I have always been fairly fascinated with the southern states of the United States of America. I have had too many friends tell me that sometimes that it seems to them like I may just want to live in a country song forever. Most people wouldn’t take that as a complement because of this horrible bias against country music. I on the other hand, am always flattered. And yes, I would want to live in a country song.
A big part about what I think I know and love about the south (because I have never lived there, a lot of what I know may or may not be factual) is the food. They aren’t afraid to use butter and they aren’t afraid to fry anything. And while I don’t know how I would handle eating that food everyday (I have a feeling I would need to take the gym a lot more seriously), I know that once in a while- there ain’t stoppin’ this girl from eating some of that deliciously rich food. Having said that, once I left the states, I thought it might just be goodbye to shrimp and grits for a little while. That was until I made it out to Cravin’ Cajun the first time. And then the time I went back for seconds.
Also, the menu looks like a vinyl cover! #justsaying
Located at the Novotel in Al Barsha, Cravin’ Cajun is a place where you could be fairly dressed up or even very dressed down. When we called to check about dress code, we were told they were a casual place. However, it turned out to be anything but in terms of decor. So it really could work either way – you could have just come strolling in after a trip to the mall or you could be dressed up and you would also fit right in. Calling for reservations on the weekend wouldn’t be the worst idea either. Upon trying to eat there on a Friday night, we had to wait at the bar for a table for about twenty minutes but when we went there on a Saturday night, it wasn’t as busy. Just to be safe though, I would call in!
Over the couple of times I have been there with friends, we have had many a tasty thing to eat. Of everything, a few things actually blew my food lovin’ brain.
The shrimp and grits are so tasty and decadent (I know people use that word for chocolate cake but it truly does work here). The grits were ridiculously, perfectly cheesy and the shrimp was cooked just right.
The “Royal Street Stuffed Prawns” were ordered on both visits. So fulfilling and so good – the iPhone does it zero justice.
Bayou Lamb Chops – topped with a cherry bing sauce. These came with sauteed spinach which was cooked perfectly and corn pudding that I may or may not have inhaled.
We also tried the jambalaya and shrimp etouffe, all very tasty. The portion sizes are good value for money – you most likely will need a box! Also, given the food is rich and so tasty that you sometimes stop eating a few too many bites too late, we have never saved room for dessert. Looking at the menu however, the pecan pie (one of my most favorite kinds of pies) and the bread pudding sound delicious. Maybe next time around, we save room for some of that pie!
The night we were there, the band playing – keys, sax and vocals, served as the “cherry on top”. Good, old-school, jazz tunes that you don’t really get to listen to at many other places in this city. They even played the Ella Fitzgerald song I wanted to request before I requested it. Let’s just say, we didn’t leave till the band stopped playing.
Another thing about this place that makes you want to go back, you ask? Two words – Live.Music.
Very friendly staff, good music, very good food, fantastic ambiance – this little piece of the south is definitely worth a night out.