just as quick as our lunch break between plantation tours.
The internet is a wonderful thing—especially for travelers. Otherwise, we probably wouldn’t have found B & C Seafood Riverside Market. In fact, we probably would have driven past assuming that this was a seafood market and not a combo market and café.
While I knew that there was a restaurant on the ground of Oak Alley—and one that for a tourist attraction got amazingly good reviews—I still wanted to find something more “mom and pop.” And reviews like this one by John Paul G. on yelp.com sealed the deal: “Out-standing little Cajun restaurant in Vacherie, LA....
(D)espite its location next to the tourist attractions that are plantations, it is solidly a local's place as well as tourist spot.
“...it is staffed by some of the finest, nicest people you'll likely ever meet. Having family from much of Louisiana, most of them swamp-footed Cajuns, I felt right at home here. Sat back and shot the breeze with them for a while. Was even greeted the minute I walked in the door (on the market side of the restaurant) by a friendly ol' Cajun fella who offered up a handshake and a smile. That set the tone right there and I knew I was in a great spot. The service was quick, friendly and attentive.”
The restaurant was fairly empty when we arrived just before noon, but soon was almost full to capacity with the diners being a mix of fellow travelers and locals. Just behind Chuck was a very large manly man who managed to devour three pounds of boiled crawfish and a pound of boiled shrimp in—at max—twenty minutes. He was an eating machine. I wish I could have gotten a photo of him but, in a rare burst of discretion, thought better of it.
Since the day was warm and humid and we had another plantation to visit, we wanted to eat light. This is not easy in Southern Louisiana. Chuck settled on a bowl of chicken and sausage gumbo that came with an ice cream scoop-size portion of potato salad. The gumbo had a nice intense dark roux flavor with plenty of smoke and spice from the sausage. This contained an abundance of shredded chicken along with numerous discs of sausage. Fortunately, the amount of rice was modest or otherwise it would have been “so much for a light lunch.” And using the technique of taking a small bit of potato salad on the spoon and then scooping up the gumbo resulted in an interesting taste combination.
I went with a cup of seafood gumbo (no photo) and an order of Crawfish Kickers. The gumbo was even better than the excellent one I ate at Bon Creole Lunch Counter in New Iberia and is now Number One on my seafood gumbo list. It was full of crab shreds and small shrimp in a roux-based broth that wasn’t as intense than Chuck’s gumbo. It must have been made with a house-made stock that imparted the flavor of seafood throughout. When I told our server how much I enjoyed this gumbo, she told us that the owner makes the gumbos every morning.
The Crawfish Kickers were a smaller version of the Crawfish Boulettes (small balls) I have eaten elsewhere. They are a mixture of crawfish, bread crumbs, green onion, and seasonings ground together, formed into balls, rolled in crumbs, and deep fat fried. These weren’t as finely ground as others I have eaten, which I enjoyed.
We really didn’t sample much of the menu, but since we both thoroughly enjoyed our selections, we give B & C Seafood a 4.0 Addie rating.
To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.