we cruised out of work early on Friday and drove to BB for an overnite trip. The joints we hit:
Cafe Des Amis
Olde Tyme Grocery (Lafayette)
Crawfish Town, USA
The Boudin Shop & Country Store
friday nite we made our 7:30p reservation with Chez Jacqueline. we were almost the only customers there the entire evening (one couple left right as we arrived). this was our most enjoyable meal, in no small part due to the charm of the host. i really liked the atmosphere - dark, very dark. the candles on the table were our primary source of illumination. its probably too difficult for me to try to describe what made dinner so much fun, but let me just say its personality. jacqueline is the host & cook, her partner is the waiter. bad music and a sign on the wall warning that this is not fast food and to go to fast food joint if you cant wait. yeah, the food wasnt top-notch - complaints about canned peas are true. but its forgivable. we steered clear of the cajun items and stuck to her specialty, french. salad was good. the escargot were classic - butter, garlic, parsley. a seafood cream app was good. the rabbit entree was very good. i had the bacon-wrapped steak au poivre which was large and undercooked, but to her credit she asked if id like it seared more and i declined. for dessert the cream brulee was not very good, should have tried the bread pudding. we also had two loaves of bread and two bottles of wine; this all came to $120, which i thought was pretty good for the amount of food and the entertainment factor - after dinner they sat down with us and we had fun conversation & wine. the nearby ATM was down so the waiter personally drove me to another bank and we talked harley's. it was just a hoot.
saturday morning & its hangover came too early (after dinner we had a bottle of champagne in our B&B) so we failed to get up at 7am and instead didnt get to Cafe Des Amis until 8:40. this mandated a wait, but with mimosas and beer (beer before 9! a first) and wonderful people watching this was bearable. hangover subsided, we were seated after 45 mins. to start we had the Couche Couche, a cornmeal batter grilled in a skillet and served w/ milk & maple syrup; it was delicious and the hilite. she had the Eggs Des Amis which was eggs on a biscuit w/ grilled boudin patty and cheese, i had the Big Hat Omelet which was a cheese omelet, small crawfish gratin and a biscuit. both were served with Andouille Cheese Grits, which were very good. the eggs were fine but nothing really special. the turn-over and speed which the cafe operated was impressive, they were courteous but efficient. after breakfast we enjoyed the music and dancing -- this was obviously the cafe's raison d'être. i was reluctant at first since i have no idea how to two-step, but ya just couldnt help but have fun on dance floor. many locals, and some very good dancers! way too loud, tho, some wore ear plugs. (hint hint, management). the band played for hours straight w/o any breaks. after working up a sweat we got another round at the bar before strolling the two blocks that is downtown Breaux Bridge.
for lunch we drove into Lafayette to try what is said to be the best poboys in the state -- Olde Tyme Grocery. this is a classic corner store that is still very retro and packed w/ students from the university. we ordered the $9 oyster & shrimp half-and-half. after about 15 mins they called our name and we took it to the outdoor seating w/ a bottle of Barq's. it was good, but not the best. smaller than a Johnny's, they appear to actually tear out the middle of the loaf. the packaging touts their New Orleans french bread, but this aint it in my book -- their bread was not crisp or flaky on the outside at all, just soft like a hoagie. . the shrimp were plump, not greasy and tasty, but i dont think ill be pining over Olde Tyme Grocery.
for lunch Part Deux we took the state roads to Crawfish Town, USA. this is a big ole barn that does music at night and specializes in, you guessed it, crawfish. we had the crab claws to start which were huge but pricey at $10. then we expected to eat 4 lbs of crawfish ($25), but instead we sat & waited for 40 minutes - they forgot our food. i asked what was up and they apologized; they had a party of 80 come in and got distracted. soon after we got our crawfish and they offered two complimentary desserts, which was nice but not an option for us. i was hoping theyd comp the app or beer but no dice. the crawfish -- very large, some were the largest ive had. but they were not any different flavor-wise from anything ive had at home (the best is backyard boils w/ friends, and i think im of the opinion that a restaurant just cant do it justice). the "Hot" was really a "Medium" imo.
for a final snack we stopped at the nearby Landry's since it was on the way and i thought it was the original. i dont think it was. and sadly, the food was just as crap as the ones here. we had the Fried Green Tomatoes w/ Crawfish Etouffee and it was absurdly salty. we split.
on the way onto the interstate we popped into the The Boudin Shop & Country Store - a classic boudin and plate lunch spot. didnt get anything hot but did pick up andouille and pork and crawfish boudin for later. the ingredients are pure and dont contain any of the preservatives you see in grocery store boudin. had the pork for breakfast sunday and it was good. look forward to the rest.
...thats it! it was a wonderful little 24-hour adventure. our B&B partnered w/ Cafe Des Amis for the breakfast, but next time im planning on the Isabelle Inn which we visited and is completely gorgeous and does an in-house breakfast prepared by a pro.