Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde--: Life Stories about Food by Peggy Sweeney-McDonaldAnyone who has ever visited New Orleans has probably also been to Cafe du Monde, the iconic home of powdered-sugar-drenched beignets and chicory cafe au lait. Even if you haven’t visited, chances are you have your own Cafe du Monde, a place you like to go where you love the food and you feel at home when you go there with friends. That’s the spirit author Peggy Sweeny-McDonald captures with her beautiful coffee-table book, Meanwhile, Back at Cafe du Monde… Life Stories about Food.
Threads of Cafe du Monde run throughout the book, which even has an introduction from the restaurant’s owner, Karen Benrud, whose grandfather purchased the cafe in 1942. But most importantly, the stories and recipes are what shine through.
Nearly 70 writers, most from Louisiana, California and New York, weigh in with a story about food, either a special memory, a special dish, or what food has meant to them over the years. Some of the stories are funny, while others are poignant. Some include recipes, including the stories of famed New Orleans restaurateur Leah Chase of Dooky Chase and Michael Regua, executive chef at Antoine’s Restaurant.
I couldn’t wait to try out some of the recipes and I wasn’t disappointed. In addition to the fig preserve cake with chocolate ganache icing and the okra and shrimp casserole I loved, you’ll find others for lasagna, gumbo, cobbler, pralines, biscuits and more. Photos, some from the storyteller’s childhood and others taken by Troy Kleinpeter, capture the spirit of each writer and chronicles the real-life productions where most of these stories were presented before being collected for the book.
Sweeney-McDonald straddles the worlds of Louisiana, where she was born, and California, where she is president of Superstar Events-LA. Her vision led to the start of the shows in 2010. Meanwhile, Back at Cafe du Monde… can inspire your book club members to talk about their own food stories. You may particularly like the way each story starts out, with the writer saying, “If I were a food, I’d be…” And of course, you could serve some of the yummy recipes to be found inside.
The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Beignets at Cafe du Monde - New Orleans (HD)
Landsel says the food is specifically a step up from the famous Cafe du Monde, a chain he suggests has grown complacent with its signature food. The menu also goes beyond beignets and coffee, with sandwiches and a soup and salad bar available for lunch. The best New Orleans-style beignets are in Baton Rouge, national food magazine says.
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There's been another salvo fired in the ongoing New Orleans beignet war a war covered assiduously by Ian McNulty. Instead of Cafe Du Monde v. Morning Call Coffee Stand has been homeless for more than two months now, after losing its former City Park location to longtime competitor Ca…. Cafe Du Monde? Not so Landsel, who writes, "I'm happy to make the quick trip up to Baton Rouge, where the experience at Coffee Call is typically as good, often better than previous experiences at Morning Call. Are New Orleans' beignets resting on their powdered sugar laurels? Follow Kevin Allman on Twitter: kevinallman.
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In a strip mall on the outskirts of the state capital, Coffee Call is the hero we need right now. The coffee is coffee-chicory, as has been the style for the longest time—rich and strong, and freshly roasted in-house; with the addition of sticky, hot milk, you could almost stand your spoon up in the diner mug that you will drink it from. Beignets , or beignet fingers, and you will try both and decide which one is right for you, nearly always come out fried to order; very hot, cooked through precisely, not a hint of frying oil clinging to them, and with a nice bit of chew that speaks to fermentation, and to somebody giving a damn about the dough. I found myself at Coffee Call, once again, on a recent Monday, and this happened because my day had begun, much further down I, in the French Quarter , in classic New Orleans style—with beignets, and a twinge of disappointment. Because it was very early, too early, and also because it was raining, and because their hotel was just around the corner, I asked a first-time visitor to meet me for breakfast at Cafe Beignet, on Royal Street. The French Quarter is many things, but it is not much of an early riser; first thing, Cafe Beignet can be a pleasurable experience, a port in a storm, and it certainly held a lot of promise that morning.
To the extent people outside of Louisiana think of beignets at all, they likely associate them with New Orleans and its famous Cafe du Monde. Other times they are bewilderingly dry, with sawdust notes. Coffee Call, on the other hand, got Landsel's praise for its chicory coffee and beignets "cooked through precisely, not a hint of frying oil clinging to them, and with a nice bit of chew that speaks to fermentation, and to somebody giving a damn about the dough. Cannatella, 49, has been working at Coffee Call since he was Vince Cannatella opened a second location in the downtown Catfish Town development, and John Cannatella tried to expand to O'Neal Lane, but neither location lasted.
If you're in Baton Rouge and looking for a "Cafe du Monde experience" without the drive to New Orleans , this is your place! Great cafe au lait Community coffee and hot mill -- already premixed and beignets think deep fried french pastry covered with powdered sugar and a fun atmosphere for the kids or grand kids or to just enjoy the paper. You can see the same folks every time you go as the coffee and beignets originals or "sticks" are consistently fine. Although most known for beignets, we also love their lunches. Enjoying their great gumbo on Thirsday is a family tradition. The beignets and hot chocolate are too die for. They are very fresh and give you quite a huge portion to eat.