Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Breakfast of the Gods in Breaux Bridge

Café des Amis
140 E. Bridge St.
Breaux Bridge, LA
Visited August 22, 2010

Beer selection: Good variety.

Food: Really, really good Cajun dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The Best Breakfast in the History of the Planet!

Yeah. Go there now.

Hop a plane to Lafayette, Louisiana and take a cab to Café des Amis in nearby Breaux Bridge.

What are you doing still sitting there reading this?

I said go. Now!

Yeah, this place is THAT good.

Café des Amis serves up atmosphere and out-of-this world Creole cuisine in an old historic 19th Century downtown building in the heart of Cajun Country. They even converted an old Otis elevator from the building’s hey-day as a casket manufacturing plant into a hostess stand.

When I think of classic Louisiana Creole food, I think deliciousness and flavor.

Café des Amis takes what are already once-in-a-life-time delicacies and elevates them to the sublime.

My appetizer of Oreille de Couchon was a perfect example.

Everyone knows about New Orleans' famous Café du Monde beignets.

Once you’ve had one, you never forget the delicate texture and the warm sweetness of a fresh from the fryer beignet.

So what can a place like Café des Amis do to improve on such a perfect concept as warm fried dough covered in powdered sugar?

How about roll it up into the shape of a pig’s ear and stuff the darn thing with Cajun boudin!

Oh, yeah!

Boudin is Cajun sausage mixed with spices and rice.

It’s Cajun snack food. Breakfast, lunch or dinner.

You won’t find boudin on restaurant menus. But you will find it in every butcher shop, meat market, convenience store and truck stop from Beaumont to Baton Rogue.

Cajuns pop in, grab a link fresh from the steamer for about a buck, and enjoy the best mobile meat snack since the invention of the Slim Jim. (Ok, you’re right. The lowly Slim Jim doesn’t have anything on this delicacy).

So the concept of taking a powdered sugar, delicate ball of dough and stuffing it up with spicy Cajun sausage is beyond absurd.

And one of the top food items I have ever placed in mouth!

So while Café des Amis’ “pig’s ear” won my Greatest Food Item Ever Championship, the title was short-lived.

Try 15 minutes.

Because that is how long it took for the waitress to bring out my main dish, “Don’t Mess With My Tas-so Omelet”.

Picture this: melted Swiss cheese, spicy Cajun Tasso ham and onions sautéed in Cajun spices, all stuffed into a fluffy omelet.

Yeah, we have a new champion of the world.

The Single Greatest Breakfast of My Life was accompanied by a fresh-from-the-oven buttermilk biscuit and grits.

But not just any grits. No. Of course not.

No ordinary grits here.

How about cheesy grits studded with zesty Cajun Andouille sausage?

It was a breakfast I hoped would never end.

So I ordered desert.

Yeah, desert for breakfast. Why not?

While I’m always partial to chocolate and the chocolate pecan pie was mighty tempting, I went with a more indigenous selection, Gateau Sirop, which my excellent waitress helpfully translated for me: Syrup Cake.

As you drive across the Southwest Louisiana plains, you see one crop stretching from horizon to horizon – sugar cane. The stuff that once was used to sweeten everything from RC Cola to the Moon Pie.

Of course thanks to the infinite wisdom of the prostitutes who run our federal government, virtually nothing in America is sweetened with natural good ‘ol sugar cane any more. Not RC Cola. Not Moon Pies. Nothing.

Thanks to tariffs on imported sugar cane and taxpayer subsidies for corn, it is vastly cheaper to mass produce soft drinks, cereal, ice cream, everything, with corn syrup.

Never mind that the stuff is probably killing us. And we’re paying for the privilege through taxes and higher food costs.

But out here in this corner of fly-over country, sugar cane syrup isn’t just available, it’s a tradition. A tradition honored in no greater form than Syrup Cake, a sugar cane sweetened spice cake topped with pecans and drizzled with more pure sugar cane syrup.

Oh yeah, and Café des Amis serves it warm with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream.

It was a perfect way to cap off one of the greatest culinary experiences of my life.

So I’m going on record right now. If Obama ever sends me off to a FEMA camp, this is what I want for my last meal. I’ll happily spend the rest of my life pushing boulders up hill as long as I have one final memory of this little spot in the heart of Cajun Country.

Rating: Bought the Shirt!

Cafe Des Amis on Urbanspoon

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