Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Beignet Overload

Picture this:  It is a quiet Wednesday evening, and you are enjoying dinner (specifically, the last dinner that was posted here) with a roommate.  You are chatting about his upcoming trip to New Orleans to meet up with some family, when he says, "Gosh, I don't know why I didn't think of this before... but you should come!  Look up what a last minute ticket would cost!"

Well that scenario is exactly how my Wednesday evening played out...and $5 and some United miles later, and I had myself a ticket to New Orleans for the weekend!

Now, anyone who knows me will say, "But you don't eat meat or really drink that much... what are you going to do in New Orleans?"  Well, my friends, the answer to that is, "Eat my weight in beignets.  Every. Day."  The likelihood of me developing diabetes this past weekend was pretty high, but alas, I survived.

Our trip started with a visit to the famous Cafe Du Monde.  It is a bumping coffee stand filled with locals and tourists alike being served up beignets and coffee and chicory by these Vietnamese beignet angels in a cloud of powdered sugar.
Here, the 4 of us consumed 8 orders of beignets.  Now for some math: 1 order contains 3 beignets... multiplied by 8... divided by 4... comes to 6 beignets per person.  The waitress looked at us in horror when we ordered our second round.  They are that good.  Beignets are basically fried dough.  They are a completely soft, a little chewy, warm, covered in powdered sugar heaven in your mouth.  I am in love.      
We stumbled around New Orleans in a fat and sugar induced coma the rest of the day.
Scenes around Jackson Square, New Orleans
That night we took on Bourbon Street.  Or rather, Bourbon Street took on us.  I think in the end we won, but it was touch and go there for a while.  Bourbon street is like nothing I have seen before.  You can buy a drink at one bar, then wander the streets with your drink, and then go into the next bar with your drink still in hand.  I didn't actually drink at all, but it was still fun to be a spectator!  Although, since I didn't drink... I don't have much of an explanation as to how I ended up on stage rapping at a karaoke bar... hmmm...
Bourbon Street by day and night.
We needed a good brunch to get us going on Sunday, so we stopped at Cafe Adelaide.  We got a southern version of eggs benedict: poached eggs on biscuits with a creole mustard hollandaise served with a lima bean succotash.  Holy mother of deliciousness, why didn't I think of this sooner?!  The tender, flaky, moist biscuits just soaked right up the delicious hollandaise and egg yolk.  Also, turns out succotash is delicious. My own twist on a southern eggs benedict will be coming to a food blog near you this weekend :-). 
The weather was gorgeous on Sunday, so we took the opportunity to stroll about the Garden District and look at all the mansions.  We then headed back to the French Quarter to do some more shopping and such.
Of course I couldn't leave New Orleans without another dose of beignets.  This time, we tried Cafe Beignet.  They were also delicious, and they were enjoyed while sitting outside surrounded by tropical plants listening to jazz music.
I took a 6 am flight back to San Francisco yesterday, on which I was upgraded to first class!  Turns out I really do prefer flying first class... I was served breakfast and then curled up in my oversized recliner and slept like a baby until the captain announced we were making our final descent into SFO.

So there you have it, my trip to New Orleans in a nutshell.  May it not be the last :-)!

Two things can be expected here this week: vegetarian versions of southern food... and vegetable dishes to counteract both my weekend and my continued obsession with southern food.

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