New Orleans Day One: Beignets for Breakfast and Deanie’s for Dinner

One of New Orleans’ traditional must-try desserts is the beignet (pronounced ben-yā with a long “a”), a delicious deep-fried dough pastry.  Picture a rectangular doughnut with no hole.  Except… somewhat heavier in consistency than your average doughnut.  That’s a beignet!  It actually kind of reminds me of a croissant doughnut, but a slightly heavier version of it…

I couldn’t miss the opportunity to indulge while I was in town, and where better than grab some at Cafe du Monde*, a historic coffee shop in the French Quarter?!  The shop’s been around since 1862, and must be super popular since it’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week!

IMG_5076Cafe du Monde really only serves beignets and various types of coffee — I had the frozen cafe au lait, which was also delicious! — but they do ’em right.  And they pile on the powder on the beignets!  (Wait, that’s an understatement.  But really… you could even add more sugar if you wanted to.)  Look at all that sugary goodness!  I’d rate these bad boys, as well as the coffee as good, btw.

FYI…

Here’s a tip!  There are two Cafe du Mondes, but the one in the French Market’s where it’s at, even if you have to wait half an hour or longer.  It’s where you’ll get the true Cafe du Monde experience, not to mention the best portions!  There’s a second Cafe in the Riverwalk Outlets near downtown NOLA, but that location wasn’t nearly as generous with the portions, even though there was hardly any wait at that location.

Since we breakfast-ed kind of late, we decided to skip lunch and have an early dinner instead.  When we flew into town the first night, we tried to grab some seafood, but to no avail, so we decided to try again.  Deanie’s Seafood** for dinner it was.

To maximize trying as much as we could, my friend and I decided to share two plates, and proceeded to order the Softshell Crab Dinner (with two crabs) and the Crawfish Étoufféet (pronounced et-oo-fey).

The sad thing about the Softshell Crab Dinner, which we were very much looking forward to, was that the restaurant unfortunately gave us the wrong item — they gave us Crab Cakes instead, pictured in the foreground — and we didn’t notice until the end of the meal.  #fail  Sadly, the crab cakes weren’t anything special in my opinion, and I wouldn’t order them again.  In fact, they were a bit salty in my opinion.  I recall having better during my Carnival cruise.  This dish receives just an okay from me.  Also, in a slightly sad way, I think the fries and cole slaw were more exciting than the cakes, even though technically they were the more mundane part of the dish.  #next

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Crawfish Étoufféet, pictured in the background, and described in Deanie’s menu as “crawfish tails smothered in a butter blend of onions, peppers, celery and garlic to make a delicious sauce served over rice.”  The entree comes with salad and French (of course!) bread.  Sounds delicious, right?!

IMG_5156

Étoufféet is another NOLA staple, essentially a thickish stew made with roux — but a “blonde” roux, resulting in a lighter color — with lots of seasoning and some rice on the side.  The dish reminded me of gumbo, and though was not super flavorful when I first dug into it, became more so as I made my way farther into the meal.  Rating… perhaps somewhere between good and fine, good-fine?  The amount of crawfish in the bowl was certainly sufficient.  Crawfish is certainly prevalent in a lot of Southern cooking!

My favorite part of the meal?  These seasoned mini potatoes that came as a starter.  Just a hint of spicy, along with a hint of sweet, yet quite flavorful!  And just soft enough, but not mushy.  I could eat those all day long.  They were goooood.

IMG_5154.

Overall, I must say I wasn’t super impressed with Deanie’s.  The food seemed average, or maybe slightly above that, but certainly wasn’t anything terribly special, and certainly not something I’d wait an hour for.  My friend and I waited for about 15-20 minutes this time (and we entered around 4:00p in the afternoon) and that was certainly long enough.

We left hoping we’d have better luck the next day.  Did we?  Well, you’ll just have to wait and see… !

*Location:
800 Decatur St
New Orleans, LA

**Location:
841 Iberville St
New Orleans, LA

 

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