Doughnuts! Call them beignets, call them sopapillas, call them bomboloni... that intoxicating perfume of fried carbohydrates and sugar always gets me going.
Looking at these last two posts, maybe it's time to change the name of the blog to Carbs in the Carby Carb.
Anyway, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we took the 24 mile Causeway bridge over Lake Pontchartrain. By the time we got to the New Orleans side, we were freaking ravenous and ready for some caffeine, too. Luckily Morning Call is just off the south side of the bridge.
From the front, it doesn't really look like much. Just another strip-mall coffee stand.
Surprisingly, though, the place has lots of history. It was originally opened in 1870 in New Orleans and moved out to Metairie in 1974. It's been around, is what I'm telling you.
Morning Call is not exactly a well-kept secret. The place was packed when we arrived, but since doughnuts are a pretty high-turnover food, quick to make and quick to eat, we were seated within a few minutes.
Morning Call is willing to serve you Creole staples like jambalaya, but we've never tried their savory foods because we always come with one thing in mind. Beignets. Well, actually two things - beignets and cafe au lait.
In New Orleans, some vestiges of that French heritage still survive, and this is one of the easiest to find. Cafe au Lait is simply coffee with scalded milk, but not just any coffee - this one is a strong brew, with the added flavor of chicory. It lends an earthy bitterness to the coffee that is completely addictive.
Fast on the heels of our cafe au lait came our beignets. These are doughnuts, but French, which means they're kind of dainty and super fancy and don't have holes in them. I appreciate that, unlike the more famous Cafe du Monde, Morning Call does not pre-shower your beignets in powdered sugar. Instead, there's a canister on the table for that purpose. I like my beignets with less sugar than Cafe du Monde uses, and also, less sugar on the beignets means I'm less likely to inhale the powder, coat my throat with it, and start coughing uncontrollably yet sexily.
And there we are, trying not to dive into the table of fried tastiness while Logan documents. Actually, there I am moblogging away! Wonder if I was posting to the Boots in the Oven Facebook page or to our microblog, Boots on the Side? Hrm...
BACK TO THE DOUGHNUTS! Which, wow, these people know their way around a fryer. Even though these were in fact deep-fried and came to the table totally unadorned, there was absolutely no heaviness or greasiness to be found. These were light and fluffy with just a bit of crunch on the outside and a sweet, doughy middle.
And there you have it, the French doughnut and the French coffee by way of New Orleans. I'm so sorry to tell you that this is another must-stop in New Orleans - beignets are not optional. You don't necessarily have to have them at Morning Call, but I will tell you we went to Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter the next day and were not nearly as happy. Do with that information what you will.
The Morning Call we visited (apparently there are 2) is at 3325 Severn Avenue in Metairie. 504.885.4068.