“Egad!” I exclaimed to Chuck. “Do you know what day this is?” In response to his quizzical look, I explained, “It’s Mother’s Day. It’s the busiest day of the restaurant year.”
Why is this important? Because our plan was to mosey on up the Interstate a piece and have a leisurely lunch at Chef Roy’s Frog City Café in Rayne, LA—one of our all-time favorite restaurants any time, any where.
So we placed a quick call to see if we were too late to get lunch reservations. “We’re not taking reservations today,” responded the friendly voice on the phone. Did we take a chance and “wing” it? Yes, we did.
We arrived at just about noon to find the parking lot full of cars.
Over the course of our conversation we learned: that the line began forming at 9:30 a.m. for the 11:00 a.m. opening; that by 11:00 there were about 250 diners in line; that on Mother’s Day 2012 they served over 500 people between 11:00 and 2:00 p.m.; that they were using both the main dining room (in which we were seated) and the back room normally used for banquets and receptions to handle the crowd; and that he and his wife are expecting the birth of their first son. Oh, and he is considering purchasing a small RV for weekend use.
It has become tradition on Mother’s day to gather the entire staff—and it truly is “all hands on deck” on Mother’s Day—in the large entry lobby. There “Coach Robert” gives a pep talk, explains the menu, and serves everyone a pre-opening Mimosa.
And again, how good is Robert? During our conversation he turns to me and says, “You really like the Crawfish Napoleon. It’s a good thing it’s on the menu.” And this rememberance after our not having been here for a year!
We both decided to begin with one of the four “starter” choices. For me, it was a cup of shrimp gumbo.
For Chuck it was the crab and corn soup. Corn and crab are one of the world’s most perfect food combinations—especially when combined with a small amount of red bell pepper and scallions and served in a cheesy cream base.
Salads—along with a basket of fresh warm rolls—came with each of our entrées, but we figure that you know what salad looks like. Well, you probably know what rolls look like, too.
Before describing each of our entrées, I need to mention that neither of us is fond of eggplant. In my case, it was one of those unfortunate college dining room experiences. In Chuck’s case—well, I really don’t know why. But, for some unexplainable reason, we view eggplant differently when in Louisiana.
Chuck’s entrée choice was the Crab White Lake—fried slices of eggplant topped with a crab cake/crab stuffing and then covered with crab boutte sauce. I can’t find any information on boutte, but this was a creamy sauce that I suspect (from the faint sweet undertones) contained some white wine in addition to Cajun/Creole seasoning and a good amount of crab.
While I always think that I should try something new when dining at Chef Roy’s, I always go back to the Crawfish Napoleon. This is two stacked slices of fried eggplant with crawfish tails between them and then covered with a crawfish cheese sauce containing a copious amount of crawfish tails.
With my entrée I had the choice of either fries or twice baked potato. I selected the latter but did take it home with me to have with breakfast tomorrow.
Chef Roy’s remains a favorite. Everyone is welcome. Everyone is comfortable. This is fine dining in a non-frou frou atmosphere. It is 5.0 Addie eats.
To review the role of Adler and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.
* The title of a program on the Travel Channel starring Anthony Bourdain.