The last trip to Louisiana was terrible to say the least.

So when given a chance to sample “authentic” cajun food right here in Cleveland, I was skeptical to say the least. But never have @Cleveland222 and @KHWatts led us astray (reference Lotus of Siam in Vegas post). If you don’t follow them on Twitter, you’re missing out.

So on their orders, we headed to South Euclid in search of Battiste & Dupree Cajun Grill. Our first and second attempts failed as they were closed….but after seeing their “winter kitchen hours” we were back on track.

Battiste & Dupree Cajun Grill - Restaurant front

Located at 1922 Warrensville Center Road in a non-descript neighborhood strip mall, it is one of the more unassuming dining establishments in Cleveland…ie get your dry cleaning done, eat dinner, get a 6 pack of Schlitz, condoms, and lotto tickets…you get the idea.

Medium starch on the collars please...

But don’t be fooled by the simplistic outside advertisement street front sign.

Don't blink, otherwise you'll miss the sign

Inside is like a New Orleans party waiting to happen.

Just like Bourbon Street...kinda...on Warrensville Center Road

The dining room is quaint – like seats 15 people comfortably. These close quarters make it a very intimate setting no matter where you are seated. Random too.

Um, isn't Tsingtao a Chinese beer?

The menu is easy to read with a TON of choices – every step of the way, assisted by Junior who is the cooker, the baker, the candlestick maker. Seriously, this guy is the front of the house, bar tender, server, bus boy, take out counter, expiditer, phone operator, order taker, take away handler, waiter, water guy, DJ, marketeers, and most importantly, table schmoozer. I thought I do alot – you should see this guy in action! A visit to this restaurant is worth it just to see Junior in his element.

Menu and a waiter summons tool

Our drinks came served in mason jars.

Hurricane

Two words: deliciously strong.

HoumaHouma (Don't mixamixa!)

Do not be fooled…strong.

BTW-DJ Junior was quite random as we heard a mix of 80s rock, jazz, and country music being played for us.

First dish to appear: Red Beans & Rice – $6.25

Red Beans and Rice

Slightly spicy and clearly made with the classic southern trinity mirepoix which are onions, celery, and bell peppers (instead of carrots) – this was great. Also VERY large cuts of sausage makes a customer extremely happy too. Can’t go wrong with this authentic dish.

Second dish: Chicken and Sausage Gumbo in spicy stock – $8.50 

Chicken and sausage gumbo

This heat was intense…not in an overpowering way, but warming your soul kinda way. Large bowl too! Deep flavors and rich spiciness brought this gumbo as the best gumbo we’ve had in Cleveland.

Macro of the gumbo: De-freaking-licious

As you can see, clearly using traditional ingredients and you can tell the contents of the gumbo. Awesome job. I thought there was a hint of coffee in the gumbo too (maybe too many Hurricanes at this point). Just order it-you won’t be disappointed.

Chicken Remoulade: A Chicken croquette, topped with remoulade sauce, served with Creole corn and jambalaya – $13.95

Chicken Remoulade

Croquettes were G-B-D, the remoulade sauce was spicy and the creole corn brought everything together. Already falling in love with this outstanding dish!

Chicken Etouff’ee – $10.25

Chicken Etouff'ee: E-tou-ffee = O-M-G

This rich sauce was nothing like I’ve had before.

Most of the Etouffee I had in Louisiana was thin and soup-like. This Etouffee was dark, rich, complex, and definitely something you’d want to mix in your rice…or pour down your pants. Either way, you should order this now….and pour it down your pants.

Details of the Chicken Etouff'ee - pour in pants good

Classically, we know this dish is usually served with shrimp, but we opted on the recommendation by Junior with his favorite – Chicken.

Shrimp Po’Boys breaded shrimp & seasoned with “Bayou Boy Blend” served on a loaf of French bread and dressed with remoulade, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and American cheese – $10.50 or (2) for $18.00 (served from 5p-7:30p).

Shrimp Bo' Boys (one order)

This was the winner-winner-chicken-dinner. So. Frickin. Delicious. Best Thing I Ever Ate.

First off , shrimp was well prepared. Perfectly cooked and seasoned, this truly is the start of a great PoBoy.

Most other places deluge the PoBoy with mayo…not Battiste & Dupree Cajun Grill – this light drizzling of remoulade was perfect. Perfectly dressed.

The perfect mix in their Shrimp PoBoy

This French bread was lightly crispy on the outside and thick on the inside. Additionally a few minutes on the grill top (with our friend butter) was a perfect touch in sealing in more flavors.

The mesmerizing Shrimp PoBoy

Don’t be afraid of the plain Jane slices of American Cheese. It is a PERFECT match here as they sit separating the tomato. This cheese layer prevents the shrimp soggy from our friend the tomato, plus the heat from the shrimp lightly melts the cheese and the remoulade provides a layer of fat that helps seals everything in. Love this.

Drooling yet?

Compared to other PoBoys, how good was it? Hmmm, like hit on your boss’ daughter right in front of him good. Daaammmmnnn!

Ending our meal, Junior brought out a praline dish which an old school creole/New Orleans famous dessert.

Classic bayou praline

Doesn’t look like much but believe you me, we could have had at least 6 more of these rich desserts. De-freakin-licious.

So should you go? We suggest you call in sick to work and visit Battiste & Dupree Cajun Grill immediately.

Junior, thanks to you and your outstanding staff for a great dinner. We can’t wait to see you for your upcoming secret dinner. I so hope you will have 5 PoBoys just for me.

Show your boobies cause I wish I had a PoBoy for lunch today.

Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms…

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