Visitors flying to New Orleans will land at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in Kenner, Louisiana. I know I immediately crave Louisiana’s unique cuisine as soon as I arrive—particularly beignets, a French treat of fried dough (basically, a French take on a doughnut) with powdered sugar.
Just a few miles from the airport, tourists can find mouth-watering beignets at Morning Call Coffee Stand, away from the crowds in the French Quarter. For roughly forty years, Morning Call has been at its current location in Metairie behind Lakeside Mall, with a second location in New Orleans’ City Park area.
I seemed to be the last to know about this coffee shop which has been in New Orleans for over 140 years. When I asked the waitress how long the current location had been in Metairie, she giggled, as Morning Call has been in Metairie since 1974 (and is open 24 hours daily!). I like the idea that if I have a craving for fresh beignets at 3:00 a.m., Morning Call is open.
The main draw at Morning Call is the warm, “melt in your mouth” beignets, which come three to a plate. Come with a big appetite as it is very hard to eat just one plate (I couldn’t). Served with chicory coffee and milk (café au lait), the combination is irresistible. For roughly four dollars for the coffee and beignets combined, visitors can experience a New Orleans taste sensation without battling the masses of tourists in the Quarter.
Morning Call also offers menu options like crawfish, jambalaya, gumbo and corn and shrimp for seven dollars per plate, but the coffee and the beignets are the staples here.
With a relaxed, low-key atmosphere, wait staff dressed in 1950s-style paper hats and white uniforms, as well as rows of stools with counters covered with powdered sugar shakers, visiting Morning Call is a treat. Visitors can powder their beignets with as little or as much powdered sugar as they want. I especially like that locals frequent this shop as some of the diners smiled while I was photographing my food.
New Orleans is known for its beignets and I like to go where the community hangs out. For first-rate beignets, head to Metairie, Louisiana for a secret the locals have known about for years. In a boxy, no frills shopping strip center, Morning Call is a gift. I think their next location needs to be in my hometown of Houston so I, too, can have beignets all day long.
Morning Call Coffee Stand
3325 Severn Avenue
Metairie, Louisiana 70005