Sunday, August 25, 2013

We Visit Our New Old Friends

By that I am not talking about age. I mean that, while we have only known Johnny and Coatney Raymond since mid-May, it seems we have known them for a long time.

Johnny and Coatney, along with David Buck, own Buck & Johnny’s Restaurant in Breaux Bridge (about ten miles east of Lafayette), a restaurant that is a little bit Cajun, a little bit Italian, and a whole lot friendly.

"The ambiance of the old Domigues Motors building has been maintained through oil can light fixtures and old tin signs that hang throughout the two-story building offering a unique dining experience. The addition of a loft, a balcony and a patio adds to the homey atmosphere for a family night out, a special occasion or a romantic dinner for two” (

Following Chuck’s recuperation, we have visited this restaurant three times since our initial visits (blogs of May 21st and 22nd).

On our first post-surgery stop, we arrived just as Johnny and Coatney were leaving for the day. But we were in the more than capable hands of Erin, a young woman that Coatney is grooming to assist her in the restaurant’s day-to-day operations.

Both of us were in a pasta frame of mind on that visit and both of our pasta selections included a small salad. Chuck selected the house green salad with very crisp romaine, tomatoes, red onion rings, grated parmesan cheese, and a delicious house-made ranch dressing.
I ordered the side Caesar made with the same crisp romaine that was topped with shaved parmesan.
This was one of the best versions of Caesar dressing ever. It was very cheesy. It was very garlicky. And was that a touch of heat that I detected? I am looking carefully at each forkful. What was that? Is that a speck of red pepper I see? Yes, it was, as I learned on a later visit. Just enough red pepper to elevate this dressing from the normal to the extraordinary.

I was sure that Chuck was going to order the Fresca (fresh basil, garlic, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, parmesan and, herb butter) over Angel Hair, but he surprised me and chose the Fettuccine Alfredo.
The nicely cooked pasta (a bit past al dente but far from mushy) was tossed with a sauce that was neither too cheesy nor too rich.
My choice was between the Pasta Cecilia over Penne (shrimp, crabmeat, crawfish [in season], spinach, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and, sherry cream sauce) or the Spicy Scampi over Penne. I went with the latter.
This was a large bowl of penne tossed with garlic bacon butter, shrimp, tasso, smoked chaurice, and jalapenos. Lots and lots of jalapenos. They weren’t kidding when they called this Spicy Scampi.

I really don’t know the difference between andouille and chaurice, but I am sure that upon tasting each a Cajun would know which is which. Chaurice is a “very spicy, hot Creole pork sausage. Made with pork butt or shoulder. Seasoned with onion, garlic, cayenne pepper, chili powder, crushed red pepper, salt, ground red pepper, thyme and parsley. It is similar to Spanish ‘chorizo’ sausage” (

Time for dessert. With my mouth ablaze (Did I mention how spicy my pasta was?), I had one of my very occasional brainstorms. If we are having the bread pudding, why not get a scoop of ice cream with it?
This made an already wonderful dessert even better.

A week later we returned. This time Johnny and Coatney were in the house, but since they were involved in a high-level business confab, we only had a few moments to talk with them.

We started with an order of Johnny's Drunken Shrimp which are marinated in Abita Turbo Dog beer.
I have finally decided that these are a cross between the Asian Shrimp served at Asian Noodle Bar in Albuquerque and the Prawns with Honey Walnuts served at Hunan Home’s in San Francisco.

Today was pizza day and we ordered the large cheese (light on the cheese) and sausage pizza.
And we ended with the bread pudding a la mode.
We wanted to make one last visit before leaving Lafayette and this time we were able to have an extended conversation with Coatney. Do you remember that, in my first Buck & Johnny’s blog, I described Coatney as “a dynamo in human form”? Well, Coatney has taken on a new responsibility. She is now the president of the newly formed Breaux Bridge Downtown Merchants Association. She has big plans for events to attract visitors to downtown Breaux Bridge with at least one event each month—if not more. Her pet—pun intended—project is scheduled for November, “Beaucoup Chiens/Beaucoup Vin.” Yes, a dogs and wine extravaganza. And the person who sells the most event tickets has her/his dog crowned Roi Chien or Reine Chien. You know, a lot of neat stuff happens here in the fall. We need to be there.

We began with an order of the Crabmeat Crostini—four toasted bread rounds topped with a crab and breadcrumb mixture. This came with a cup of lemony and peppery remoulade—the remains of which I brought home with me. (These were so good that my photographer forgot he was supposed to take a photo before taking a sample.)

We will soon be bouncing our way west and for most of the trip our layovers will be for one night only which will leave us with not much time to investigate restaurant options. Where will our next pizza come from? Better take advantage of the opportunity presented now.

So we indulged—perhaps even over indulged—in two twelve-inch pies,
one the Classic Margherita
and the other your basic cheese and sausage.
As they came to the table, Chuck turned to Coatney and said “Coatney, we are pizza snobs. Do you realize just how good your pizza is?” It is so good that when talking with a Lafayette businessperson who lives in Cecilia (just north of Breaux Bridge), he replied “The pizza place” when we mentioned Buck & Johnny’s.

Before we left, Coatney introduced us to Kim, an Irish documentary film-maker.
Kim was in Breaux Bridge to make a film about an Irish woman boxer who, when it was illegal for women to box in Ireland, came to the Breaux Bridge area to train and then to box in the United States.

As we left, Kim was interviewing Johnny so we only had the chance to wave our good-byes. We’ll see you next year for more 5.0 Addie eats and more 5.0 Addie hospitality.

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

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