A homegrown success story with a slew of awards and nearly 40 years of history, Popeyes has introduced its menu of Louisiana eats to taste seekers around the globe. Rather than downloading low-quality, unsatisfying meals through the Internet, packs can pick up Popeyes’ family-style meals, pairing eight pieces of Cajun fried chicken with four buttermilk biscuits and a side of award-winning rice and beans ($16.99). A po boy stuffed with crunchy shrimp ($3.49) makes a splash in lunchboxes, and chicken nuggets ($2.49 for six pieces) surf into mouths on waves of refreshing sweet tea ($2.99/gal.).
Reginelli’s Pizzeria merges a menu of traditional Italian fare with casual, modern décor to forge an Old World dining experience for contemporary feasters. Hand-tossed by a crust master upon request, the Classic Combo pizza bursts forth from kitchens crowned with a panoply of pepperoni and italian sausage, a scepter of fresh veggies, and a gooey cloak of mozzarella ($11.95 for 10”, $16.75 for 14”). The Smokin’ Chicken pie honors its piquant namesake by pairing a spicy smoked-tomato sauce with marinated chicken breast, pancetta, and a snapshot of George Clooney in a chicken suit ($11.95 for 10”, $16.75 for 14”). The Uptowner sandwich’s melty mélange of smoked turkey breast, provolone, and hot-pepper relish ($8.25) proudly represents Reginelli’s focaccia-based capital alongside The Downtowner’s posse of Italian meats, mozzarella, and kalamata-olive pesto ($8.25). Diners can deploy forks into the lush forestry of a refreshing Chicken Salad ($9.75) or navigate the tortellini trees sprouting across the Shrimp Forrest’s loch of spicy red-pepper-cream sauce ($12.50).
Cafe Americain mollifies grumbling bellies with a generous menu of Southern comfort fare, crafted from award-winning family recipes. A plate of shrimp Orleans ($15.99) supports two crabmeat-stuffed shrimp, which roll themselves into thinly sliced catfish fillets before a brief dip in the deep fryer leaves them pining for a bath of brandy tarragon sauce. For carboholics, a create-your-own-pasta option ($8.99+) invites culinary creativity by presenting patrons with a choice of four pastas, ten vegetables, and three meats––a roster that offers up the potential for no less than 26,000 possible combinations. Furl tongues around a side order of sweet-potato hush puppies ($1.99 for 3; $3.50 for 6) to augment an entree, or set them loose to keep fried catfish fingers ($8.50) from sneaking bites of a fried oyster poboy sandwich ($9.50). An egg-centric brunch menu ($7.99–$10.99) is also available, and it curbs Sunday-morning stomach pains with a satisfying smattering of Southern-inspired classics, including a breakfast quesadilla with grits and smoked gouda ($8.99) and hash browns spiced with jalapeños and bacon ($3.99).
The popular sandwich franchise offers an expansive selection of speedy snacks, including soups and salads. For a trimmer take, try a Torpedo or Bullet ($3–$4), where longer, leaner baguettes get packed with yummy stuffings, such as mozzarella, turkey, and basil pesto in the Pesto Turkey or heaping stacks of meat (ham, salami, capicola, pepperoni) in the Italian. Other sliced bread standouts include sammies (flat bread), signature subs, and classic subs. View a complete menu here.
Brennan Ledet experienced one of the rarest anomalies in the known universe—he met someone who had never heard of a taco. He realized with a shudder of terror that this might not be as unusual as it sounds in certain areas dominated by Cajun traditions. After working for a Mexican restaurant with owners who were too afraid to embrace actual Mexican cuisine lest it frighten the locals, he decided to take matters into his own hands. In 2011, he opened up his own restaurant that would appease residents with traditional Cajun fare while introducing them to the exotic flavors of Mexico.
At Taco Boudreaux, Ledet and his culinary team incorporates local produce and seafood into the menu of Cajun Tac-Eauxs, which boasts fried catfish, gator, oysters, or shrimp topped with housemade rémoulade, pico de gallo, and jalapeño peppers. They continue the Cajun-Mexican fusion in their étouffée burrito and the carne asada po-boy sandwich, which they serve with shoestring fries. Bartenders, meanwhile, can complement meals with domestic and Mexican beers and specialty cocktails, such as the Mardi Gras margarita, whose secret blend of purple juices and spirits are shaken by a parade marshal before being poured into a glass rimmed in king cake sugar.
Sombreros decorate both the dining-room walls and the vintage pickup truck outside on the lawn, which flaunts a hand-painted portrait of Taco Boudreaux’s sombrero-wearing shrimp mascot.