Posted By Stephen Rushmore
10/22/2010 10:27:00 AM
The Johnson family has been serving boudin and other meats since 1937. The business originated as the Johnson’s Grocery in Eunice, closed in 2005, and then reopened a couple of years later in Lafayette when they couldn’t find any respectable boudin near their new home. Lori Johnson Walls has carried the family tradition along with her husband Greg.
Boudin is the quintessential Roadfood. Served in butcheries, convenience stores, gas stations and small shacks throughout central and northern Louisiana, no single producer dominates, and it is almost entirely run by families, many of whom create both traditional (pork and rice) and non-traditional (crawfish, smoked, etc.) varieties. Locals are known to be very loyal to their nearby provider, and the Johnson's Boucaniere was embraced quickly when they came to Lafayette.
Their boudin consists of a balanced blend of rice, Boston butt pork, and liver along with onions and bell and red pepper for seasoning. I prefer to cut the casing in half and squeeze the boudin filling into my mouth, while others don’t mind eating the link whole. The tender bits of smoked pork were well balanced with the rice and the red pepper and left a warm afterglow in the mouth – just enough heat to require a nearby beverage.
The standout dish at Johnson’s is only served on Saturdays and it is called the "Parrain’s Special" – named after Bob Carriker, who is the foremost authority on boudin. Bob’s creation is a stuffed grilled cheese with crumbled boudin balls and BBQ sauce in the center. If the Cajuns were to create a cheesesteak – this would be it. The flat sandwich is a perfect balance of meat, cheese and enough red peppers to line your mouth with heat. You can only experience this at Johnson’s.