Saturday, October 20, 2007

Coffee and beignets: Rue Cler

This morning I met a friend for coffee and beignets at Rue Cler before wandering over to the farmers' market. Love Rue Cler in general. I've not been for dinner in a few months, but I really like how they do the prix fixe menu. More places should offer a set menu. It's got to be a good business model besides being exciting for the customer.

But I digress. When my friend suggested coffee and beignets, I wistfully recalled my trip to the Big Easy a few weeks ago where I went to Cafe du Monde for the most famous and most delicious coffee and beignets in the world. Those beignets are the size of your hand. The coffee is rich and dark and uniquely flavored with chicory. Yes, I know the place is touristy, but so what? It is beloved by many people for two very good reasons: one being in a cup and the other being deep fried.

Knowing that I might approach Rue Cler biased by my recent experience in New Orleans, I decided to be intentionally open to the differences. To say "Well it's not like Cafe du Monde" would not be helpful or insightful or fun! I'm all about the fun.

The cafe au lait was dark and strong and milky the way I like it. It seems like they serve the coffee in paper cups regardless if you order it as take out or dine in (now if this is some thing they are doing to save water by doing less dish washing, don't everyone yell at me or call me names for not being au fait with restaurant regulations and political statements!). I'm OK w/ paper cups but I sure would love for Rue Cler to serve coffee in some huge, white French cafe au lait bowls when I am dining in.

The beignets were good. They taste like, well, fried dough. What's not to love about fried dough coated in powdered sugar? Crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. I wondered how they would be with a good dose of cinnamon sprinkled on them or maybe a side of apple or strawberry compote.

Rue Cler offers other items for breakfast if you are looking for a non-deep-fried option. You could always have beignets as a starter ad order egg for a main!


pineview said...

I have to say that my only experience with beignets was Cafe Du Monde as a child. So I was a little disappointed when it was just basically fried dough with sugar. To me they resembled a Dunkin' Donut donut hole more than anything.

Once I got past my disappointment, they were good especially with my mocha, but they certainly didn't recapture those wonderful moments from my childhood.

Nibbs said...

The breakfast sandwich @ Rue Cler is fabulous. Enough for 2.

toastie said...

I am scrolling through some of your posts, trying to figure out where I'm going for my birthday this year. I know you're blunt about what you like and don't like, and I hate picking a restaurant for a special occasion and being disappointed so I figured I'd check out your recommendations and can't go wrong. In the case of Rue Cler, I've been there, but just for brunch, and it was wonderful (especially the beignets...who cares about the new Dunkin Donuts?)

...darn they're not open for dinner on Sunday...