Bud’s Louisiana Cafe
For lunch one afternoon, I met up with CP to head to Bud’s Louisiana Cafe. I had heard of this little cafe serving up a taste of New Orleans and had it on my ever expanding list of places to try out. It was actually CP’s idea to go for lunch when I could not for the life of me figure out what to eat and I couldn’t have picked a better place!
We arrived at the restaurant just a little past 11:30 am and there were plenty of tables already seated. The restaurant is a small place and tucked in the business area hidden in the forest of Kearny Mesa. I can see why this place would get filled up quite quickly at lunch and even dinner time.
After being seated by the window, CP and I dove into the menu which was small but had a good sampling of New Orleans. There was the usual suspects of Po Boys, Jambalaya, Gumbo, Red Beans and Rice, Fried Catfish and Étouffée. I did my research and read up on what other customers liked and I knew what I wanted before even setting foot in the restaurant.
People insisted on others getting the Jalapeno Cornbread muffin and from just all the great reviews, I had to order one to try. Also, considering that they were just only $0.50 a pop didn’t hurt either! The cornbread was not bad at all, but it wasn’t life changing. It was not one of those dull, dry, hard as a rock cornbread that I could use as a paper weight. The muffin was soft, not too dense, and it crumbled away in your mouth as you bit into it or pulled it piece by piece. I can see this going very well with the Seafood Bisque (that I didn’t get to try this time around), but I wouldn’t get it again on its own.
For my entree, I ordered a sample of 3 classic Cajun dishes: Red Beans and Rice, Jambalaya, and Gumbo. Bud’s offers either a cup or a bowl for their patrons and if you were like me, never had set foot into the restaurant before, I would highly recommend ordering a cup of everything to try!
Starting off the meal was the cup of Red Beans and Rice. My, my, my…I sure do enjoy my beans and rice! The dish was hearty, rich, and flavorful. Even from my picture, you can see the creamy beans was a nice and thick. The stew was cooked with ham hocks to give it a rich and salty flavor (got to love anything cooked with pig!). For the cup serving of Red Beans and Rice, you get a slice of the spicy Andouille pork sausage. I love Andouille sausage, but the beans was so well seasoned that I didn’t even miss the sausage!
Next up for me was a cup each of the Gumbo and Jambalaya! Yums…(I am actually really hungry right now staring at the pictures).
The Seafood Gumbo was jam packed again with flavor! The gumbo was spicy from the Andouille sausage and sweet from the chunks of shrimp and crawfish. The gumbo is more like a soup and is not as thick yet nevertheless hearty and hits you straight at your inner core. Maybe this is the true idea of “soul” food. When you eat something that can warm you inside and out without having someone complain about their mouth being incinerated by spices. Yet, this was actually the least favorite of the 3 for me.
Since CP ordered the Jambalaya entree (which comes with a salad starter), I’ll show and talk about his plate:
Gorgeous right? As if the other dishes were not good enough, this Jambalaya stood out for me because it was the spiciest dish out of the 3 and for everyone who really knows me, I am a fiend for spicy foods! The rice was cooked just right since you could pick up one grain at a time. However, that would take way too long to eat and I could just hold up the plate and devour it without even utensils! The Jambalaya was packed with Andouille sausage, Tasso (Cajun smoked ham), caramelized onions, celery, green peppers, and Creole seasoning. The fact it had both Andouille and Tasso, the smoky, spicy, and peppery tones were the most forefront flavors of the dish!
Bud’s Louisiana Cafe was basically an overload of your tastebuds and senses! “Flavor town” would be the best way I can describe it. Next time I’m in the area and it’s cold and I’m wondering what to eat, I think I will know the answer to my question!
Bud’s Louisiana Cafe
4320 Viewridge Ave, “A”
San Diego, CA 92123
(In the Balboa Business Center)