Coffee Call’s name recalls the deeply-mourned, now closed, Morning Call of New Orleans. The fried dough is hot and tasty, but the atmosphere couldn’t be more different. This Call is at the end of a shopping center anchored by a Walmart. Fortunately, once you’re inside, the atmosphere is bright and classically Creole. It looks like a relic of the old French South.
The beignets are eggy, airy and covered by a blanket of powdered sugar. If you desire crunchier fried dough, the cafe offers Beginet Fingers, which are strips and chunks of misshapen dough leftover from cutting the rectangles. These are popular; more people eat the fingers than the pillow-shaped originals. For us, this is crazy. We love beignets’ light middle, which is lost in the fingers. Admittedly, fingers dunk better in coffee and are more durable. If you’re a dunker, get some fingers, and if you’re unsure, get both. The contrast in textures is fun.
In the great New Orleans beignet debates, we were always on team Cafe du Monde, and these aren’t quite up to that level of greatness, but they are really good, and certainly better than anything we’ve had outside of Louisiana.
The kitchen is very generous with powdered sugar. You might need to scrape some off just to fit a beignet in your mouth. Wearing dark colors is risky, lest you walk out spotted.
Coffee comes in a few flavored options, as a mildly chicory-infused classic cup, or, most famously, as a silky, pre-mixed cafe au lait, poured piping hot from a self-service urn. All of the coffee’s bitterness is neutralized by the milk, making it a sympathetic companion for sugary dough. The regular coffee is good enough to make this worth a stop, even if you don’t have a sweet tooth.
Like any proper beignet place, Coffee Call is open late, and 24 hours on the weekends. They do a brief lunch and breakfast service, but most of the time it is all about beignets and coffee. Best of all, there is a drive-thru, which makes it the most road friendly beignet on I-10.