Owned and operated by a New Orleans native, Evangeline Café serves hearty portions of favorite French Quarter dishes. Menu highlights include stuffed pistolette (a small French roll with shrimp or crawfish and cheese sauce), boudin (Cajun sausage made with rice and spicy pork), shrimp etouffee, fried catfish, and awesome homemade potato chips with chipotle mayo for dipping. Live music in the evenings is a regular happening and adds to the already authentic atmosphere.
Cypress Grill lives up to its reputation as a "Louisiana Cafe" with a diverse menu of cajun favorites, like voodoo shrimp and crawfish étouffée. The food is made with heart, soul, and spice, which comes through in the rich and tasty flavors like garlic cream sauce and Andouille gravy. The weekend breakfast is just as enticing with fluffy buttermilk pancakes and scrumptious omelettes prepared to order. And don't miss out on impressive weekly specials, including live music, happy hour, and half price wine.
It's not hard to figure out why this place is so popular. The casual, homey interior offers wood floors and whimsical decor, the menu is diverse, and service is personable and prompt. Frog legs, fried pickles, smoked boudin, and Cajun crab cakes all make excellent starters. Main dishes run the gamut from burgers and barbecue to etouffee and fried seafood, so everyone should find something to their liking. For dessert, choose from an assortment of pies, or opt for fresh fruit cobbler or bread pudding.
Hill Top, set away from prominent restaurant thoroughfares and given to an eclectic menu and the whims of its owners, is a refreshing change of pace from corporate eateries. Occupying a former gas station, the place has a distinctive local feel and gets lots of business as a result. The menu mixes Cajun, Greek, and Texan fare, meaning you can start with spanokopetes or gumbo and then munch on shrimp Mytilini or pork boudin. Give some thought, too, to chicken-fried steak and quesadillas. Live music is almost always on the schedule, and terrific dining is a given.
A small chain with a big Texas presence, Pappadeaux offers lively ambience, speedy (and friendly) service, and gargantuan portions to please even the heartiest of appetites. Start off with fried alligator, boudin (Cajun rice-and-pork sausage), or oysters Pappadeaux topped with crab, spinach, and hollandaise. Next, choose from fried seafood, etouffee, blackened catfish, a variety of gumbos, or a po'boy. A great Greek salad also honors the owners' homeland. Desserts are tried-and-true Southern favorites – banana pudding, bread pudding, and praline cheesecake. Reservations aren't accepted, but the wait is usually bearable.
Devoted to seafood of all kinds, Freda's is also known for serving a good selection of dishes inspired by native Louisiana cooking. The appealing interior boasts stained concrete floors, granite tables, multicolored light fixtures, and lots of windows, but folks often opt to dine on the outdoor patio when the weather's mild. Among the dishes to try are bacon-wrapped scallops, pecan-crusted tilapia, fried soft shell crabs, and a mixed seafood grill. Steaks, pastas, and chicken are available for folks who don't relish seafood. In addition, Sunday's brunch buffet is a bargain that features all-you-can-eat shrimp, oysters, crab cakes, fried catfish, French toast, omelets, soups, and desserts.