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Broussards on Main Street in Downtown Cape at night (photo by Ken Steinhoff. © Ken Steinhoff. All Rights Reserved.)
See: Jim Stone and Main Street Neon
It doesn’t take much coaxing to get me to hop in the car and head to Cape Girardeau. It’s such a great town with excellent shopping choices and eateries. Now that the highways out of Poplar Bluff have expanded it doesn’t take much time at all to get there either. One trip stands out in my mind. My husband and I had the seemingly rare opportunity to break from our busy schedules to make the trip together. On the drive from Poplar Bluff we narrowed down our many choices of eateries to hit for lunch – which in itself was fun – and decided that Broussard’s Cajun Cuisine would be the most unique and satisfying. Boy, were we right!!!
There’s something special about heading away from the bustling mall complex that screams for your attention when you first land in Cape. All that shopping sprawled out in front of you is extremely hard to resist for sure, but winding through streets lined with pretty homes and gardens down to the old section of town that’s hemmed in by the great Mississippi River is a worthy diversion. And there in the heart of Historic Downtown Cape Girardeau is Broussard’s.
Just one step into Broussard’s and we could have been inside a New Orleans eatery, from the Cajun music that greeted us to the stunning murals and paintings wrapping the walls. The brilliantly colored paintings were created by local artist Craig Thomas, which just added to the authenticity and flavor of the overall experience. We were promptly seated at a booth overlooking the quaint antique stores along Main Street. Kudos to the planners responsible for the welcoming ambiance of the whole downtown area! And now for the yummy part….
Our first course was a pound of wildly flavorful boiled crawfish. If your taste buds aren’t awake by the time you finish those, you might want to have some lab work done on the way back through the medical complex up the street! WOW! From there it was a blissful ascent into carb nirvana with Crawfish Etouffee, Jambalaya, Red Beans and Rice and Gumbo. I swear, taking in all those deliciously rich flavors heaped on piles of white rice made me want to crawl up on someone’s front porch swing and sip sweet tea til the sun went down! Every bite was better than the last! The food, atmosphere, service and even the price of only 25 bucks made for an extremely pleasant and F.U.L.L.FILLING lunch date with my hubby. My only regret is that I saved no room whatsoever for one of their amazing desserts like that Mississippi Mud Cake I’d been eyeing. Oh well, there’s always next time!
I do like back stories and I couldn’t help but wonder how a very authentic Cajun restaurant found such strong roots in Southeast Missouri, and here’s what I found out. In 1986, a man named Barron T. Broussard and his wife, Kathy, moved from Crowley, Louisiana to live in Cape Girardeau. They are remembered as an easy-going, friendly Southern couple who wanted to bring their Cajun flair to their new home in the Midwest. That is the reputation that Broussard’s enjoys to this day. The establishment was sold in 1991 to Dennis Stockard and, again, to the current owners, Hunter and Stephanie Clark, in 2004. Through all the ownership changes, Broussard’s has maintained its cultural flavor and superb quality of food and service it rightfully boasts of today.
It was certainly clear to me why Broussard’s Cajun Cuisine has enjoyed high praise in reviews and longevity (27 years!!) as a unique cultural fixture in the Historic Downtown Cape District! Along with the superb Cajun dishes they also excel in classic American food like steaks, ribs, chicken and fish. There are perfectly constructed lunch and dinner specials that give you an array of choices at excellent prices. The restaurant is equipped and staffed to handle big crowds or romantic tables for two, as was the case for my hubby and me. They offer a carry-out option as well as catering services. Imagine what a hit that would be for your next party.
I encourage you to book extra time around your dining experience at Broussard’s. You will no doubt be enticed by the spectacle of the mighty Mississippi to a walk beside it and will be drawn into the adorable antique stores now residing in the downtown area. After the exquisite lunch or dinner you eat at Broussard’s Cajun Cuisine, you’ll be ready for a stroll….. or a sweet nap!
Broussard’s is located at 120 N. Main Street in Cape Girardeau. They can be reached for more info or to schedule a catered event by calling 573-334-7235. Visit them online at BroussardsCajunCuisine.com or catch them on Facebook and Twitter.