Billedeaux’s, located at 2633 Fruge St., can become busy almost any time of day, but it’s worth the wait. (Michael Cooper / American Press)
Last Modified: Thursday, August 01, 2013 11:16 AM
There is something to be said about knowing what you are and being comfortable with it.
Billedeaux’s Cajun Kitchen fits the bill.
It is a no-frills, high-quality meat market that serves up plates lunches and short-order meals.
There are no waitresses, tablecloths or silverware.
What you will find are staples of the Southwest Louisiana diet done as well as anywhere else.
Mr. Dwight Billedeaux opened the restaurant about 8 1/2 years ago. The offerings were small at first, concentrating mainly on the smoked meats, boudin and specialty cuts that are still available today. But Mr. Dwight has expanded the menu slowly over the years.
I must admit that I have been a Billedeaux’s regular for over seven years. It is a little embarrassing it has taken me this long to write a review for the place, especially since it sits only a mile down the road from our American Press offices.
Johnathan Manning and I headed to Billedeaux’s over our a lunch break earlier this week.
Johnathan, who has been going to Billedeaux’s for about as long as I have, picked the red beans and rice. For $7.99, the plate lunch is served with a grilled pork chop and large chunk of corn bread.
He said the red beans and pork chop were good, but raved a little more about the corn bread.
I ordered the shrimp fettuccine for $5.99.
It wasn’t the best thing I have ever had from Billedeaux’s but it was good. With so many other great items on the menu I don’t think I will be getting it again.
Johanthan and I ordered fried chicken wings and french fries for an appetizer.
Found on the children’s menu and priced at $4.99, the wings and fries have always been one of my favorite things from Billedeaux’s. In my opinion they are the best wings in the area.
Billedeaux’s usually offers two to three plate lunches per day, each priced from $5.99 to $9.99. You should get there before 1 p.m. if you want a honest shot a getting one, as they go fast.
Even if the plate lunches sell out, Billedeaux’s has other options that will more than satisfy you.
The boudin is very good and the smoked version has always been popular. Personally I have always preferred the boudin balls to the links.
The variety of sausage is impressive. The best, in my opinion, is the deer sausage. Some of the other flavors include: pure pork, spicy garlic, green onion, beef and pork, turkey, beef and hot link. I like to get a link of sausage and ask the cooks to cut it up and drop it in the deep fryer for a little while. I usually dip the pieces in some mustard for added tanginess.
The burgers and po-boys are popular too. Always opt for the combo rather than the meal as Billedeaux’s french fries are really good. If you don’t like smoked foods, steer clear of the hamburgers. There is a noticeable pink smoke ring in the meat, and some people mistake it for being undercooked.
Billedeaux’s four daily specials pair ribs, chicken, sausage or brisket with their amazing jambalaya.
If you like brisket you have to try Billedeaux’s. In all my years of eating BBQ I don’t think I have ever had better brisket.
Though the restaurant is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. the kitchen usually closes at 5 p.m. If you want anything other than boudin or meat you need to get in there early.
Some of the other items that Billedeaux’s does really well: pork skins, chicken and sausage gumbo, hog head cheese, rice dressing and beef jerky.
The only bad thing about Billedeaux’s is that you really never know when they are going to be busy.
Most restaurants have a natural ebb and flow and after a while you can time your trips to avoid lines. That’s not the case at Billedeaux’s. I have seen a line out the door at 1:15 p.m. on a Monday and I have seen a packed house at 5 p.m. on a Friday.
But no matter the day or time, Billedeaux’s is always well worth the wait.
• Location: 2633 Fruge St, Lake Charles.
• Hours: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
• Phone: 337-439-9944.