New Orleans, Louisiana, has a special hold on my heart, and it’s going to be hard to leave. I’ve been here since Tuesday, chronicling the lives and recipes of Southern Cake Ladies for my forthcoming book from Lark Books. The journey here was amazing, and I feel so lucky to get to travel the south this summer and document the people, places, and foodways that I love.

(view from the West Bank of the NOLA skyline far in the distance)

I’ve also gotten to relax a little bit with friends- Elyse has a serious kiddy pool in her backyard, and the Cake Cafe is always a welcoming and delicious place to hang out. Spending time with beautiful friends, old and new, have made my visit lovely.
But, lest you think that the past week of my magical Cake Ladies journey has solely consisted of lounging in kiddy pools, eating pastries in various New Orleans coffeeshops and watching the World Cup at the Lost Love Lounge…

(ahem, for example)

…I bring you this review of the Buttermilk Drop Bakery!

The Buttermilk Drop Bakery and Cafe is a busy, bustling bakery at the corner of St. Bernard and Dorgenois Streets, in the Gentilly/7th Ward neighborhood of New Orleans. last year, owner Dwight Henry closed Henry’s, his well-loved bakery on St. Claude, and opened Buttermilk Drop on Dorgenois with the same crew. Dwight’s an interesting dude: in addition to owning a kick-ass bakery, he’s also working on a movie, “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” described as “an epic comedy, where a ferocious ten-year-old girl refuses to evacuate her home in the Louisiana Delta without her dying father as the Southern Apocalypse descends upon them.” Find out more about the movie, and the grassroots film army Court 13, here.

Dwight Henry, Owner of the Buttermilk Drop Bakery.

Yesterday, I bought a half a dozen Buttermilk Drops, and they were hot out of the fryer. I ate two right away, gave the rest to my friends, and an hour later I was wishing I had bought more. I went back today, bought more, and they’re gone too. Here’s a picture of the last one before I ate it:

The Buttermilk Drops were so freaking good that I’m having a hard time describing them, but Elyse summed it up perfectly when she said, “they’re crunchy and tender in all the right places.” And I would add to that, perfectly fried, perfectly sweet on the outside and perfectly not-too-sweet on the inside. Damn.
Dwight makes 30 different flavors of King Cake during the Mardi Gras season, and he claims they are the best in town. If the doughnuts are any indication, I’m inclined to believe him. Buttermilk Drop Bakery also serves breakfast and lunch, and various pastries in addition to their doughnuts. Buttermilk Drop Bakery is located at 1781 N. Dorgenois in the 7th Ward, and the phone number is: (504) 252-4538.

Oh, and they also sell Sno-Balls:

And here’s some sage advice from another New Orleans bakery, Adrian’s: