Grand Coteau is an historical town approximately fifteen minutes northeast of Lafayette, LA. It hosts a quaint downtown featuring antique shops, boutiques and cafés, and is known for its tree-lined alleys, Acadian architecture and Catholic retreats. I never spent time in this area, but Saturday around noon my friend Carolyn and I decided to drive up from Lafayette to check it out, have lunch at Creola Café and do a little research for a fellow food writer.
Born in New Orleans, LA, but having spent years in Lafayette and Grand Coteau, Ms. Carol Baugnon began Creola Café in November 2007. Open for six weeks, she then fell ill, closed for another six weeks, and now has officially reopened. A small spot only seating about fifteen, it is quaint with a limited menu. Still waiting to install additional electrical outlets, she works on a tag team basis with her microwave, soup pot, cooler, etc; you can’t run one while another is running for risk of blowing a fuse or two. Though her menu is still on the small side, she offers just enough to satisfy her dedicated clientele: Po-Boys, Muffaletta, Turkey or Ham with Swiss on a Croissant, three different salads, and the specials of the day. Offering no tea, which we thought was surprising especially for the south, your choice of beverage comes from the bottled collection in the cooler or coffee. Sunday brunch, catering nicely to the local church crowd, is also served with your choice of Brioche French Toast, Breakfast Quiche with a Hash Brown Crust, Eggs Benedict with Carol’s homemade hollandaise sauce, and Grits & Grillade. The prices are acceptable for the quality, though maybe a tad steep on paper: $14.95 for the Grits & Grillade, and $6.95 for a Ham & Swiss Po-Boy. Carolyn and I chose the Red Beans & Rice, which were some of the best we ever ate, and Split Pea Soup and a Salad made with lettuce, purple onions, broccoli, olives and a vinaigrette, and finished off the meal with bread pudding and a slice of caramel apple pie. We ordered the daily quiche as well, though it wasn’t done baking yet. Next time. Everything Carol serves is homemade. Once owning a croissant shop in Metairie, and working with ARCO, Carol beams when talking about the food industry. She absolutely loves it, and dreams big. Everything we ordered was beautiful and tasty, and it’s definitely a place we’d return.
After lunch, we stopped by the neighboring Kitchen Shop, which serves tea and offers a large selection of kitchen gift items. Down the road is the fine-dining restaurant Catahoula’s as well as an eclectic international gift shop called Casa Azul also offering French and other classes.
A worthwhile stop off I-49, this is a definite place to explore further. Bon appétit!
284 E. Martin Luther King Drive
Grand Coteau, LA
Wed – Sat: 10am to 4pm
Sun: 10am to 2pm