone. The beignets were popular with pretty much everyone at the IACP conference. It’s hard not to love it, frankly.
    Nu, I remember the Pah Tong Ko in Thailand. I used to love them so much when I was little.
    cheers,
    Pim

  • LynnJ

    Thanks for the wonderful pictures and notes, I’ve been loving your blog for a few weeks now (not quite sure how I stumbled across it~perhaps it was via a google search on ‘French Laundry’)
    This entry was a flashback for me of a quiet morning I had at Cafe Du Monde while I was in NOLA shortly before Katrina changed everything.
    I assume you take your own photos? They are often breath-taking and lovely. May I ask what type of camera you use? Feel free to email me directly if you’d like.
    Cheers! Lynn (near Sac, CA)

  • http://cookkatie.blogspot.com/ Katie

    I was only in New Orleans once but I just loved the beignets and coffee. I have been drinking the coffee from there for years – they use it at a thai restaurant I love to go to in St. Louis. Your pictures brought back memories.

  • http://primitiveculture.blogspot.com/ Xander

    Eep- I’ve been wanting to go to New Orleans for so long, and this just made it so much worse. I love the colors in these photos- powdered sugar white, and the milky teal paint. -X

  • http://www.kittalog.com Kitt

    I finally got around to posting pics from Powderface in Oakland, here. It’s just a quick Bart ride away if you want another taste of beignets! I know, better to be in New Orleans …

  • http://onewallkitchen.blogspot.com Julie

    Those look so good!
    I wonder how much powdered sugar ends up on the floor in that place!

  • http://chezpim.com Pim

    Kitt, Powder Face looks mighty tempting. Next time I’m up that way I’ll definitely try.

  • http://www.swirlingnotions.com swirlingnotions

    Thanks for posting this, Pim. I didn’t get nearly as much time as I’d hope to get to revisit my old haunts while at IACP (great to meet you there!). I used to grab a bag and a cup to go and climb up over the rise to the river, where I’d sit on the railroad ties and watch the freighters go by. But, alas, on this trip I didn’t even get a-one beignet. So thanks for capturing the experience in your post!

  • Bill Kennedy

    Cafe Beignet, the Royal location beside the police station about 5 blocks from du Monde, is every bit as good, not swamped with big tourist lines, nor are the floors askew in icing sugar and paper napkins.
    http://www.cafebeignet.com/locations.html
    Cafe du Monde is good for one visit to say “been there, done that.” But, it really is a pretty messy place.

  • http://danamccauley.wordpress.com Dana McCauley

    What great photos! I feel like I’m back in NOLA!

  • http://www.hotsaucepartycentral.com Lauren Harrington

    Your pictures are making me hungry; I am already addicted to Beignets and I have never even tried them – does anyone know where someone in Texas might get some?

  • linda lehman

    My husband and I just returned home from Nola. Loved Cafe Du Monde and the beignets. Even stopped there on our way to the airport for one last cafe au lait and beignets. Just wondering if anyone knows what type of milk they use. Whole, evaporated? Is it steamed? thanks so much.

  • Kati

    I came across this blog and just wanted to say that you are right. There are not enough words in the english language or the world in my opinion that can describe the feeling of sitting at Cafe Du Monde with a mound of hot beignets mixed in with the smell of a cup of coffee. I am a New Orleans native but had to move to Texas. I miss the days when I could go there any time I wanted. Now it is about a 6 or so hour trip which sucks. To sum it all up, if I had to choose one food to eat for the rest of my life it wold be their beignets!!!

  • Marie

    It’s so true. Beignets in Cafe Du Monde are amazing. I was in New Orleans in August. To eat them is an orgasmic experience.

  • LittleBabyGurl

    Hey those beignets up there lookin pretty good.

  • BabyLove

    Hey Pim-
    Just forget about that Bill Kennedy. He just doesn’t know what he is missing out on. Those beignets taste and look very delicous.

  • BabyLove

    Hi Pim-
    I like my beignets to be nice and hot and full of powder sugar. I am your #1 fan. I love your website and I hope you create many,many more.
    -Luv Renee

  • http://www.tiffanyfree.com/tiffany-pendants.html Tiffany Pendant

    You’re welcome all. I just adore him. Too bad Stockholm is a bit too far to drop by for dinner!