Monday, March 6, 2017

"Road Food" rated T-Coon’s Restaurant “Legendary” - Worth Driving from Anywhere - “Road Food” Warriors

T-Coon's Restaurant's Breakfast - Image by "Road Food"

What does “Legendary” mean?  According to “Road Food,” Legendary as opposed to “Memorable” or “Good,” means “WORTH DRIVING FROM ANYWHERE."

"Road Food" rated T-Coon’s Restaurant “Legendary” - Worth Driving from Anywhere - “Road Food” Warriors

What does “Legendary” mean?  According to “Road Food,” Legendary as opposed to “Memorable” or “Good,” means “WORTH DRIVING FROM ANYWHERE."  “Road Food’s” mission is to
travel across the country and find great regional cuisine along highways, back roads, in small towns, and in city neighborhoods, and report their findings in the “Road Food” reader’s guide and on  Here’s a tiny bit of what they said about T-Coon’s Restaurant, a Cajun Creole Diner: It’s a casual café but enthusiastic service and brilliant Cajun food make T-Coon’s a great destination for breakfast and lunch in Lafayette.  Must eat: The Breakfast Plate with house-made sausage, home fries, thickly-sliced toast, and butter-basted over-easy eggs.  Breakfast Potatoes: No ordinary home fries, breakfast potatoes are laced with soft onion and bursting with flavor.  I believe the seasoning is T-Coon's proprietary mix known as 'The Stuff'.  Beignets: Beignets are crisp-edged with tender insides.  T-Coon's sells them to go, but for full enjoyment, they must be eaten while still warm.

T-Coon's Restaurant’s Beignets.
Image by “Road Food”

“Road Food’s” Michael Stern wrote:

I had no intention of eating a meal at T-Coons.  Walking back to the hotel from a breakfast of swanky pastries at Poupart Patisserie, I couldn’t help but pause at the T-Coon’s window signs advertising smothered rabbit and hot beignets.  From its parking lot, this place looks like any ordinary short-order café, but here in south Louisiana, ordinary is a word that rarely applies to restaurants.  In fact, T-Coon’s is a bonanza for anyone in search of from-scratch regional fare.

I would call it Cajun, except that its chef and owner, David Billeaud, prefers the term Zydeco.  He says, “Zydeco implies a mix of the Creole and Cajun influences exclusive to this area of Southern Louisiana.”   And boy, oh, boy, you sure can taste what he is talking about – not just in unique regional specialties on the menu from catfish courtbouillon and crawfish etouffee to warm bread pudding for dessert, but in the fact that everything – EVERYTHING – served here is far better than you’d expect in a casual neighborhood eatery where locals come to chat and chew.

Breakfast potatoes, for example, are no perfunctory side dish.  When I debated among grits, potatoes, and oatmeal, waitress Nicole recommended the spuds because, as she put it, “They are cooked down with onions, and seasoned.”  Oh, yes, they are: brilliantly spiced and caramelized-onion-sweet with variegated texture from soft to crunchy.

Toast to go with eggs?  That’s made here, too: white or whole wheat comes in thick half-slices that are ideal for dipping into the yolk of a fried egg or for mopping up gravy.  Smoked sausage is local, but not from this kitchen, so I went for the ordinary (not) sausage, which is made here.  It is a broad, juicy, rugged patty; and like so much of what I ate at T-Coon’s, it glows with exuberant spices.  I am so sorry that I had to leave town shortly after finding this place.  There is a daily lunch buffet featuring the likes of red beans and rice (with sausage, of course), baked or fried chicken, smothered beef or pork, shrimp and okra stew, short rib fricassee, and that every-Monday smothered rabbit.  I am eager to return!

T-Coon’s Restaurant is located at 1900 West Pinhook Road, Lafayette, Louisiana.

T-Coon's Restaurant’s Waitress Carrie greets
“Road Food” Warriors. Image by "Road Food"

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