Cajun / Creole / Po Boys in Houston
What's your favorite place in Houston for all things "Louisiana?"
If possible, please divide the recommendations into the following three categories:
- Louisiana Creole
- Po Boys
For Creole it would have to be Brennan's - pricey though.
There are so many Cajun places I've never gotten around to trying - Mardi Gras, Woodrow's, Treebeard's. I have not been that impressed with Rajin Cajun or Cajun Town Cafe, both of which have received lots of props here on CH. Floyd's in Webster (45 @ Nasa Pkwy) was good; haven't been in a couple of years. I really like Burt's Meat Market on Lyon's for gumbo, boudin, and greens, but that might not be your style -- service from a steam table with no place to eat on premises. See the recent thread on boudin. I got around to trying their greens since that thread and when they're good, their awesome (only had them once so far - I dunno, maybe they can be even better). Also really liked the crawfish etouffee from Louisiana Foods on W. 12th, but that is to go only, too (see the Try Something New thread). It's been several years but I thought Magnolia Bar and Grill on Richmond was very good.
Po-boys is a sore spot -- I'm hoping there'll be some good recs. I like the creole sausage po-boy at Frenchy's - they make their own chaurice and use it for that, jambalaya and red beans and rice; it's simply dressed w/ice berg, toms, pickles and mayo on a good crusty roll.
Other places I've tried use mediocre bread or skimpy fillings. I resurrected an old thread a couple of months ago and a couple of people recommended Pappadeaux but I haven't gotten around to trying that -- haven't been to a Pappas resto in several years now.
You've started some good threads.
A little off the topic...
Does anyone know of a Cajun establishment in the Houston area that uses a "Cajun microwave" (also known as a "caja china" or "chinese box")? The whole roasted pig sounds good right now, and it is certainly the season for it! The Cajuns call this dish the conchon du’ lait.
This is a new one on me - never heard of it before. I looked at all the menus I have from Cajun places and several on-line (Ragin Cajun, Woodrow's, Mardi Gras, Magnolia Grill, Abe's) and other than boudin, which should have pig liver in it, and some ham and cheese po-boys, pork is missing.
Maybe some other hound will know of something but you might also consider Conchinita Pibil, the Mayan version of roast suckling pig from the Yucatan. I had some of this years ago and it was the most sublime pork dish I've ever had. It is available in Houston at Otilia's, Jarro Cafe, Pico's and Merida that I have had but I've also seen - perhaps in the Press Best of listings - that Hugo's does it. I'll go way out on a limb and predict that Hugo's version would be excellent. Among the one's I've had I would rate Otilia's tops, followed closely by Jarro Cafe, then Pico's and Merida last. In fact, I say don't even try Merida. I've only had it at Jarro from the taco wagon out front as a taco; I would imagine indoors they would have it in other presentations.
I agree with brucesw on Brennan's for Creole, it is really outstanding. For Cajun, Treebeard's is my favorite. And for po'boys, the shrimp and/or oyster po'boys at Goode Company Seafood and Tony Mandola's are great.
I have not eaten at this place, but have heard good things about it for "real" Louisiana food, as they are transplants from Katrina - Jazzies Cafe on W. 19th. The press had a good write up on it last year and B-4-Eat has good reviews. They are supposed to have great po-boys.
I have eaten at Mardi Gras back when Floyd ran it, and it was very good, but it's not the same as it was back then. Floyd does have 2 other locations, one in Webster and one off 1960. But, back to Mardi Gras (when it was Floyd's). I had a chicken fried steak, because at that point I wasn't eating seafood at all, and she asked if I had ever had the gravy before. I hadn't, so she suggested putting it on the side, just in case I didn't like it. It was an odd pink/coral type color but man, was it good! I have no idea what was in it, but I could have drunk it, it was that good!
I have not eaten at Jazzie in a long time. When it first opened it was great but went downhill and the hours kept getting shorter and shorter and they were closed completely on weekends. I understand the original owners sold and moved back to NOLA but the new owners are supposed to be Katrina evacuees too. I think the original Press review was taken as a pan by most. The most recent posts on b4 have been very positive.
This place has only been open for a couple of months - BB's Kitchen. It's located close to the intersection of Montrose and Westheimer. I have not been there yet but I plan on trying it out soon. I hope it's good. It seems to fit what you are looking for. Here is a link to their website:
A friend recently told me that she enjoyed the Cajun fried shrimp po boy at Cafe Artist, also located in the Montrose area ( fairly close to The Menil Museum ).
A roast beef po boy with gravy and debris seemed the perfect antidote to this day -- it's almost February, isn't winter over yet?
I was surprised the place was not busy. Maybe it's still too new; maybe everybody in that part of town only eats in restaurants that begin with Pappa - ?
The Midnight Special as they call it comes with either fries or chips but the waiter offered to substitute a cup of gumbo and I was grateful for that. The gumbo was thick, a dark chocolate brown color, and loaded with ingredients if not exactly loaded with flavor. Some of the chicken pieces were almost large enough to require a knife and fork. I think the chicken had been browned a little too thoroughly before being put in the roux and was a bit dry. Not the best chicken and sausage gumbo I've had in the city but acceptable.
The sandwich came dressed, i.e., w/lettuce, tom, pickle, and mayo. It was very neat to start with but became wonderfully messy as you ate. I could have used more debris and gravy and w/o the mayo, I think. I can't say how authentic this was as I've never had the original from Mother's but I thought it was a very good sandwich. It was more than I needed and next time I'll just order the lunch special of half-sandwich and cup of gumbo and save a couple of bucks. Might also ask them to serve me one undressed.
They don't have Cajun coffee yet but will soon according to the waiter. Parking is limited; this has never deterred people from going to Niko Niko's a block away so I'd think this place is going to do well, if they can just negotiate the rights to put Pappa - in front of their name so everybody will know it's a nice safe choice. Can't imagine how Niko Niko's has managed to survive this long without Pappa - in front of their name???
(Turning off sarcasm now).
Oh yes, the bread was very good.
thought i would weigh in on BB's too. i've been there 4 times now since they opened in december. they are open late (until midnight or 4 am) which is when i think most people go. i usually pop in between 1 and 2 am. i like the fried shrimp or oyster po-boys and even pick them up to-go. haven't tried the roast beef yet. some of the menu items are mediocre, but all-in-all it's another great choice for drunk, late-night food in montrose.
I plan to try the others sooner or later; it's no where near me and I'm not much of a late nite carouser anymore. My mouth is watering thinking of that roast beef po-boy but I wish they'd do a New Orleans style hamburger po-boy, too. What's to avoid?
danhole - I don't know if they're going to do crawfish. It's a pretty small place and the tables are small.