• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
philadining

Cajun Kate's

60 posts in this topic

Craig LaBan had mentioned this place in one of his tuesday chats, and then included it in a sidebar to his review of Les Bons Temps as well. He didn't give a lot of details, but sounded enthusiastic enough, saying

Pull up a counter stool at this po-boy stand in a Delco farmers market (open only Fridays and Saturdays), where two vets of New Orleans restaurants turn out some of the region's best Louisiana fare, from hearty jambalaya to crawfish pies, dark gumbos, and fried crab-and-tasso mac 'n' cheese.

Apparently, at least one of the chefs worked for several years in New Orleans, including a stint at Emeril's, so we figured it was worth checking out. It's only open fridays and saturdays, and is a TINY little stand with only 4 or 5 stools at a small counter. So I got some take-out, and hurried into Philly to deliver some gumbo to other tasters. It was only about 20 minutes to center city via I95, so it's really not that far away even for Philadelphians.

gallery_23992_6155_51929.jpg

The Gumbo and Jambalaya both had shrimp in them, so I'll rely on other's reactions, which were that the gumbo was delicious, and the Jambalaya pretty good, but then Jambalaya is rarely really exciting... Both smelled great.

gallery_23992_6155_20101.jpg

The Muffuletta was very authentic, and pretty tasty, but could probably have used a little more filling. This amount of meat and cheese is pretty similar to what one would get at the Central Grocery in New Orleans, but that's not to say there's no way to improve upon that. The bread is kind of hyper-seedy, and was feeling a little stiffer than might be ideal, but I think I read somewhere that they may get it shipped from Louisana. A friend heated up part of the sandwich the next day, giving it a couple minutes under the broiler, and reported that the seeds got a nice toasty edge, the bread came back to life, and the whole thing was much better. The olive salad is really great, and the whole thing makes for a very tasty sandwich. I might just find anyone's traditional muffuletta to be a touch too bread-heavy for my taste.

gallery_23992_6155_113426.jpg

One item that completely blew me away was the Smoked Brisket Po Boy. Sadly, this was a special, it's not on the regular menu, so it may not be available on any given weekend. I REALLY wish they'd offer this permanently, it was mind-blowingly deep in flavor, with dark, smoky meat, falling apart in shreds in a thick sauce. Loaded up on a roll, then "fully dressed" as is done in New Orleans, with lettuce, tomato, pickles and mayo. This one also had provolone, which blended well. It quickly tuns into a big drippy mess, but a freaking delicious drippy mess. I have no idea why mayo, lettuce and gravy can possibly coexist on one sandwich, but they do... I liked this sandwich as much as the one I got at Parasol in New Orleans, which is justifiably famous for a similarly sloppy roast beef Po Boy.

A lot of folks were getting big cubes of deep-fried mac-and-cheese, the crispy shell containing creamy, cheesy noodles studded with tasso and crab. I didn't think it would travel well, but you can be sure that I'll try one next time I can get back there, and hopefully find an open stool at the counter. Same goes for the crawfish pie.

They've got things like gumbo and jambalaya already packaged and in the refrigerator if you're taking them home for later, or you can get them to go hot, and I defy you to resist taking a taste in the car...

If you go, keep in mind that it's a TINY place, so you shouldn't be in too big a hurry. Just like New Orleans! I was really charmed by the guys working there, you can tell that they're really serious about it, but still having a good time.

Remember, it's only open Friday (9am-9pm) and Saturday (9am-8pm) and is way out in southeastern PA, a stone's throw from Delaware. The Booth's Corner Farmer's Market is a little odd, it feels a few decades behind the times, with a large flea-market component among the farm stands, many of which are Amish. Cajun Kate's is certainly an anomaly there, but from one taste, I'd say worth the trip.

Check the website for specials: this week the Gumbo is Chicken and Sausage, the Po Boy is fried Oyster. Oh, man, I really might need to head back down there...

Booth's Corner Farmer's Market

Naaman's Creek and Foulk Roads

Boothwyn, PA

http://www.cajunkates.com/


Edited by philadining (log)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nearest SEPTA or DART service: Ask a friend to give you a lift -- you're SOL on this one.


Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it wrong to start lunch with Beignets?

gallery_23992_6155_114134.jpg

I don't see why. I figure it's breakfast.

Then moving right along to Smoked Chicken and Sausage Gumbo feels pretty natural.

gallery_23992_6155_129758.jpg

That had such a deep flavor from that dark roux, it didn't need anything, but a couple of drops of hot sauce really put it into the stratosphere.

Then we couldn't very will ignore the Oyster Po Boy

gallery_23992_6155_29657.jpg

That's a large, actually a half-and-half, mixed shrimp and oysters, fully dressed. The roll is nice and light, very similar to a traditional New Orleans Po Boy roll.

They ship the oysters in fresh from Louisiana, and it shows. They were breaded and fried to order, which kept them perfectly light and crispy, with beautiful juicy oyster flavor when one bit into them.

They had signs up saying that Cajun Kate's will be closed the weekend of August 16-17, but back the next week to celebrate their 2nd Anniversary of being open at the Market. I'm bummed it took me this long to notice them, but glad I finally did!


Edited by philadining (log)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Holy cow! Those red beans and rice look amazing. So, which is more worth the drive - Cajun Kates or Satchmos? I'll be in KOP/Conshohocken area in 3 weeks!

I am getting fat just looking at these pics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure it matters, but I think that's gumbo that looks so good to you: they do in fact have very good red beans and rice, but I didn't photograph it!

Anyway, even though I'm a pretty big fan of Cajun Kate's right now, it would be SO much more logical for you to go to SatchMo's, if you're going to be in the KoP/Conshohocken area. It's probably a 40 minute drive to Boothwyn, vs about 15 for Collegeville.

It's not as if they're identical and the only difference is convenience of location, but Satchmo's has some good food too, and you could get there much more easily. Cajun Kate's strikes me as much more authentic, and completely Louisiana-style, while SatchMo's is more of a sandwich shop with some Louisiana specialties.

It's also worth remembering that Cajun Kate's is only open on fridays and saturdays. SatchMo's has some weird hours, but they're open more... you might want to call SatchMo's to be sure they'll be open, before you drive: 610-489-7282.

There are some funny differences: I think Kate's Mufuletta is more authentic, but I like SatchMo's a little better. SatchMo's makes a delicious popcorn crawfish PoBoy, but dresses it with sour cream and cheese. If it were "fully dressed" like is usually done in New Orleans, with mayo and lettuce and pickles, it would be even better than it is already. They seemed really perplexed by our request for some lettuce... The gumbo's better at Kate's, but not bad at SatchMo's either...

An important thing to keep in mind about both places: they're tiny little places with only a few seats, very casual, the food in paper-lined baskets or to-go cups, they're not fancy sit-down restaurants. Just so you're prepared...


"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks - and I should have read the captions in the photos. I was looking at the photo toward the top with what I now see is gumbo and jambalaya - but they still look delicious! We'll try Satchmos - and I will definitely call ahead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I stopped by here for lunch today, it was really good. The smoked brisket po-boy was still on the menu, I heard the guys behind the counter say it was their specialty a couple times, so it seems like it may be a regular menu item now (though it wasn't listed on the permanent menu board). Unfortunately I didn't really read this thread before I went, so I didn't get it, but my jambalaya and alligator po-boy were both great. My lunch companion got the crispy (fried) mac and cheese, which was also delicious. I've had a few fried macs and cheese over the years; usually there's not much to them underneath the fried exterior. That was not the case with this one, I would happily order it again even without it being deep-fried. They also gave us a taste of the gumbo special of the day: smoked duck. A little too smoky for my taste, but good. We sat at the counter and I witnessed a couple other people ask for and receive samples of the gumbo or other specials, so if you go and can't make up your mind, ask for a taste.

I had my eye on the beignets too, but ended up going around the corner to the Greek place for baklava and flogeres instead.


Edited by Buckethead (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cajun Kate's is celebrating their 2nd anniversary this weekend.

The gumbo this week is smoked duck and wild mushroom! They were taking advance orders a couple of weeks ago, so I'm not sure how much is already spoken for...

They're also running that smoked brisket po-boy that I absolutely loved when I had it a couple of weeks back. I'll be there, hope there some gumbo left for the rest of you!!

Weekly specials are posted at:

http://www.cajunkates.com/

ETA - thanks for that report, Buckethead. I have a pretty high smoke threshold, so we'll see how the gumbo goes over... I've got a couple of quarts reserved, so I hope I like it!!


Edited by philadining (log)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The duck gumbo sold out early, thankfully we'd reserved some!

I'm not completely sure whether there was just one huge batch, or a few smaller ones, but whatever we sampled was delicious, not overly smoky.

And the smoked brisket was crazy good.

More details to follow...


"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course, everyone's preferences vary, and the exact product that gets dished-up at any given moment varies, so I won't argue too much with Buckethead about the Duck gumbo, except to repeat that the batch I got is not all that smoky, but it is delicious... The duck has cooked down to shreds, the mushrooms are still fairly intact.

I am in complete agreement about the Mac and Cheese, that stuff is insane!

gallery_23992_6155_174253.jpg

gallery_23992_6155_156443.jpg

We sampled the sweet onion and Andouille Sausage version, but I'm sure the crabmeat and tasso recipe that's offered more often would be just as good. They sometimes have a bacon and corn flavor that I'm eager to try. Buckethead - which one did you sample? I've had the same experience with other restaurant's attempts at this: the crust is good, the inside kind of uninteresting. But Cajun Kate's is really great, the creamy interior would be pretty amazing alone, but the crispy outside really adds another dimension of both flavor and texture. It looks burnt, but it isn't, it's just right up to the line - another second or two in the frier and it probably would taste charred. But then, the final touch makes it even better - they drizzle it with a sweet and spicy tomato glaze that perfectly compliments the oily-creamy-cheesy thing.

I'm not sure the smoked brisket po boy has made it to the permanent menu, but they promised to offer it frequently... I sure hope it's available every time I'm there, I love that sandwich. The only downside is that it's very filling, and I'm in severe danger of never trying anything new, now that I'm addicted to the Mac and Cheese, and the gumbo, and this po boy!

gallery_23992_6155_116788.jpg

I really wish they were open more days of the week, and were closer to me, but hey, at least I have a couple of quarts of gumbo to tide me over...


"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Uhh, I wasn't aware that there *was* more than one version of the mac and cheese, the menu board advertised the version with tasso, and there was a piece of paper taped up which said something like 'try the crispy mac and cheese'. My friend just ordered 'crispy mac and cheese', so I'm not sure which version he got. Based on what I tasted it was probably the corn and bacon version, but I only had a couple small bites, so if there was crab or andouille in there I could have missed them.

Now I have to go back on Friday and get the brisket po-boy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Inquirer's Rick Nichols visits Cajun Kate's.

It is tucked in a hodgepodge warren of pet shops and Amish butcher stands, fireworks stalls and cinnamon-bun bakeries. But there were promising hints, right off: Several stools were occupied by emigres from Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and the Big Easy proper; there was a rack of Zapp's New Orleans potato chips; and hyper chef-owner Don Applebaum was shoving sample cups of his gumbo, jambalaya, and red beans and rice at first-timers as quickly as he could fill them. The samples, blessedly, were spicy with homemade Creole seasoning, the heat just a mild glow, not that harsh flavor-killing fire.

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I visited today for lunch, and was lucky enough to score seats at the counter. Don and the guys behind the counter were happy to hear we were first timers and quickly offered samples of gumbo, rice and beans and jambalaya.

We ordered the smoked brisket po boy, crispy mac and a right out of the oven crawfish pie. All were terrific; I especially enjoyed the crawfish pie - flaky crust, nice chunks of crawfish - I didn't like having to share. We also took home quarts of what we sampled.

Next week's po boy special is soft shell crabs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was there for a late lunch today, and the counter was crowded. They sold out of gumbo, red beans and rice, mac and cheese, and muffelletta. I had a half shrimp po'boy that was excellent, much better than their muffelletta, which doesn't have enough filling, enough garlic and has too many green olives in its salad.

The PR band wagon is continuing for this outpost of NOLA. Channel 10 is going to be shooting a spot on them at 10 am on Friday, if anyone wants to use up a few seconds of their 15 minutes of fame.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SOFT SHELLS!!! I am so there next week.

Friday was on the phone (about 9:30) with a friend that has a stall at the market. He mentioned the shrimp PoBoy and it kept running thru my mind. Was there for a late lunch myself and satiated that urge. Even at 3 the counter was 4 deep.

OT, just saw the Bill Gates, Jerry Seinfield commercial. I love it!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh man, not only are there soft-shell po boys this weekend, but the Gumbo is Cohon de Lait!

And I'll be out of town.

Somebody please check these out and report back. Or maybe I'd rather not know...


"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is Cohon de Lait something like Rocky Mountain oysters? :raz:

Oh man, not only are there soft-shell po boys this weekend, but the Gumbo is Cohon de Lait!

And I'll be out of town. 

Somebody please check these out and report back.  Or maybe I'd rather not know...


Charlie, the Main Line Mummer

We must eat; we should eat well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, this place is literally 2 minutes from my parents house ; can't believe I never knew about it!

Soft shell crab po'boys... guess I'm making a trek down this weekend. :wub:

If it's as good as I'm expecting, my parents are going to be surprised at how often I drop by on Fridays & Saturdays!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Made a special trip to Cajun Kate's for lunch today and wasn't disappointed. In fact, I might be back tomorrow! I had a softshell po'boy and the cochon du lait gumbo and they were both excellent. I love me some Sarcone's bread, but the softer, lighter roles were a perfect delivery vehicle for the softshell crab (or anything fried, I'd imagine (and hope to confirm)), and the pickles, lettuce and tomato were a great accompaniment. The softshell itself was beautifully fried with just a gentle, crisp coating on the outside. It was well-spiced and greaseless, and good enough to make me wish I'd ordered a whole instead of a half.

While the po'boy was delicious, it was the gumbo that was really the mindblower. The depth of flavor seemed almost bottomless, and with a few drops of Crystal (as Philadining suggested) it became virtuosic and really played all over my palate. I don't think I've ever had gumbo before today that actually deserved the name.

The cramped space is a pain, and I'll imagine it'll get more crowded soon, as they apparently appeared on NBC 10 today. That annoyance is mitigated by the very friendly and somewhat frenetic staff, who seemed to be working at capacity and still turning out, from what I could see, very well-executed food to all comers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that report!

And I know what you mean about the rolls - my first thought was that a serious Italian roll like from Sarcone's would be so much better, but now I don't think it's true. These are almost exactly like you'll get in New Orleans, and there's something about the airyness, combined with the crust, that makes them perfect for a PoBoy, especially, as you said, one filled with fried stuff.


"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the scene 20 minutes after we got there today:

gallery_52886_6211_254889.jpg

If you are an alert eGulleteer today you may notice the pate of the illustrious, the inimitable, hizzonor the most righteous H. Moore in the lower left! I know very few of us ever get up high enough to view the top of his respected cranium, but that's what it looks like. We didn't recognize hizzonor right away and it was pointed out by H. Moore himself that this may have been due to the fact that he was practically a stick figure, not having been properly fed and in a preprandial somber tone. A whole softshell crab po'boy, some rice and beans and some beignets later (we split a po'boy and some cochon au lait ourselves) everybody was in a jolly mood!

The sammiches looked like this:

gallery_52886_6211_168139.jpg

The gumbo was impossible to capture as its speed rivalled that of the Geococcyx californianus. We ate both standing up as, we were informed, not only is this traditional for a Po'Boy shack but, unlike any other shop in the market, people were lined up three-deep for a seat.

gallery_52886_6211_322688.jpg

If you go, go early. The good stuff was sold out around noon, just after we got there. You can do gumbo to go, which we did with gusto. Look for this sign in the southeast corner of the market:

gallery_52886_6211_173467.jpg

and if you have a sweet tooth you may want to hunt down these, which, besides my mother's, are the only authentic-looking schnecken i've seen in the wild:

gallery_52886_6211_236107.jpg

Thanks for everyone who found/recommended/reviewed this! It's a gem and was the object of our daytrip today. I've never experienced authentic cajun food before today and it was a revelation. Holly told us about "file gumbo" spice and then took us off to his favorite farmer for sweet corn- a gorgeous drive through southeastern pennsylvania. Thanks Holly!

NEXT WEEK: SMOKED BRISKET GUMBO!


--

matt o'hara

finding philly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How, again, do I report an evil and libelous pic of me without my Harpo-like toupe to the moderators so that said is pic is promptly and forever removed both from this thread and from Matt's home computer?

I was feeling proud - having ordered the last remaining soft shell crab po-boy until I realized there was a list taped to the fridge of all those who had reserved soft shell crab po-boys. The po-boy was outstanding and I'll third or fourth what others have said of the bread they use. Picked up an interesting fact from Mel - the original New Orlean's po-boy were brisket based and not fried seafood.

We later headed to Wynnorr Farms - I in hope that the weeks rains had encouraged a new batch of yellow "Incredible" corn. Alas, it takes both heat and rain to mature corn - only choice today was white corn. OK, but not incredible. Got some nice nectarines and peaches though along with a promise that next weekend promises a some great corn.


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

Twitter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

gallery_23992_6155_51929.jpg

this is so lame of me, given the paper cup....which for the place is authentic and appropriate....but, gawd, the manager in me just wants to 'wipe' the rim and clean off that stray stew!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The smoked brisket gumbo is one of the most delicious things ever. I am hoarding the last bit of it that was delivered to my sweaty little palms by a kind Gumbo Fairy. My coworkers were mightily jealous, and didn't get to try any by virtue of going home before me. More for me. YAY!

Damn I wish this place was open earlier in the week! I'd totally be there on my days off. Any chance they'll move to larger and more convenient (read: open more often) quarters now that the word is out and they're getting some press?

To the kind Gumbo Fairy (and you know who you are):

Have I told you lately that I :wub: you? :smile:


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.