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Are there any *real* Cajun/Creole restaurants in Dallas?

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I'm looking for New Orleaneans on here who live in Dallas. Can ya'll tell me where I can get some real Louisiana cooking around here? I'm born and raised so I know my New Orleans food so no Razoo's or anything like that. I've heard a few cheesy sounding places and I know of one tiny place in Deep Ellum that closed a few years back that was run by natives who moved here that was really good.

Tell me where to get real cajun and creole cooking!

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  1. I like The Big Easy in Plano. Usually order crawfish etouffee or gumbo there, obviously they'd be better towards later in the season.

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    Big Easy
    1915 N Central Expy, Plano, TX 75075

    1. Try The Alligator Cafe.

      The Alligator Cafe
      4416 Live Oak Street
      Dallas, TX 75204
      (214) 821-6900

      http://eatgator.com

      1. I feel your pain, I lived in Dallas for a few years in the 90's. Used to go to a place called Dodie's. A couple of guys from New Orleans owned it with their father. Good red beans, and sometimes white beans. Can't remember what else they had on the menu but it was always nice to go there and talk to the guys. Wow, looking at their website they have certainly expanded. I can't speak of any of the dishes currently as I haven't eaten there for quite some time.

        1. Nate's Seafood at Midway and Beltline was always very good. Fried pickles, too!

          1. I am no Cajun/Creole expert, but my husband grew up on the stuff. He also likes the Big Easy. Small place, good food, reasonable prices. So far, we haven't been disappointed.

            1. We've tried all the places listed below - Big Easy, Alligator Cafe, Dodie's and Nate's - and I liked Dodies (Frisco location) the best for crawfish etouffee. The fried food was good too when we were there. My husband liked Alligator Cafe's banana pudding. We did not try their fried food except the catfish, so I can't really speak to that.

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              Big Easy
              1915 N Central Expy, Plano, TX 75075

              1. What does everyone think about Ralph & Kacoo's on the east side of 75 just as you enter Allen going north from Plano? See http://www.ralphandkacoos.com/

                It had been hit and miss for me. Great service but sometimes the food has not had enough real Cajun flavor to me and then other times it is really really good.

                Rob

                1 Reply
                1. re: RobbnTX

                  We tried it a few years ago and were not impressed. I grew up eating there in BR so I know what it was supposed to be like, and it didn't measure up on our visit.

                2. You are thinking of Crescent City Cafe (RIP) and I would have to say Alligator Cafe is your best bet these days.

                  1. I've been wanting to try Margaux's in the design district. I've heard good things. I've never seen it mentioned on this board though.

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                    Margaux's
                    150 Turtle Creek Blvd Ste 202, Dallas, TX 75207

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: sike101

                      They've been at Savor the past two years. I haven't been to the restaurant but the gumbo I've had was pretty good.

                    2. We ate at Doodie's on Belt Line last week. A new location and the food was excellent. IMO

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: scjohann

                        The Dodie's location in The Harbor in Rockwall is really good!

                        1. re: scjohann

                          Anytime I have ever eaten at Dodie's the food has been horrendous, service awful, and staff wildly inappropriate. I have no idea how these people have stayed in business for so long, they were able to cook, or should i say cremate french fries beyond recognition, the crawfish in the etouffee were so fishy we sent it back. My dining partner had fried shrimp that were so totally saturated with Tony Chacheres that it was inedible. We spoke to the manager, who didn't even offer an apology. The owner's are utter sleaze balls, I would never allow any teenager of mine to work there. Nate's is far better food, service, and is run by classier people. Love the cajun clams....mmmm...

                          Also, I had a really good po boy at Big Easy in Plano, but it was several years ago, so I can't vouch for it based on a recent experience.

                          1. re: DallasChowChick

                            Like any chain is all about the manager and staff so to say one bad experience is a statement to the entire chain and the owners is irresponsible. I've gone to the Dodies in Carrollton on Josey Ln once and to the newest one in Addison on Belt Line once. Both times the food was outstanding. The locations for me are convenient and will be back.

                            As far as Nate's we went in once but left before we ordered food. I did not know it was well liked on this board. I wish I would have stayed to try the food. But the interior is dingy and dark...it scared us off. Like I said I had no idea the reviews were so good so I will have to try it again. Just my point of view...

                        2. I am from Louisiana and I also love Nates.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: jesstx

                            I just returned from Nates, assisted by the reco's here. Pound of turbo crawdads, bowl of roux based crab and shrimp gumbo, couple of Abita drafts, clownfish flirting in the aquarium, softish live music, nice experience. I'm told the bread pudding is killer, and Sundays rock with all the jazz instruments.

                          2. Has anyone tried Offshore's Nextdoor at Audelia and Walnut Hill?

                            1. If you make it out to Arlington, there is a little place on Cooper just north of the Parks called Pierre's. Its a simple, no frills, order at the counter place. Very similar to the ones you find in and around New Orleans. They have great po-boys. Ive had several including fried shrimp, fried oysters and bbq shrimp and they were all good. They also have the standard etoufee, jambalaya, beans and rice, etc. Ive only had the beans and rice, but they were good. They usually have homemade pralines for sale too. Not a place for a formal dinner, and service can be a bit 'quirky', but if you are out for a good po-boy, its worth a try.

                              1. 3rd or 4th the fact Dodies is inedible.

                                1. I am from New Orleans. Ralph and Kacoos has closed in Allen and am not sure if Nate's in Allen is still open. I enjoyed a poorboy at Pure New Orleans off Jupiter and Water's Edge in Little Elm. Just returned from a trip to New Orleans and paid almost $15 for an oyster poorboy at Drago's - Parkway has not had oysters since the oil spill. I plan to go to Pappadeaux's for oysters.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: leilani327

                                    i was just down that way last week and the oysters apparently are all but non-existent along the coasts of LA to FL - Mulates (don't go there - very bad) in Breax Bridge didn't have them at all. Had intentions of stopping at Drago's on my way home, but bypassed NO completely, opting for i12 instead. Guess I'm glad I didn't make the detour. Had them in all 3 states and they were no larger than a quarter. Florida restaurant told me they were getting there's from TX. Neglected to ask in the other 2 places. Pretty sad.

                                    1. re: CocoaNut

                                      I was in NOLA this weekend for Mardis Gras. Had a dozen at Dickie Brennan's Bourbon House and they were tiny. Good but tiny.

                                      Friends of ours went to Drago's at the Hilton near the Casino, not in Metairie and they had the Char-Grilled oysters both days.

                                      Seems like availability is less of a concern.....size sure is though.

                                    2. re: leilani327

                                      Nate's in Allen closed. That location is now called Hook's Landing but i haven't tried it.

                                      1. re: leilani327

                                        I probably don't know enough about real cajun food to make a comparison but I've enjoyed the food from Pure New Orleans.

                                        I've had the fried oyster and roast beef poboys, gumbo, and red beens and rice. Nothing blew my socks off (like the perfect poboy from some random truck stop out in the Louisiana sticks) but seemed perfectly reasonable lunch fare and I really like the bread. I prefer this place over Big Easy when I want this sort of thing.. Place is clean - one wall is a mirror so it makes it feel even more open, service is friendly and attentive, front door can stick, they are closed for a few hours between lunch and dinner service.

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                                        Big Easy
                                        1915 N Central Expy, Plano, TX 75075

                                        1. re: amokscience

                                          I would have to second Pure New Orleans is exactly what it says. The po-boys are as good. The shrimp were fried perfectly! I was skeptical when I first went it, but it's worth a visit.

                                      2. My friends from Baton Rouge and their LSU buddies all swear by Dodies (the one on Greenville). I like it too. Nate's always underwhelms me. The crawfish at Dodie's is excellent. Pretty sure they boil it with seasoning in the water as opposed to just dumping the seasoning over the cooked crawfish at the end.

                                        1. The best cajun/creole food I have found so far in this area is Copeland's of New Orleans in Southlake, Texas. This restaurant is hidden inside the Hilton Hotel. They have All You Can Eat Crawfish for dinner 7 days a week through about June. They also have some of the best Martinis from their Ice Bar with 7 different liquors on tap. Service is good but the food is great and worth the drive.

                                          1. I have eaten the red beans and rice at Pierre's in Arlington and would not go back. You cannot be a New Orleans style restaurant by just saying you are. The food lacks flavor, texture and taste. I am from New Orleans and know good creole food. However many others really like this place.

                                            Pierre's Mardi Gras Cafe
                                            2816 S Cooper St
                                            Arlington, TX 76015

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: speyerer

                                              Sometime close after Katrina, Pierre's opened on Hwy 10 in Euless. It was a very tiny store front with only about 4 or 5 tables. I'm pretty sure I ordered red beans and rice. I KNOW whatever I ordered was not good. I grew up on the coast in MS and have eaten my fair share of many things Cajun and Creole.... this was not it. At some point, they closed.

                                              I few months ago, I was driving to south Arlington and passed Pierre's at straight-up noon. There was not one car parked in front of or near their entrance. Maybe they have a large take-out volume, otherwise not sure how they're maintaining or managing fresh seafood products.

                                            2. I haven't been, but while searching for catfish around me (Grapevine) today, got a hit on Pat's Cajun Seafood in Arlington. A consensus of a large number of reviews are giving high marks. I wonder, given the proximity to UTA.......

                                              http://tinyurl.com/3g23f5u

                                              edit: found their menu - looks like a good selection with crawfish being seasonal. .
                                              http://www.urbanspoon.com/u/menu/1415072

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                                              Pat's Cajun Seafood
                                              1826 N Cooper St, Arlington, TX 76011

                                              1. I don't know where you're located, so this might be too far a drive...
                                                But, my sister just moved to Denton and when I visited her recently, we had a couple of great meals at Frilly's. There are actually 3 Frilly's... this one is the original. The other two are restaurants they opened and then sold and are no longer related. It's on Denison street. Not fancy, but good food! I had the best crawfish bisque I've ever tasted and a great fish dish (can't remember exactly). The people eating their crawfish boil seemed to be loving it and it sure looked good!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: onrushpam

                                                  Thanks for the recommendation - will go there tomorrow.

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                                                  Frilly's Seafood Bayou Kitchen
                                                  1925 Denison St, Denton, TX 76201

                                                2. i like Dodie's, especially the one on Greenville. The service can be poor, but you wanted authentic so you get authentic cajun service as well. Their crawfish ettouffee is good.