Actually, I’ve been back for almost a week. It’s been very busy at work, though, and I’ve been playing catch-up at home too, so I haven’t found time to post until now. I really enjoyed the trip to New Orleans and I’m really relieved to hear that it came through hurricane Ivan without the disastrous flooding that was feared. It’s hard to imagine the place I was visiting just days ago boarded up and deserted.
The weather while we were there was perfect. It was hot and humid, especially the day we arrived, but there was no sign of rain. I met up with a coworker at the airport and after checking into our hotel, we grabbed a quick lunch at a small restaurant (its name escapes me now). I had red beans and rice with sausage and a side salad. It tasted pretty good after I doused it with hot sauce. After lunch my coworker headed off for a walking tour of the Garden District and I set off to explore the French Quarter.
My first stop was Café Du Monde, the place to get beignets and café au lait. It is an open air café near the French Market that opened in 1862 and serves little more than coffee (in several variations) and beignets. The prices are very reasonable: $1.37 for a plate of three beignets and $1.37 for café au lait. Because of the heat, I opted for an iced coffee with my beignets. My order arrived quickly. The beignets were hot and buried under a mountain of powdered sugar. There is no way to eat these things daintily and there is little chance that you will escape without the tell-tale signs of powdered sugar on your clothes. Beignets are basically donuts with powdered sugar and will probably put you well over your daily allowance of fat grams, but eating beignets at Café Du Monde is a quintessential New Orleans experience.