One of the most popular things to do in New Orleans at any time of day is to go eat beignets at Cafe du Monde. When it comes to beignets, think of a zeppoli or funnel cake. It’s basically a glorious lump of fried dough usually drenched in powdered sugar. I use the word “drenched” because the doughnuts are swimming in the stuff, and the people making the beignets all around town don’t hold back on the powdered sugar. It’s not merely a condiment; it’s become more like a main ingredient. At Cafe du Monde, an order of beignets consists of 3 triangles. My mom and I would each eat 1.5 (we ate at Cafe du Monde twice and had beignets also at Huck Finn’s and Cafe Beignet- both also in the French Quarter). Yup, we had beignets four times. No big deal. I knew it was no big deal, because I saw some guy eat six at once.
Normally at this point I would offer you a mouthwatering picture of a beignet, but we have Google Images for things like that. Instead, I’ll show you what the floor of Cafe du Monde looks like, thanks to the powdered sugar.
This explains the riddle as to why one does not want to wear black to Cafe du Monde.
Now that you’re hungry, here’s a story about the action at Cafe du Monde that maybe will temporarily distract you from your sugar craving. Not only does the cafe have great beignets and chicory coffee (chicory is commonly added to coffee all around New Orleans; the coffee everywhere in the city was great), there is also great entertainment. Street performers and musicians claim whatever corners they can. These musicians had prime real estate on the sidewalk along the cafe’s railing.
They were great. Even the gentlemen on the park bench to the left were enjoying the afternoon music. (This was one of my favorite pictures I got from our entire trip. It really captures a leisurely afternoon in “the Big Easy.”)
Things were just swell until these guys showed up.
To say that the two feather outfits were distracting would be a gross understatement. The tuba player, who was so hyped up about playing at Cafe du Monde that I couldn’t get him framed into the picture along with his saxophonist and banjo player, got involved. He was afraid that the guys in feathers being so close to his music would distract the patrons of Cafe du Monde.
The argument between the costumed guys and the tuba dude is apparently standard fare for any day in New Orleans. These guys who set up their acts on the street corners survive from the tips tourists toss into their buckets. The guy in the feather costume on the right stood his ground, and the tuba dude scowled during the rest of his set, yet the music managed to stay awesome. My mom tipped the tuba guy’s group on the way out and didn’t give any change to the costumed newcomers — the old rule of the playground obviously still holds true– the “I was here first” rule.