Bergeron’s is really two food stops, and it’s worth spending time in both the restaurant and the butcher shop.
The restaurant is delightfully simple with a few daily specials, nearly always smoky. One day the Chef’s “lagniappe” is a smoked, boned chicken breast that has been wrapped in bacon and stuffed with jalapeño cream cheese. Together the combination is unlike anything we’ve had, something like a cross between chicken cordon bleu and the unfortunately-named backyard barbecue favorite, atomic buffalo turds (bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers done on the smoker).
This and the shredded barbecue beef sandwich both reminded us of food you’d get at a (highly-skilled) friend’s summer barbecue. The sandwich is served on a seeded supermarket roll with fairly ordinary sauce, but there is a lot of love in the meat. The beans that come with stuffed chicken taste like a long-simmered family recipe. The most important thing to pick up at the restaurant is bread pudding. It’s a large, custardy square that is deeply-infused with vanilla and cinnamon with a silky icing running down the sides. It’s not too sweet, but is intensely flavorful. It’s twice the bread pudding that we’ve had at many white table cloth joints.
After a not-so-light lunch, we are ready for the next course: boudin, cracklin, hand pies, and smoked meats.
The boudin and cracklin’ are both distinctive in their own way. The cracklin’ is firmer and more porky than others, and the boudin is almost all meat. The smoked links are smoky enough that the flavor lingers on taste buds for hours. It is the the boudin for those that like Texas-barbecue levels of smoke.
Boudin balls, crawfish pies, and other Cajun road snacks are all done fairly well, but the best stuff here is smoked. Besides the usual suspects, Bergeron’s offers smoked chicken balls and patties. The patties are made from chopped pieces of smoked meat that are smoked until rosy and left with grill marks. This large patty makes a great road snack to pick at, or a fine filling for self-catered sandwiches.
Make sure to grab a bag of beef jerky. The extra flavor layers of heavy smoke and Cajun spice dust make it unbeatable. You’ll taste it until you sleep it off.