A Taste of the South: Notes from a Trip to Louisiana

If only the food could have matched the service at this Lafayette restaurant.

Lafayette is supposed to be the capital of Cajun country, and yet there are surprisingly few Cajun restaurants in town. Bon Temps Grill is one of them. It offers a menu of sandwiches, pastas, seafood and grilled meats at relatively moderate prices.

The restaurant is pretty casual, and has a homey atmosphere. It’s clearly patronized by regulars. They have live music at some times. Service was great, our waiter went over the dishes and was very attentive.

I wanted an entree that wasn’t steak or seafood, so I went with the Paneed Chicken Meuniere ($18). It came with servings of mashed sweet potatoes and mashed hot red potatoes. The breaded chicken was fine, the breading could have used some spicing of its own, though I understand not doing so when it’s served with a sauce. However, the sauce was a disappointment. A Meuniere sauce is basically made with brown butter, lemon and parsley, though it can be modified with other ingredients. Here it felt like the butter had burnt too much and they had added too much lemon juice to compensate. Though, of course, it may have been other ingredients which made it both a tad bitter and way too acidic. It had whatever the opposite of an umami flavor is. The sides were as good as mashed sweet potatoes could be, though I should say I have been drifting away from linking potatoes in all of their manifestations.

Mike had the Crawfish Etouffee Pot Pie ($20) at my suggestion, and it was a mistake. Mike usually loves pot pie, and he absolutely adored the crawfish etouffee that he’d had at Prejean’s the day before, but the one here came mixed with rice. That meant that there was more rice than etouffee, and that the rice absorbed most of what might have been a delicious etouffee, so that what was left didn’t have enough flavor. It also meant that there was no sauce to soak the pastry in. I still love the idea of a crawfish etouffee pot pie, and I might make my own version (albeit with shrimp, as we don’t get crawfish in California) when I go back to cooking.

For dessert, I wanted to get the Banana Fosters Bread Pudding ($9) to go – as I was too full to eat dessert right then – but they were out of it. Instead, the waiter brought me a Creme Brulee Cheesecake ($9) to take home with me, and did not charge me. That was very nice of him, but the cheesecake ended up being a disappointment. It basically tasted of “fridge”. Oh well.

I don’t know that I’d go back to Bon Temps Grill if I returned to Lafayette. Given how much we liked Prejeans, I’d probably head there instead.

Bon Temps Grill
1211 W. Pinhook Rd.
Lafayette, LA
(337) 706-8850
Monday-Friday: 11am-10pm
Saturday-Sunday: 10:30am-10pm
Please follow and like us: