The Cajun Experience

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…not really. Out of all the cajun restaurants I’ve been to in DC, looking for a taste of home, this was my first disappointment. After coming down from my personal mardi gras 2012 party, I was having high hopes for a professionally done Mardi Gras dinner. I was looking for the Cajun Experience, pun intended.

Lets start off with the food, because that, to me, is always where we should start! I love food. Instead of offering their regular menu tonight (which is what I was hoping for), everyone was getting the buffet. The place was set up nicely, and had a great, fun zydeco band with a tiny dance space available if you wanted to get down. I did enjoy the vibe and I like the space.

Abita beer was unlimited that night, which was awesome considering the $45 price tag. The food however was sub-par. I really expected better, but I won’t be too harsh, since it was massed produced for the crowd. There was a variety of traditional cajun entrees, gumbo, jambalaya, etouffee..and mac and cheese and hushpuppies. The jambalaya tasted like tomato sauce from a jar with sausages thrown in. There was no hit of cajun spices. The  etouffee was good, I prefer my cajun dishes a lot spicier, but I understand that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. However there were no spices on the table to help it out. You were confined to your styrofoam divider plate and your plastic cups.

Needless to say, I only had one plate, and spent the night enjoying the music, and my company and $45+ worth of delicious abita beer. I also felt overlooked as a customer. Our server was very sweet, could be a little more attentive, but nothing blatantly wrong with the service. The guy who might have been to the manager seemed to talk to every table and dropping off goodies such as masks, and  drink cozies, and didn’t even make eye contact or attempt to say hello to our table… but made a point to say hello to the surrounding tables. Make note that I wasn’t even in a corner table. And no, I wasn’t a quiet mousey, no eye contact patron either. I joked with the table next to us, clapped and cheered to the live band and was trying to make it a good experience. Overall it was not.

I will give it another shot on a regular day, their brunch menu sounds awesome. But I won’t be attending their Mardi Gras party again in the future.

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