From the Ranch

From the Ranch

Saturday, March 1, 2014

I Confess, I Love Prejean's in Lafayette Louisiana!

The music of these two gentlemen is one of the reasons why!

The wonderful Cajun cuisine is the other. Whenever we make the trip to Louisiana for Madi Gras, or to see Randy's family, there are places along the way we always stop, and the restaurant Prejean's in Lafayette is one of our favorites. The food is authentic Cajun, and cooked to perfection.  In order to appreciate "authentic Cajun," you have to first understand the word Cajun, and where it comes from. Cajun is the shortened version of Acadian.  In the early 1600's, French immigrants moved to Acadia, which is present day Nova Scotia, Canada, then in 1755 the British drove them out.  That whole thing is a long story, but as they scattered the world over, many settled in Southern Louisiana, where the Spanish governors gave them choice lands in the prairies. There these stoic folks began raising cattle and farming.  The Acadians had their identity shortened to Cajuns by their neighbors, and to this day, their culture, arts, music, traditions, and cooking is still referred to as Cajun.                                                                                              

As the wealthier English population began growing in Lousiania, remembering the experiences of their days in Acadia, the Cajuns began retreating to the swamp and marsh lands of the Mississippi River.  The richness of all the culture this group of people gave birth to, is the influence of the style of music the musicians who enrich your dinning experience at Prejean's perform.  It is referred to as Zydeco, and I love it!

More about the music later, first, a look at the ambiance which is Prejean's, (that is pronounced, Pray-Jon's. Famous all over the world, this quote appears on their web site,"Taking the world by storm since their first visit to a culinary competition some 20 years ago. Prejean's now holds the record for the most medals captured by any culinary team in the south."  The medals for those wins are the first thing you see when you walk in, and the gift shop is the next.



There is a live web cam sign up as you walk in, and you too can be live on the Internet as you enjoy your meal, just smile and wave.  No authentic Cajun restaurant would be complete without an "ode to alligator," and Prejean's does it up good!  Standing guard over the restaurant, this one has got to be at least 15 feet long, and he is all decked out in the traditional colors of Madi Gras, purple, gold, and green!

The decor is absolutely perfect for the best possible Cajun food experience!

This big guy is an alligator gar, a really mean fish, which is a bottom feeder with a nasty disposition and some serious teeth, and no one wants to catch him for eating purposes.  The sign says this one weighed in at 201lbs!

The stage where the musicians play is backed by a beautiful stain glassed piece of artwork, and Spanish Moss hangs from the Cypress trees flanking it.  Spanish Moss is a bromeliad, which grows and hangs in the trees all over Louisiana, it is not a parasite, but grows instead on air and water.  We have Spanish Moss at Soldier's Heart as well.

I love this beautiful bronze which sits on
side of the restaurant, the two children riding the alligator just speaks to me of the fortitude the Arcadians.  When they were driven to the swamps and marshes, they began making their living by logging cypress, fishing, and harvesting the Spanish Moss for making mattresses and for use as insulation.

Of course, no dinning experience is sweeter than the one shared with family and good friends.  My daughter Meredith and her boyfriend Robert are with me on this trip.  Randy was unable to come due to work requirements, and also I am enjoying the company of new friends we have made, Dennis and Cindy.  Dennis is Robert's father, and an artisan and photographer.



You can find menus and all the details for your own dinning extravaganza, along with more information about the beautiful and enchanting Zydeco music at Prejean's website.