The Big Easy Café
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays
Address: 213 S. Second St., Flagler Beach
Cajun/Creole cooking has migrated from Louisiana straight to Flagler Beach, via the Big Easy Café. Upon entering, I was greeted by purple and gold décor. The café is decorated in a Mardi Gras theme, complete with beads, masks and New Orleans street signs. Of course, it was the alluring smells of simmering spices and savory dishes that really made me sense I was in a traditional New Orleans-style café.
It took me awhile to decide what to order because everything seemed delightful, so in the meantime I ordered a coffee, which was presented as a caffeinated chicory coffee from Café Du Monde in New Orleans.
I wanted to try something traditional so I asked the waitress, who was more than helpful. She mentioned jambalaya, dirty rice, muffaletta, and the Nawlins shrimp po-boy, all of which were among her favorites. I settled on the Nawlins shrimp po-boy.
As I waited for dinner to arrive, I noticed the chef preparing my food. I watched as he sautéed the shrimp with tomatoes, garlic, basil and a blend of secret spices to create a Cajun sautéed shrimp. He then married the combination with a garlic barbecue sauce. After that, the medley was stuffed inside a toasty French bread, which made for the best shrimp po-boy this girl has ever tasted!
As I noshed away in pure bliss, I didn’t even notice the pile of dirty napkins that were collecting around my plate. Thank goodness everyone else was too busy indulging in their own entrees to notice my additional “table decorations.” This sandwich was enormous, and to eat it without a plethora of napkins could’ve been a disaster!
From the homemade po-boys, dirty rice and muffaletta, to the hot-out-of-the-oven beignets and freshly brewed chicory coffee — even the Zapp’s chips — Louisiana is surely missing these folks. But here in Flagler, we will gladly adopt them as our own.