Posts Tagged ‘Lafayette’

Lafayette Quickie – Prejean’s Restaurant

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014 by virginia


When I was researching Lafayette restaurants, Prejean’s came up often in my searches. The reviews were mixed; some said it shouldn’t be missed, others wrote it off as being too touristy. When we checked into our hotel, they offered us coupons from Prejean’s that advertised a free gumbo if we ate there and presented the card. To be honest, that was a bit of a turnoff for me, and I was ready to pass on going but when the restaurant that we wanted to try closed for lunch earlier than we expected, Prejean’s was our only option.

I really wanted to have crawfish etouffee while in the heart of Cajun country, but we were also pretty full from the three pounds of boiled crawfish that we had just put away, so I had Josh order just a side of etouffee rather than a whole entree. I figured it would be much less food, plus we had to eat in the car because J had fallen asleep on the drive over from Breaux Bridge, and we didn’t want to disturb her. The serving was a big cupful and more than enough. The sauce was buttery and creamy – very rich. There were tons of crawfish tails mixed in, which I appreciated. We spooned the etouffee over the white rice they provided on the side, and it was a wonderfully hearty and homey combination. The etouffee was a bit on the sweeter side, and had lots of paprika and other seasonings. I think we liked the original etouffee we tasted at the Acme Oyster House better, but this was still a good version.

Crawfish etouffee with rice

Crawfish etouffee with rice

We also got a crawfish enchilada appetizer, which is supposed to be another one of their specialties. The enchilada was actually pretty tasty, with lots of cheese melted on top and some tomato-y crawfish sauce to round out the flavor. I wished there were more crawfish tails wrapped inside the enchilada though, as they got a bit lost underneath all the cheese and sauce. But it was a nice twist on a shrimp enchilada, and I’m glad to have tried it.

Crawfish enchilada appetizer

Crawfish enchilada appetizer

Overall I don’t know if we could really pass judgment on Prejean’s, as we only got an appetizer and a side dish to go. The food we tasted was good but didn’t blow our minds. If we ever do make it back to Lafayette, there are still other places I want to try for crawfish etouffee.  However, the enchilada was a great segue into the next part of our trip – Texas. We hit the road for Houston after leaving Prejean’s, en route to some really amazing Tex Mex food.

Prejean’s Restaurant
3480 NE Evangeline Thruway
Lafayette, LA

Jolie’s Louisiana Bistro – Lafayette, LA

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014 by virginia


Jolie’s Louisiana Bistro was probably the nicest restaurant we went to on our Louisiana/Texas trip. We had eaten pretty casually while in New Orleans and were in the mood for something a little more upscale when we got to Lafayette. We hoped that J would be on her best behavior, but we also figured that it wouldn’t be too crowded on a Wednesday night so in case she did make a scene, she wouldn’t bother too many people.

The restaurant itself is in a beautiful space. There’s a big bar in front when you walk in, and the large room is split in two by a staircase to the upper level. The ceilings are tall and appeared to be painted tin with lots of intricate details. The hostess didn’t bat an eye when she saw us walk in with a baby, and after we settled J into a highchair, she brought over crayons and a coloring sheet – a good sign that this was a kid-friendly bistro.

After placing our order, we were presented with an amuse bouche made from beets. It had the consistency of an airy mousse and was savory and sweet at the same time. The amuse was a nice little spoonful to whet our appetites.

Beet amuse bouche

Amuse bouche featuring beets

The bread was sort of a flat, chewy loaf, served warm with flavored butter. After all the french bread we ate in New Orleans, it was a welcome change of pace. J was pretty content to only eat this bread for her meal.


Flat, chewy loaf of bread

We decided to share an appetizer to start. After two false starts (we tried to order bone marrow first, and then the rabbit bites, but they ended up being out of both), we finally settled on bacon wrapped dates stuffed with ricotta and pistachios. It’s a pretty classic salty/sweet combination, further enhanced by the rosemary-port glaze on the outside of the bacon. However, I wished the bacon was a bit crispier, as it wound up being more chewy. The ricotta in the middle added a nice creaminess that should have acted as a counterpoint to crispy bacon. Nevertheless, it was a nice little snack, and one that I may try to replicate at home.

The dates

Bacon wrapped dates stuffed with ricotta and toasted pistachios

For our entrees, I selected the Zapp’s Crawtator crusted drum while Josh chose the crispy duck. As usual, we swapped plates halfway through. The drum, which is a meaty local fish, was completely covered with crushed Zapp’s potato chips. The chips were still in good-sized pieces though, which I found a bit surprising, and the crust also wasn’t as crispy as I would have preferred. The Cajun seasoning on the chips were subtle and worked well with the mildly flavored fish. There was a crawfish cream sauce on top, which is what originally sold me on the dish. I was expecting something similar to etouffee, but it was more creamy and bisque-like, which wasn’t a bad thing. The dish came with a choice of a side and we opted for the duck fat fingerling potatoes. Although they looked a bit pale, they were actually well seasoned and pretty flavorful. It was a heavy dish overall though, so even though I did enjoy it, I was glad that we went halfsies.

Zapp's Crawtator crusted Louisiana drum with crawfish cream sauce, and a side of duck fat fingerling potatoes

Zapp’s Crawtator crusted Louisiana drum and a side of duck fat fingerling potatoes

The duck had gorgeous skin that was perfectly rendered and crispy, as advertised. The meat inside was tender, and the pecan-orange agro dolce was appropriately tangy and sweet. There wasn’t a lot of sauce covering the meat, which let the flavor of the duck shine. The grits on the side were a bit firmer and not as creamy as I prefer, but they had a nice sweet corn taste to them.

Crispy duck with sweet cream corn grits

Crispy duck with sweet cream corn grits

Overall, we were pretty happy with our dinner at Jolie’s. It was upscale food with a Creole twist, and I like that they support local farmers and the farm-to-table ideals. Although there were minor execution problems, I think the dishes were well thought out and interesting to eat. The restaurant is on the pricier side but in line with the quality of food we received. Starters and small plates mostly ranged from $11-$14, and there were lots of entrees between $20-$25. Service was great; everyone was friendly and attentive, making sure our water and wine glasses were always filled. It was just a pleasant meal in general, and a restaurant that I would recommend to visitors.

Jolie’s Louisiana Bistro
507 West Pinhook Rd.
Lafayette, LA

Lafayette Quickie – Johnson’s Boucaniere

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014 by virginia


After trying the hot boudin at Cochon Butcher in New Orleans, we were curious about the boudin that is served in the heart of Cajun country. A little research led us to Johnson’s Boucaniere, which is located on the edge of the downtown area. It’s basically a house with sign out front that says “Hot boudin to-day”. We got there right before they closed up shop, and while there is a menu board with sandwiches listed, we really just wanted to try the boudin. We got one link to share, which they helpfully split open for us before wrapping it up in white paper. We took it outside to the picnic table area on the large porch so that we could eat it immediately, while it was still steaming hot.

We did take a picture of the boudin before we ate it but it was.. ahem.. unpublishable. Seriously, it did not look appetizing at all, and I didn’t want to subject the internet to it. If you’re curious, send me an email or leave a comment. But it tasted really good, I promise. There was smoky pork flavor and a peppery kick that I was not expecting. The ratio of rice to meat was pretty even, and the casing was thicker than the one at Cochon Butcher, but it didn’t matter because I think you’re only supposed to eat the insides anyway. Overall we found boudin to be a unique type of sausage, vastly from the Italian style that we’re used to, and great by itself or with a little mustard. While it’s not something I would eat every day, it was nice to try out a local specialty.

Johnson’s Boucaniere
1111 St John St.
Lafayette, LA