Describing it as a "stand" is funny to me. With seats for about 50 inside, 150 on the patio, and what feels like another 150 waiting in the take out line, Cafe Du Monde is running a very serious operation.
And all for this little puff of powdered sugar drenched fried dough.
The free for all run/attack method when one group of customers begins to leave their table, and the struggle of working with the waiters & waitresses who quite possibly have the most stressful job on the planet is almost not worth the wait. HAH. Yeah right. When those hot pillows of delight are delivered to the table with your hot or iced cafe au lait chicory coffee amazingness, the world slows for a minute. It's just you and the beignet. It's even tough to take your eyes off of it for a photo (clearly.)
I was beyond excited. I'm not ashamed to admit we visited two separate times, where I nearly finished off plates to myself. I feel good knowing I worked off those calories dancing to the Wop all weekend. Every single bite was worth it.
Now on to the coffee. I personally found that I like the black coffee better than the famous hot or iced cafe au lait. I'm not much of a milk person, and I found the flavor of the chicory came through much more when you're drinking the coffee black with just a pinch of sugar. I made the ladies walk to track down the stand's gift shop to bring a big tub of it home, which I'm finding impossible to only drink on special occasions.
I tossed the idea of bringing a few boxes of beignet mix back with me to Phoenix, but I decided that this treat deserves the full experience. Sitting in the humid weather, live street jazz floating through the air and breathing in toxic amounts of powdered sugar as each smiling person around you takes a bite. I want to be back there.