Friday, March 9, 2012

Cafe Beignet/Cafe Amelie - NOLA

Cafe Biegnet, 334-B Royal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana
Cafe Amelie, 912 Royal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana

Michele: This past weekend I found myself in New Orleans. I attended a conference on Friday and Saturday, and I had Sunday all to myself to wander around the French Quarter.  Unfortunately, I was also battling a nasty head cold, but I didn't let that hinder my pursuit of a tasty brunch! I stopped at Cafe Beignet early in the morning to have a cafe au lait and some beignets, a signature New Orleans treat. I opted for Cafe Beignet over the more popular Cafe du Monde because this place was recommended by my Lonely Planet guide, and also because I have my father's aversion to long lines and crowds. I got my coffee and beignets to go, and I walked over to Jackson Square to sit in the sun and enjoy them.  Beignets are messy! I got powdered sugar all over my pants. I probably should have stayed and eaten them at a table at the cafe. Beignets are pretty much square funnel cakes. The cafe au lait was also nice. My stuffy nose prevented me from tasting much, but it was warm and milky.

I spent a couple of hours walking around the French Quarter. When I was hungry for brunch, I decided to try Cafe Amelie, also recommended by the Lonely Planet. I had to wait about 45 minutes, even for a table for one! This place is popular, and waiting in the courtyard it was easy to see why. At least half of the tables are outside in the courtyard.  They had all to doors to the restaurant open that morning because it was so lovely out. I got myself a spicy Bloody Mary and waited for my table. I should have realized that New Orleans spicy is VERY spicy. Once my taste buds got numb, I enjoyed my drink. My favorite part was the olive and pickled okra garnish!  

I was seated at a lovely table. My table was inside the building, but at a set of French doors that was open to the courtyard. Just lovely. I ordered the shrimp and grits at my waitress's recommendation. Her words were "We're kind of known for our shrimp and grits." The portion size was small, but lucky for me I was not very hungry. Unfortunately I could not taste it very well due to the stuffy nose. The creamy sauce was nice and had sausage in it. I think the grits may have been quick cook (I've had better in Richmond). The shrimp were cooked nicely. Overall I had a very pleasant brunch. If I found myself in New Orleans on another sunny, cool morning, I would consider Cafe Amelie again. I think that I would order one of the egg dishes or sandwiches and split one of the small plates as an appetizer. Of course, there is so much good food in New Orleans that I will probably try somewhere else next time.

Rating: 4
Food:  Good. Portion size was small. Food was nice though.
Service:  Good. My waitress was not the friendliest, but my meal came very quickly. Maybe a benefit of solo brunching?
Ambiance:  Very Good.  I had such a lovely morning people watching here.
Coffee:  Good. It was warm, I couldn't really taste it (see above, stuffy nose).
Bloody Mary:  Good. Very spicy, but still tasty. I loved the olive and okra garnish.

Cafe Beignet on Urbanspoon      Café Amélie on Urbanspoon

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