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Lafayette Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations


dischutz
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Oh my, is that the REAL Marcelle Bienvenu?  Cool...  I'm looking forward to picking up your new book while I'm home.

I should have included Charley G's in my original list.  I actually used to work for Charlie when he had a share in Hub City Diner.

Yes, it's really me. I just joined the eGullet Society and am enjoying it tremendously. The book is available at Barnes & Noble and Lily's in the Oil Center (housed in the Bella Luna store next to the Kitchenary). If you're going to be in Lafayette February 4, there will be a book signing for STIR THE POT at Barnes & Noble at 6:30. A Cajun band will also be on hand as well as some hot boudin to munch on. Come join us.

Marcelle, welcome to eGullet! It's good to see that you found the place. I hope you explore the other areas of the site, as there are a huge number of interesting and smart foodie people posting here, and tons of fascinating threads. Bienvenu!

Dear Food: I hate myself for loving you.

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  • 3 weeks later...

<(side note -- anyone have suggestions for serving savory cheesecake as an hors d'oeuvre? -- is a fork required?) >

Try these: http://ww2.williams-sonoma.com/sch/kwd.cfm...er=1&action=KWD

Individiual cheesecake pan from Williams-Sonoma. It is great. Easy to use and extract the cheesecakes. No fork needed when eating.

Hey y'all, just wanted to follow up now that I'm back home.  First, let me apologize for not taking many food pics.  I'd be a horrible blogger.  And yes, I will blame my two small children in large part.

The breakfast feast at my friend's mother's house was yummy.  The highlights were her homegrown satsumas:

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We brought about a dozen home.  Should have brought more.

and cheese biscuits:

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Sarah's cheese biscuits are legendary in our little circle of friends.  Whenever we had sleepovers she'd make these for our breakfast.  What kills me is that she makes them with Pioneer biscuit mix.  Maybe all the cheddar disguises the fact that it's a mix.  She gave me the parfait glass with which she used to cut the biscuits until her son dropped and and broke the bottom of the glass.  Sarah reports that when the glass fell, I cursed her son for not respecting the biscuit cutter.

The fare at the wedding was standard Catholic Cajun fare.  Boudin balls, roast beef, open bar.  Nothing to exciting, and not a single crudite in sight.  I found that a bit strange.  The cakes were AWESOME though.  My cousin (mother of the bride) couldn't remember the name of the baker, but I'm pretty sure it must have been Mrs. Short (Kathleen?).  There was THE cake plus about 8 other cakes, I suppose in lieu of a single groom's cake.  Tres leches, coconut, red velvet, carrot, and others I don't recall.  The red velvet was hands down the best I've ever had.  The others were excellent too.  Only drawback was that they were so moist that they were difficult to serve.

On Sunday, we headed to Baton Rouge to meet up with friends.  At lunch we met another family at The Chimes East (The Chimes near LSU just opened a new store on Coursey -- much bigger and much more of a "family" restaurant than the original.)  I was disappointed in my order -- grilled amberjack with crawfish bearnaise sauce.  The crawfish were mealy and the sauce was obviously made to far ahead.  I would have prefered the fish by itself.

My parents had said that they wanted to take treat us to a restaurant of our choosing.  My dad has a very narrow view of what makes a good restaurant, so I suggested that my parents choose between Zea (one of their suggestions) and Guama's.  They chose Zea, apparently a local chain focusing on rotisserie items.  If I had to choose a chain, Zea would likely get my vote.  This was not cutting edge cuisine, but a simply solid menu and ambience that will appeal to a wide audience.  I had a very nice spinach salad and redfish with a nice topping of shrimp etoufee.  Sides were collard greens and roasted corn grits.  Nice.  This was my best seafood entree the whole trip.

Thursday night we went to Cafe des Amis where one of the chefs is a friend of a friend.  Turned out he wasn't there, even though we'd coordinated to go on one of his work nights.  Bummer.  The apps outshone the entrees that night.  The chef sent out pecan encrusted shrimp with Turbo (Abita beer) butter sauce.  We also ordered the crab cheesecake, which was more on the quiche side of a cheesecake, but quite good.  (side note -- anyone have suggestions for serving savory cheesecake as an hors d'oeuvre? -- is a fork required?)  The BBQ shrimp was the best entree.  Nice big gulf shrimp and a thick brown sauce, french bread toast points.  We also had crawfish fettucine (mediocre) and drum topped with a crab/crawfish sauce (again, the sauce was disappointing, and the fish was fishy.)  The white chocolate bread pudding rocked.  They get points for decor and ambiance -- lots of cool folk art.  And the antique bar was at the Hotel Evangeline in Lafayette -- where my parents first met 40+ years ago.

I knew I wanted some killer biscuits before we left town, but felt like Dwyer's would have been too much of a production for us.  So on Friday morning we had breakfast at Edie's Express at Bendel Gardens.  We ordered the $3 platter with 3 eggs, sausage/bacon, and a biscuit, and the biscuits stole the show, of course.  Absolutely gorgeous and feather light.

We never made it to Poupart's but my dad did pick up a baguette for dinner on Friday night.  One of my last carb splurges before coming home.

Speaking of carb splurge, a family friend brought over some homegrown lemons with which I made some killer lemon bars.  The two remaining lemons are in my fridge.

The other treat we brought home was some olive salad from Cedar Grocery.  Totally forgot about going to Central Grocery when we were in NO.  Ooops!

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  • 1 year later...

I am bumping this up as I just returned from a weekend in the Lafayette/New Iberia area. We had a great time and ate way too much incredible food (which was the entire purpose of the trip.)

Friday, we stopped in Opelousas for a late lunch. We wanted to avoid all chain and fast food restaurants. We pulled off the interstate and just started looking for a place in the downtown area. We ended up at The Palace Cafe .

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It is an old family-owned place across from the courthouse. I looks much the same now as it did during the 50s. The owners are there each day manning the cash register. There are picures of each generation of owners behind the counter. I am pretty sure we were the only people there from out of town.

We got the sweet potatoes, the shrimp etoufee and a shrimp cocktail. We were eating light as it was already 3 p.m. The food wasn't anything to blow you away, but it was good and very inexpensive. The stop was worth it for the atmosphere of the place alone.

After we arrived in New Iberia and checked into our hotel, which was the Comfort Suites and should be avoided at all costs, we consulted the pages I had printed out from this thread for supper ideas.

We decided to drive into Lafayette for supper at Don's Seafood Hut . It is not part of the regional Don's Seafood chain (of which there is a location in Shreveport, where we live.)

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Sorry for the poor picture quality. I am still learnign how to use my camera. Also, I have yet to work up the gumption to take shots inside resturnats. So, no food pics.

It was only 7 p.m., but the place was packed. We had a very pleasant 15 minute wait outside. Once seated, I was struck by what a fun atmosphere this place had. Eveyone was having fun and talking and laughing. It was not a quiet place, but one that was filled with groups of people really enjoying their evening.

We started off with a dozen raw oysters and the fried alligator. The oysters were huge-I mean really fat and juicy and enormous. Each one was a bite of salty goodness. I thought their size must be an anomoly, but I woudl soon learn that this is the norm in these parts during this time of year. The alligator was fried perfectly and very good.

My husband ordered five pounds of boiled crawfish for his meal and I ordered the boiled peel and eat shrimp. The crawfish were nice and big and juicy. They could have been a little spicier for our taste, but they all disappeared. My shrimp were terrific. The were boiled with potatoes, onions and bell peppers that had soaked up all the spicy goodness. We cleaned our plates.

The next mornign, we skipped breakfast, as neither of use are big breakfast eaters and we were still a little full from the night before. I had read on this thread about the three oyster houses in Abbeville and wanted to go. The guys at the Tourist Information Cneter in New Iberia (who were very helpful and extremely friendly) told us one of the three, Black's, had recently closed for good. They also gave us a tip on where to eat supper that night and hear some good cajun music.

So, off we went to Abbeville, just down Hwy. 14, to eat oysters. The first place we came to was Shuck's. We decided to find Dupuy's Oyster House first and then come back to Shuck's. Dupuy's is about 3/4 mile up the road from Shuck's. It is just off the main square and right next door to the now closed Blacks.

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It was still before noon, so Dupuy's was just starting to get busy. Since we planned on going to Shuck's as soon as we left Dupuy's, we din't order too much. We had a dozen raw oysters and a bowl of seafood gumbo. These oysters were even bigger than the ones at Don's. They were absolutly fabulous. I was in heaven. The gumbo was a deep brown color and full of seafood. There was no okra, but the roux had been cooked just right so that it still kind of coated the spoon. The service was some of the friendliest I have ever experienced. The prices were great and they had some lunch specials that looked very inventive.

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By the time we got to Shuck's, the parking lot had really filled up. It is an open and bright place inside. Lots of families inside. I ordered a Corona when I sat down, but then noticed glass bottle Cokes on several of the tables and changed my order. I love glass bottle Cokes.

We got the fried oyster dinner and a half dozen raw oysters and the peel and eat shrimp appetizer. The fried oysters where good, fresh out of the grease and crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. The boiled shrimp were a bit of a suprise. When they came out, they were covered in a red butter suace. They seemed more like BBQ shrimp, not what I was hoping for. My husband liked them though. What ever disappointment I felt over the shrimp went away when I tasted the oysters. I expected them to taste just like the ones I had just eaten at Dupuy's. They looked the same-big and plump. However, they had this amazing briny sweetness to them, much like oysters from the nothern United States. They were the best oysters of the whole trip. I asked the waitress why their's tated different from Dupuy's and she said it was because they have their own oyster beds. These were knock your socks off oysters. The shuckers are in a glass walled room in the back, so you can watch them do their thing.

For supper that evening, we decided to take the advice of the guys at the tourist center and try Landry's Steak and Seafood of New Iberia. The family that owns this local place is distantly related to the Landry's who own the chains, but they are in no way connected.

They have a weekend seafood buffet, but we decided to order from the menu. My husband ordered crawfish bisque for his appetizer. They don't serve raw oysters, so I couldn't get my thrid fix of the day. :wub:

The bisque was out of this world incredible. I thought my husband was goign to lift out of his chair he was so happy with it.

We both ordered more boiled crawfish and I also ordered boiled shrimp. These shrimp came out looking just I expected them to and were spiced really well. They were spicy , but not too salty, just like I like them. The crawfish was spicier than what we had at Don's. Somehow, we both managed to eat everything and my husband, trooper that he is, manged to eat a pice of bread pudding. It was a great meal. It was laid-back and casual, with no rush and a roll of paper towels on the table.

There is live music on Friday and Saturday nights. The band that night was great. However, if you want to be able to converse with your fellow diners, ask to be seated in the main dining room.

Sorry, no picture of Landry's. We were too full to remember to take one. The only other food related thing we did was stop by Maurice on the way home Sunday to stock up at Herbert's Specialty Meats. We now have a freezer full of stuffed chickens, boudin and alligator sausage. The trip was wonderful and we might make it a yearly affair.

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent. Epicetus

Amanda Newton

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This sign cracks me up. "make your Lenten sacrifice of giving up meat by gorging on fish here"! I never felt like I was giving much up by feasting on crawfish on a Friday afternoon.

Bridget Avila

My Blog

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Nice report! Hope to be down there in June visiting family. How was the music? :biggrin:

Glad you mentioned Don's Seafood Hut. My wife's FAVORITE bread pudding, served soft and warm with cream. We never miss it when we are down there.

You will see roux-based gumbos or okra-based gumbos but not a mix of the roux and okra in that area, if they are old-timey. That's more like NOLA. I like them both.

Edited by My Confusing Horoscope (log)

Scorpio

You'll be surprised to find out that Congress is empowered to forcibly sublet your apartment for the summer.

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Nice report! Hope to be down there in June visiting family. How was the music?  :biggrin:

Glad you mentioned Don's Seafood Hut. My wife's FAVORITE bread pudding, served soft and warm with cream. We never miss it when we are down there.

You will see roux-based gumbos or okra-based gumbos but not a mix of the roux and okra in that area, if they are old-timey. That's more like NOLA. I like them both.

We will have to try the bread pudding at Don's Seafood hut next time.

The music was terrific. We actually caught the tail-end of a band's set in a neraby lounge the night before. The lead singer had a voice that should have made him famous. We love zydeco and felt like the live music on the trip was a bonus.

At home, we almost always make a combo roux/okra gumbo. However, we don't turn up our nose at any good gumbo-and the stuff on this trip was top notch.

Be sure and let us know about your trip in June.

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent. Epicetus

Amanda Newton

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  • 2 months later...

Just back from a four day trip to Lafayette. Food wasn't so much the focus of my trip this time, but I am happy to report on some old favorites that are still good!

Boudin: Johnson's Grocery in Eunice is still the best! Same place but it's now called Raymond Grocery and it's open everyday! I like their spices and their ratio of meat to rice. It's tight in the casing and and crisp enough to eat, which I prefer to the rubbery casing at Hebert's Specialty Meats in Maurice

Boudin and cracklins: Best Stop in Scott.

Seafood gumbo: Don's in Lafayette. The original one downtown on Lee. I wish I could make it their way. Dark but thin and very spicy.

Poboys: Chris's Poboys, the one in the Shell gas station on Ambassador Caffery. I was so disappointed a couple of years ago when the one downtown on Jefferson Street closed. My last one there, the pork roast, was dry. I think the place was going downhill. It sure seemed odd that it would reopen in a gas station, so I hadn't tried it until now. Well, I am going back for sure! It's the oddest gas station I have ever seen. You pump gas alright but when you go in to pay it looks like a wine store with a restaurant in the back! No convenience store items, just wine and cigars and a little restaurant. Try the pork roast if you have never had one. It's back to form now. Soft French bread, thinly sliced pork roast seasoned well, their sauce which seems to be a mixture of drippings, mayo and mustard, shredded cabbage --- simple as can be but very delicious and drippy!

Wish I had pictures!

Scorpio

You'll be surprised to find out that Congress is empowered to forcibly sublet your apartment for the summer.

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Just back from a four day trip to Lafayette. Food wasn't so much the focus of my trip this time, but I am happy to report on some old favorites that are still good!

Boudin: Johnson's Grocery in Eunice is still the best! Same place but it's now called Raymond Grocery and it's open everyday! I like their spices and their ratio of meat to rice. It's tight in the casing and and crisp enough to eat, which I prefer to the rubbery casing at Hebert's Specialty Meats in Maurice

Boudin and cracklins: Best Stop in Scott.

Seafood gumbo: Don's in Lafayette. The original one downtown on Lee. I wish I could make it their way. Dark but thin and very spicy.

Poboys: Chris's Poboys, the one in the Shell gas station on Ambassador Caffery. I was so disappointed a couple of years ago when the one downtown on Jefferson Street closed. My last one there, the pork roast, was dry. I think the place was going downhill. It sure seemed odd that it would reopen in a gas station, so I hadn't tried it until now. Well, I am going back for sure! It's the oddest gas station I have ever seen. You pump gas alright but when you go in to pay it looks like a wine store with a restaurant in the back! No convenience store items, just wine and cigars and a little restaurant. Try the pork roast if you have never had one. It's back to form now. Soft French bread, thinly sliced pork roast seasoned well, their sauce which seems to be a  mixture of drippings, mayo and mustard, shredded cabbage --- simple as can be but very delicious and drippy!

Wish I had pictures!

Sounds like a great trip. I will have to pass on your recs to my husband. He spends alot of time working in the area. Anytime he can get good food at a gas station...well that's a great thing. :biggrin:

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent. Epicetus

Amanda Newton

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  • 6 months later...

Just wanted to spread the word about a new tapas restaurant in Downtown Lafayette, LA called Pamplona Tapas Bar. Great food! Superb atmosphere! And all Spanish wines (14 by the glass). Check it out: www.pamplonatapas.com

Also, check out the Saturday night d.j. & dancing (11pm to 2am). Fun stuff. :biggrin:

Julesy (Gypsy Foodist)

www.biscuitsbrioche.com

"It's So Beautifully Arranged On The Plate - You Know Someone's Fingers Have Been All Over It" – Julia Child

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just got back from a weekend trip to Lafayette. Great food was the mian reason for the trip (okay-the only reason.)

The first night we ate at Don's Seafood Hut. It was as wonderful as usual. It was 7:30 on a Friday during Mardi Gras, but we called ahead and only had to wait 25 minutes. The raw oysters were cold and briny. Very good. They did have a lot of shell in them, though. Husband got the friend alligator and loved it. For mains, we both got boiled crawfish. Very very good. The were decent sized for this time of year and had a good spice to them. They were firm and not mushy at all.

For lunch, we decided to try Tsunami on Jefferson Street. I am so glad we did. We don't have very good sushi here in Shreveport and it is always a treat to find a good place when we travel. We sat at the bar and Leon was our sushi chef. He was fabulous. We had sashimi and nigiri (great octopus) and a few rolls. We also had one of the best, most refreshing, sunomono salads I have ever had. They have real, groud wasabi and it was great. I do think they did something to preserve it though. It was so much better than powdered. He threw in a few baby octopus with one of my rolls and won all kinds of points with me since I love baby octopus. If they had been on the menu I would have ordred them. The space is very cool and loft-like. We will be back.

Saurday night we tried a new place, Randol's. They have live music and a dance floor. I had raw oysters again and my husband had the crawfish bisque. The oysters were the best of the trip. Perfectly shucked and the delightful coombination of sweet and briny. We ordered crawfish again. They were small, not very spicy and very soft. They say they steam their seafood instead of boiling and maybe that makes them softer. I ate them all, but Don's was better by a mile. My husband's bread pudding was "okay."

I would recommend this place for the music, cold beer and oysters. Not so much for the food.

For lunch our final day, we went to the Original Don's Seafood. We have a branch of this family-run business in Shreveport. They are reliable. Most anyone could find something they liked here. I had oysters again. They were sweet and shucked pretty well. My husband had really good fried soft shell crabs and I had boiled shrimp. They don't over cook shrimp here so they get extra points from me for that.

While down there, we managed to go by Hebert's in Maurice and bought 11 stuffed chickens. That place is always so busy and I know why. Really, if you are in the area, you should stop by.

We also went by Poupart's Bakery. My parents bought some of their basil bread years ago and wanted more. The bakery is charming and the bread is great. It looks like a thick crust perosnal pizza. Try the olive.

It was a great trip and I am ready to go back. Thank heavens crawfish seson is fianlly here.

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent. Epicetus

Amanda Newton

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  • 3 months later...

Made a quick trip through Lafayette last week.

I can confirm that the Chris's Poboys on Moss Street is still as good as ever! Some people swear by Old Tyme Grocery on St. Mary Street but I have always been partial to Chris's. I breathed the whole roast pork poboy. I wish Philadelphia people who are proud of their roast pork sub could compare it with what Chris's serves! So much flavor in the thinly cut, moist roast! Dressed with just some shredded cabbage and a combination of mayo and mustard sauce.

We also went to Pizza Village on Moss Street -- first time in years and as good as I remembered! My wife thought the combination on the Landry Special was odd, but it worked for me! Pepperoni, hamburger, shrimp, onion, and jalapeno. Their pizza doesn't seem to have a lot of tomato sauce on it, but it's got a crispy crust that is just delicious.

I had seafood gumbo at Don's Seafood Hut on Johnston street, at Shucks' in Abbeville, and at Gooloo's (Hebert's Steakhouse and Seafood) on Highway 14 between Abbeville and Kaplan. Don's was the winner! I think they must use garlic in it. It's just a bit different. Like so many of the places down there, they serve you a little dish of rice on the side so that you add just as much as you want to your bowl of gumbo. Don's also has our favorite bread pudding. The bread they use is the soft French bread, and the warm cream sauce has a bit of rum in it. Great!

Had a surprisingly good lunch one day at the Palace Cafe in Opelousas on the main drag across the street from the courthouse. Roast pork with rice and gravy and a "casserole" of eggplant and ground beef with just a bit of a tomato sauce. I never had it with the tomato sauce before. I believe I will try that next time I make it at home.

Poor Boy's Riverside Inn on the Broussard side of Lafayette continues to be a pleasure. One of the simplest things on the menu is also one of the most popular --a crab meat sautee that is something like Crab Norfolk in Maryland. You know the place is good if it is so out of the way but still packed on a Tuesday night.

Stocked up with a bunch of meats from Hebert's Specialty Meats in Maurice and we call it a successful trip!

Scorpio

You'll be surprised to find out that Congress is empowered to forcibly sublet your apartment for the summer.

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Thanks for the great report. We always try one or two new places when we are in LAfayette, but we always compare them to Don's Seafood Hut and it comes out on top. It is one of our all time favorites.

Poor Boy's Riverside Inn sounds really good. I checked out the menu online and it will be on our list the next time we head down there.

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent. Epicetus

Amanda Newton

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