Tuesday, March 27, 2012


The Spot Cafe

1847 Hwy 14

Lake Charles LA


Monday to Saturday 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM Cost $1 to $10

This annex to Jones Grocery has been many venues over the years. It has turned over again. Less ambitious than the last place here (they offered sometimes as many as five or more different plate lunches) these people offer only one but so far they have been tasty. They are feeling their way but recently they put out a menu for the whole week. Before it was cooks choice and you got the throw of the dice. You might find mw there on Tuesday if the keep serving ox tail on that day.

Based on the lunches the short order stuff should be good also. They do po boys, burgers, fried chicken, and fried seafood not to mention breakfast. The breakfast seems solid but not exciting enough for me to haul myself out of bed. But based on what I have eaten it should be as well prepared.

First time in was Baked Chicken. Since I find this to be dry more times than not, it was a test for this venue. However this leg quarter passed with flying quarters. It was juicy and flavorful with a nice level of spice. The side of rice dressing was excellent with a hint of liver. The mac and cheese proved righteous also but the pork and beans seemed from a can.

The second time was to be short order until I heard the plate was Smothered Pork Chops. I did not get enough of this in my youth so you will never see me turn away from smothered pork. Plastic knife tender and great tasting. The rice received the bounty of the pan drippings. The okra and tomatoes along with the mashed potato style potato salad was as good as any I have put in my mouth. I chowed down. You also get a schoolhouse roll and a piece of bundt cake with each plate lunch.

I finished off with a couple of short orders I opted for my usual Bacon Cheeseburger. While not the best if certainly was not the worst. It provided a satisfactory taste and the gestalt a burger should have. I would definitely have it again. Next came the Seafood Basket. It consisted of a large filet of what I assumed was catfish and six large shrimp fried to perfection. The coating seemed to be a combo of corn flour and flour with some spices adhered perfectly to the proteins. That made it evident that the person frying had some skills. As good as any I have ever tasted. Fries were pretty much standard.

As usual it seemed to be more of a take away place. I seem to be the only one to sit and eat there. Since it is on my normal route home, I consider it a viable option for when I don’t feel like cooking and want to avoid the fast food.

Burger Time

I was going to do a trifecta of Bar Burgers between the small bar row on Ryan street but found one had folded. Therefore you get a duet. I like burgers made at bars and if anyone knows of a bar that serves good burgers get in touch with me at adhebert@suddenlink.com. If I get enough I will do another column


3436 Ryan St

Lake Charles LA


Monday to Friday 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM (Kitchen) Cost $2.50 to $9

I started off with the Fried Jalapenos. Pickled slices in what seemed to be a beer batter and fried golden brown served with ranch dressing. Dipping into the dressing gave then the just right hint of heat. I was munching away then I had a brainstorm. I stopped and waited for my burger. Here they call it the Blue’s Burger. It is really a cheeseburger. I got mine with cheddar, bacon, onions, and my brainstorm nothing else. I put the remainder of the jalapenos on the burger. On the toasted buns they put mayonnaise on top and mustard on the bottom. Then a third pound patty cooked well done but still plenty juicy. The perfectly melted cheddar held two thin crispy slices of bacon and the jalapeno slices with the white onion rings topping it off. It made for a good burger. One I would return for. The side of well prepared fries that I even liked completed the experience. They also carry on the tradition of the Wagon Wheel BBQ by offering the Trail Boss and Tornado sandwiches, another time maybe.

Cajun Wharf

3500 Ryan St

Lake Charles LA



Monday to Saturday 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM (Kitchen) Cost $2.50 to $10

Here it is Joe’s Hamburger. It consists of a third pound patty that you can add cheese to but no bacon. I went with pepper jack. It comes with lettuce, tomato pickles and red onion rings on the side. The toasted buns are plain but ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard is on the table. I went with mayonnaise, mustard and the red onions. The patty was juicy and the pepper jack perfectly melted. In my humble opinion bacon would have made this burger but it was still good as is. I got it with the crazy chips. They are not from a bag but fried fresh to order. I like that. While I did not get it this time Joe’s Shrimp, Crab, and Parmesan dip is excellent also. Here is another good choice along Ryan to eat a great burger.




508 Hawkeye Avenue

Lake Arthur LA



Monday to Saturday 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM Cost $2.50 to $25

Sunday 11:00 AM to 3: PM

Opening last fall this new construction is spectacular. A long ADA rated ramp leads to the main building which is set on piers over the waters of the lake. A large dining room tricked out in wood also has a fireplace and a small stage. Wide capacious eaves mean you can partake in out door dining. They make the point that you can arrive by car, boat or seaplane. I have been two times with variations of my eating group. A late Saturday lunch seems to work best for us

First time was me, my sister and our enthusiastic friend. I ordered the Smoked Fish Dip for the table. It consists of in-house smoked white fish mixed with cream cheese and herbs then blended together to form a paste. Crackers come with it. While my companions were less than enthusiastic, I loved it. I ate most of it. Something about how the smoky flavor complements the unctuous cream cheese speaks to my palate, could have used a bit more heat. Lunch was still being served. My sister went for the Crab cakes with a side of grits. She was highly pleased. The pan sautéed cake delivered on flavor and the grits while not quite Zea’s were good. Our friend got Fried Oysters. It was just the start of the season. They were tiny but well fried in a cornmeal crust. I opted for the Seafood Platter. I was off fried platters as I had recently had some terrible ones. However except for the oysters there were other options for the other elements of the platter on the menu. Therefore I ask for the items broiled, griddled or sautéed as a substitute for the fried version. To my delight they were amenable. I would not have tried this on a busy night but a lazy Saturday afternoon seemed OK.

The platter consisted of shrimp, oysters, catfish, crab cake, stuffed crab and shrimp and okra gumbo. Even though it had okra in it the gumbo was roux based. An excellent roux it was. The juice tasted of seafood with okra under tone. The shrimp were abundant and it was delicious. The shrimp and catfish were griddled with a blackening season and quite moist and tasty. The pan sautéed crab cake possessed at least 80% crab meat if not more with little filler. The same could be said of the stuffed crab except the dressing was in a real crab shell and broiled. Again the fried oysters were small but tasty and not over fried. My side of Corn Macque Choux tasted fine also. We shared a Gateaux Sirop (syrup cake) which was below par.

The return visit was with a larger contingent. Their bread boat (miniature pirogue) held roadhouse style bread. I ordered Alligator Sausage (came with grain mustard and kraut) for the table. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. Several people ordered po boys. They included Fried Catfish and the Grand Lake Special (oysters and shrimp). This happened on the other end of the table. They looked delicious and I heard no complaints. A crab cake entrée was also ordered on that side. Just as good as the last time I was told. Our baking friend got the special. A catfish and shrimp combo (fried catfish and broiled shrimp). My sister ordered the BBQ Shrimp would have been excellent except for an over abundance of rosemary.

I started with oyster on the half shell, still a bit on the small size but nice and briny. I then tried the Duck and Andouille gumbo. Dark roux complimented the earthiness of the duck with the Andouille adding just the right spiciness. I then went to the Crispy Duck with Cane Syrup. Half a duck cooked until the skin was crispy then slathered with a cane syrup glaze. The combination of the sweet crispy skin and the earthy meat was perfect. I enjoyed every finger licking bite as with a dish like this your hands are your best tools. The table shared Bread Pudding and another run at the Gateaux Sirop. The much improve cake and the bread pudding was a fine end to an excellent meal.

I highly recommend this establishment south of Jennings for a leisurely Saturday afternoon drive of about 45 minutes to eat superior food on the water