Prejean’s

Review by: Jane & Michael Stern

Prejean’s is not a cozy, out-of-the-way Roadfood café. It is a boisterous eating hall with billboards on the highway, a gift shop just inside the front door, and the sort of fun/casual atmosphere that attracts busloads of tourists. None of that repudiates the fact that the Prejean’s kitchen turns out good, classic Cajun food seven days a week, three meals a day.

Hungry for crawfish? Here you can have etouffee, crawfish pie, fried crawfish, rolled into fried boulettes, wrapped in tortillas to become an enchilada, or made into bisque with or without corn and crab or artichoke. There are several combo platters that offer samples of nearly all the varieties, preferably with deep-flavored dirty rice on the side. How about gumbo? Prejean’s gumbos are flamboyantly seasoned and some of the best anywhere We are especially fond of the chicken and sausage gumbo; and there are seafood gumbo and gumbo made from duck and andouille sausage.

The menu is gigantic, including such wild game as rack of elk, deer chops, and alligator (fried or grilled); and there are good old steaks for Cajun-frowners.

Despite the hordes who fill the place, especially on weekends, we have found service to be brisk, efficient and friendly. It’s a nice place; and big as it is, it is the real thing. Every night at seven, a quartet of guys set up on the bandstand with violin, squeezebox, triangle, and guitar and serenade customers with bayou tunes.

What To Eat

Eggplant Abbeville

DISH
Red Velvet Cake

DISH
Shrimp Louella

DISH
Singing Crawfish Combo

DISH
Chicken & Sausage Gumbo (cup)

DISH
Gateau Sirop

DISH
Pan-Seared Catfish

DISH

Prejean’s Recipes

Discuss

What do you think of Prejean’s?

2 Responses to “Prejean’s”

Jane & Michael Stern
Richard Keistler

May 14th, 2009

Though I am a Texan, my family hails from Crowley, Lake Charles, and Jennings. I grew up eating Louisiana-style food and still travel regularly to Lafayette on business. Is Prejean’s truly Cajun cooking? Who knows? We all see a difference between what is cooked at home in small quantities and what restaurants serve. Regardless of that silly argument, the food served at this restaurant is delicious, spiced properly for the public, and of a variety not found elsewhere.

I have eaten here in Opelousas many times for both business and pleasure. I am a crawfish fan, and there are many dishes here featuring that local delicacy. I ate at Prejean’s recently and got the shrimp Louella with macque choux and dirty rice; perfect. Does it taste like someone’s home cooking? Probably not–individual home cooking is as variable as everyone’s gumbo.

Service is superb, with friendly waiters. I’ve been to Prejean’s in the evening when there are musicians on stage. It’s fun and they don’t play so loud you can’t hear yourself think. I remain amazed that the prices are so reasonable. Though Michael Stern describes the restaurant as an eating hall, it’s not just one enormous room; there are different dining rooms.

In summary, it remains a most pleasant place to eat, particularly for those unfortunates who can’t access this cuisine regularly. It’s just a hop up I-49 from Lafayette and worth the drive.

Reply

Jane & Michael Stern
Josh Nieman

June 14th, 2008

As a longtime road traveler, and resident of the heart of Cajun Country, I must profess that Prejean’s restaurant is a common place for a Cajun destination, but not a place that is iconic to the land.

Prejean’s is just one more of the long line of restaurants that sell food made with generic Cajun recipes, to anyone willing to eat for no reason other than to say that they have eaten something Cajun. Prejean’s offers nothing of the culture of a good hearty Cajun meal made by people who truly personify the region. Prejean’s is visited mostly by tourists, and any local will tell you not to step foot in those doors! Sure, you’ll get a tasty hot meal there. You will not, however, be experiencing anything Cajun.

If you’re seeking the greatest of Texas steaks, cooked to perfection, and want to experience some of the culture surrounding it, do you go to Austin and eat at Applebee’s? This is essentially what Prejean’s is to folks around here.

I recommend any plate lunch restaurant over Prejean’s any day of the week. There is nothing Prejean’s has to offer that is unique to the area, or even competitive. Instead, go get some food from Miss Murline at the Creole Lunchhouse on 12th, or go downtown and eat at Pat’s or Dwyer’s. Go to Antler’s and get a stuffed pork chop; they’re amazing!

Don’t go to Prejean’s. It’s no more Cajun than Tabasco sauce from Canada.

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