Nestled within the unexpected Viet-town of downtown Orlando, King Cajun Crawfish gives you a solid dose of New Orleans noms when you’re six months out from Mardi Gras and Jonesing for some crawfish etouffee.
King Cajun has been on my “To Try” list (a very unofficial list I keep in my iPhone) since one of the first weeks I moved back to Orlando, and a couple of weeks ago I finally got to go. I had just attended my second Open House with the lofty misconception that I could actually afford to purchase a residence in the historic part of Orlando, and was in dire need of a meal that would remind me of unemployment and carefree bliss. My adventures in NOLA were highlighted by drinking Bloody Mary’s in the streets, hauling ungodly amounts of plastic crap home each evening, and, of course, the food (which is the only thing I wrote about regarding my trip).
I felt I had thoroughly sampled the real deals in Nawlins this past February, so I knew what I was going for when we tried King Cajun. We started with crawfish etouffee, which is easily one of my favorite dishes. It was amazeballs, although the rice was a little too sticky for my liking (ManFriend loves mushed together rice so it was easy to share).
We split some giant seafood boil nonsense, which included crab legs, crawfish, shrimp, sausage, corn, and potatoes. I really just wanted to eat the crab legs, and though I like crawfish in etouffee, I was not about eating one in all it’s bug-like glory. (I am one of those people that knows where food comes from, but tries not to really focus on it while eating). We went with the ShaBang sauce in medium, and the spice level was jusssst right. The sauce… well, ManFriend loved it, and other friends raved about it as well… but something was off for me. It definitely tasted great, but had this chalky mouth-feel aftertaste I wasn’t a huge fan of. I’m also biased towards crabs with Old Bay, since my first experience having them boiled was in Annapolis.
Don’t get me wrong – I ate literally every single one of those crab legs, actually tried a crawfish (no head sucking, but the fish part was good) and actually ate corn on the cob (something I usually avoid) thanks to it being soaked in all the spices. Nom.
One little touch I particularly liked: there was a sink in the corner of the restaurant, set aside from the tables but without having to go to the restrooms, so that you could wash up your hands with more than just a pathetic wet nap wipe like they give you at the Wing House.
Final verdict: if they got Bloody Mary’s and King Cake, I’d probably never have to go back to New Orleans again.