Ralph's Market expands on the family legacy started by the original father-son team who opened their first store in 1984. The staff maintains the store's independence as it branches out to serve multiple locations around the region.
The aromas of traditional king cakes and seasonal floral arrangements welcome visitors to each store, where carts weave through rows of vibrant fruits and veggies. In the meat department, butchers slice Ralph's market premium-aged special reserve steaks and wrap up fish fresher than a pickup line stored in tupperware.
Generations of Lachaussees have lovingly prepared Cajun meals from family recipes, using succulent cuts of game and traditional meats. For almost two decades, Chris Lachaussee has carried on the family tradition with a full menu of spice-laden, fully cooked meats that are ready to be heated and served. Chris and his staff craft the specialty meats and homestyle sides every day, ensuring that delectable portions of stuffed quail, pork tenderloin stuffed with cream cheese and bacon-wrapped jalapeños, and seafood gumbo arrive at patrons’ tables fresher than a ripe banana’s newest dance moves.
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.).
At Rocco's New Orleans Style Poboys & Cafe, chef Troy Moreau channels Big Easy culinary traditions into a menu rife with po boys and Cajun dishes. Each po boy begins with classic french bread that, like a spit-roasted marshmallow Peep, has a crisp crust and a light, airy interior. The roast-beef po boy drips with homemade brown gravy ($9.49 for a whole), and the frito's Cajun-spiced fried-chicken po boy ($8.99 for a whole) brims with piquant flavors. In keeping with tradition, chefs dress all po boys with lettuce, tomato, mayo, and pickles. Chicken-and-sausage gumbo ($3.99 for a cup) and a basket of crispy fried shrimp quell seafood cravings in tandem with fries and hush puppies ($9.99). The eatery's TVs light up with high-octane sporting events or adrenaline-pumping home-shopping programs as fans sip Miller Lite and Killian's brews.
Having tossed more than two billion wings in its franchise's history, Wingstop’s chefs have perfected the art of sizzling chicken until its outsides crunch and its insides are tenderized before drizzling wings in one of nine flavors of sauce. Wingstop's menu brims with digit-delectables and succulent sides such as bourbon baked beans ($1.59+), which simmer with rich and hearty flavors. Both boneless and original wings ($6.29 for 10 wings) come flavored with your pick of nine sauces, including hickory smoked barbecue, hawaiian, teriyaki, and atomic, which is spicy enough to finally melt away the icicles stuck on one's mustache. With three kinds of dip ($0.69 each), diners can temper Cajun-sauce-drenched wings with cool ranch dip, or introduce the zesty lemon-pepper sauce to a blue-cheese dip. A combo plate packages two chicken-fillet sandwiches, seasoned hand-cut fries, and a 20-ounce soda for on-the-go eats ($7.69).
Kamal’s Kafe strives to replicate the feel of a Mediterranean eatery with its burnt orange walls, spacious dining area, and menu of herb- and spice-infused Lebanese cuisine. The cooks shave beef and lamb off revolving gyro cones before loading the lean slices into pita bread along with dabs of tahini sauce. At the grills, they roast tilapia and shrimp kebabs and broil marinated chicken in fragrant wine sauce. They can also load platters with such vegetarian classics as hummus and homemade falafel.
Although the dining room houses more than 10 tables draped with blue-green vinyl tablecloths, Kamal’s Kafe can also seat guests outdoors on its covered patio. The patio’s ceiling fans help to ward off territorial helicopters and circulate fresh air throughout the space.