If you look up where to eat tradition Southern Louisiana fare near Avery Island, chances are that Cafe Des Amis will turn up in your Google search. This restaurant, famous in Breaux Bridge for its home cooking, has just opened up a branch in New Iberia.
The restaurant is small and casual – you get the feeling that you could walk in wearing paint splattered overalls and flip-flop,s and the waitress would still call you “ma’am” and offer to refill your drink several times.
You also get the feeling that you are going to be eating very well.
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo with Rice and Potato Salad
Any place that serves not one, but two types of carbohydrates alongside its spicy stew is a winner in my book. This was my first gumbo and I am an official convert. Reminiscent of the complexity of mole and the comfort of chili, it is really something unto itself. The creamy potato salad, laced with hot Creole mustard, is delicious on the side. Adding a few dashes of Garlic Tabasco really puts this over the top for those who need some extra heat.
Oven Roasted Duck Glazed with Pepper Jelly and served with Sausage Dressing and Corn Maque Choux
Look at that slab of duck. Slow roasted until very tender, with a crispy, crackling skin loaded with sweet and slightly hot glaze. The duck taste is mild, not too gamy or intimidating to those who are shy around such birds. The corn maque choux is forgettable, but the sausage dressing is the stuff my dreams are made of. Moist and salty, with sweet crumbles of pork sausage mingled in the cornbread stuffing. It is porky, bready gluttony at its finest.
Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce
This tastes incredibly like tres leches cake. It is basically the interior of a croissant – warm, airy, buttery – drenched in a sweet, milky sauce that is scented with vanilla and sugar. It is so comforting that it is sort of the Snuggie of desserts…yeah I said that.
What of it?
This is just about the most down home place I have ever been. Nothing new, nothing out there, just really well executed home cooking that, unless you were raised in Louisiana, you would probably never get to try. Just be sure that you order that Snuggie for dessert.
*Disclaimer: My meal and travel expenses were paid for me. I was not required to write a review, and my opinions are my own and, I feel, unbiased.*