The last thing you expect to find in
Mooresville, Indiana is a genuine Cajun restaurant but there it
is right in the heart of Hoosier country, a little piece of
Acadiana called Zydeco. Actually it’s more than Cajun it’s a
little bit of New Orleans best Creole cooking rolled up with
Lafayette, Breau Bridge, Thibodaux’s Cajun and Zydeco style and
all of South Louisiana thrown in for fun.
Carter and Deb Hutchinson have brought all
that is fun and flavorful of Louisiana to Indiana. Carter is
from south Louisiana. He met Deb on Mardi Gras day in 1996 on
Bourbon Street in New Orleans. She was here from Indiana for the
Mardi Gras. It was a whirlwind romance that led Carter to
Indiana but as the old saying goes, “It’s an ill wind that blows
no good.” This particular wind led the couple to combine Deb’s
business acumen with Carter’s artistic culinary streak.
It was only natural that they opened the
first incarnation of Zydeco’s in Sept 1998, Later when the
present historical building became available they moved the
operation to its present location. The ivy covered 19th
century building is a perfect foil for the Louisiana food that
traces its origins back to an ever earlier time yet remains
timeless in its appeal. Part of the appeal is that Carter makes
almost everything fresh right on site. He creates tasso, boudin,
andouille sausage and countless other Cajun and Creole treasures
in Zydeco’s kitchen. Louisiana’s Trinity, onions, bell peppers
and celery, are cut fresh not prepackaged.
|Our group enjoying the great
food at Zydeco's
One of their special during crawfish season
is their crawfish boil. Now as all good Louisianans know, you
need live crawfish for a crawfish boil.
I asked Carter how they get them here. He replied, “We
have them flown up. It’s a one hour trip on Southwest Air. When
they call and say ‘we got your crawfish on the plane,’ I’ve got
the water boiling in back. When they get served, they are
literally two hours away from Louisiana.”
Carter is a big believer in local when
possible even thought he turns it into Louisiana cuisine. His
pork and chickens come from nearby Gunthrop Farms where the
animals are pasture raised without antibiotics. The eggs served
at Zydeco’s are free range from a local farm.
We sampled many of the treats and it felt
like old home week for me. The gumbo was wonderful, rich and
filled with okra, chicken and andouille sausage. The Crawfish
Etoufee was for real. And the red beans and rice–well you just
have to go try it for yourself to appreciate the artistry. For
dessert you will be hard pressed between the real Louisiana
style bread pudding with a rum sauce or the bourbon pecan pie.
And speaking of artistry, Carter creates
more than the food at Zydeco’s. The walls are filled with his
paintings reflecting Louisiana life, Mardi Gras items and bits
and pieces of New Orleans.
The atmosphere complements the food perfectly.
If you visit Zydeco’s and hate to leave,
Carter and Deb have bought and set up another piece of New
Orleans right next door in Da Parish Grocerie. You can sip a
Dixie or Abita Springs Beer. Have
a cocktail or enjoy an Abita Spring s Root Beer. There will be a
hot band playing probably Zydeco or Cajun music to keep you
|Right next door you can't miss
the Louisiana style of Da Parish Grocerie
One of the highest marks of approval you
can earn today is to be featured on one of the Food Network’s
programs. Zydeco’s made the cut. Guy Fieri featured Zydeco’s on
Diners Drive-ins and
Dives. Although it is well known that Fieri dislikes liver,
he sampled some of Carter’s boudin, made with pork liver, and
proclaimed it “very tender.” Guy really went all out over the
Barbecued Shrimp which he called “delicious,”
Guy’s Fieri’s final verdict about Zydeco’s.
“This is true Louisiana.”
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