Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Jul 9, 2007 02:43 PM

Cheap Cajun in DC?

Has anyone found some good and spicy inexpensive cajun/creole in DC? Not Acadiana. I'm looking for po' boys and red beans and rice that only cost a couple bucks and are eaten at a table with red-and-white-checked vinyl tablecloths. That kind of place.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. louisiana express in Bethesda, their Crawfish Bisque is one of my favorite dishes!

    1 Reply
    1. re: elegantelliot

      steak and cheese po' boy sandwich...
      that...tells me just about all i need to know X-P

    2. I personally really like New Orleans Cafe in Adams Morgan. When I lived in the neighborhood I ate there quite often. The food is tasty---has a bit of a kick but I'm sure if you ask they'll make it more spicy. And the owner and waiters are always super friendly. It's a cute little place that is also perfect for a date. Not expensive either.

      I hear they have a good brunch as well...although I've never been.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Elyssa

        FYI, if you look it up in a phone book it's under Bardia's.

      2. You're bringing back memories of the New Orleans Emporium, my favorite place before it closed about 15 years ago. Downstairs was upscale ....but upstairs at the bar, wow! You could get a whole basket of "Cajun popcorn" for about 6 or 7 bucks -- batter-fried crawfish tails with a remoullade dipping sauce. Toss back a Dixie beer with that. Follow up with a few oyster shooters -- a tumbler filled with a freshly-shucked raw oyster, a nice dollop of thick hot sauce and a good shot of cold peppar vodka. Betcha can't shoot just one!

        1. the only cheap options i know of are bardias new orleans cafe in adams morgan and louisiana express. i havent been to LA express, but i think bardias is terrible. their food lacks spice and depth. the gumbo had very little roux, and my friend's bread pudding was no good either.

          if you want to make a trek out to herndon, there is a place called SBC cafe that has great poboys and very authentic gumbo. its not expensive either.

          1. Not a big fan of Louisiana Express anymore, and haven't been to Bardia's in years. I can definitely recommend RT's off Mount Vernon Avenue in Alexandria. The peacemaker po' boys are solid, the red beans and rice are authentic, and a co-worker from Louisiana said the "Death by Gumbo" is the real deal.


            In DC, the best oyster po' boy I've had as at Johnny's Half Shell: fresh baked baguette, plump oyster, simple cornmeal crust, perfect remoulade. Not cheap at $9.50 for lunch but worth the extra couple bucks to me.

            Red & the Black on H Street has cheap red beans and rice and gumbo but I heard it isn't really worth the $5.


            6 Replies
            1. re: monkeyrotica

              while the bar is great (i'm particularly fond of their tuesday special - 12 dollars for a haircut and a shot -no, seriously a haircut) i wouldnt feed their food to a dog. its horrible. the beans and rice are basically just that - red beans, and rice. no peppers, no onions, no celery. no lard, tasso, ham, or andouille. and they dont even mash up the beans to make a sauce out of it. the 'gumbo' is white, and has no flavor whatsoever. tastes more like chicken soup. no roux. the jambalaya tastes like ketchup mixed with chicken and rice. if youre in that neighborhood, stick with the beer and liquor, and get your food fix from horace and dickies or something. and if youre looking for cajun food steer far far away. i love the place and joe englerts other establishments but the food is awful.

              there, my rant is done. i just hate seeing such an amazing cuisine ruined like that.

              1. re: kneelconqueso

                kneelconqueso - Have you tried the catfish po'boy at The Argonaut on H? I've been meaning to try it. They also have a cuban sandwich I'm interested in. The one at Eastern Market was basically a fried porkchop on a roll.

              2. re: monkeyrotica

                I like the gumbo at Johnny's, and it's half price during happy hour.

                1. re: monkeyrotica

                  If youre not a fan anymore then try the Louisianna Express sunday brunch.... that will win you back over. AMAZING and cheap

                  1. re: JRMorrisonJr

                    That's WHY I'm not a fan, the crowds and the lines. I have to get there WAY early to even get in.

                    But yeah, pretty inexpensive considering the competition.

                    1. re: monkeyrotica

                      "No one goes there anymore, it's too crowded"- Yogi Berra.