Major Cajun

This year, Mardi Gras, the last day of unbridled eating before Lent, is on March 4th. While we won’t have any revelers on Orange Avenue, we do have some Cajun-inspired eateries that offer tasty repasts year-round.



Roberto Gonzalez

BELLE ISLE BAYOU Where y’at? ONLY HERE I’m just a       po’ boy Old school On the Side
5180 S. Conway Ave., Orlando. 407-250-6763. belleisle-bayou.com
It looks just like a little dive café in the New Orleans Bywater, and that’s a good thing. Crawfish pistolettes: Fried French bread rolls stuffed with crawfish étouffée and cheese—like a savory seafood donut. Smoked sausage from Lafayette, Louisiana. BBQ pulled pork. Fried Gulf oysters. Well-cooked roux makes for an authentic deep, dark jambalaya. Housemade chips. Moist and dense hushpuppies. Fried pickles.
 
THE BIG EASY Where y’at? ONLY HERE I’m just a       po’ boy Old school On the Side
15502 Stoneybrook West Parkway, Winter Garden. 407-654-3279. facebook.com/whodatbigeasy
Gold and purple (LSU colors) everywhere; a bit chain-ish, but small enough to be friendly. Curry shrimp and grits (strange but good). Beignets filled with vanilla cream. Andouille sweet potato hash for Sunday brunch. Roast beef from a 50-year old Cajun recipe. House-made olive salad on the stacked muffuletta. Blackened redfish filet topped with cream sauce, shrimp and sausage. Order extra cornbread. Spicy Cajun crab dip. Tangy Cajun coleslaw.
 
KING CAJUN CRAWFISH Where y’at? ONLY HERE I’m just a       po’ boy Old school On the Side
914 N. Mills Ave., Orlando. 407-704-8863. leonheart.com/tastychomps/kingcajun
So much like a N’awlins boiling point (crawfish restaurant), you’ll expect to see Lake Pontchartrain outside. Hot boiled crawfish is the draw. Try the tongue-numbing “Rajun Cajun” spices if you dare. Fried catfish, tilapia, basa (catfish) or calamari. Jambalaya and gumbo with a slightly Southeast Asian twist. Bite-sized, pop-in-your-mouth hushpuppies.
 
TIBBY’S Where y’at? ONLY HERE I’m just a       po’ boy Old school On the Side
2203 Aloma Ave., Winter Park. 407-672-5753; 494 W. State Road 436, Altamonte Springs. tibbys.com
So full of beads, giant beer mugs and parade float decorations it could be on Bourbon Street. Crawfish pies—little handheld crispy delights. Shrimp and alligator cheesecake. Cajun burger (spicy ground sausage). Half-oyster, half- crawfish sandwiches. Pork tenderloin. Thick and rich seafood and sausage. Grilled hot sausage served with red beans cooked longer than a Cajun drawl. Potato salad, grits and dirty rice, all made with andouille. Hope you like sausage!
 
VOODOO KITCHEN FOOD TRUCK Where y’at? ONLY HERE I’m just a       po’ boy Old school On the Side
407-422-3099. voodookitchenfoodtruck.com
Everywhere. Voodoo Kitchen materializes like Marie Laveau on a moonlit Mardi Gras night. “Pasta-laya,” jambalaya served on pasta, and perhaps the best crawfish étouffée in town. The slow-cooked, pulled roast beef “Sloppy,” drenched in rich gravy. “Voodoo” shrimp and grits, garlic infused shellfish on cheesy, cheesy grits. Red beans and rice—sometimes that’s all you need.

 

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