Coffee and Beignets at Cafe Du Monde
Here is a place that serves only coffee, orange juice, and Beignets (French Donuts). You would imagine this to be a small coffee shop with a few loyal followers but, No! this is a humongous establishment, that easily holds two hundred odd people, and there is always a line to get in.
The waiters need special maneuvering skills and are tiny enough to navigate their way through the innumerable tables, balancing several cups of coffee and beignets doused with mountains of powdered sugar. They have to delicately balance between moving fast enough ( and serve 100's of customers) but not so fast that they leave a trail of grey haired (sugar sprinkled) coffee drinkers along their way.
Mounds of powered sugar on these deliciously soft, seemingly harmful but extremely fattening delicacies accompanied with a cup of cafe au lait seems to be the perfect meal/snack for anytime of the day. We found ourselves going back there at odd times, and dutifully standing in line on our four day trip to New Orleans.
Now coming to the star of the experience, the coffee - half espresso, half milk was the way coffee was always meant to be consumed. The coffee powder had a good proportion of chicory. It was served at the right temperature. I am so used to getting extremely hot coffee and having to wait for it to cool down, loosing track of time, ending up with a lukewarm beverage, and just gulping it down - coffee at the right temperature is such a treat. I grew up drinking Madras coffee, the coffee powder was always bought at one particular store and was always prepared with fresh boiled milk with the right proportion of the decoction, milk and sugar. This is the most I have enjoyed coffee since then.
Added bonus: Everything on the menu is vegetarian
A link to their website: Cafe Du Monde, French Quarter, NOLA