With Mardi Gras season coming to an end — along with the tradition of eating more seafood — and six weeks of Lent until Easter, the need to revisit my time living in Louisiana has made me homesick for good Cajun cooking. Keeping with the tradition of being the traveling Jedi Chef, I make my way to McKinney, and behold, I find Bayou Jack's Cajun Grill.
As I approach the entrance and glance through the large windowed front, I spy happy people enjoying what I expect to be a hidden gem here within North Texas. With pleasant decor reminiscing southern Louisiana and a little Zydeco — traditional Cajun music — on the speaker, I scope out the menu.
Like a kid in a candy store, we had to order a little bit of everything. We started out with a crawfish queso, yes, I said crawfish, and I could have eaten nothing else. The mixture of crawfish and melty cheese goodness is hard to put into words.
For our entrée, we had a “Crazy Cajun Platter;” an assortment of fried fish, shrimp and oysters, coleslaw and Cajun fries. The dish called the “Ménage A 3” was a trio of crawfish etouffe, chicken and seafood gumbo, and red bean and rice.
To be glutinous, we also tried the fried alligator po' boy and a grilled shrimp platter. This place is fantastic, the seasoning was just right — enough heat for those who like it but mild enough for those whose palettes don't like spicy.
Home style food along with close family made this a trip worth remembering.
I would like to mention Bayou Jack's has two locations one in McKinneyand one in Roanoke, TX. The owner Jack Layman, being from Louisiana, has hit the target with his restaurants.
I had an opportunity to visit with the assistant manager, Taylor Loyd, who has been with this company for over four years and loves that “the teamwork in both location is next to none.”
“Management cares about their employees well being at work and in their personal lives,” said Lord.
Until you can make it by and try out this fabulous place, here's a little at home recipe to get you by.
Po' man's etouffee
½ cup green onions
1-pound chicken or shrimp
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cans of rotelle tomatoes and green chilis
1 pound of rice
Cook rice per directions separately.
Add soup and rotelle to pot add meat of choice and bring to low boil add seasons to taste, once meat is cooked, add green onions and serve over rice.