Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cajun Experience

Superking has been craving crawfish.  But where can we go to find them?  Cajun Experience in downtown Leesburg VA. Downtown Leesburg is a quaint little area with lots of antiques, boutiques, and unique eats. Theres even an old-timey movie theater called the Tally-Ho.  If you're looking for parking, it may be difficult to find it on the streets but there are a couple garages which are free on the weekends. Even on the weekdays its not expensive. I once parked there for over 2 hours and had to pay a whole $1!!

Cajun Experience: Loudoun St Leesburg

Anyway, I digress.  Cajun food is not something you see a lot of here in the suburbs of Northern Virginia.  But if you get the craving and don't want to go all the way to New Orleans, the Cajun Experience is the place to go.  A quaint, cozy atmosphere with delicious authentic food with offerings such as a fried oyster bowl, crawfish mac'n cheese, and seafood gumbo...cuisine that sticks to your belly and makes you feel at home.

Their specialty of course is their Po'Boys.  I had the shrimp po'boy and Superking had the oyster po'boy.  Fried juicy seafood piled high on top of a special bread called the Leidenheimer roll, apparently a tradition in New Orleans.  Leidenheimer bread was originally baked by a German guy who migrated to New Orleans and began baking it in a French bread style.  Its crispy on the outside but soft on the inside similar to a French baguette.

shrimp po'boy

oyster po'boy...doesn't look much different than the shrimp one

The po'boys also come topped with a spicy chipotle sauce, ketchup, lettuce, and tomato. The ketchup seemed an odd addition to me at first but the acidity and sweetness of it worked well to balance out the spicy creaminess of the chipotle sauce.  Then with the crisp lettuce and fresh tomato, it all came together for the perfect Cajun po'boy. And it was also served with some crispy salty potato chips that seemed freshly home-made.

We did get an appetizer before our po'boys which I would be completely remiss to forget.  The hush puppies.  Oh the hush puppies.  Normally I'm not a huge fan of hush puppies because in most other restaurants they are dry and kind of bland and very uninteresting.  But these at the Cajun Experience were nothing like that at all.  Quite the contrary.  Very crisp on the outside (almost too crisp at first) but the inside was so soft and buttery like a home-made corn bread! I've never tasted hush puppies that good.

Of course we couldn't leave there without ordering a dessert to-go.  Hmm, what mysterious sweet delight could this brown paper bag hold?? 

Beignets of course!! Mmmm, beignets...sweet pillowy layers of fried dough smothered in mountains of powdered sugar.  Their warmth is radiating through the bag on the way home.  I'm still so full from lunch but I have to have a bite while its still fresh and hot.  My mouth is burning a little and there is sugar everywhere but it doesn't matter. Once you taste that beignet, its like the windows of heaven have opened up and the angels are singing the Hallelujah Chorus. 

Ok maybe thats a bit much but those beignets were darn good! We felt as though we truly had an authentic Cajun Experience there.  Can't wait to go back and try that crawfish mac'n cheese!!

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