Cajun Cafe

After work, I drove south from Huntsville Alabama a handful of miles to where highway 231 crosses the Tennessee River.

“Maybe there’ll be an interesting restaurant,” I thought.

And, yup, just after crossing the bridge, there it was, the Cajun Cafe. Small, dumpy, with red Christmas lights hanging from the eaves and a stray white cat sneaking around the parking lot.

“Doesn’t look like much,” I said to myself. “I’ll check the menu but then probably go somewhere that looks better kept.”

Standing just inside the door was a large menu with today’s fare written in multi-colored chalk.

“Hmmm, several gumbos, shrimp, crawfish, … this has possibilities.”

As I started to think more seriously about staying, three groups came though the door and lined up at the cash register to order. I moved to the end of the line but continued to study the menu. The list of side dishes looked interesting, too. Lots of southern cooking here. So I listened to those before me to hear what they wanted.

  • “Catfish, two pieces, with hush puppies, greens and butter beans, please.”
  • “Catfish, one piece, with hush puppies, cabbage and corn.”
  • “Catfish, two pieces, potato salad, and red beans and rice. Oh, and hush puppies, too.”

These folks know something.

My turn came.

“And what will you have, sir?”

“Catfish, two pieces, hush puppies and, uhm, spicy turnip greens and, ah, yellow squash.”

“$8.55, please.”

I found an empty table to await the food and turned on my Blackberry to check email and fill the time. There was a message from Robin: “Had any Gumbo yet?” she asked. I filled her in and the expected dinner but before I could send it dinner arrived. I quickly sampled each dish and finished the email reply to Robin with “Wonderful!” and hit send.

If you like atmosphere, hush puppies, catfish and southern cooking, this one’s worth a drive. And with several gumbos on the menu, the Cajun Cafe will see me a few more times.

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