3/6/12…The Dime Store Poets @ Evangeline Cafe

Evangeline Cafe

Evangeline Cafe

So I was headed for South Austin again.  It had been awhile since I had traveled down here, so I was looking forward to it.  South Austin has some of the most interesting and quirky spots in Austin.  And I love that!  All I knew about Evangeline Cafe was that it was a Cajun joint.  Now, I have never been to New Orleans and I don’t know anything about Cajun food, so I was both nervous and excited to see what this place was all about.  I decided I’d  eat here since it was an early show.  Of course I left my house late.  I’m officially on “rock star” time. lol  By the time I got down there it was about 7:30.  Evangeline’s is in a strip mall.  It’s fairly small and it was fully packed with people when I walked in.  I wasn’t sure how to go about getting a table since there’s no official hostess stand, so I kinda wandered in and found an employee.  She directed me to the hostess who said it would be a 5-10 minute wait.  Since they have tables outside, I just chilled out there until it was time for me to get sat.  I was kind of antsy since I couldn’t really hear the band from outside and it was getting chilly.  Not to mention, I was starving.  Quite a few more groups of people walked up while I was waiting.  I could see by the movement, that this place is well-known.  For a Tuesday night, this place was hoppin’…or so I thought.  After about 10-15 minutes, the hostess came out and with head hanging, told me the servers wouldn’t let her seat me at a bigger table, but there was a seat at the bar.  She told me that Rob, the bartender, was really cool.  I actually was totally fine sitting at the bar.  Usually this is the best place in the house.  And tonight, I found it definitely was for me!  Once I got seated and situated, I started asking Rob some questions about the menu.  I had no idea what a po’ boy was.  I needed help.    He helped me quite a bit, explaining different items to me, and I ended up ordering an avocado po’ boy.  I LOVE avocado.  But, oh my gosh, the real highlight of this sandwich was the freshly baked bread.  OUTSTANDING!!  I couldn’t eat that sandwich fast enough.  The bread, the avocado, the cheese, and the Evangeline sauce…all amazing.  I was in heaven.  Rob had also talked me into some fries; so by the end of it all, I felt ready to explode.  He tried offering me some yummy dessert, but by then I was D-O-N-E, done!  When I commented to Rob about how busy it was for a Tuesday night, he kind of chuckled and said it wasn’t busy at all.  So then I asked him, so there’s usually a long wait for a table?  And he said yes, that this was nothing.  HA!  Between Rob and a patron that was also sitting at the bar, Mike, I learned that Evangeline’s has been around about nine years.  It’s owner is from Lake Charles, Louisiana.  It’s obvious that he takes much pride in his background because this cafe is all about Louisiana.  There are beads and lights strung throughout the restaurant along with LSU banners.  There are also photos of famous patrons of Evangeline’s, including Willie Nelson.  As a Top Chef junkie, I also spotted a photo of the owner with Eric Ripert & Anthony Bourdain.  I was impressed. ;0  So The Dime Store Poets that I had previewed before choosing to come to Evangeline’s was not exactly the band that played here tonight.  Only two members of the band, the vocalist/acoustic guitarist and the bassist played.  I can understand why, given the small size of the stage in the corner of the room.  There’s no room for a full band.  And while the songs were pretty, unobtrusive, and perfect for this setting, I don’t think I got a real feel for what the band is all about.  I’ll have to seek them out in full form at a different venue as I did like the direct, unpretentious approach to their music.  I have to say, I really loved this place.  It has great food, great service, and a great atmosphere.


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