Cajun Cafe [3/5]
3.67 (73.33%) 3 votes

Cajun Cafe
Down south Parkway and over the bridge, just south of the city limits, is small, family owned restaurant called Cajun Cafe. Open for lunch and dinner just three days a week (Thur-Sat) they draw a crowd of regulars with their Cajun classics (including fried gator tail appetizers for the brave). The hubby and I stopped in for dinner one Friday, drawn by rave reviews from friends and coworkers.

I was delighted with the atmosphere–fishing nets filled with plastic crabs hung from the ceiling, New Orleans themed cartoons and posters shared with walls with large poster board collages of happy customers. Spicy peanuts, available for purchase, were available to munch on while you waited for your food to come up. This was a local place that felt local in a way few restaurants do.

After being greeted by the owner, who gave us the run down on the menu, we placed our order, filled up our drinks and took a table. The AC was overly loud, making conversation difficult but the outdoor tables had the rumble of cars passing on the Parkway, which made it equally noisy. The tea ran to the weak side, but was still strong enough to be passable.

Our food was up in short order and brought to our table. I had opted for the sausage sampler with sides of baked beans and potato salad. The dinner plates offered a choice of french bread or hushpuppies, and, on a quest to determine what everyone thinks is so great about hushpuppies, I went with those.

The sampler consisted of 5 half sausages, two of which appeared to be the same. The first was large, mild, and greasy. It reminded me of nothing so much as a very large, slightly more flavorful hot dog. The second was drier, with a firmer texture, moderately spicy with small green flecks. This was my favorite of the four. The third was another dry, firm sausage with a dark red casing. It was, by far, the spiciest and while it was good, it was far too spicy for my taste. The final sausage was more like a meatloaf packed in a sausage casing–a very loose mixture of meat and rice that disintegrated as soon as you cut into it. I found the mushy texture unappealing enough to override the flavor.

The baked beans were sweet with a touch of vinegar, but not remarkable, reminding me strongly of generic canned baked beans. The potato salad was bland, with a somewhat gritty texture and a sharp aftertaste.

The hushpuppies had a deliciously crunchy exterior, lined with onions, and a soft interior. I liked the addition of the onions as it lent some sweetness and flavor to the cornmeal and I enjoyed the hushpuppies. I still can’t say I see the general appeal of them though–I would much prefer something to be in my fried cornmeal other than just more corn meal. My husband thought they were absolutely fabulous, giving them an enthusiastic “Very good!” with his first bite.

The hubby ordered a half chicken plate with potato salad, red beans and rice, and hushpuppies.

Cajun Cafe
He was complimentary of the red beans and rice, saying that they were quite good and had a bit of a kick. The standard barbeque sauce, served on the table, was a sweet sauce with a strong whiskey afterburn. On the chicken, the hubby found it provided a nice kick.

Overall, this would be a fun place to bring out of town visitors looking for that “Southern” feel but it’s not someplace I’ll be becoming a regular at.

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