As previously covered, we’ve all been waiting with bated breath for the opening of the Beignet Connection at the Pencil Factory Flats & Shops. This Creole restaurant serves Nawlins-style cuisine in a beautifully lush space located conveniently in the heart of all that’s happening in Atlanta’s intown. This weekend, your intrepid blogger and two associates headed down to the Pencil Factory to check it out.
The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but we hit the spot up around lunchtime. Service was friendly and prompt, bringing water and a proper chicory-infused café au lait to the table. The coffee was perfect, milky and delicious with that richness that comes from the chicory inherent to Creole-style caffeination.
The menu is expansive with something for every palate (perfect, because one of our company is pregnant and another is gluten-free). It was hard to pick: gumbo or shrimp Creole? Jambalaya or etoufee? Po-boy or muffuletta? After hemming and hawing, we made our selections. Pictured below, the jambalaya, reportedly “incredible.”
I had the shrimp Creole, a food that I grew up eating (albeit prepared by my non-Creole mother). It’s one of those meals that goes directly to the brainstem where memory is stored: rich, hearty, comforting, with just the right amount of savory spice. The shrimp were fresh and succulent, and the sauce was so good that it took great wherewithal to avoid licking remnants off the plate.
Of course, a restaurant called “The Beignet Connection” begs the order of those particular treats. Much like a doughnut, these puffy pastries are glorious fluffy pockets of fried dough, in this case served with a dusting of powdered sugar. It took some impulse control on the part of my dining companions to let me get this picture before they tore in to the plate of beignets:
Ever since Huey’s closed, Atlanta has been aching for a high-quality Creole restaurant. With its expansive and delicious menu, reasonable prices, and comfortable ambience, The Beignet Connection is filling a void that we are so happy to see filled. It’s not a question of if we’ll be back…it’s a question of when.