Stomachs only growl when they're hungry or preparing to bite the hand that keeps tickling them. Tame the beast within with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of spicy Southern cuisine at Cajun Queen on East 7th Street.
Cajun Queen awakens slumbering palates with spicy processions of Southern fare that evoke Bourbon Street as diners hum along with rollicking live jazz tunes. The festive atmosphere of the Big Easy fills every corner of the renovated single-family home in which chefs whip up a menu of fried green tomatoes ($7.95) followed by spicy chicken, shrimp, or crawfish étouffée ($14.95–$18.95) smothered in a roux-based sauce. New Orleans–style barbecue shrimp sizzles in butter, garlic, creole spices, and beer ($17.95), and a 14-ounce French-cut pork chop sings seductive cabaret songs to taste buds with a backing band of stone-ground grits ($23).
Built around 1918, the residential home that the restaurant now occupies boasts a rooftop terrace where diners can retire for gulps of fresh air to cool down their over-spiced palates. A heated terrace on the ground floor welcomes guests year-round to admire the home’s historic architecture and listen to the ghostly jazz band that sometimes haunts the back porch.
Housed inside a mansion, Cajun Queen smacks of New Orleans, its home-like confines decked out in bayou-themed decor. Vibrant purple paint, Mardi Gras–masks affixed to the walls, and live jazz music compete for attention against a colorful wall mural depicting three gators on a picnic.
The kitchen staff foregoes gator, however, and instead cooks up gulf creatures such as shrimp, crawfish, oysters, and scallops, each served in various New Orleans–fashions: splayed over rice in an étouffée, sautéed creole-style with tomatoes and onions, or blown straight out of a clarinet. Encrusted with a mélange of spices, farm-raised catfish and new york strip steaks sizzle on the grill until blackened, and then join a mound of garlic mashed potatoes on the eatery’s wooden dining tables set up on either inside or on the spacious back patio. Come the weekend, Sunday brunch pairs eggs benedict and andouille sausage with Kahlua-laced coffee.