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Cypress Knee Cafe in Audubon Zoo


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Cypress Knee Cafe in Audubon Zoo

david in NOLa | Oct 21, 2002 11:44 AM

Any one ever try it? I had wonderful lunch their Saturday afternoon.

The Cypress Knee Cafe is located at Audubon Zoo, back in the midst of the Louisiana Swamp exhibit. It's an excellent example of how good non-franchised fast food can be.

"Cafe" is a misnomer. You wait in line, stadium style, and take your food away on a tray . On Saturday, the lines were quite long, about a 15-20 minute wait. There are picnic tables both inside (with killer AC) and out, on a spacious deck.

They have jambalaya, gumbo, red beans and rice, fried fish, french fries, corndogs, chicken nuggets, and other similar stuff. And they have beef and crawfish "pies," savory turnovers that resemble empanadas or jamaican patties.

I had a crawfish pie ($3.50), red beans and rice with sausage ($5.50), and a pint of Coors ($3.00). The crawfish pie was perfect, just cooked with flakey crust and a spicey crawfish etouffee-like filling. It was the best savory pastry I've ever eaten outside of Jamaica, by far. The red beans and rice were also excellent, quite spicey and with lots of sausage. From previous visits, I can also recommend the beef pie and the gumbo.

I was surprised to find it so busy on a Saturday; my earlier visits were weekdays. It was very much a local crowd with lots of children in tow.

If you're not a member of the zoo, you'll have to pay admission. But if you're at the zoo anyway...

They only take cash or traveller's checks. No credit cards or personal checks.

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