King cake gets royal treatment at local restaurants
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There is a graph circulating on social media that jokingly states that a Mardi Gras diet consists solely of king cake and Popeye’s chicken. Odds are that you are like other New Orleanians (myself included) in the sense that from Twelfth Night onward, by the time Fat Tuesday actually rolls around, your body is 50 percent king cake.
This isn’t meant to be a complaint. King cake is one of the city’s proudest traditions: if the approximately 30,000 king cakes shipped out of New Orleans annually (according to Federal Express) are any indication. But even the most devout Carnival-goer can get sick of the pastry after several weeks of parades and office parties.
But several spots throughout the city are taking the tried-and-true and flipping it on its head. Any riff on the classic can come as a welcome detour from a straight-forward slice.
Poof Cotton Candy
This New Orleans-based gourmet cotton candy company spins a wide variety of interesting flavors (think salted watermelon or zesty coconut with jalapeno). This includes a king cake flavor now being featured on their seasonally rotated menu. You can count on the flavor to feature the fun colors and textures of a traditional king cake in the nostalgic package of a quart of cotton candy. Their product can be found in various boutiques throughout the city (while supplies last), but it’s likely better to catch them on Instagram: @poofcottoncandy or through their website: poofcottoncandy.com.
This local donut shop has quickly become a cult classic for their unique flavors and enormous treats. With an orange frosting and a citrus-and-cardamom infused cream-cheese filling, it’s no wonder these guys fly off the rack faster than bakers can keep up with. Not to mention every donut comes with its own plastic baby. The store only has the donut once a week leading up until Mardi Gras, so make sure you keep up with them on social media. They can be found in Lakeview at 525 Harrison Ave., or in the Lower Garden District at 2209 Magazine St. An Elmwood location is expected to open before the end of February.
This food truck, famous for serving what it calls “Chef inspired, alcohol influenced cuisine,” hit the spotlight in the past couple of years for its unlikely combination: the king cake burger. The burger features an angus beef patty on a frosted king cake bun, and it has people lining up. The sweet and savory sandwich is offered with or without bacon. Find the truck’s location on their Twitter: @fooddrunknola.
Before you run away, this isn’t another king cake burger, Frankenstein. In fact, the local burger place is famous for its custard-based milkshakes, which are frozen with liquid nitrogen. Not only is it captivating to watch, it results in perfectly smooth, creamy shakes. The sprinkle-topped, almond and cinnamon king cake flavor is no exception. Plus it comes in a collectible, color-changing go-cup. It doesn’t get more New Orleans than that. 3934 Veterans Memorial Blvd.