When I opened up the door of Beignet and was hit with the scent of fried dough, there was one thought on my mind: how have I never been here before? The gold, green and purple beads strung around the restaurant, masquerade masks pinned to the wall and clowns dangling from the ceiling made me feel as if I just walked into a restaurant in the French Quarters on Mardi Gras.
Tucked away in the River Market District, Beignet is a quaint cajun and creole styled restaurant. Their menu is cluttered with different types of beignets, which isa fried dough filled with different fillings and topped with powdered sugar. They also have crepes and other cajun dishes, such as gumbo and crawfish.
I looked at the menu of sweet and savory beignets for 10 minutes, considering flavors like tiramisu, chocolate peanut butter and lemon berry cream. I was surprised that each beignet cost between $3 to $4, a price that wasn’t going to have me counting out change to pay my bill. I decided to try the four that seemed the best to my stomach that wasn’t full anymore from last night’s dinner: brie and apple,wildberry, salted caramel and bacon and chocolate truffle.
Sitting on the most comfortable velvet couch, I marveled at the four deserts placed before me and decided to try the savory brie and apple beignet first. As soon as the bite touched my tongue, my expectations of the pastry were met. The flavor of the sweet cinnamon apple filling and creamy brie cheese was delicious. The taste was strong, without being overpowering. The filling was almost more sweet than savory but still tasty. This beignet set the bar pretty high for the next three to come.
After my savory beignet, I decided to try a fruity one, and “wildberry” caught my eye. This beignet looked appetizing with its brightly colored filling and flawless presentation, but when I took my first bite, I was disappointed. The berry compote of raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries was too sweet. It was filled to the brim, making it hard to eat. I wasn’t a fan of the mess created from eating this beignet or the sickly-sweet flavor.
Still sitting on the purple velvet couch, I tried the most random and interesting beignet they had on their menu: salted caramel and bacon. I ordered this beignet not because it sounded amazing, but because I was feeling adventurous. When I first got the beignet, it looked more like a sandwich you would order at a barbeque food truck than a fancy french pastry, but I had to take a bite. My mouth was bombarded with bacon bits, attacking my taste buds, making me want to surrender and just spit my bite out into my white flag – or napkin. I couldn’t even taste any of the caramel sauce surrounding the bacon, because the taste of the meat overpowered everything else about this beignet.
After struggling to swallow one bite of the last one I tried, I was hoping for a satisfying final beignet. I chose to save the chocolate truffle beignet for last, and boy was I glad I did. As soon as I cut into the fried dough, warm chocolate filling oozed out everywhere. I was taken aback by the mouthwatering taste. The chocolate truffle inside was decadent without being too sweet. I kept going back for more bites until my stomach and I realized that this was out third beignet and had had enough. While this beignet was the least original, it was still my favorite one.
I also figured that since I was there, I might as well indulge, so I added a swamp juice to my order. The concoction of apple cider, grape juice, lemonjuice, cherry juice and mango nectar- or my favorite juice box flavors as a kid, was mixed into one delicious drink.
The combination of low prices, interesting atmosphere and unusual flavor combinations had me walking out into the frigid February morning wanting more. Whether you are a chocoholic, fruit lover or meat eater, you will find a beignet for your taste that won’t disappoint.