Besides classic Cajun and Creole food like gumbo, jambalaya and etouffee, and the amazing charcuterie plus pub food at Cochon Butcher, there are a couple of must-eats in New Orleans ── beignets at Cafe Du Monde, muffuletta from Central Grocery, and po-boys. (My blog post about Gumbo Shop, Acme Oyster House and the whole complicated and yummy world about Cajun and Creole food.)
除了經典的Cajun或Creole菜像是gumbo, jambalaya and etouffee，和超好吃的肉販兼三明治酒吧Cochon Butcher，有幾樣來紐奧良必吃的食物：Cafe Du Monde的糖粉雙胞胎beignets、Central Grocery的義大利三明治muffuletta、和紐奧良潛艇堡po boy。(經典紐奧良菜和錯綜複雜的Cajun and Creole歷史和差別在另一篇網誌)
Café Du Monde: Beignets with live Jazz 糖粉雙胞胎配現場爵士樂
Established in 1862, Cafe du Monde has been such an iconic New Orleans institution. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This landmark is so important that, after Hurricane Katrina, the reopening of Cafe du Mnode was very symbolic, signaling that the city is back.
Cafe du Monde從1862年開始賣了一個半世紀，賣到變成紐奧良的著名景點和精神象徵，在French Quarter的這家店每天24小時營業。當年卡翠娜颶風肆虐之後，Cafe du Monde重新開張被視為這個城市重新站起來的象徵，由此可見這是個多重要的地標。
This place is typically packed from 10 in the morning to 10 in the evening. We arrived at about 9 in the morning after walking around Jackson Square. Plenty of tables were available. By the time we left, there was a line. Waiting staff won’t seat you. You have to snatch a table fast and then wait for the staff to clean the table and take your order. So there were people waiting in the seating area like vultures, spotting for the next available table.
這家店通常從早上十點滿到晚上十點。第二天一早不到七點就出門，在Jackson Square附近走走之後，大概早上九點到Cafe du Monde，這時候空桌還不少，等我們離開的時候就已經開始排隊了。店家不會帶位，要自己找位置坐，坐下之後等服務生來清桌子和點餐，所以不少人跟禿鷹打獵一樣在座位區晃來晃去尋找下一桌要走的人，戰況不比台北百貨公司美食區就是了。
Beignets basically mean fritters. They could be sweet or savory. The beignets at Cafe du Monde are square, French-style doughnuts with powdered sugar on top. One order is a plate of three at $2.42. Besides beignets, another signature is cafe au lait. Half hot milk and half coffee with chicory. New Orleans style coffee is known for its blend of coffee and chicory. Throughout history, at times coffee became scarce. People used chicory as a substitute. For example, during the French civil war. The use of chicory was brought to New Orleans by the Arcadians. (My blog post about the history of Arcadians and Cajuns and their food.)
The best part about these fluffy treats was the ridiculous amount of powdered sugar. If you walk to the side of the restaurant next to the take-out order line, you can see staff brushing through batches of powdered sugar and frying beignets. All these fluffy treats came out lavishly covered in snowy powdered sugar. In between bites, I used my beignet as a shovel in the sugar mountain in my plate to get more. When I found blocks of sugar, I carefully picked them up and stuffed them in the beignets. Sooo good.
I am not a coffee drinker. My sister ordered an iced cafe au lait, so I had to get a cup of hot coffee in order to try this chicory coffee in its signature form. I normally hate drinking coffee. It might have been the live Jazz trumpet and singing by a street artist performing for Cafe du Monde customers. The live music and the airy doughnuts covered in sugar made everything better so I finished my coffee. However, since I’m not a coffee drinker, I really can’t tell you what difference chicory made to this cup of coffee and what was so special about their dark roasted coffee chicory blend.
平常不喝咖啡，但到這裡不試試看他們的招牌拿鐵不行。我妹點了冰拿鐵，我只好點一杯熱的來試試看傳說中的菊苣咖啡 (其實是為了拍照…) 大概是因為旁邊吹小號和唱現場的爵士大叔讓世界變美好，或者是糖粉戰勝了一切，我自己解決了一杯咖啡！但因為我實在不喝也不懂，無法分辨加了菊苣到底哪裡不一樣…
More of the waiting staff are Asians. A lot of Vietnamese and Chinese. It was funny to see servers occupying a table near us, eating rice vermicelli soup or preserved egg and pork porridge, while we had our beignets and coffee.
Muffeletta from Central Grocery 義大利三明治
From the research I did prior to the trip, this Italian sandwich that I’ve never had did not particularly interest me. I am not an olive fan, and it looked like a lot of bread. However, it was clear that this is a famous food destination. I had to give it a try.
Central Grocery is an old fashioned Italian grocery store on Decatur Street near French Market. It was founded in 1906 by a Sicilian immigrant, Salvatore Lupo. He took the Sicilian sesame bread muffuletta and invented a sandwich under the same name.
這家義大利傳統雜貨店在Decatur Street上面，靠近French Market，是西西里人Salvatore Lupo在1906年開的。他用西西里的芝麻麵包muffulletta (有一點像佛卡夏)，發明了這個同名三明治。
A muffuletta sandwich consists of muffuletta bread, salami, ham, mortadella, provolone, mozzarella, and olive salad. It is sold in half or whole (cut into four.) Some seating is available in the back of the store.
My sister and I shared a half one. (Less than $10.) I don’t like olives but this olive salad was really good. The olive salad consisted of diced olives, celery, cauliflower and carrot. It was very garlicky. Olive oil brought all the layers together. This would make a great lunch when you are near Jackson Square or French Market.
如果在Jackson Square或French Market這一帶的話，這是個很不錯的午餐。不過我可以想像對有些人來說這可能不合胃口，畢竟是個又鹹又油的冷三明治，頭上電扇一直轉，我妹吃到一直發抖。
Po-Boys from Johnny’s: Picnic at the Mississippi River Moon Walk
I could not leave New Orleans without trying a po-boy. Po-boy, or poor boy, is a sub of meat or friend sea food in French bread. Leidenheimer Baking Company is a primary source of bread for po-boy in New Orleans. Johnny’s is widely recommended and conveniently located in the Quarter near Jackson Square. So we picked this place to give shrimp and oyster po-boy a try.
Our original plan was to get a po-boy for dinner on the third day. Another failure on my end. Who would know that such a famous po-boy deli closes at 4:30 p.m.! We went back again on Monday morning to get a po-boy to go as a picnic on the Moon Walk before we had oysters at Acme.
Their breading is very different from what we see in most restaurants. We had our po-boy “dressed” ── with whatever it normally comes with, i.e. mayo, lettuce and tomato. It was a bit dry. The shrimps were huge. I was very impressed that the seafood was fried but not greasy at all. We had a fun po-boy picnic at the Mississippi River.
Beignets from Cafe do Monde, muffuletta from Central Grocery, shrimp and oyster po-boy from Johnny’s or other famous locations, amazing raw oysters from Acme, chicken Andouille gumbo and Louisiana BBQ shrimps from Gumbo Shop, and sandwiches from Cochon Butcher. This is pretty much my list of NOLA must-eats.
Besides these places, we went to a French bakery Croissant d’Or for breakfast on the last day and had a quiche and a chocolate croissant. If there is no complimentary breakfast at your hotel, Croissant d’Or is a good option. (Johnny’s Po-Boy also serves breakfast.) It was a shame that we did not get a chance to go to Mother’s for some home style NOLA food, or to try a po-boy from Domilise’s or some other famous places in order to compare. Maybe next time.
Cafe du Monde糖粉甜甜圈、Central Grocery義大利三明治、Johnny’s或其他有名po-boy，加上鮮美生蠔Acme Oyster House、Gumbo Shop的雞肉燻腸gumbo和烤蝦配麵包、Cochon Butcher的三明治，差不多就是我的紐奧良美食清單了。除了這些之外，最後一天去了法國麵包店Croissant d’Or吃鹹派和巧克力可頌當早餐，如果飯店不附早餐的話，可以考慮去吃這家 (Johnny’s Po Boy也有早餐)。這一趟的遺珠之憾是Mother’s，這是一家紐奧良菜的快餐店，超符合我心目中家常料理的風格，可惜沒有機會去吃，還有沒機會去Domilise’s等等地方比較一下不同的po-boy。
Cafe Du Monde
800 Decatur Street
New Orleans 70116
Open 24 hours daily with shortened hours on December 24 and 26
923 Decatur St
New Orleans, LA 70116
Tue-Sat 9 am – 5 pm
511 Saint Louis Street
8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
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