Let the Good Times Roll

Good food to get you in the mood for Mardi Gras

Cajun Pizza Place

7318 McNeil #111, 291-7997
Sunday-Thursday 10:30am-10pm; Friday-Saturday 10:30am-11pm

I don't know about you, but for me, the name "Cajun Pizza Place" conjures up the vision of an andouille and crawfish pizza made with a Tasso cream sauce or a blackened-shrimp calzone – foods along those lines. But Cajun Pizza Place is not that spot. Rather, it realistically replicates the nonchain pizza parlors found in the heart of Acadiana, those Lafay­ette joints supported by hungry pizza­philes and college students. This ain't your haute Cajun cuisine turned into pizza, no, cher!

Cajun Pizza Place's specials include chicken-and-sausage gumbo that tastes like ya maw-maw cooked it all day on the back burner, rich with gravy and deep chicken flavor, and crawfish in season, but what really makes the place stand out is its homage to the aforementioned spots. The music played is chanky-chank, its pizza thin-crusted, its servers friendly, and its beer icy cold in bottles, pitchers, and mugs.

Pizzas can be made to order, but the house specials will surely suit, with meat-and-veggie combos piled high on thin, crunchy crust that highlights the ingredients instead of overwhelming them. The muffaletta sported plenty of meat with good ratios of the meats (more ham, with salami to complement), cheese, and olive dressing. The bread was not too thick or too thin and showcased the muffy middle. The fried-shrimp po'boy offered a definite Cajuny twist with a reddish, spicy batter on the shrimp; spicy dressing; a smattering of lettuce; and, again, the not-too-overwhelming bread that made the whole thing work. The only drawback here was that tomatoes cost extra, a minor inconvenience if you want yours "dressed."

Along with Abita Purple Haze and Abita Amber (no Turbodog, unfortunately), there's Shiner on tap, and the friendly waitstaff will serve mugs and pitchers of draft, just like those Lafayette joints you may remember.

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More by Sarah Hamlin
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