Y’all, I lived in Louisiana for many years, much of it formative years for my cooking skills. I’ve been in Austin for 25 years, and had never found a local restaurant that could satisfy my yearning for genuine Cajun food. Yes, I know what you are thinking. There’s that one acclaimed spot, and then there’s that other cafe with great reviews. They throw parties at Mardi Gras (although only on Mardi Gras day, not for weekends throughout the season), have an occasional Zydeco band in house, and have so much purple, gold and green decor that you think, just for a moment, that you’ll be served up a platter of food so authentic that after one bite you suddenly begin speaking like a Yat. You all know the ones. And let me tell you that although I’ve had a few dishes from each that were spot on, so many items served under the guise of Cajun fare were just mediocre representations. It’s disappointing when I’m paying for the restaurant experience, but can whip up a better dish at home. Folks, that has all changed.
Fried frog legs and a col’ beer, now that’s what I’m talking about!
I’d been meaning to try Stuffed Cajun Meat Market & Specialty Foods mainly to load up on hard to find ingredients, like Cajun Power Garlic Sauce, but a twist of fate found my husband and I out on date night without a plan. We stopped in at the Brodie Lane location, and fell in love. Y’all, this is it. The real deal. Cajun flavors, well-executed, and staffed by friendly folks. We ordered fried frogs legs because Mr. ATXfoodnews had never tried them. They had a light, crisp and well-seasoned breading, and juicy, tender meat. They’re served with your choice of a sauce, and we went with a classic rémoulade.
Seriously huge oysters on my poboy.
I ordered an oyster poboy, dressed. For those of you who don’t understand that qualifier, when you order a poboy dressed, you are asking for it to come with lettuce, tomato and mayo. I asked for another side of that tasty rémoulade sauce, too. In Louisiana lore, an oyster poboy is called a “peacemaker” because when a husband was late coming home for whatever reason, usually carousing with his buddies, he’d pick up a poboy to bring home to his wife, soothing her anger with comfort food. Poboys are served on French bread, and mine was pushing 8′ long, qualifying it as a quarter-loaf sandwich. At first bite, I knew this was a little bit of La Louisiane, transported to Austin. The bread wasn’t chewy or tough, and the crust didn’t cut the roof of your mouth. I suspected that Stuffed imports their bread from one of the most famous of New Orleans’ bakeries, so I asked them. Yes, indeed, they do, and I am ever so grateful. Go get this poboy. Get it this weekend. Then send me an email thanking me for introducing you to it.
The fried shrimp basket. Please excuse my odd focus, as my hands were full of poboy.
There’s plenty of options if you don’t care for oysters, such as the fried shrimp basket, jambalaya, gumbo, boudin and more. Their specials change daily, too. In their frozen section you’ll find deboned and stuffed chicken, turduckens, housemade sausages and all kinds of things. Want a super thick pork chop stuffed with boudin and jalapeño? Find it at Stuffed. They carry spices, coffee and canned goods, too. The store stocks a cooler with sodas, craft beer and also has iced tea. You can eat there, or take your goodness to go. No matter what, if you have been searching for true Louisiana flavors, you’ll find it at Stuffed.
This article originally appeared in ATX Food News.