Shoal Creek Saloon, Austin
I was delighted to see that there were a couple cajun places in downtown Austin, especially given the dearth of cajun food in Singapore. So I popped on down to the Shoal Creek Saloon (909 N. Lamar Blvd. at 9th St., 474-0805) for lunch today. Granted, this is Texas, not Louisiana, but hey - they're next door neighbors, right?
It's a nice, kick-back kind of place. Pick your own wooden bench to sit on, including a choice of patio seating in the back near the creek with plenty of fans to keep a breeze going in the Texan summer heat. The menu featured things ranging from Po' Boys to Fried Catfish/Crayfish/Shrimp/Oysters, but to my surprise, they didn't have some classics like jambalaya and blackened catfish. Nonetheless, I went straight for the etoufee and shrimp gumbo, complemented with a 1/4 pound of peel & eat shrimp.
The lightly seasoned shrimp were fresh, and the etoufee was rich, but the gumbo was darker and saltier than I was expecting, thus leading to a bit of disappointment (especially when compounded by the lack of things like jambalaya). It seemed like these guys tended to specialize in the fried stuff instead. Perhaps if I lived here, I wouldn't mind coming here to hang out and finally try the fried stuff, but I have to admit that I wondered afterwards if I should have gone to Gumbo's, the other (but more upscale) cajun place in town, instead.