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Cajun Cracklins and Boudin?

What's the best place in Austin to get some warm, fried cajun cracklins and boudin? I've been meaning to check out Gene's, but I would appreciate some more suggestions.

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  1. Try the cracklins from Fiesta Market. Try making some cracklin hot water cornbread. YUM!!

    1. Don't bother with the boudin at Gene's. I've had it there once and it left a lot to be desired. Have yet to really come across some good boudin in town. Maybe Sambet's...

      1. The only place in Austin to get good Cajun food is Sambet's Cajun Deli...

        3 Replies
        1. re: Webrep Tweak

          That's a bold statement. Since you don't seem to have posted on Cajun food before, though, I don't know what to make of your opinon. Would it be possible to mention what you like at Sambet's and how it compares to other similar dishes around town?

          On the topic of boudin, can anyone let me know what to look for in a good boudin? I've seen it on the menu at Reggie's and Evangeline Cafe, but have yet to actually try it.

          1. re: Knoblauch

            In good boudin, look for a good mixture between pork and rice (one should not overpower the other) and a good amount of spice. I also prefer a more breakable, crisp casing over a stringier one, so the casing can be consumed. My favorite is at Poche's in Breaux Bridge, LA.

          2. re: Webrep Tweak

            Cajun is just hard to do, but I don't think that Sambet's does it. Their boudin is okay, but sort of mushy, has a little too much parsley, and not enough pork liver. I think that they bring it in from somewhere, though. It appears to me that the seafood and chicken/sausage gumbo are made from the same stock. The crawfish bisque is pretty good, and different, and the dirty rice is okay. The etoufee is too dark for moi, like they use a gumbo roux without any fat. The poboys are passable to good. I had a really bad experience there with a crawfish boil that was nearly inedible.

            To answer the question below, boudin should have a good ratio of pork meat, pork liver, rice, herbs, and moisture. There are several varieties. The casing really doesn't matter to me if it is steamed, because you don't really eat it. Some casings grill better than others, lose their elasticity, and get crunch. You can eat the whole casing if you grill it. There's really no reason to mail order, because someone should be able to make it here. But they don't, so try Comeaux. Central Market is no option, because they don't even use liver. If you ever go to Port Arthur or environs, there's a little blue store that has some killer Boudin. I can find out where it is and the name if anyone is interested.

          3. The best boudin in the world comes from Boudin King down in Jenners, LA. It simply can not be beat.

            I like Sambet's pretty good. I would say it's the closest I've come to good "cajun" food in Austin. Their boudin is not made there at the store. They bring it in from some other Texas town. I asked and they told me that.

            Short of the bread not being right, Sambet's does a really respectable job with their po-boys. Easily the best in Austin. I also agree with what someone said about the "sides" all tasting like the same stock. It's as if they make a big pot of "sauce" and depending on what you order they add ingredients. "Oh, they ordered etouffee... toss in some crawfish tails. Gumbo? throw in some sausage." etc. It all tastes the same is too much on the bitter side for me. I think maybe they add the file while it's cooking. I think it's better to add that afterwards.

            1. To address the original question...I'm sad to report that I've never had good boudin or cracklins in Austin. I anxiously await the day that I do. When looking for good cracklin's I'm looking for pork skin with a decent amount of attached fat (being a key factor), that is cubed and fried on site, lightly salted and served fresh and hot. If it is served to me in a brown paper bag with large grease stains, that is even better.

              Several good sources for boudin were mentioned outside of the Austin area. Poche's has great boudin. Boudin King in Jennings has great boudin. My top three for best boudin on the planet would be Don's Specialty Meats in Carencro, LA, Bourque's Super Store in Port Barre, LA, and The Best Stop in Scott, LA. A quick search on the internet will turn up a few great sites on boudin comparisons.

              As for Sambets....If you know what to order it can be a tasty meal. But, I will not call it legitimate cajun food. Rudeboy's description was pretty much spot on. Their boudin poboy is pretty tasty though. It's actually more of a boudin spread. I thought the muffaletta was pretty good too. My two cents.

              1. The last time I ate at Shoal Creek and had the Gumbo I actually considered going back to the Kitchen and knocking the cook out.It was that bad.Muddy colored water with a couple things floating in it.We're too far from NOLA to get a LI"l Dizzy's style bowl.Call Backstage and ask when Raymond is doing Gumbo.He is a soup master and it will be damn fine.

                6 Replies
                1. re: scrumptiouschef

                  On Highway 290, about 11 miles this side (west) of Luling, there is a convenience store on your left (north) side, across from a Shell station, I believe. There is a big sign out front that says "Boudin". Inside, there is a butcher counter with 3 kinds of boudin; hot, crawfish, and regular. There is a crock pot at the counter with hot boudins floating in it, with a bag of white bread... These boudins are firmer than some, and you can eat the casing - I think that they're really, really good, but traditionalists might disagree. You can get a beer there, and drink it, too, at the bar. Great ambiance. Go there on a Friday when everybody's getting off work...

                  1. re: pankofish

                    That sounds awesome, but does Hwy-290 go through Luling? I'm not seeing it on Google maps. Do you mean Hwy-90?

                    1. re: Brian Lindauer

                      ooops! I meant Giddings. -ing towns east of here always get me. It's about 11 miles west of GIDDINGS. Sorry.

                    2. re: pankofish

                      pankofish,
                      Found your old post via the wayback machine.Has anyone been to the convenience store above?Know the name?Have a report?By the by,Fiesta Mart picked up the Zummo line of goods including boudin.It's good once you smoke it over hickory for a couple hours.

                      1. re: scrumptiouschef

                        I was shopping at HEB the other day and saw boudin for sale next to the sausage. Anyone tried it, is it even worth messing with? The last time I tried boudin in Austin was at Evangeline's and it barely had any flavor.
                        Maybe I'll just stock up when I go home again in May and bring some with me to freeze. In fact, maybe NOLA expats should start pooling money together so any time someone goes home we can get some stuff brought back? :)

                        1. re: MyySharona

                          On Friday's Hoover's has a smoked boudin special. I think it's very good. Have any true boudin afficianados out there tried it there? What do you think?