A classic Lafayette staple, Don’s is at the center of Lafayette and offers up Cajun food of all kinds. MINI RANT: It’s really really hard to review Cajun places. I can make most, if not all, of the dishes that Cajun places make. That’s the hard part about being a Cajun restaurant in Lafayette. Everyone is a damn critic, not just the critics like me. “My mom makes this way better” might be a common thing to hear at a Cajun joint. So, I tried to leave my recipes/opinions/flavor bias at the door and come into this review from a fair perspective. It’s important to keep this in mind because I want you to know that if I do find a problem with the food, it’s not because of my Cajun food bias. RANT OVER!
Now that that is out of the way. Let’s start at my meal. I ordered the Cajun shrimp pasta. The first big issue I had with it is that it was served lukewarm. I hate it when that happens. Not only does it signify that the meal is likely not very fresh, but it kind of puts a damper on the meal as a whole. The flavor of the sauce was decent enough. It’s a pretty basic alfredo sauce. The shrimp was well seasoned, tender, and de-veined. I don’t mind the vein, but I don’t mind them taking it out either. My friend ordered the Catfish Acadian. According to the server, it’s once of the most popular dishes. The catfish was really good, but the etouffee itself was beyond salty. Seriously, it was incredibly salty. My friend didn’t mind the saltiness, but I took a few bites of her meal and it was way too salty for my tastes. I almost ordered some char-grilled oysters, because they looked fantastic. I regret not getting them, but oh well. Next time. In summary, I don’t think I’d order the same thing next time I go. If I end up ordering fish, it would just be a fried catfish platter. That catfish was legit.
The atmosphere in this place is fantastic. It’s a little tightly packed in there, but there was enough breathing room to be comfortable. The floor plan for the dining area we were in was pretty open, so it ended up being pretty loud. Not unbearable, but enough to have to speak a little loudly to hear the person across the table from you. It’s a really great atmosphere though. The memorabilia on the walls was a bunch of menus that they’ve had since the place opened back in 1934. It’s really cool to see the price and menu evolution that the place has gone through over the years. Other than the volume, I liked it a lot.
I’ll start by saying that I was drinking beer that night, and the bar was on fire. Beers came to me with little to no hesitation. Not a bad thing to have. The kitchen was pushing out food pretty quick. During my visit, there was a small wait at the door and our food came out in about 20-25 minutes from ordering. That’s not anything to complain about at all. I can’t find any faults with the pacing of the meals and the speed of the kitchen. No points deducted.
This part of the review is the part that I’ve looked forward to writing the most. Our server was incredible. Seriously, this is some of the best service I’ve received in a while. I, unfortunately, forgot his. I blame the beer, but he was kind, caring, and hilarious. The best part about it was watching him in his section. He was seriously busy, but never hesitated to get us anything we needed. This guy was on top of his game and had clearly being waiting tables for a long time. It was really impressive to watch. Next time I visit, I’ll definitely request him again. I’ll just have to figure out his name first.
Aside from a few small hitches, this experience was pretty great. The particular food that we ordered that evening might not have been the best, but there were parts of it that stood out, so clearly there is something that I would like on that menu. The service shined through and makes me want to go back again. The place seemed clean and well put-together. I can honestly say that I’m a Don’s fan. I plan on going back soon.