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Cecil’s Cajun Kitchen is named for Cecil Doyle, a DeRidder coaching legend. (Johnathan Manning / American Press)

Cecil’s Cajun Kitchen is named for Cecil Doyle, a DeRidder coaching legend. (Johnathan Manning / American Press)

Cecil’s in DeRidder does it right

Last Modified: Friday, September 21, 2012 8:55 PM

By Johnathan Manning / American Press

While recently working in DeRidder, I had the opportunity to sample the best the city’s restaurants had to offer.

DeRidder may not boast the myriad restaurants of a larger city, but I found none of the restaurants I tried during my visits there to be lacking.

In fact, our resident food experts claim Thai Basil to be the best Thai restaurant in our corner of the state.

I’m no expert on Thai food, so let me tell you instead about “Cecil’s Cajun Kitchen” and its home cooking.

Cecil’s has everything that you would expect from a sports bar — sports memorabilia everywhere, TVs and live music on the weekends.

The sports memorabilia is notable because the bar is named after former DeRidder High coach Cecil Doyle, according to the restaurant’s website.

Located on Highway 171, everyone passing through DeRidder passes by Cecil’s.

On a Friday night, music from the open-air seating area of the restaurant wafts throughout the area, bringing some life to DeRidder.

A calendar on Cecil’s website lists a schedule of who will be playing at Cecil’s.

I made it there for lunch twice; I had a pork chop with gravy one day and a Cecil’s Special po-boy the next.

Don’t tell my editor, Ken Stickney, this, but I couldn’t finish the pork chop dinner. Served with rice and gravy, black-eyed peas and mac-and-cheese, it was simply too much food. Fear not, I polished off the pork chop, but had to leave a few vegetables behind.

A biscuit served with the meal rivaled those of Popeye’s. I consider that the highest praise I could offer.

If you’re ordering the Cecil’s Special po-boy, put that other special po-boy served here in Southwest Louisiana out of your mind. We, from this corner of the state, tend to compare all our po-boys to Darrell’s.

Perhaps that’s a mistake, because there is only one Darrell’s. This one was distinct and flavorful enough to be enjoyed on its own merit. Yes, it had jalapeno mayonnaise and was covered in gravy, but it was a different taste.

As an aside, my waiter suggested to order the gravy on the side, and mete out the gravy at my own discretion. Elsewise, she said, the sandwich would be soaked.

The lunch special bill for the po-boy was $10, drink included. The bill for the pork chop luncheon special was $8.29 plus tax.

If you go

• Cecil’s Cajun Kitchen is located at 120 W. First St., DeRidder.

Hours: 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

Contact 337-460-2002 or

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