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New Orleans scene at Zydeco's Restaurant in Mooresville, IN used as header

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.

Exterior of Zydeco's Restaurant in Mooresville, IN

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.

group of people seated at a long table at Zydeco's Restaurant in Mooresville, IN
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.

gumbo at Zydeco's Restaurant in Mooresville, IN sausage at Zydeco's Restaurant in Mooresville, IN
Zydeco's gumbo Zydeco's sausage

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 entertained.

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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