Category Archives: Restaurant Review – LA

Creole (Meat) Stuffed Bread

Creole Stuffed Bread – Creole Lunch House Lafayette LA

(and, usually, at New Orleans JazzFest)

Unless you’ve been to the New Orleans Jazzfest or a little place called the Creole Lunch House in Lafayette, LA, you may not have tasted the meat-glory of a Creole stuffed bread. It’s a jaw-dropping, awe-topping combination of beef and pork (usually mixtures of ground, plus andouille sausage), onions, celery, bell pepper, tasso (if you got it), jalapeno, and a whirlwind of seasoning and spices, stuffed inside a terrific little French bread bun. This bread is called a ‘pistolette,’ which is a single-serving size of traditional French bread.

OMG. That's all Creole Stuffed Bread makes you say.
OMG. That's all Creole Stuffed Bread makes you say.

The ingredienta of Creole Lunch House seem pretty basic, but belie how amazing their Creole stuffed bread is: bread dough, water, sugar, fresh sausage, smoked sausage, cheddar cheese, and Jalapeno peppers. Looking at the bread before your first bite, you’ll never suspect how much spicy, meaty, wicked goodness is hidden inside. You could say Creole stuffed bread is like the Cajun sandwich version of a dragon’s den: the treasure is hidden deep inside.

Emeril has a decent creole stuffed bread recipe, if you are the DIY type who likes to make your own. If you want the real deal and can’t get down to Lafayette or New Orleans anytime soon, Creole Lunch House actually offers these meaty monsters (about 16 oz. each) online here at CajunGrocer.com. You get 4 ‘pies’ for $15.95 plus shipping.

I love the comment someone said in response to this Flickr photo of a Creole stuffed bread: “It looks likes a Hot Pocket on steroids.”  If only Hot Pockets were this good (or good at all).

Miss Hebert puts the love in Creole Lunch House
Miss Hebert puts the love in Creole Lunch House

THE GRADE: AWESOME!!

THE DAMAGE: under $4 (for a beefy, full-pound sandwich!!!)

THE SKINNY: CREOLE LUNCH HOUSE

713 12th Street, Lafayette, LA 70501

Phone: (337) 232-9929

Website:  Nope

Creole Lunch House, Lafayette LA
Creole Lunch House, Lafayette LA

Fried Alligator Sausage (The Praline Connection, New Orleans LA)

ALLIGATOR SAUSAGE (in BBQ sauce)

THE SPOT: THE PRALINE CONNECTION, NEW ORLEANS LA  

Some people think Louisiana is full of people eating frog, alligator, and all sorts of other wild and strange beasts at every turn. While that can be true in spades in South Louisiana, it’s not easy to find alligator sausage. So it’s a treat to find such a hearty snack at The Praline Connection, a deceptively named eatery that’s as renowned for fried chicken as its famous house-made pralines.

The Praline Connection still draws local New Orleans crowds for its Creole and soul food. Despite it being too brightly lit for dinner, The Praline Connection’s perfect for a late night dinner or snack on Frenchmen Street, when you’re headed to (or from) Snug Harbor, Blue Nile, Apple Barrel Bar, or The Spotted Cat. Co-owners Cecil Kaigler and Curtis Moore are usually on site sporting their jazz-era porkpie hats, walking through and conversing with guests to ensure things go well. Their servers also show a similar spirit: friendly and attentive, but cool. With its lingering reputation as a mecca of flawless soul food, one’s high expectations might fall short on certain Praline Connection dishes. But luckily, we found the fried alligator sausage. 

THE DISH: FRIED ALLIGATOR SAUSAGE IN BBQ SAUCE

Spicy, smoky, and slightly sweet, the alligator sausage is a true Praline Connection winner. The texture and consistency of the alligator sausage is great: the outside skin is a bit crisp from the fry but the pithy meat is plenty juicy and flavorful within.  But swirling alligator sausage in barbecue sauce pushes the little appetizer to snapping heights. Praline Connection’s BBQ sauce is a little moat of beauty, well suited for fried ancient reptiles. 

THE DAMAGE: $6.95

THE GRADE: Awesome (5 out of 5)

THE SKINNY: THE PRALINE CONNECTION

542 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA, 70116

Phone: 504/943-3934

Web: http://www.pralineconnection.com/

Smothered Chicken (Creole Lunch House, Lafayette LA)

SMOTHERED CHICKEN

THE SPOT: CREOLE LUNCH HOUSE, LAFAYETTE LA

Creole Lunch House is an old home turned diner in Lafayette, the heart of Cajun Country in South Louisiana. It’s a lunchtime favorite with blue-collar workers and downtown office workers alike, and definitely not on the tourist or guidebook radar (yet). You’ll see the oyster shell parking lot and the little wooden sign next to the institutional green wooden siding of the house. The unpretentious décor of Creole Lunch House includes artworks by local artists, although it’s mostly a nice afterthought to the basic tables and chairs. The real art is the food. You’re really there for the little chow line to sample a small smorgasbord of Southern specialties, cooked with love by the Creole ladies of the house.

Little Chow Line at Creole Lunch House, Lafayette LA

THE DISH: SMOTHERED CHICKEN (over rice & gravy)

Southern style smothered chicken would have as many variations as there are Southern grandmothers, but the basic ingredients include onions (yellow and green), celery, bell pepper, oil, flour, salt, and pepper. Some folks use bacon drippings and/or chicken stock to enhance the gravy.

I’m not sure the exact recipe the Creole Lunch House ladies serve, but the smothered chicken there is awesome. And you can choose from a fantastic offering of side dishes that include Southern favorites like rice dressing, rice & gravy, yams, collard greens, and cornbread muffins.

If I lived in Lafayette, I’d probably eat at Creole Lunch House two or three times a week, as the main dishes vary daily, and the hearty plates would be my lunch and a good leftover dinner. (Do you see all that styrofoam take-out packaging??)

To me, the food is more Southern and soul, but there are some Creole specialties as well. This is South Louisiana, after all. The sweet ladles at Creole Lunch House really pile it on the plate, so go hungry.

Smothered Chicken Plate, Creole Lunch House, Lafayette LA

THE GRADE: EXCELLENT (4 out of 5)

THE DAMAGE: under $9 for a lunch plate and soda. unbelievably cheap.

THE SKINNY: CREOLE LUNCH HOUSE

713 12th Street, Lafayette, LA 70501

Phone: (337) 232-9929

Website:  Nope

Creole Lunch House sign
Creole Lunch House sign