I was over in Lafayette today and finished up at the Mall of Acadiana for lunch time. Using Google Maps ‘explore nearby’ for ‘quick bites,’ we came across Sisters Kajun Kitchen just a little way down the road.
I ordered the fried chicken. It came to the table piping hot and well seasoned with a nice, light coating. Very well done and I ate every bite. The mac and cheese was rich and creamy. A cut above average, this was not your usual macaroni and cheese.
Michelle ordered the Dylan’s Kajun Extreme Burger, based on all the reviews. It was a very large beef patty with grilled onions, tomatoes, lettuce and sauce on a very delicious sourdough bun. Juicy burger with lots of flavor to go with its mammoth size. She ordered the hand battered onion rings with it and they could have used a little rewarming but had a nice crunch and flavor to them.
Reasonable prices, good selection and very friendly folks working there. An unexpected jewel on Johnston Street and worth a visit.
Despite being hard to get to with the construction around the traffic circle sending me around twice and making it easier to cross over I-10, turn around and come back, Billy’s Boudin and Cracklin is a good place to stop and stock up on boudin and other pork products when you’re in the Lafayette area. They’re actually in Scott, Louisiana, which is the next city west of Lafayette and calls itself the “Boudin Capital of the World.”
For the unitiated, boudin is a combination of cooked rice, pork, onions, peppers, and seasonings. The mixture is sent through a meat grinder before being stuffed into a sausage casing and, after steaming or poaching it is ready for eating.
I started with the boudin sandwich. It was served on white bread but the flavor of the boudin was quite good, especially when washed down with a sweet tea. To go with my sammy, I picked up a half pound of fresh cracklins which were a bit over seasoned for my taste. They do offer a more lightly salted version and I think I’ll try that next time. I also got one of the boudin pistollettes (fried bread rolls that are stuffed with boudin) and, while the bread was flavorful, it was so thick, it overwhelmed the taste of the boudin.
Here’s a picture of the trays of cracklin:
Overall, well worth the side trip. I’ll have to follow the rest of the Boudin Trail to compare Billy’s with other purveyors of boudin, though. <sigh> The sacrifices I must make for the sake of my stomach!
I was in Lafayette today and was able to get together with a political crony, Amy Jones, again. On her suggestion we went to Vermilion House Bistro on Rue Vermilion.
We met at 12:45 for lunch and I was quite surprised to see that we were the only ones in the place. I was even more surprised after the meal – this place has awesome food!
We started with the Duck Croquettes – roasted duck and apples, battered and fried and served with a really tasty hot pepper fig jelly. While it did break into pieces, making it a little hard to eat, it was worth wresting with.
For the main part of the meal, I was told it would change my life to get the Crab Grilled Cheese sandwich. Darn close – buttery and perfectly grilled bread – golden crown outside and soft inside. I have to say the creamy crab and melted mascarpone and monterey jack cheese made it sinfully delicious.
Oh, and before you say anything about me having a salad, this is actually a picture of Amy’s plate, as mine came with white bean soup and the picture wasn’t as pretty and colorful as hers.
Service was very good. I arrived early to a friendly young woman who quickly brought me unsweetened ice tea and water and refilled them as fast I could drain them. She was knowledgeable about the menu and her suggestions were very helpful when we were deciding on what to eat.
I heartily recommend this place and will definitely head back during my next trip to Lafayette.
As I continue my efforts toward subverting the dominant paradigm, I met with a political crony in Lafayette today. The Mexican cuisine of La Pagua was perfect for our plotting.
Unable to decide as it was our first time there, we asked what the server recommended. She pointed us to the combo meals they have for lunch and went through the house specialities. I choose #9 with the steak taco, barbacoas taco and pastor taco. Nice sized bites with a lot of flavor, although larger slices of meat might have been a bit easier to keep corralled in the small, soft tortilla. They came with charro beans that were a little watery but full of pinto beans, onions and pork chorizo to give it that authentic cowboy bean taste.
The wait staff was fast, friendly and knowledgeable. The chips and salsa were placed on the table as we were sitting down and they were quick to check in for ordering, refills and to clear the table so we could lay out yellow legal pads full of plans. Even though it was lunch time rush, they didn’t seem to be pressuring us to leave once our meal was done and we were talking – always a plus in my book.
Thanks, Amy, for showing me that Lafayette has good, authentic Mexican cuisine and for paying for our meal! I appreciate it!
I was in Lafayette again and I stopped at Mel’s Diner on Highway 90 as I headed back to New Orleans. I’m a fan of old time diners, those with garish colors and lots of chrome are my favs. This particular one used pink and turquoise.
It was also a lot cleaner than many of the diners I’ve been in and a heckuva lot colder. They must keep the thermostat at 50 degrees because I swear it was warmer outside!
There weren’t many folks in when I got there, so I got the waitress to give me a 50/50 sweet/unsweet tea while I read over the menu. Lots of typical diner food and even a few healthful options.
Anyway, I wasn’t in the mood for a burger or for catfish so I went for the Chicken Fried Steak Dinner. It comes with a starch (french fries, mashed potatoes or baked potato) and a vegetable. I didn’t want any of the veggies I could select from, so the waitress just gave me both fries and mashed potatoes instead.
The meal was pretty good – the white gravy wasn’t overly salty and very generously covered the good sized piece of meat. The beef was tender and the coating was tasty. The fries were a little crispier than I prefer but, soaked in gravy, they were pretty darn good.
Not a bad meal but remember to bring a sweater!
I was back in Lafayette for a meeting today and, as I still haven’t figured when I have to leave New Orleans to be on time but not too early, I was able to stop for breakfast. I had gotten a couple of recommendations so I decided to try the The French Press. It is located in a refurbished printing plant and has type drawers, letter trays and other decorations of its printing past throughout the place.
I had the Sweet Baby Breesus breakfast. The meal was comprised of three buttermilk biscuit sliders with bacon, fried boudin balls and cane syrup served with cheddar grits. The biscuits were light as air and the salt from the bacon, combined with the heat from the boudin and the sweet from the syrup made my mouth very, very happy.
Their wait staff was quick and efficient and I was able to enjoy my meal and make my meeting with five minutes to spare. As they also serve my absolutely favorite of Chicken and Waffles as well as cream cheese and banana stuff French bread and grillades and grits, I definitely need to make a few more trips west!
I had a meeting over in Lafayette that ended around 1pm so I scooted over to Prejean’s before heading back to New Orleans. Prejean’s is a very well known Cajun restaurant that I’ve been meaning to try for a while. Unfortunately, every time I drive across the state, I seem to hit it at the wrong time of day.
I had a tough choice to begin my meal. As I was there by myself, I knew if I wanted to be capable of driving the 151 miles back home, I could eat an appetizer or have dessert but not both. Despite the temptation of Banana Fosters cheesecake, I was in Cajun country so I went with Croc de Jacques – deep fried bites of alligator. Nice flavor although I wasn’t too sure about the cocktail sauce that came with them. I prefered them on their own. The round things to the side are boulettes (fried balls of meat) and tasted sort of like crawfish hushpuppies. They were a little too heavy for my taste.
My entree was Cochon du Lait Pie – slow roasted pork debris topped with mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese and baked in a skillet. What’s not to like in those ingredients? The pie was very good – the pork was so very tender and flavorful and, while the potatoes weren’t thoroughly mashed, they were delicious with the cheese and helped to cut some of the spiciness of the dish.
The server was excellent. She was quick and efficient – I’d get two thirds of the way down my glass of iced tea and she’d put another one on the table. The food came to the table fast and she was in constant motion, making sure everything was fine.
This is definitely a good place to stop for lunch. They advertise live music nightly, so take your chances with that as the food is worth it.