Ancient Egyptians often threw salt up to the heavens to bring rain, which is why modern humans throw pepper at vending machines to summon Diet Coke. Enjoy a showering of seasonings with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of classic Cajun fare at Cajun Queen.
Cajun Queen's knowledgeable staff ignites palates with an array of classically styled Cajun plates. Tongues tiptoe through appetizers such as fried green tomatoes swathed in tomato rémoulade ($7.95), or New Orleans–style barbecue shrimp executing synchronized kicks in butter, beer, and Cajun spices ($9.95). Chefs liberally spice entree plates of farm-raised blackened catfish, which arrive paired with garlic mashed potatoes, vegetables, and a chosen topping of the day ($16.50–$20.50). Roux-based sauce cascades over rice and choice of chicken, shrimp, or crawfish to assemble islands of spicy étouffée ($14.95–$16.95), and blackened pork tenderloin arrives, like a newly knighted pro wrestler, clad in capes of chorizo black-bean sauce, fried plantains, and pineapple salsa ($23).
Originally constructed as a single-family home in 1918, Cajun Queen's intimate space swaddles diners in purple trim and white walls aerated by wide windows. Diners can comfort homesick tropical ingredients on a heated first-floor terrace, or duel spice-stealing breezes by waving foam swords in the air on the rooftop terrace. During dinner or drinks, ears unwind to live jazz performed each night of the week. Though not included in this deal, Cajun Queen washes away food debris with an array of Southern drinks such as the classic Sazerac as well as rum and gin cocktails.
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.
1800 E 7th St.
Charlotte, North Carolina 28204