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… Continue reading

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Cajun-Creole at Toulouse Petit, Bon Appetit

As previously blogged, my latest project at work has brought me on an adventure to the coastal metropolis of Seattle, where I spent a couple evenings exploring the culinary sites that the city had to offer.  One evening, my journey brought me to an establishment named Toulouse Petit*, a Cajun-Creole Frenchish kind of place.

After being seated, I immediately noticed that their menu was extensive, and after spending 15 minutes (or more) perusing the booklet, decided to order an appetizer and an entree.  What to order though?  So much to choose from!

IMG_0712First up, the Rustic Duck and Wild Boar Terrine!  I’m always in the mood for delicious meats, and this classic charcuterie sure hit the spot!  It almost reminded me of a firm pate, and was superbly paired with the sweet and sour flavors of the side salad, and relatively neutral flavor of the crostini.  Palatable to the eyes, palatable to the taste.  Good.

Since I’m at a Cajun spot, I have no other choice than to follow up my appetizer with a culinarily authentic main course!  And what better option to pick than a nice, hearty bowl of gumbo!  Toulouse Seafood Gumbo, that is.  Made with housemade shrimp stock, dark mahogany roux, crawfish, shrimp, pacific fish, and housemade andouille.   Continue reading