On a basic level, beignets are French doughnuts, pastries of deep-fried dough sprinkled with powdered sugar and served piping hot with a side of coffee. Much like free drinks and lottery tickets, they are impossible to turn down -- warm, sweet and crisp-golden. Yet despite their splendor, few restaurants in Houston actually offer them. Surely, you've been to Crescent City Beignets on Westheimer, and you might have even hit Chez Beignet in Chinatown. Now you can go to The Big Mamou -- but only on Saturdays.
Shoehorned into an old bungalow on Studewood in the Heights, The Big Mamou serves fast and fresh Cajun food in a laidback manner that comes straight from the Mississippi Delta. Alas, you can find better gumbo and po-boys around town, but the beignets are truly special. It's hard to imagine something that comes fresh from the fryer could taste so light and airy, but as Joel Osteen has proved to us time and time again, miracles do happen.
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For a while the diminutive locale featured beignets once a month, but their popularity has spawned the change to once a week. At $4 an order, these hot mamas are an ideal afternoon snack. Be sure to eat them hot, though, because one thing is for certain: Cold beignets suck.