Cafe Beignet–New Orleans, LA

Cafe Beignet
600 Decatur St.
New Orleans, LA
No phone listed
Cafe Beignet

Cafe Beignet on Decatur St.

My journey here started with a desire to go to Cafe du Monde, but finding that the lines to get in were almost impossible (or at least would significantly decrease my time for seeing other French Quarter sights). I think going to Cafe Beignet was an excellent decision. For one thing Cafe Beignet itself got to full capacity right after I ordered, and more importantly I accomplished my mission of finding excellent beignets (the specialty of both restaurants).

The Jackson Brewery

The restaurant is located in the old Jackson Brewery building

Cafe Beignet is located in the old Jackson Brewery Building (home of Jax Beer) next to a parking lot labeled “Premium Parking” on Google Maps. The hourly rate charged at the lot was another reason I wanted to minimize the time waiting for my beignets, but as I found out there was probably no reason to pay for what I think would have been an extra hour in order to try Cafe du Monde.

In truth I do not know how any beignets could be better than the ones I had at Cafe Beignet. This was truly one of the best sweet treat experiences I have ever had (although many in New Orleans call it breakfast).  It is possible that the beignets at Cafe du Monde are better, but I did observe that they were smaller (even though I wasn’t able to order anything there I walked in and saw what they were serving).



Order of beignets

Beignets are deep fried dough covered with powdered sugar. This description does not make it sound like something special, but the ones I tried here definitely were a special treat. It is not something I want to repeat at regular intervals knowing what the nutritional content and calorie count must be, but it was certainly something I enjoyed for a special experience.

The pastries come in an order of three for $3.99, and I certainly thought this was a bargain.


Caramel au Lait

Caramel au Lait with beignets

Being a cafe, coffee is the other main attraction here. I am not a coffee drinker, but the lady at the counter talked me into a Caramel au Lait because it was “mostly milk with not much coffee.” Even this did not convince me to become a coffee drinker, but I enjoyed it as a one time experience (especially with these wonderful beignets).


Croissant sandwich

Croissant sandwich

I did not order a sandwich, but they are available as evidence by the one shown in the photo. Cafe Beignet has fruit cups and other items that will give you a good breakfast even if beignets are not on the agenda for you. It was interesting, though, that many patrons included drinks from the bar as part of their breakfast menu.

General Information
Both Cafe Beignet and Cafe du Monde have other locations, but most people seem to flock to the ones on Decatur Street for both restaurants. I enjoyed the atmosphere of Cafe Beignet which included an open air setting and patio tables if you want to eat outdoors.

My friend who ordered the croissant had to wait for what seemed to be an inordinate time for it, but otherwise the restaurant lived up to my expectations for a great beignet experience.


Cuisine: Cafe
Cost: $$
Hours: Open daily (8 am to 10 pm)
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No smoking
Alcohol: Bar

Most Recent Visit: Nov. 25, 2017

Number of Visits: 1

Best Item: Beignet


Special Ratings
star 5 Beignet

Jacques-Imo’s–New Orleans, LA

Jacques-Imo’s Cafe
8324 Oak St.
New Orleans, LA
(504) 861-0886


It is probably appropriate to have a night view of Jacques-Imo’s in New Orleans since it is only open after 5:00 P.M., and the atmosphere of this quirky and fun restaurant seems to fit the night hours. Located in an old house on New Orleans’ west side (away from the French Quarter), the restaurant is easy to reach and probably more importantly, it is easy to park.

Jacques-Imo's sian

Jacques-Imo’s sign

The quirkiness seems to be that it is one of the city’s most popular and best rated restaurants, yet they do not take themselves too seriously. Their motto used to be “Warm Beer, Lousy Food, Poor Service” (this has since been removed from their sign, but I think the philosophy is still to give customers low expectations and let them be pleasantly surprised by the food).

The waiting area

The waiting area

The low expectations begin when you enter the waiting area and the expected waiting time is in increments of half hours rather than so many minutes. In my case the actual wait was less than what they had told me, but still I think most people can expect a wait for a table.

The waiting area doubles as the bar and one of the dining rooms. While there I saw numerous waiters exit the front door to take orders either outside or upstairs (there is an outside staircase leading to the second floor). I was there on a weekend night, though, and I doubt that it is always as busy as I observed it to be.

The kitchen

The kitchen

When being led to our table my friends and I passed through the kitchen, which although being very busy, seemed to be efficient in delivering food in a timely manner.


Garlic cornbread

Garlic cornbread

All patrons are treated to free appetizers, including a plate of Garlic Cornbread. When they say garlic they are not kidding–this was such a strong flavor that after a few bites I had had enough. Still, I was glad to have tried what seems to be a New Orleans favorite.

Spinach salad

Spinach salad

I was much more excited about the Spinach Salad, though, and thought this was quite a treat. This could probably be described as wilted spinach, yet it kept its flavor and texture with a dressing that kept it from being boring. Like the cornbread, this was complimentary with my dinner.

Side Dishes

Sweet potatoes, red beans and rice

Sweet potatoes, red beans and rice

I think the side dishes here are a big part of the meal. Many of the side dishes are unique to New Orleans (such as the Red Beans and Rice), and others are prepared in such a way that they have a New Orleans flavor (such as the mashed Sweet Potatoes). I sampled some other items that my friends ordered, and everything was excellent.

Main Dishes

Chicken pontalba

Chicken pontalba

It was surprising to me that the menu only offered a few entrees. They are all New Orleans style, so that all customers get a taste of this unique cuisine. This includes the Chicken Pontalba with a Bearnaise sauce, mushrooms, and tasso. Jacques-Imo’s is usually described as a Creole restaurant (which I think is New Orleans cuisine as served here), and I would described the flavors as rich and a little bit over the top, but for this dish it was very good. Mainly I would say it was very good chicken and the sauce was just there to add something to it. This was one of the most expensive chicken dishes I have ever had, but with the excellent preparation, appetizers, and side dishes it was worth it.

Grilled grouper

Grilled grouper with crabmeat

I had a very small bite of my friend’s Grilled Grouper and was not very impressed, but this was a fish I probably would not order at any restaurant. I’m not claiming to give readers an evaluation of this dish, just pointing out that it is available on the menu.

Other Comments

Oreo cheesecake

Oreo cheesecake

We tried the Oreo Cheesecake dessert, which of course was very good (this restaurant is in New Orleans, after all). I do not see desserts listed on the restaurant’s menu, leading me to think that they must change them from time to time. You probably cannot go wrong with any of the desserts.

I opted to try this restaurant rather than some of the more popular or famous ones in the French Quarter because their slogan of serving “Real N’awlins Food” seems to be what draws people here. Their slogan of “Not Famous Since 1996” seems to be true, otherwise what I think is one of the city’s true gems would be too crowded for ordinary people like me to get in on a Friday night (the time I had available to try the one “special” place).

I think with subsequent visits I might raise the rating I gave to the restaurant. In any case I will just say that it is very good, and worth the money.


Cuisine: Creole
Cost: $$$$
Hours: Dinner only (closed Sun.)
Accessible: N/A
Smoking: No smoking
Alcohol: Beer, Wine

Most Recent Visit: Nov. 24, 2017

Number of Visits: 1

Best Items: Chicken Pontalba, Red Beans and Rice


Special Ratings
star 5 Chicken Pontalba
star 5 Red Beans and Rice
star 5 Sweet Potatoes
star 5 Spinach Salad

Christmas in Southern New Mexico–Tularosa, NM

For those who might be in the Alamogordo or Ruidoso area at Christmas, one way to experience a traditional New Mexico Christmas is to see the luminarias at the Catholic Church in Tularosa, a historic town about ten miles north of Alamogordo.

Setting up luminarias

Setting up luminarias in Tularosa, NM

These photos were taken during the afternoon of Christmas Eve when it seems that practically the entire town participates in setting up luminarias. Hundreds of luminarias are set up outlining the church, lighting up the church grounds, and following the main street in town leading to the church. They are lit at nightfall in preparation for the the special Christmas Eve service which takes place at the church.

The Catholic Church in Tularosa

Saint Francis de Paula Church

The church in Tularosa has the typical Spanish style architecture that is found in New Mexico, and this one dates from 1869. Even without Christmas decorations the town is quite photogenic, and is worth a stop if you are in the area. With the Sacramento Mountains as the backdrop, the White Sands to the west, and extensive pistachio orchards to the south, this is one of the most scenic spots in New Mexico any time of the year. I will say from experience that usually the weather in this part of the state is agreeable enough to enjoy the celebration and possibly a few outdoor activities during the daytime.

The manger scene

The manger scene

The tradition of luminarias signifies lighting the way for Mary and Joseph to find their way to the stable where Jesus is about to come into the world. The tradition of lighting luminarias is found in towns throughout New Mexico, but I find the light show in Tularosa to be one of the most impressive I have seen.

Casa de Sueños

Casa de Sueños Restaurant in Tularosa

Of course most restaurants are closed late on Christmas eve and on Christmas day, but at other times visitors to Tularosa can enjoy traditional New Mexican cuisine at Casa de Sueños on the south edge of town. I particularly liked the red enchiladas with blue corn tortillas (the blue corn variety is not normally served in southern New Mexico). Casa de Sueños is not particularly spicy, but it is spicy enough to be what I would call “real” New Mexican food that is not dumbed down for tourists. Quite a few tourists stop here, though, because of its reputation for serving delicious New Mexican style food.

I also discovered another stop a few miles south of Tularosa on U.S. 54 and 70 where the McGinn’s Pistachio Tree Ranch has its store and winery at 7320 US 54/70 (but don’t worry about the address, just look for the giant pistachio on the west side of the highway).


The giant pistachio at McGinn's

The giant pistachio marks the location of McGinn’s Pistachio Tree Ranch


Of course one of the main items for sale is the pistachios grown on the McGinn Ranch, and these come in different sized bags according to how many you think you might need. They have a number of different flavored nuts, but after trying several of the free samples I decided to go with the plain ones.

Quite a number of other items are also available, including New Mexico salsas.

McGinn’s is open daily according to the web site, but of course there may be special hours around Christmas.