Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Where Do You Get Good Cajun Food?

I'm really at a loss as to where to find it in Fort Worth. And, no, Pappadeaux's really doesn't cut it. Not that the food is bad -- it's quite tasty -- it's just I never have an exceptional dining experience there. I feel overfed and overcharged.

Anyway, I bring this up because I did experience a total Cajun foodgasm today ... in Dallas. The place in question is Dodie's on Greenville Ave.

I ended up there because no good deed goes unpunished. Like two years ago, I did some design work for my friend, Lee Roth. Lee's a very accomplished landscape architect. I won't name-drop his clients, but most of them are nine and ten-figure net-worth types. Yeah, I know how many zeros that is.

Anyway, I did a little favor for Lee and he says, how much? I say, don't worry about it. He says, I'll take you to lunch. Deal.

Now, Lee is from New Orleans, so I know he knows good Cajun. So I say, hook me up, brutha. And then a lot of time passes.

So today, Lee calls me and says, you got lunch plans? I do now. And that's how I ended up at Dodie's.

Basically, I don't even need to look at a menu -- Lee just orders. We start off with Abita Amber. Now, I don't know about you, but there's something about drinking beer at lunch when you are really supposed to be working that just kicks ass. Maybe it's the beer part.

Well, if you follow that up with some really great food, it gets better.

For starters, there was this cole slaw -- vinegary, not creamy -- with loads garlic. Now, I hate cole slaw and I ate the whole bowl.

Then we moved on to chicken and sausage gumbo. I've been leaning toward this a little more when I eat at home, except I like to put a little duck in there when I can get it. But I digress, the gumbo was superb. The roux was actually a little on the light green side -- not the thick, dark brown to which I'm accustomed. Again, I ate the whole bowl.

That was followed up with Cajun tamales, which are these chili peppers stuffed with this -- I dunno? -- crawfish sausage? -- then deep fried. Wowza.

We are just now getting to the entree -- crawfish etouffee. Again, this was a little different than I'm used to -- the roux was red with a hint of tomato. And the best part was the crawfish were fresh. Excellent.

Because this wasn't enough food, I sampled with red beans and rice. Lee believes that great red beans need to be thoroughly soaked -- which few people will do. These were soaked and served with grilled andouille sausage. I'm going to order this next time.

So we ate, talked about some of his projects, bamboo for my yard, LSU football and kids. And as you can imagine, I wasn't worth a shit at work all afternoon. Is Christmas here yet?

Anyway, thanks, Lee. You are a rock star. And if anyone knows where to find good Cajun in the Fort, lemme know.


pete g said...



Steve-O said...

Razzoo's isn't bad, but it ain't what I'm looking for. I want a real Cajun involved in the process.

cdees39 said...

Oh man-- drawing a blank. There is a place on the east side. NOLA resident who moved here after Katrina opened. Darn it--- must go do web searches. Great red beans and rice.

Steve-O said...

This just in from the e-mail line

"You gotta go try Pierre's Mardi Gras in Arlington.
I stopped last Saturday and bought gumbo and jambalaya for a Dallas dinner. My friends said it was the best jamabalaya they'd ever had in Texas.

"They had a jazz band -- in a little cafe with a few tables and a formica counter!

"It's on Cooper south of the Krispy Kreme."

cdees39 said...

The place I was thinking about was Sensational Tony's and he is closed. Crud. Must try Pierre's

Steve said...

Good Post. I like Pappadeaux, but I understand what I'm in for. I get gumbo from J&J's, but still it ain't the same. My wife likes the rat toes at Razoo's but there ain't nuthin' really Cajun there. I've heard great things about Dodies, but, you know, Dallas and all...