For lunch, Mr. Hawthorne and I went to Broussard's Cajun Cuisine in Cape Girardeau, MO, recommended to Mr. Hawthorne when he asked a Sysco employee where to eat. When looking for suggestions for a restaurant, if you can't find a local, ask a food service employee.
Funky decor in Broussard's. And that's Nicki, our attentive and helpful waitress in the back. (Sorry, Nicki, if I spelled your name wrong.)
Murals in Broussard contribute to the Mardi Gras atmosphere. Kinda. Here's their rather extensive menu for your perusal.
We ordered the Seafood Platter for 2 for $17.59 - catfish, frog legs, fried clams, fried oysters, and fried shrimp with a choice of potato or vegetables. We both ordered the steamed vegetables and a house salad. One of our more expensive meals - $32 with drinks. When you think about the meal prices here, keep this in mind: Our "breakfast" costs nothing. Well, not nothing. We paid for it. But it's a Continental Breakfast and I pocket as much fruit and yogurt as I can. To the point of embarrassing Mr. Hawthorne. But, like I tell him, "We PAID for it already!" We have a late lunch. Then no dinner, except for my pocketed fruit and yogurt and whatever snacks we might pick up along the way. So our only expenditure for food basically is our lunch. If I think about it that way, $30-$40 for a meal for two doesn't hurt so much. Well it does to me, since I'm cheap, but you have to let some things go.
Our salads arrived with tomatoes, a sprinkling of cheese, and fried bread cubes. We had bleu cheese dressing on the side along with a port wine and cheese dressing Nicki recommended. We both liked the port wine dressing and I'll have to recreate it for you when I get home.
I love steamed veggies and these were properly steamed - crisp/tender. Green beans, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, red and yellow peppers, and onions.
Jambalaya with sausage, rice, tomatoes, and spices. Not bad, but I like mine better. Couldn't find that holy trinity of celery, peppers, and onions in there and no discernible meat other than the sausage and I don't think any beans were in there either. I prefer red beans.
I have to say they know how to fry. The breading mixture was spicy, but not hot, and not spicy enough to overpower the seafood; however, feel free to overpower the frog legs.
The clams were my favorite, tender on the inside, crisp on the outside, next the shrimp, succulent inside, light batter outside, and the catfish. I've never cared much for frog legs. So many times I hear people say they taste like chicken. Let me say right here and now, "Frog legs do NOT taste like chicken." I usually say frog legs taste like pond scum, however, these did not. I'll give 'em props for that. And as long as I'm on "things tasting like chicken," alligator does NOT taste like chicken either. It tastes like swamp or something I should be wearing in lovely boots on my feet. And lots of times, catfish, to me, tastes like pond water. Not pond scum. Pond water. These did not. They were fresh-tasting and I liked them. Now, the oysters. No could eat. Please restaurants, do not serve out-of-season oysters. These were horrible. I took one bite and spit it out. The fried platter was served with a cocktail sauce (boring, since no horseradish that I could discern) and a really good tartar sauce.
I haven't had real Cajun food before, so I may need to study up on this and try my own combination of spices when I get home. We enjoyed the meal, except for the oysters.
Our waitress, Nicki, recommended the bread pudding for dessert.
Excellent suggestion, Nicki. I loved it. The sauce could have been a bit harder, as in throw in some bourbon.
Still, damn good. Again, something else I'll have to make when I get home. My to-do list is getting longer and longer. Before I leave this post, I have to comment on the Missourians I've met so far. From our waitress, Nicki, to the couple seated diagonally across from us, and to the gentleman behind us, these are some of the friendliest people I've met. We all chatted as we ate and seemed like old friends upon leaving. Missouri is a nice, very friendly state. We left Cape Girardeau and headed to St. Louis for the night. Next, we visit The Arch.