[Lafayette, LA] Prejeans

It’s a big barn of a place. Totally casual. The draw is Cajun food and Cajun music. We went with high expectations but, unfortunately, came away a bit disappointed on both counts. The band seemed to be there only as background music and most diners didn’t seem to recognise they were there, not even applauding. That must be dispiriting and may explain why they didn’t seem to be playing their set with any enthusiasm. There were big gaps between each tune, so that in the time it took us to eat three courses, they only played four or five numbers.

As for the food, it was OK but no more than that. Alligator is, at least, local. It came in battered bite sized pieces. Most people seem to describe it as tasting a bit like chicken and I suppose it is.

Following on the local theme, one main course was crawfish etoufee- or smothered crawfish. Basically chunks of crawfish in a full bodied spicy, creamy sauce, served with rice. Pleasant enough, although I reckon it had sat around in the kitchen for a while as there were signs of a skin starting to form on the sauce. A serving of rice formed the main carb. The other was a small crawfish pie – like a Cornish pasty, although the pastry wasn’t crisp.

Across the table, three jumbo shrimp were stuffed with ham and pepperjack cheese. They were wrapped in bacon, breadcrumbed and deep fried. They also came with rice which, as the other dish, was not the only carb as there was also a small tart case, oddly sweet, containing a couple of spoonfuls of corn. But this was the better of the two plates.

We’ll probably never pass this way again, so ignored our usual self-imposed rule not to have desserts, except at high end places. They’re usually not worth the calories. So, we shared a plate of bread pudding – again pleasant enough with a firm texture and a sweet taste with notes of cinnamon. And apple sauce set it off.

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We were rooting for you. Prejean’s was always a reliable lunch choice (usually eggplant pirogue), along with Don’s and Antlers.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold