Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kat Kracklins/ Cruz Cafe

Kat Kracklins and Cruz Cafe
529 West 18th Street
Lake Charles LA

Monday thru Friday 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM $1 to $8

This little building has always been a food venue as far as I know. It stated out as a donut shop then fell on hard times. It went through several incarnations including a few BBQ joints. It seems to have finally found owners who care about it and customers that care about their food

I stumbled upon this place one day and went in for a plate lunch. They were not doing them that day. I wound up with a hamburger but what a hamburger. I went with my usual route of adding cheese and bacon. It came out with American cheese and thin crisp slices of bacon. The bun was pretty standard but had been griddled. The treasure here was the patty. After a few bites I realized I had a never been frozen formed by hands with a light touch piece of meat. It had been seared for a nice crust but the interior was juicy and flavorful. One of the city’s finest. The onion rings I got with it were a thick cut with a batter coating, not bad.

Second round was smothered Pork Sirloin steak with rice, gravy, mashed potato style salad, and cabbage. The pork was plastic fork tender and spicy with great gravy and well cooked rice. The potato salad possessed small chunk of cooked potato with chopped hard boiled egg and sweet relish. The cabbage looked a little funny at first. Then I realized they had used the outer leaves that many throw away. Fine with me except it seemed to have had sugar added to it. It left it too sweet. Next time I went in on Wednesday (BBQ day). That day it was Pork Steak, links, dirty rice, mashed potato salad and baked beans. Best piece of BBQ pork I’ve had in years. It seemed to have a killer rub that went to a well seasoned glaze. No sauce need here, fork tender and smoked all the way through. Smoke ring need not apply. The dressing was made with ground meat and chicken liver just the way I love it. Again I really liked the potato salad and the beans were OK.

Along the way I got cracklins and boudin to take home. Those that know me know I consider pork belly a bad choice to make cracklins. These people do as good a job as can be done and treat them right (under a heat lamp). The boudin made fresh every day was great. It had perfect rice and shredded pork with wonderful flavor. However the spice level was just beyond where I like to be. Other I am sure find it just right. I ended up with breakfast. Sunny side eggs, bacon, grits and toast. The grits were perfect. I love great grits. They can make or break a breakfast. Everything else was as good as any other place I go. I especially liked the thin crispy bacon and got a double portion.

The food here is among the best in the city but the BBQ stands out. You need to come on Wednesday to try it out

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