Paris Meets Cajun In An Unexpected Place
Updated: Mar 25, 2022
A grandmother from outside Paris who studied at the famed Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, cooking Cajun and French food for us, was the last thing we expected when swinging through Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. So worth getting off the beaten path to find this delightful food and hostess--Chez Jacqueline.
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Breaux Bridge is the self-proclaimed Crawfish Capital of the World. Our girls' cross-country road trip involved a lot of seeking out local cuisine, so how could we NOT take a stroll down Bridge Street to find a meal? We almost didn't go into Jacqueline's because no one else was there, with people opting to stop in to a more tourist-oriented place down the street with burgers, dogs, and beer or, alternatively, coffee and croissants.
Mind you, it was the middle of the afternoon and during a pandemic to boot, so really no surprise there weren't many folks around. SO glad we stopped in. Jacqueline herself took care of us and not only offered amazing food that blended classic French technique with cajun, but offered us conversation and hospitality. From reading reviews, it's obviously her style to chat with guests and it wasn't just because she had time on a slow mid-afternoon.
She bent over backwards, asking us what we generally preferred then offered suggestions, and went on to serve us delectable food. When not busy, she sat in the back of the main restaurant de-boning chicken for a future meal. It's an out-of-the-way gem. Don't let the dated
decor dissuade you, this place is class cooking with quirky charm combined.
Crawfish bisque, then a sampler of fried alligator, crawfish, catfish, and shrimp.
Seven-layer, hazelnut torte for dessert which made me want to cry as it's reminiscent of our Nana Tatiana's cake. Yet another wonderful example of how getting off the path others take can make great memories. The others who opted for grilled burgers and beer up the street didn't know what they were missing.
If you have stumbled on other quirky culinary gems in your travels, we'd love to know!
You can "bring home" some authentic Cajun by trying to cook it yourself. We recommend best-selling cookbook "Mosquito Supper Club." It's highly acclaimed, with great recipes while it also immerses you in the Cajun culture.
Winner, IACP Book of the Year
Winner, IACP Best American Cookbook
An NPR Best Book of the Year
A Saveur, Washington Post, and Garden & Gun Best Cookbook of the Year
A Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Eater, Epicurious, and The Splendid Table Best New Cookbook
A Forbes Best New Cookbook for Travelers: Holiday Gift Guide 2021