it's okay to play with your food

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Chapter 5: Odds & Ends

A trip to New Orleans is not complete without a trip to Cafe du Monde, the 24 hour cafe specializing in beignets and cafe au lait. It's an institution, a place praised by locals and tourists alike. So naturally Daniel and I went there. Twice.

Beignet is French for bump. It's a square piece of fried dough doused in powdered sugar, hence it's nickname, the French doughnut. They come out of the kitchen in a set of three and still hot, very hot. Unlike a doughnut, beignets are surprisingly light... airy on the inside and crispy crunchy golden on the outside.

And the coffee was delish. Cafe du Monde is also known for its chicory coffee. The addition of chicory to coffee was used by the French during the civil war to bolster their meek coffee resources. I drank it black on our first trip and then had a cafe au lait the next day.

I love pizza; it doesn't matter what style... thin crust, deep dish, fancypants gourmet style, greasy NY style. It just needs a red sauce. And I wasn't expecting to find amazingly good pizza in New Orleans. The restaurant is La Vita, by the Jazz Fest fairgrounds. We got the La Vita pizza: tomato, salami, pepperoni, green peppers, black olives, mushrooms, light mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce. The veggies were super fresh, the olives were whole kalamatas, the sauce wasn't too sweet, and there was lots of gooey cheese.

In New Orleans, you can come across a cooler full of crawfish, potatoes, and lemon halves just by walking down the street.

One thing we didn't get to try over our three day trip was a muffuletta. But we did peek inside the Central Grocery, known as the home of this New Orleans variation on the Italian hoagie. The smell of the place was a delicious meal in and of itself.

No comments: