Thursday, August 29, 2013

Stuff Cajun People Like

#34 - Goin’ to Lafayette

“You non-Cajun readers might have the impression that Cajuns are a bunch of barefooted, foul-mouth, uncouth folks who go around shooting and making a gravy out of everything that moves. Well, you pretty much got dat right (just kidding), but every now and then we country (Ed. Note: offensive word deleted) yearn for a taste of civilization. Whenever we’re craving a night out on the town or a little fine dining, we put on our shoes, jump in the pickup truck, and take a trip to town, which for most Cajuns means one thing…we’re goin’ to Lafayette….

“…Lafayette’s a lot like any metro area, just scaled down a bit. Name a chain, and it’s probably got it. One notable exception is a shortage of Starbucks on every corner. Starbucks is replaced by CC’s Community Coffee Houses, though not at every corner. If you’re hungry, there are plenty of dining options, since Lafayette has one of the highest number of restaurants per capita of any US city (at least that’s what someone told me)…” (stuffcajunpeoplelike.wordpress.com).

Yes, there are some chains in Lafayette. But not all. The two largest national donut franchises steer clear of this city since there are so many small, local, and beloved donut shops. (We consider Meche’s the best, but not everyone agrees.) And the national seafood chain has no presence here. Why would anyone eat at Red Lobster when fresh and local seafood is available almost everywhere. So picky, or should I say discriminating, are the Lafayette residents, that we learned that national chains, when contemplating moving into Louisiana, use Lafayette as a pilot-project. The feeling is that if they can succeed in Lafayette, they can succeed elsewhere. So we end our Lafayette sojourn with return visits to two of our perennial favorites plus a newly discovered favorite.

So we will start with the tale of two good people—Gary Paul Roy and Marilynn Paule Fournet Adams—doing well. We wandered into their restaurant—2Paul's Radically Urban Barbecue—one noon to find only Marilyn in the house while Gary was out overseeing a catering job.
Big things are happening for Marilyn and Gary. They have signed a lease to open a second 2Paul’s in Broussard, LA (pronounced brew-sard) just 7.5 miles south of Lafayette. Gary will, taking some of the Lafayette store’s staff with him, oversee the new location leaving Marilyn to manage the Lafayette store.

But that isn’t all. On the same day they signed that lease, they also signed a lease on the empty storefront immediately next to the current restaurant. Plans are to combine the two spaces, and given the popularity of the current restaurant during our recent two lunches, space is needed.

Since I have described on many occasions the foods sampled, we’ll just show you the photos from our two most recent lunches. We start with Chuck’s Shredhead or pulled pork stuffed baked potato with cole slaw,
onion rings, and green beans
and move along to my pulled pork sandwich with sweet potato fries.
And our lemon cheesecake was the finishing touch to the meal.
And here is Chuck’s pulled pork sandwich that was accompanied by fries and onion rings


and my smoked sausage sandwich.
In our blog on June 2nd, we introduced you to what, along with Buck & Johnny’s (in Breaux Bridge), was one of our culinary finds of this trip—Brick & Spoon.

Like French Press (also in Lafayette), Brick & Spoon also serves lunch, but it is on the breakfast menu that I think the kitchen’s creativity comes through.
On our second visit, Chuck ordered the Stuffed French Toast Sliders—French toast stuffed with mascarpone cheese and whipped cream cheese and topped with strawberry compote.
The bread had an almost custard texture as if the chef had followed Alton Brown’s (Good Eats on the Food Network) recommendation to soak the bread in the egg mixture long enough to saturate it. This was the equal of the French toast that I had eaten at French Press (blog of July 30th).

I had a hard time deciding between the Shrimp and Grits, Shrimp and Tasso Mac N’ Cheese, Soft Shell Crab Benny, Oyster Bed Benedict, and the Korean BBQ Benedict and finally settled on the last.
The dish contained thin and tender strips of beef that had been marinated and/or cooked in a sauce that contained soy sauce and sugar and other unknown ingredients. The hollandaise had just the right touch of lemon to be somewhat piquant without being mouth puckering.

But the real stars were the two perfectly poached eggs. Perhaps the best poached eggs I have ever eaten. The whites were cooked just to the point of doneness which left the yolks so liquid that they poured onto the plate where they pooled with the Korean BBQ sauce and hollandaise and created an outrageously good taste medley. So good that I wanted to pick up the plate and lick it clean. But I resisted.
And we end with the best fried chicken anywhere—Sunny’s in Church Point.
I ordered my usual five whole wings (left in photo below), planning to take two home for later.
Chuck was to order his three-piece white along with a small fries and a small onion rings. So he went to the register and said to the woman taking orders: “I’ll have the ‘three-piece white’, two breasts and a wing.”

While he thought he was clarifying the “three-piece white,” the woman took his statement to mean something else—the “three-piece white” is actually two breasts and a wing, so he got – yes, that’s right – four breasts and two wings.

So after these 5.0 Addie pleasures, we start to make our way west in time to celebrate our Aunt Margaret’s 100th birthday. Everyone say, “Happy Birthday to Margaret!!!”

To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.

1 comment:

macie zoble said...

This is a fantastic blog. Great job showing the wonderful places to eat here in Louisiana. Two things we love to do here in Lafayette. Have a good time and eat great food. I am so happy you guys enjoyed being here and are sharing the experience.
-Macie