Austin >Food & Dining > Evangeline Cafe
Mardi Gras madness: Cajun/Creole-based Evangeline Cafe may look modest from the outside, but inside, it's happy bedlam. That's especially true during their annual Mardi Gras party, when folks go all out with green/purple/gold paint, beads, and creatively adorned body parts (if, ahem, you know what I mean).
Great Cajun food without having to drive to Louisiana.. I'm very rarely in south Austin but I happened to drive by around lunchtime and saw this little place off of Brodie Lane today. I am originally from Texas but I lived in New Orleans for four years many years ago and developed a love of good cajun food. I was craving a good shrimp po boy and they did not disappoint me. It was as good as any I have ever had in Louisiana. I also tried the gumbo, which was excellent. For desert I ordered Miranda's Pecan Praline Pistolette, a delicious extremely rich concoction that I have never seen anywhere before. Anyone who says this place has bland food needs to go to the doctor and get their taste buds checked. Although, I admit that I did put some Louisiana hot sauce on my po boy because that's what you are supposed to do. What I'm trying to say here is I highly recommend this place for great cajun food and I will be making a regular trip from my far north Austin home to eat there again. I actually can't wait to go back and try their seafood platter and wash it down with an Abita beer. Now that's livin'.
As bland as Cajun can be.... My fiance and I went here for dinner. I had the "seafood platter" for $17 - maybe the most expensive thing on the menu. She had the fried shrimp basket. We both found our meals to be excrutiatingly bland, even though much of it was fried. The "platter" was also more like a "plate." I.e. it was surprisingly small, consisting of 3 fried shrimp, 3 fried oysters, a stuffed crab, and a small fried catfish fillet, with a piece of lame bread, and possibly the least exciting "dirty rice" I've ever tasted. If it weren't for the passable service, I would have given this restaurant one star.
Evangeline Cafe is the worst place to eat or listen to live music, crowded , terrible owner and customer service. Many people already covered whats wrong with this place, I just want to point out that the owner is asking for cash only cover charge from customers at 10 pm. i am pretty sure there is a reason its unadvertised and is cash only. IRS come lokey here for some underreported revenues.
Bland!. We were told about Evangeline's by two different people and I doubt I'll listen to either of them again. What a terrible experience. Two of us at the table ordered their "house specialty" Crawfish Evangeline. It was supposed to have a cream sauce that wasn't creamy. There was NO FLAVOR. The pasta was cold and wafer thin, I added a ton of the Evangeline hot sauce, and I'm a total wimp when it comes to hot & spicy, that seemed to at least add some flavor but no heat, then I had to add salt too. We actually added salt to the onion rings! And forget about the fried pickles, they're awful. I love fried pickles, I get them often but I have never seen fried hamburger slices for a reason, it's a bad idea Eva! The music was great, if a bit loud for dinner time but I wouldn't recommend it and I won't be back.
WHERE IS THE FLAVOR????. I agree with the other reviews... I dont see why this place is so popular/so well reviewed??? I went there w/ high hopes being new to Austin & being Creole... Yet... I was soooo let down... I ordered Shrimp Etouffee... all it was onion (3 kinds) in a light brown cream gravy... it was served w/ dry cornbread w/ no flavor! Seriously Where was the flavor in that??? While waiting for my togo food I talked w/ the friendly staff & it seemed like they knew what they were talking about. After getting home... & being deeply disappointed I added some Tony's & a cajun style stewed tomatoes... Sadly I think it comes down to this... They need some REAL CREOLES in the KITCHEN!
Something different, but not great.. I've enjoyed cajun and creole food up and down the Gulf Coast, and I have to say this isn't the best. The rice seemed par-boiled and the entrees (fried, etouffee, et cetera) are all kind of bland. Evangeline's is a better neighborhood bar than a restaurant, in my opinion - but it IS a nice place to stop in for a beer/margarita and an appetizer. If you're more interested in the food, try the Cypress Grill on William Cannon just West of MoPac instead.
I'm not sure I understand this place's popularity..
I live within earshot of Evangeline and have tried it several times. Each time I have been rather disappointed. The first time I went, I entered with high hopes. I am from Mississippi originally and grew up around good Creole and Cajun cuisine. I was repeatedly told by friends how this place was the real deal, and in some respects it is. The vibe in the place reminds me a lot of some of my favorite cajun places in Slidell. Honestly, if you walk into a joint serving this food that isn't seriously relaxed with a touch of dirt, you should just leave. Tidy and prompt isn't what Louisiana cuisine is about. The place feels like south Louisiana or Mississippi, and I thought that was quite cool.
The problem is, the food is not particularly good. The first time I went, I had the shrimp creole and a cup of gumbo. The gumbo was pretty good, not the best I've ever had but certainly worth having again, but the shrimp creole was terrible. It essentially tasted like frozen shrimp on old minute rice with a squirt of ketchup on top. For ten bucks, I felt seriously ripped off. My friend had the fried catfish, which was very average as well. On a later visit, I decided to give the po-boys a go, picking the oyster po-boy to go with my LSU/Florida football game. It was essentially a fried oyster sub. The bread had none of the light, chewy characteristics a real po-boy should have, but was instead heavy and dense. The whole thing just dripped grease. True, the sandwich has fried food on it, but a good oyster po-boy is packed full of light, crispy oysters. This sandwich was more like refried frozen oysters (which I don't actually think they were mind you) on a hoagie.
At a level, Cajun cooking is dirt simple. It is all about nailing the basics and knowing the flavors. This place just doesn't get there. The vibe is 100% authentic, and in a way, the food is as well. But being authentically Louisianan does not equal being authentically GOOD Creole or Cajun.
Great Fried Pickles!. We went here for a birthday and it was great. The music was really great, it's cozy and the service was good. The food was a little bland for a couple of us. I really would have like for them to blacken my catfish but they do not blacken which I was disappointed in. The fried pickles were great!
Service was great, the staff was friendly and informative. I was new to cajun food, but now an expert. My boyfriend and I dedcided to try the cafe out on a Friday night. The place was packed, but the wait was not long, and our food came out pretty quickly. From a cup of red beans and rice to a desert pistolette we had at the end, everything was wonderful. We ended up hearing a great band and staying all night.
pros: friendly welcoming enviroment
cons: we didnt know there was a cash cover after 10:00pm
Best Cajun/ Creole Food in Austin!!. I went to college at Tulane in New Orleans, and am always on the lookout for that great taste in Austin. I have found it at Evangeline!! After many disappointing meals elsewhere, I happened upon Evangeline, and it has become one of my favorite restaurants. My alumni association has dinners there, I eat there with my fiance, I've brought my mom, I tell all my friends. The food is second to none, and Curtis, the owner, is wonderful. Even after being absent for a while, he remembers me and my fiance when we come in. Although he is an LSU alum, he has put a Tulane T-shirt up to represent. Run, don't walk to eat there. Be sure to try the seafood gumbo, and don't forget extra pistolettes. To those of you that think some of the prices are a little high, remember, all of the food is fresh, not frozen or prepackaged. The freshenss is front and center... oysters are flavorful and never rubbery, pistolesttes crunchy and chewy, the food is never too spicy, but always flavorful, one flavor never overpowering another. I love this restaurant and this man's food!!
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