July 22, 2015

Louisiana Comes to Meridian with Opening of Cajun Steamer

By Kin Lanice Walton
– Williamson Herald –

About 600 people piled in and spilled out of the new Cajun Steamer location at Meridian on Fat Tuesday this year.

The restaurant serves authentic New Orleans Cajun cuisine, and since it opened on Feb. 1, there have been no signs of it losing its quickly gained popularity.

It is the third Cajun Steamer location in the country, with the other two located in Hoover and Trussville, Ala.

The owners, Chris Battles and Jeff Thompson, were looking for an additional location.

“Franklin offers the kind of people that are looking for good food,” said Kelly Jones, one of the managers at Cajun Steamer. “We wanted to be somewhere that people needed us.”

She is originally from New Orleans and knows that it’s “really the essence of New Orleans that makes the food.”

She said there are key criteria a true New Orleans native expects from a cajun restaurant, such as the bread, the breading of the seafood, and the remoulade sauce.”

Some of the items on the menu include oysters, which are chargrilled in the shell with parmesan and garlic. They also serve alligator tail, blue crab and fried green tomatoes with a remoulade sauce made in-house and pirogue (pronounced peerog), which is fried eggplant.

Three different gumbos are available at Cajun Steamer: chicken and sausage, seafood and ya-ya.

The Acadian bread pudding is a crowd favorite, Jones said.

For those wanting to try a little bit of it all, Jones suggested the Cajun Trio, which is the crawfish etouffee (pronounced ay-two-fay), jambalaya and gumbo.

All of the crawfish and oysters come from Louisiana, Jones said, and they use well-known Cajun staples like Zatarain’s and Tony Chachere’s Creole spices.

For a complete menu listing, with a Cajun dictionary, visit www.caiunsteamer.com.

Everything has a kick. It’s a richness. It’s a heartiness, definitely a heartwarming food, and I think we have cornered that,” Jones said.

“There’s a feel good, let-loose atmosphere in Cajun Steamer right as you walk through the door. The restaurant goes by the saying, “Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler.” Which means “Let the good times roll.”

The restaurant offers a broad range of unique dishes from $3.95 for a cup of gumbo to the most expensive dish, the Steamed Seafood Platter for Two for $33.95, which includes royal shrimp, oysters, hot boiled crawfish and one crab cluster.

New Orleans is known for its ability to throw a great party. The Mardis Gras celebration that the restaurant had this year, which saw about 600 people throughout the entire day, is only going to get bigger and better.

Though the restaurant boasts an authenticity that can be hard to find outside of Louisiana, Jones said the restaurant wants to add local flavor as well.