Sunday morning scenes from the Cafe du monde …

August 2, 2009 § 16 Comments

NOTE: I went to the Cafe without a book … or notebook! But I was with HM, Laylou and Irish, so it would have been rude to sit and sip and read.  However, it’s a great place to “hide out,” observe all kinds of things and read.

The Cafe du Monde Coffee Stand originated in 1862 in the New Orleans French Market.  It is open every day, all day, that is, 24/7.  Except Christmas Day, and as its web site notes with tongue in cheek, it is closed on the occasional day that a hurricane passes too close to the City.

The mugs are thick and plain. The coffee, chicory flavored, evokes an “ewww” from many but the cafe au lait, omg, is excellent. I didn’t realize we had ordered the cafe au lait. Our waitress, a mere slip of a girl with an accent as big as eastern Europe, took our order and having heard us mention milk-and-sugar with our coffee, please, she delivered cafe au lait and now it’s my bigtime favorite. Laylou ordered hot chocolate and if you want to see our tiny table set with our coffees and chocolate and BEIGNETS, you can sort back a few entries to find it. The cafe’s website descriptions are short and to the point defining beignets as “square French style doughnuts, lavishly covered with powdered sugar.”
(Note that beignets were also brought to the Crescent City by Acadians who made them as fried fritters sometimes filled with fruit.)

“Lavishly covered with powdered sugar” is akin to dumping a near-half pound of the sweet stuff on the beignets.
Oh, I couldn’t eat that, people say when you tell them about beignets.
Oh, yes you could.

Here is the Cafe’s menu:
White and Chocolate milk
Fresh squeezed Orange Juice
Coffee and Chicory (chicory is the root of the endive plant)
Beignets (these are served in orders of 3)

Here are other things around the Cafe where you can sit at your leisure:

There are fans under the cafe roof and morning at the cafe is lovely, fresh, breezes off the Mississippi River which is less than a football field’s distance from the Mississippi.

The Cafe is a convivial place, a meeting place, a time out, a reading place, an in-the-midst-of-everything place.

No, this fine mule was not in the cafe! He was trotting along with a carriage on the street alongside the Cafe.

It’s not always easy to find a seat at the Cafe but if you’re there early enough in the morning, you will also find it easy to park!

A scene from our table! 
I noticed that there is very little ice in the city. They chill their glasses and their drinks, so you’re pouring a cold drink into a frosty glass. It’s rather nice, really and seems efficient.  Oh, but this was not true at Pat O’Brien’s, which is another story to follow.

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§ 16 Responses to Sunday morning scenes from the Cafe du monde …

  • wordlily says:

    Yay for Cafe du Monde! It’s been so long since I’ve been …

    • oh says:

      WL – so glad you stopped by! Yes, the old Cafe still stands as it always has. Kind of a beacon there on the edge of the French Quarter, next to the river.

  • Des says:

    I can’t think of anything more satisfying than having beignets and coffee at Café Du Monde. That brings back some wonderful memories. Thank you so much for posting this.

  • shoreacres says:

    Oh, this is even better than your first post about the beignets and coffee. You’ve so truly captured the entire experience, and it’s the experience, of course, that people are wanting to recapture when they wistfully say, “Gosh, I’d like some beignets.”

    I’ve had beignets in Houston, Des Moines and Minneapolis that in terms of flakiness, overdone sugariness and delicate poofiness were just as good as those at Cafe du Monde. But they didn’t taste the same, and never could. It’s the NOLA that’s missing.

    • oh says:

      Shoreacres! You’re right, there’s a secret ingredient in the NOLA beignets. I hadn’t thought about it. In fact, I never even consider beignets elsewhere – yup, there’s “magic!”

      BTW, again, that’s quite the blog entry on Flannery, Moms, and Roger that you have recently posted. Now, I absolutely MUST get upstairs and ready for work. sigh.

  • Sounds wonderful! I have never had a beignet, this is the first I had ever heard of them!

    • oh says:

      Scarlet – actually the Cafe sells a beignet mix but I have tried it and it’s just not the same. But you might see such a thing, though not from the Cafe, on the grocery store shelves.

  • Care says:

    I love the beignets! I’m so glad I have experienced Cafe du Monde. awesome.

  • Bellezza says:

    I love thick white mugs, I love black and white photos, I love cafes…I want to go! You gave us a perfect portrait of a lovely sounding place. Now I’m all jealous. 😉

    • oh says:

      Hi, B – what is it about thick white mugs? maybe they hold the heat of the coffee…I dunno. But I agree. I will send you a picture, stay tuned…

  • Hello! What a nice post and such beautiful black & white photos. I haven’t been to New Orleans in years. My husband and I keep threatening to go back.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. You were wondering if we have a shop in St. Louis. No, but Secret Leaves products can be found at Winslow’s Home & Farm, Bowood Farms, Roots and Eclectica here in St. Louis. All great shops, even if they didn’t carry us. Go visit!


    • oh says:

      thanks, Sharon. I do intend to visit at least two of the shops you mention above. And it turns out, I’m going to be writing about Winslow’s Home & Farm!!!!

  • jeanie says:

    Oh, yes you could! They’re fabulous — just don’t sneeze in them! And I love the black and white photos — they really speak to the who NOLA experience.

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