(From our travel archives) I am embarrassed to say I don’t know the origin of these Cajun nicknames. Actually, they are pretty common surnames in Acadiana, but over the years, they have taken on a comical quality when used as given names, akin to “Sven and Ole” in the Upper Midwest, “Pat & Mike” in the Northeast, and I am sure (while unaware of such) similar monikers in other regions of the country. (You can help me out by posting some YOU know in the forum!)
I found this diner by accident one day, nearly a year ago, cutting across the back roads from Lafayette to New Orleans, and going way out of the way. I had stopped that day in New Iberia at Avery Island, ended up spending the night in Morgan City, where the call of the “Rig Museum” (“The Only Place In the World Where the General Public Can Walk Aboard an Authentic Offshore Drilling Platform”) (and that’s a story in itself, as is, apparently, my fondness for repeatedly placing statements in parenthesis!) proved too tempting to pass up.
Exhausted from climbing around “Mr. Charlie” (the rig)(pictured at right), I settled in for the night at one of Morgan City’s finer motels (I am lying = NONE of them would fall under the category of “fine”), and the next morning, zipped across the back roads of the Parish, taking in the sun and magnificent sounds and smells of the bayous, before finding myself in the parking lot of Boudreau & Thibodeau’s in Houma. It was time for breakfast, and visions of charred andouille and eggs were dancing thru my head.
I remembered that the experience was satisfactory, and so, when a friend and I decided to head out to the hinterlands for a non-“A list” kind of dining experience, we first contemplated hitting the North Shore, but decided instead to head for Houma, as she had a craving for what she calls “the world’s best bloody mary,” which is apparently only available at Frank’s Bar in Paradis.
(Actually, to her, EVERY bloody mary is the world’s best!).
A few of those under our belt, it was on into B&T’s for a Saturday night ‘genn-u-whine’ Cajun dinner.
Getting there didn’t happen without some difficulty en route. Being a “typical guy,” of course I am smarter than the highway signs, and took off cross-country to get there. A couple of hours later, several u-turns, and a less than scenic drive down Houma’s ten mile long Main Street (which isn’t named Main), we finally arrived, and were in the appropriately “famished mode” that suits being at B&T’s for good ol’ country eats!
B&T’s dispenses Cajun humor with their food and drink; the walls of the café and the menu are riddled with typical Cajun jokes:
“Why did the chicken cross the road? To prove to the armadillo it could be done.”
“Boudreau call ‘dat fire station one day to report a fire. ‘’Dat dispatcher axed him first of al, Mr. Boudreau, how do we get there? Boudreau ‘tink a minute and ‘den he tell him, “Mais, don’t you sill have ‘dat big red truck?”
The menu is lengthy, and categories include:
Jis Gittin’ Started Fixin’s
Gumbo N Greens
Big an Bigga Burgers
Pick Y’Own Platter
Clotile’s Cajun Cookin’ Specialties
Hot Boiled Seafood
Wet Yer Whistle
Gimme Sum Suga Desserts
Daily Specials, and of course
B&T’s is a place where you can get “down to earth” food, not much of that available that I have seen here in the city. Offerings that would fall into that category, in my opinion, would include Rabbit Stew, Smothered Turtle or Gator, Frog Legs, and even Crawfish Crepes with a Crawfish Cream Sauce.
Tempting as it was to go for “Boudreau’s Breakfast,” which included 2 eggs, 2 bacon, 1 sausage patty, jam, hash browns or grits, 3 flapjacks, 2 toast, and warnings about artery maladies, I opted for a “Pick Y’own Platter,” as it seemed to be the local preference, judging from both the quantities being served and the average size of the clientele. At around five dollars, you can’t beat a breakfast like this, and the drive down will take you slightly less time than waiting in line at your usual uptown breakfast eatery.
Suppa’s and platters include your choice of tossed salad or slaw, baked, mashed or French fries, rice and gravy, dirty rice, potato salad, onion rings, white or red beans and rice, seasoned boiled potatoes, corn or pasta, and toast.
You can choose from two or three entrees to come on your platter, and I opted for the boiled shrimp and catfish, and both were more than ordinary. Quantities are so plentiful that two could share this platter, but at only ten bucks, why?
My companion opted for two pounds of boiled crawdads, and pronounced them delightful.
I washed mine down with homemade fresh squeezed lemonade, which is served in a one-quart mason jar.
Tables are bare except for rolls of paper towels to act as napkins (you’ll need plenty for the boiled platters), and copious amounts of hot sauce and Cajun seasoning choices.
If you’ve left some room, check out their Turtle Sundae on the Half Shell, vanilla ice cream atop a beignet, topped with caramel, pecans and chocolate chips, or their fresh baked gingerbread cake.
Beer and wine is served, altho the wine choices come in 8 oz screw cap bottles, and beer, soft drinks or sweet tea are probably the preferred quaffs for cuisine of this nature.
Service is fast, friendly, and efficient, and two can easily escape with a check of around twenty bucks.
If you’ve a mind to “vacation near home,” and “discover Louisiana,” Boudreau and Thibodeau’s is a damn fine place to start!
Boudreau’s and Thibodeau’s, 5602 West Main, Houma, 872-4711, Open 24/7