Johnson's Boucanière: Outlandishly Good Gumbo!
We wanted to sample a taste of the local cuisine, but a) were traveling with our doggy pal, and b) weren't excited about paying the prices we were seeing on the menus of the better-known local Cajun and seafood places. Nancy had noticed a rustic-looking little place a block from the cathedral, so we decided to check this one out, too.
Serendipity triumphs over planning again. Yes, Johnson's Boucanière* is rustic, but in a fun and comfortable sort of way. The only tables are outside on the porch, and it was a cool, rainy evening so we decided on takeout, which is always easier when traveling with a pet, anyway.
We each ordered a small bowl of chicken & sausage gumbo, a smoked meat sandwich, and a side of slaw (always a good idea when ordering foods that just might be spicy).
* boucanière is French for smokehouse
Favorite Dish: We both loved the chicken & sausage gumbo! I'm not normally a big fan of gumbo, but the seasonings in this one were pleasing, with just a little kick - not enough to set off serious heartburn, and there were generous portions of meat, including several types of sausage made there in the shop. No seafood is included, and I was pleased to notice that okra was missing as well. (Perhaps okra is included when it is fresh, in season.)
[About that gumbo: I have been informed by folks professing to be experts on the matter that whatever we had was not gumbo! If it doesn't include seafood and okra, it simply is not gumbo. Whatever. We both like it, so I don't really give a rip what gumbo "elitests" think.]
- Food and Dining
- Budget Travel
Chris' Po Boys: World's Best Po Boy Sandwiches
Small, unassuming cafe-type retaurant that you wouldn't look twice at unless you knew how good the food was.
Favorite Dish: The shrimp po boys are awesome. The freshest bread and cabbage with cajun fried shrimp have left a permanent impression on my tounge. If I didn't live 2500 miles away, I'd eat there once a week.
Copeland's: Best Franchise Restaurant
Copeland's is a chain restaurant, but damn it's good. Ambiance, from decor to music and staff hospitality reflects the best of class cajun country has to offer. If I had the $$$, I'd open one in California.
Favorite Dish: Spinach and artichoke dip is served with fried bowtie pasta, and it's wonderful. In fact, all the appetizers are great and I could just order those and a hurricane and be happy (and fat) for days. DON'T order the crash and burn by yourself unless you like sweet drinks and, well...you want to crash and burn out.
Nimbeaux's: Watch the service!
We went to Lafayette to eat cajun/creole. This was our first meal when we arrived, lunchtime. Ordered cups of gumbo and asked, TWICE, to have it brought First/as an appetizer, etc. It came AFTER the entree and only then after we asked where it was!!!! Waitress blamed it on the kitchen...which obviously was not true...she should have checked on it. Spoiled what would have been a good experience, I believe. The gumbo was very spicey but good. We had their fried catfish special, which was also good, fresh. They seemed to have a fairly good lunchtime crowd of business locals. I believe we were the only "out of state" customers in the room.
Favorite Dish: Gumbo, maybe if you want it first, don't order your entree until after you get the gumbo!!
Randol's: Go late enough to enjoy the music!
Live music every night. Great oysters on the 1/2 shell. They have huge dance floor glassed off separate and band started t 6:30 p.m. Floor crowded most of the time. Only problem is they have closed circuit tv playing tapes of other nights which they did not turn off! Were still able to hear the 'live' band & enjoy the dancers tho. Hubby got doz oysters & then the crawfish etouffee. I had seafood platter. All very, very good. Server was very attentive, knowledgeable, friendly, etc. Highly recommend for a good cajun experience!!
Favorite Dish: Raw oysters + Seafood platter which had frog leg, fried oysters, shrimp, fish (catfish) and stuffed crab. All tasted very fresh.
- Food and Dining
Prejean's: We weren't impressed!
Prejean's is advertised as "award winning cuisine, live cajun music & casual fun!" Sure it is.
Huge open dining area, Very loud with everyone talking, yelling, etc. In fact, so loud, it was very hard to hear the poor cajun band, whom nobody even clapped for at the end of the first piece until we did! I had the snapper ponchatrain, which was very good itself. Hubby had the ctfish oscar, again itself very good. The salads had brown lettuce. The baked potatoes were absolutely HORRIBLE!! They were inferior quality potatoes, no way Idaho bakers, and were overdone to the point of yellowish/too firm. Couldn't complain to our server, because we never saw him after he brought food until he brought the check!! We'd gone to Louisiana to enjoy the cajun/creole food and this was a disappointing experience. On the + side, they had a sign saying they have "shaded, locked kennels" available for travelers with pets. Very nice touch!
Favorite Dish: See above
- Travel with Pets
- Family Travel
Le Cuisine de Maman: Great Creole/Cajun Food
I love Creole/Cajun food and the restaurant on the grounds of Vermillionville has great food served buffet style. It is all you can eat too. I think it was about $12, and was worth every penny.
Favorite Dish: Great seafood and a superb shrimp chowder.
- Food and Dining
- Historical Travel
Southside Bakery: Best Burgers in Lafayette
The Southside Bakery has the best burgers in Lafayette, hands down. They recently took tops in Lafayette, beating the longtime favorite Judice Inn. Their burgers are spicy and their pastries are not to be missed. I plan on getting one next time I am back in my hometown.
Blue Dog Cafe'
Blue Dog Cafe'
Favorite Dish: The Award winning Crayfish Won tons were created by their resident chef are the best horderves Ive ever eaten and the Corn and Crab Bisque...yumm is the best $4.50 you can spend in Lafayette. Blue Dog Cafe is owned by Rodrigue an artist who paints almost exclusively blue dogs and Cajun scenes so his paintings fill the restaurant. The sunday brunch is the best in town.
CC's Coffeehouses: Relax with some of the South's Best Coffee
Community Coffee (the south's best loved Coffee since 1919) started CC's Coffeehouses in 1995 and hasn't looked back since. The first started in New Orleans on Magazine Street and then they spread throughout New Olreans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette. The Coffeehouses are laid back and have such a friendly atmoshphere. And the Coffee is unbeatable! Find one of the four in Lafayette and check them out if you like you Coffee served hot with great conversation.
Favorite Dish: Grande Mocha with the "works" or just a good old fashioned cup of Au Lait served New Orleans Style.
Zea's: One of Lafayette's Best and not so Pricey
Once inside Zea's you will find yourself in a very relaxed and comfortable setting. The waitstaff is customer oriented and the food is outstanding.
Favorite Dish: Thai Ribs with a Ceasar Salad and Corn Grits. Not to be missed!
Prejean's Restaurant: Award Winning Cajun Cuisine @ Prejean's
Pure Cajun-French ambience with Acadian relics decoration. Big Al, the 14-foot alligator captured in the Louisiana swamp of Grand Chenier, sits in the middle of the dining room. Live Cajun music nightly from 7pm & a small dance floor (you might have a glimpse at some Cajun dance)
Alligator, fresh seafood, steaks etc.
Breakfast & lunch too! Open 7am - 10/11pm daily.
Favorite Dish: Crawfish Platter: fried crawfish, crawfish etouffee, crawfish pie, crawfish boulettes & crawfish bisque, served with Cajun fries, dirty rice and a fried crawfish salad.
WOW!! Crawfish heaven if you're a seafood lover and big eater too!! (you can take home leftovers if you can't finish) Great way to sample the Cajun cuisine.
- Arts and Culture
Chili's Grill & Bar: Have a Chili Value Meal
Casual dining & family restaurant with a mixture of Mexican & American food.
Some of the picks:
Mix of grilled American favourites, fajitas, burgers, steaks, boneless buffalo wings, Southwestern Eggrolls...
For Margarita lovers...quite a range to choose from!
Nice atmosphere, but be prepare to wait to be seated!!
Favorite Dish: New on the menu:
Mix & Match Grill - choice of 2 grilled mains, with steamed broccoli & mashed potatoes. Choices are grilled baby back ribs, grilled salmon w/ garlic & herbs, grilled shrimps ... (can't remember the others, but at least one of them is chicken).
Judice Inn: Older than McDonalds
The Judice Inn has been operated by the Judice family since 1947. The inn serves hamburgers, cheeseburgers, cold drinks and beer. To complete the authentic 1950s dining experience, end your meal with some old-fashioned ice cream.
- Food and Dining
- Beer Tasting
Restaurants in Lafayette: Restaurants from someone born and raised here!
From someone who was born in Lafayette and has lived here 33 years here is where to eat. So you want to eat:
Burgers: Go to Pete's or Judice Inn. Both of these places are nothing pretty to look at but the burgers are great!
Po-Boys: Olde Tyme Grocery is hands down the best po-boy in town and is consistently voted #1 every year in a local newspaper poll. Chris' and Juliens are runner ups and make good po-boys. However when we have visitors in from out of town we take them to Olde Tyme. The place is small and gets very crowded but it is SO worth it!
Seafood: You ask me where I want to go eat and here's where I'm going.
Blue Dog Cafe (try the Sherwood Forest Brie Bisque, Seafood Wantons and pretty much anything else!), Prejeans (great cajun music and the food is always terrific). Lafayette's Restaurant, Nimbeaux's (hard to find but the food is delicious and priced right and the owners are the sweetest!), Dons Downtown, Richards in Abbeville and Blacks in Abbeville.
Boiled crawfish: Dwights, Crawfish Time, Gator Cove, Deaneaux's
You can't go wrong with any of these places. Randols and Mulates are good but too touristy and the food quality has gone down. Many people I know won't eat at either place.
Favorite Dish: Crawfish/shrimp and tasso pasta, fried seafood (try alligator!), seafood gumbo, crawfish ettoufee, crawfish bisque, boiled crawfish, crab au gratin, crab cakes.
Our food is the best in the world so eat up. Warning: our food is NOT healthy and we like it that way! Stay here too long and you will gain weight - just ask my Colorado native husband :-)
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