Saturday Morning – Café de Amis
Gina and Jody from the Downtown Lafayette organization were kind enough to join me at the famous Café de Amis Saturday morning Zydeco breakfast. We arrived at the restaurant just before the opening at 7:30 AM and there was already a queue of over a dozen people. Jody and her connections got us through the door and secured us a prime seat for eating, people watching and dancing. We all ordered a Bloody Mary to jumpstart the day and watched the restaurant completely fill with people in 15 minutes. Every table was occupied by a diner, every barstool was occupied by an early morning cocktail, and every space between the tables was occupied by someone ready to dance. Not too many restaurants have this anticipatory energy at 8 AM!
The three of us were heading over to the Boudin festival in Lafayette after breakfast, so we started with some breakfast boudin. The Oreille de Couchon starter is thin fried dough shaped like pigs’ ears, and stuffed with boudin. The sweetness of the powdered sugar mixed with boudin provided a delicious sweet and savory combination. The outer edges of the dough were brittle, while the thicker middle had a tender and crispy combination from the boudin. Oreille de Couchon should be on every Lafayette visitor’s breakfast list.
After polishing off the fried dough stuffed with boudin, the Zydeco band started playing and the place really started coming alive. Both strangers and partners were dancing to the catchy soulful music. Condiments, drinks and our plates were literally bouncing around the table from enthusiastic dancers having fun on the restaurants old wooden floors. I couldn’t tell you the name of the band, but the lead singer had a voice that reminded me of Van Morison in the 1970’s. According to my local companions, the place isn’t a tourist trap – they estimated 80% of the people were from the area. Check out the HD video yourself:
After burning a few calories dancing, we shared an omelet covered with a smooth and tender crawfish etouffee. A buttery and flakey biscuit was also served alongside a cup of grits.
Finally, we ordered a pancake after seeing one delivered at our neighbors table. We initially tried the praline sauce, which was thick and nutty, but found it to be lacking the liquidity we normally enjoy with syrup. Cane syrup was our backup plan, and the sweet cane atop the thin buttery pancake was deemed the winning combination.
Parting shot of the band:
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