Stuph’D Beignets & Burgers, a three year-old Gentilly restaurant specializing in fried-to-order beignets bursting with savory or sweet fillings, has swapped its former Franklin Avenue address for New Orleans’s Upper Ninth Ward. It opened Friday, July 17 at 3325 St. Claude Avenue, last home to Polly’s Bywater Cafe.
It’s good news for the cavalcade of regulars dedicated to the restaurant’s showpieces — just about everything on the menu (except the wings) is served “Stuph’D,” or filled with some kind of goodness. Fried-to-order beignets make room for the likes of Creole crawfish, shrimp, and crabmeat, Philly cheesesteak, and grilled vegetables with crumbled patties of hot sausage, bound together with oozing American cheese. An array of beef and turkey burgers are a vessel for everything from sautéed spinach, Swiss, and shrimp; to bacon, cheese, and jalapeno. There are adult beverages available too — spiked homemade lemonade and strawberry lemonade, both ready to go.
Although the business is owned by Duana Lawrence, she runs it the way she cooks: family style. Lawrence’s mom Ellen Williams retired from Harrah’s Casino to run the restaurant’s front of house, and her daughter Dionne Lewis handles social media and other technology, “because she’s the young one.” Cousin Jeffrey Coleman helps out in the kitchen. “Our customers tell us they feel like family, that we make them feel at home,” said Lawrence.
The idea to use beignets as a flavor vehicle for sweet and savory fillings came to Lawrence while vacationing with her daughter in California. “She ordered a strawberry shortcake funnel cake at a pier we walked on,” Lawrence recalled. “That looked like a stuffed beignet to me.” Beignets occasionally get the fancy treatment on menus around town — like Justin Devillier’s blue crab beignet at La Petite Grocery, the gouda-filled beignet at Bouligny Tavern, and a cheesy crawfish beignet by chef Scot Craig at Katie’s. But there isn’t another spot that elevates the beignet in so many ingenious ways as Lawrence does at Stuph’d.
With its bright orange exterior and a bold graphic mural by New Orleans artist Journey Allen in the dining room, Stuph’D is an inviting space. For now, it’s open for takeout and curbside pickup only, Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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