My Northern-raised palate admittedly isn’t very familiar with New Orleans food and drink, so I was excited to check out The Cajun Experience when it opened recently on 18th Street NW. I made it there last week, on a blustery night when I felt a cold coming on, so I was in the perfect mood for warming comfort food.
I started with a traditional Hurricane cocktail (I found mine cloyingly sweet and couldn’t finish it). Next I shared the crawfish mac & cheese — which you can already tell is becoming their most popular dish — and hushpuppies with my friend. This was followed by an appetizer-sized portion of the red beans and andouille sausage as we wanted to save room for beignets for dessert.
As it turns out, the appetizer portions were a good call because portion sizes are HUGE and I ended up taking leftovers home. The food was very filling, though a bit under-seasoned: my red beans dish could have been more flavorful, and my friend noted that the shrimp in her seafood gumbo was overcooked and mushy. The much-hyped crawfish mac & cheese — a menu standout of creamy mac and cheese, flecked with large chunks of crawfish and covered in a layer of broiled cheese — came out unevenly warm.