I got to thinking last week, as I sipped my Cafe Au Lait, and dusted the powdered sugar off my moustache, that I had never done a post about Café Du Monde. A trip to New Orleans, especially for the first-timer, is not complete without a trip to this wonderful little cafe. Its green and white striped awnings seem to call you off the street to rest your weary feet and have a wonderful confection that is exclusive to New Orleans in its origin.
The Original Café Du Monde was established in 1862 in the New Orleans French Market. Their menu has not changed much since then. The very simple fare consists of Beignets, a square donut-like fried dough goodie, covered by a mound of powdered sugar. The aforementioned Café Au Lait, which is a mug of dark coffee with a touch of roasted chicory. This is normally mixed half and half with hot milk. That's about it menu-wise.
Whenever I get to New Orleans and the Café is calling me, I usually jump the Riverfront streetcar and ride down to about Dumaine. I get off and walk around to be greeted by the smell of those beignets frying in the hot oil. Get there early enough and you'll usually never have a problem being seated. The beignets come 3 to a plate, piled high with confectioner's sugar. OK, don't ask for Splenda with your beignets, you usually go there once a trip, live it up.
The Café Au Lait is just so rich and decadent, you might stay for another cup. The second can be decaf. Although the service has changed a bit in the years, you can still get fixed up and out within 30 - 45 minutes. I recommend though, you relax, read the Times-Picayune, and plan your day in New Orleans. This is a great way to start it out though. A bit of history in the French Market. By the way, don't worry about spilling powdered sugar on your shirt, you'll see many a "dusted" warrier around the French Quarter from eating at the Café of even having "Sugar Wars" for which Du Monde is famous.