Tuesday was Cecilia’s 26thth birthday. When she was a kid, every year on her Andrew’s birthday, I would throw a big kids party to keep her around until the next year. The highlight of kiddie parties was always the King cake as her birthday cake, at the time King’s selection of cakes was fairly limited to Haydel’s, Randazzo’s and her Rouses.
Don Fong hit our radar in 2018 when New Orleans East Bakery won the James Beard “American Classics Award”. Parent-hosted birthday parties are a thing of the past, but Dongfeng’s King Cake is now the default birthday cake. When I visited her in Birmingham last year, I brought her one of her hard-fought trophies. Cecilia is a very health conscious scientist and a competitive rock climber. She reads all labels. But she cuts a virtually clear sliver of donfeng cake, eats it, drifts away after 10-20 minutes, and repeats the process until it’s all gone, which takes about 24 hours, and she Interleave a break to sleep to brush one of hers. Poor thing, she can stand up to anything but King Donfeng’s cake.
My birthday request this year was black leather/synthetic pants (I should have kept the old pants). I hadn’t planned to visit her in Birmingham before Mardi Gras, so I fought hard last weekend to score a DP king cake to throw in as a surprise. In the two years she lived in her ‘ham’ I have not shipped her one.
After researching a list of places reselling the coveted treat near my uptown home, I left at 1:30 p.m. I started with Bourrée. sold out. I went to Adams Street Market and was literally laughed at. sold out. We went hiking to DP Bakery in the east. No sold out dice. While Andrew was driving, I started calling his DP distribution site within a 50 mile radius. Everyone I called was sold out. I got home and ordered on the DP website. Available by pre-order only and you must specify a 2-hour time slot in which you plan to arrive to pick up your prize. I wouldn’t. Also no delivery via DP (they miss it and I’m volunteering to set up and staff a department to manage this). Shipping is only available through Goldbelly. DP sells it at the bakery for $24, but with free shipping on Goldbelly he’s $69.99. Anyway, it’s my daughter’s birthday. Bad news: Delivery was fully booked until her January 19th, 9 days after her birthday. Passed.
I woke up early on Sunday and stood in line in the rain waiting for Bourrée to open and begin handing out the coveted King Cake, which is sold on a first-come, first-served basis. When I got to the first spot in line, other people waiting in the car were standing with me in the rain. We all agreed that we felt moaned as we stood in the rain for a king cake. I felt gracious when I forked over $38 plus a 20% tip and won a prize of a DK cream cheese king cake.
I stuffed it into my leather pants (stranger bed, eh, boxfellows there?).
When the boxed treasures arrived on Tuesday, I received a photo of the DP box with the exclamation mark “F— me up!” Score!
For kicks, I checked the DP website for additional orders. wait for it. Orders are 100% filled until Mardi Gras 2023. It was worth the wait in the rain.