The Cajun Experience

cajun0Nestled in the heart of Old Town Leesburg, “The Cajun Experience” is a treat for those looking for authentic Cajun food.

As I entered the restaurant with a friend on a Saturday afternoon, my first impression was of a clean but cluttered small space filled with seafood aroma. Bustling with customers, the place did not have an open floor plan feel that most restaurants have.

Originally from Louisiana, Bryan Crosswhite launched this restaurant about 5 years ago as there were no Cajun restaurants in the Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia area. A conversation with him revealed that the restaurant is actually a converted old house built in the 1700s.

“I felt like it had a lot of culture, especially of where I am from, Lafayette. It looks a lot like an old Cajun house“, said Crosswhite.

Inside the foyer, we were greeted by a friendly hostess who escorted us to an empty table in the packed restaurant. After reviewing the menu, we ordered the Lagniappe Special, which consisted of 5 small plates of restaurant favorites for a total of $35. As both of us do not consume alcohol, we ordered sodas.

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We were served the Crawmac, Shrimp Maque Choux and Hush puppies first. Crawmac consisted of crawfish with creamy Macaroni and Cheese fried into balls and Shrimp Maque Chox was shrimp cooked with corn, served over rice. Hush Puppies had a Cajun seasoning which tasted quite unique. Next we were served Crawfish beignets, Jambalaya and Fried Catfish.

We finished it all off with the dessert, which was Café Du Monde Beignets. The dough for these is obtained from the famous Café Du Monde of Louisiana. The beignets were topped with powdered sugar and quite delicious.

This was my first experience tasting Cajun food and everything tasted really good. Customer service was excellent; the owner himself came to our table to ask if everything was fine.

Annette Briggs, a regular customer told me she comes here every weekend as “Food here has a wonderful taste, something not mass produced, very unique, very traditional ….… something that’s out of your mother’s kitchen”.

If you’re a fan of Cajun food looking for small plate portions, “The Cajun Experience” is a restaurant you must try.

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