Beignets and Beets


I am a sucker for fried things, particularly fried things that combine sweet and savory flavors. It will come as no surprise therefore that I am a fan of beignets. I have fond memories of eating them with my parents in the French Quarter and in Fat City, and I tend to order them whenever I see them – or an analog – on a menu.

The blue crab beignets at La Petite Grocery are very hard to pass up. The zeppole at Bouligny Tavern or, when they have them, at Domenica are addictive. The aforementioned traditional beignets were always a winner, too.

Thus when I received a press release regarding the 4th annual Beignet Fest, which will be held on Oct. 5 of this year from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the festival grounds in City Park, I was delighted to be able to share the news with you.

I have not been to this particular festival before, but I am familiar with the festival grounds because I play soccer nearby and it’s a pretty swell venue. Then I took a look at the lineup of food vendors scheduled to work the event and I’m sold. There looks to be a lot more than the traditional fried dough with powdered sugar on offer, with offerings both sweet and savory, as well as multiple other dishes you might expect to see at a festival in South Louisiana.

The festival benefits the Tres Doux Foundation, which works to fund programs in the New Orleans area that support children with developmental delays and disabilities. You can read about the foundation here. I am planning on going, that’s for sure.

Last week a third location of the Daily Beet opened Uptown at the corner of Toledano and Magazine streets, joining the original location in the St. Roch Market and the spot in the CBD. If you are the sort of human who hears “health food” and thinks “ew,” then you should give this Daily Beet joint a look.

I am a red-blooded meat-eating American, damnit, but I am not too proud to admit that I eat kale and so help me God I enjoy beet juice. Also, I have seven toes on my right foot. I’m pretty sure there’s no relationship between the toes and the kale/beets.

Anyway, the Daily Beet is, yes, the sort of place where you will find quinoa on the menu alongside pasture-raised egg tacos and avocado toast (with arugula, cherry tomato, sea salt, chili flakes and a “drizzle of” olive oil). The Magazine location does not have the breadth of juice options available at the CBD or St. Roch outlets, but there are smoothies, coffee, matcha, chai and fresh squeezed orange juice.

There’s bee pollen in one of the smoothies, and raw cacao in another. Go figure. I think there’s kombucha too, if you’re into that sort of thing. I understand it’s really good for you, and that you get used to the texture.

The Daily Beet is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and you can find out anything you’d like to know about the place at their website.


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