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Café des Amis

140 East Bridge St., Breaux Bridge, LA - (337) 332-5273
Posted By Michael Stern on 11/10/2006 1:22:00 PM
We were lost in the small community of Breaux Bridge looking for Café des Amis, unable to find East Bridge Street and stupidly oblivious to the street signs we kept passing that said "Rue de Pont Est." When it dawned on us that we were there, we soon found the corner eatery where a window sign boasts that the café is "The essence of French Louisiana."

Of course that doesn't mean you get French food here. Not at all. The meals you eat are Cajun, the real deal: a French-accented mix of South and Soul, with a dash of Caribbean spice and Italian brio. But it's ridiculous to try to define it by it's roots; better to describe what it is.

At breakfast, it is beignets, little crisp-edged twists of fried dough under an avalanche of powdered sugar; it is "Oreille de Couchon," a long strip of fried dough named because it resembles a pig's ear, available plain or filled with boudin, also spread with powdered sugar. It is biscuits topped with crawfish etouffee, omelets filled with tasso ham, and cheese grits with andouille sausage.

The menu for lunch and supper is a veritable encyclopedia of local favorites, including turtle soup, andouille gumbo, barbecue shrimp, cornbread filled with crawfish tails, softshell crab, and crawfish pie. Desserts include bread pudding with rum sauce, which is more of a New Orleans thing than a Cajun one, and gateau sirop, which is extremely local. Made from sugar cane – grown and processed all around here – it is a block of moist spice cake with the distinctive smoky sweetness of cane sugar.

A friendly old brick-wall storefront that has been renovated to serve as an art gallery as well as a restaurant, Café des Amis is a gathering place for locals (who love swilling the excellent strong coffee) and an easy destination for passers-by, just a short drive off I-10. If you are looking for a full, true, and joyous taste of Acadian Louisiana, you'll find none more satisfying than this.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Beignets
Eggs Begnaud
Boudin-Stuffed Oreille de Couchon
Gateau Sirop
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Fried green tomatoes with crab imperial was the star of a stellar meal.
"Fried green tomatoes with crab imperial was the star of a stellar meal."
Anne Ritchings





Thick with corn, crawfish and shrimp, this creamy soup could be a meal in itself.
"Thick with corn, crawfish and shrimp, this creamy soup could be a meal in itself."
Anne Ritchings


If you can't decide between fried or etouffee, this is the shrimp dish for you.
"If you can't decide between fried or etouffee, this is the shrimp dish for you."
Anne Ritchings


Who knew that crawfish and eggplant were natural partners?
"Who knew that crawfish and eggplant were natural partners?"
Anne Ritchings


Eggs Begnaud: a grilled biscuit topped with crawfish etouffee and/or crawfish au gratin and two eggs (with cheese grits on the side). In this case, Jane asked for her eggs cooked hard. They are covering a mountain of wonderful crawfish.
"Eggs Begnaud: a grilled biscuit topped with crawfish etouffee and/or crawfish au gratin and two eggs (with cheese grits on the side). In this case, Jane asked for her eggs cooked hard. They are covering a mountain of wonderful crawfish."
Michael Stern


These catfish nuggets were plump, juicy, and perfectly fried.
"These catfish nuggets were plump, juicy, and perfectly fried."
Anne Ritchings


Beignets come smothered with powdered sugar. There's nothing better with cafe au lait!
"Beignets come smothered with powdered sugar. There's nothing better with cafe au lait!"
Michael Stern


Gateau Sirop means
"Gateau Sirop means "syrup cake," an extremely regional specialty here in sugar cane country. It has a deep, dark, spicy flavor."
Michael Stern


Oreille de Couchon, meaning
"Oreille de Couchon, meaning "pig ear" is in fact a thin roll of dough that is fried crisp and topped with powdered sugar. It is available here stuffed with boudin: a marvelous mix of sweet and savory."
Michael Stern


Scrambled Eggs Begnaud with cheese andouille grits.
"Scrambled Eggs Begnaud with cheese andouille grits."
Scott Jeffcote


Everyone dancing early in the morning... gotta love it!
"Everyone dancing early in the morning... gotta love it!"
Scott Jeffcote


Located in a former retail store, Cafe des Amis has seating right smack-dab in the window!
"Located in a former retail store, Cafe des Amis has seating right smack-dab in the window!"
Michael Stern


These icons are a beautiful, if unorthodox, addition to the decor.
"These icons are a beautiful, if unorthodox, addition to the decor."
Anne Ritchings


The walls of Cafe des Amis are an art gallery. Currently on display:
"The walls of Cafe des Amis are an art gallery. Currently on display: "Visions of Hope," iconography by Sylvia Inzerella."
Michael Stern


The art in the cafe provides nourishment for the soul.
"The art in the cafe provides nourishment for the soul."
Anne Ritchings


The building originally housed a coffin maker and this was part of the elevator that hauled the finished product to another level of the business.
"The building originally housed a coffin maker and this was part of the elevator that hauled the finished product to another level of the business."
Anne Ritchings


Blue skies and four-star Cajun cooking: life is good!
"Blue skies and four-star Cajun cooking: life is good!"
Michael Stern


A friendly place, indeed ... in Breaux Bridge, the crawfish capital of the world.
"A friendly place, indeed ... in Breaux Bridge, the crawfish capital of the world."
Michael Stern



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