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Mar 29, 2008 02:06 PM

Cajun in (SEA)

Looks like From the Bayou in Parkland, WA closed and its replacement is not getting good reviews. Other Cajun restaurnats in Seattle or driving distance (1 hour)? Please don't not say Celtic Bayou in Redmond (ick!) or my head will explode.

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  1. is pretty good and has been around a while. isn't cajun but you can see the influence.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Irvington

      Sorry, Irv, neither of those qualify. I see gumbo on one, but neither are Cajun.

    2. I grew up 2 hours from NOLA and I long ago gave up any hope of finding a taste of good cajun or creole cooking up in the PNW (or anywhere west or north of the Gulf states.)

      On the bright side, good quality ingredients are no problem here for those inclined to make it at home - and the internet fills in for what you can't get locally like Camellia red kidneys for beans and rice.

      There's a place called Bayou on First in the market, if you must have someone else do the cooking - but don't say I didn't warn you it wasn't worth the trip.

      Strongly recommend just trying out some recipes at home - if you don't have your own stash of habits, google will abide. Really, it's not rocket science - it's a heckuva lot harder to make a good cake from scratch in my experience than a good crawfish etouffee.

      1 Reply
      1. re: terrier

        From the Bayou in Parkland, WA was rather good, but that's about the only place that came close to authentic Cajun. It was too much of a drive anyways, but sorry it closed. The owners were from Opelousas, which is prime Cajun country.

        I cook it all the time, but it would be nice to eat someone else's every once in a while.

        There was a place near (what was) the King Dome, but I don't remember the name. I'll explore soon and see if I can find it, if it's still open.

        Bayou on First. Agreed. A warning IS in order. There are these sorts of places in every city and none of them seem to have any idea what gumbo is supposed to taste like.

        Try Celtic Bayou in Redmond if you really want to see a massacred version of Cajun. It's so bad, it's hilarious.

      2. we've had dinner and brunch at The Wellington ~ i don't know cajun from creole from southern (but i DO know we got roped into going to Celtic Bayou and hated that place)~ but we VERY much liked the Wellington ~ catfish , fried okra and fried chicken was piping hot and greaseless, my husband had the gumbo and liked it. i remember the dessert portions were small (a pet peeve of mine!)

        10 Replies
        1. re: elicia

          Sorry to say, The Wellington closed its doors, rumor mill says that Casuelita's might take over that spot.

          I had a totally mediocre oyster po'boy at New Orleans Creole Restaurant in Pioneer Square many years ago, don't know if they might be worth a try...

          1. re: ceester

            New Orleans Creole Restaurant might be the place I mention above (re:near old King Dome). This was 9 years ago, but the etoufee and the gumbo were very good. I don't know why I didn't go back, but I'll find out soon if it's still there are worth a visit.

            1. re: fooey

              A point in the New Orleans' favor - it's the only bar in Seattle I'm aware of that serves Abita beers (bottles only, unfortunately. Amber, Turbodog, and Purple Haze.)

              The beans and rice I had there was atrocious, but that was years ago. Good fried catfish, but it's hard to screw that up. Haven't tried the gumbo or etouffee.

              1. re: terrier

                We went to the New Orleans Restaurant this weekend. My husband grew up in NO and I spent four years there, so we were excited to try it out. They got points in their favor for having Abita beers and live music, but the food was not at all authentic. We tried three staples: gumbo, jambalya, and a po boy. The po boy was on a hoagie roll instead of French bread, the jambalya had the sauce poured over the rice instead of cooked in, and the gumbo was super thick like a stew. Have the owners ever been to New Orleans?? Plus, both the jambalya and the gumbo were too spicy to be enjoyable. That being said, for those two dishes, behind the overwhelming spice and the lack of authenticity were some decent flavors, so oddly the po boy was the worst dish. We won't go back.

                I have a pet peeve: why do all the southern-style restaurants in the PNW serve prawns?? I grew up in Texas with a mother from Alabama and went to college in Louisiana, so I got a nice, wide sampling of Southern cooking while growing up. But I never ate a prawn until I moved here. They simply don't serve them there -- they serve shrimp. Little, tiny, bite-sized, slightly soft shrimp. To restaurants: you cannot claim to be authentic Southern and serve prawns, so either take them off the menu or admit that you're not trying to be authentic. Thank you.

                1. re: happy2sing

                  In the United States the terms prawn and shrimp are interchangeable and refer to the same thing. Some people reserve the word prawn for U15 shrimp, but that is not a requirement.

                  There technically is a biological difference between animals classified as shrimp and prawns, but the name used at the restaurant or market has no bearing on weather it's a shrimp or prawn.

                  It's kind of like a coke, pop, soda thing. Or better yet; crawfish, crawdad, mudbug. Depending on where you grew up you call them something different.

                  1. re: vanillagorilla

                    That's what I used to think until I went to Ivar's and they had both prawns and shrimp on the menu. Then I noticed that dishes that had "prawns" had meat that was consistently bigger and tougher than dishes that had "shrimp".

                    1. re: happy2sing

                      An individual restaurant is free to call bigger shrimp prawns and smaller shrimp shrimp... but that is beside the point. There is no legal or consistent difference between the two words. I can call/sell any size shrimp a prawn and vice versa.

              2. re: fooey

                there was a place called Franglers that was near the Dome ..long gone, was sort of on the west edge of the ID ..

                1. re: oliveoyl

                  Ah, yes. Gloria and Fran called their place Franglo's, I think. I intended to try i out, but never did.

              3. re: ceester

                I work in Pioneer Square and usually eat at The New Orleans once a month or so. I like it quite a bit. I don't know if it classifies as Cajun (I don't really know what cajun is), but its good.

                Other places to may check out:
                Kingfish Cafe on Capital Hill, and
                Marcela's Cookery in Pioneer Square (

            2. The two that come to mind immediately are Kingfish Cafe, which may be more generically southern than specifically cajun and that Jazz place on 1st Ave in Pioneer Square (can't remember the name, but I got a bowl of crawfish and an Abita there)

              Also, I think there's another new place in Pioneer Square that was mentioned recently.

              1 Reply
              1. It's not as far away as Parkland, but Alligator Soul in Everett isn't bad:


                The original owner/chef "Hilbo" Craig sold out in '05 and moved to Georgia and I haven't been there since the sale, so caveat emptor.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Square Business

                  Alligator Soul is about as good as it gets around here.


                  1. re: Square Business

                    Stopped in at Alligator Soul the other night and really enjoyed the seafood gumbo. The hush-puppies were not so hot - had little flavor.
                    Crawfish on grits were also good, and a good offering of beers on tap.

                    Alligator Soul
                    3121 Broadway, Everett, WA 98201