Bayou Goodness In Troy
By Elanor Hill
I’ve never been to New Orleans or Louisiana, but I have definitely tasted the cuisine from this region recently at LeDoux’s! Opened in October of last year, OMG just sums up the service, food and atmosphere at this corner restaurant on the outskirts of Troy.
The menu is very authentic to the Bayou and it is definitely blackened and Cajun friendly. When you come to LeDoux’s, you are definitely looking for shrimp, crawfish, catfish and gator to be your menu selections.
I jumped right into the choices and ordered up the largest dish of seafood offered. The Jr. Seafood Platter ($15.95) consists of generous portions of shrimp, crayfish and catfish that can be fried, blackened or broiled, and are served over rice complete with one side dish. On the recommendation of the owner, Don LeDoux, I ordered everything fried in a corn flour batter that is nice and light, crunchy and flavorful. The shrimp were plump and the crawfish were quite enjoyable. The catfish was super moist, thickly filleted and I substituted dirty rice underneath and found the blend of sausage and minced onions to be in harmony with the brown rice. A nice side salad was my side choice consisting of mixed greens, cucumbers and chopped red and yellow peppers topped by the house dressing, a scallion red pepper roasted vinaigrette.
There are many other tasty Louisiana cuisines to try such as Handmade Crab Cakes and wild caught Salmon that are both pan seared. Crawfish Tails and Fried Oysters are lightly seasoned, battered and quick fried for tenderness. Gator, Frog Legs and Catfish can be fried golden brown, blackened or broiled in a light cornmeal batter and all are served with one side. One can also find Jambalaya and Gumbo. I had always thought these two to be the same, but the menu and staff can quickly tell you that you are mistaken. In fact, Gumbo is made with seafood including fresh shrimp, oysters, crawfish and okra and rice while the Jambalaya contains Andouille sausage, chicken and vegetables and rice.
However, I ventured into the Etouffee ($17.95) and the flavor was phenomenal! A rich and thick blonde roux is mixed with shrimp and crawfish and served over white rice. This sauce seemed to have all the right spices in it; Cayenne pepper, thyme, oregano, garlic and black pepper. It was a dish where it was worth sopping up every last drop of this Cajun blend. The side dish I ordered was the Stewed Tomatoes and Okra and I think this had the best flavoring of all the food I tried. It was spicy but not enough to make you cringe. The bowl went empty almost as quickly as the plate of Etouffee disappeared. There is also a New Fresh Catch weekly. On my visit, it was Red Snapper and Cape Capensis Pan Seared served with flash roasted vegetables.
At the start of the menu are the “Swampetizers.” These great small bites are perfect for testing out food items that you may not have had before. Options include Bar-B-Q Shrimp, Char Broiled Oysters, Crab Stuffed Button Mushrooms and Gator Bites. The Gator Bites ($7.95) were tender and easy to chew and were accompanied with French fries and a mildly spicy tartar sauce. There is also a Bayou Trash made with gator, crawfish and sausage blackened, seasoned and served over rice. The Boudin Balls ($3.95), dubbed “Original Cajun Fast Food,” features rice, meat (usually sausage) and vegetables rolled into a ball and fried. They are quite delicious and should be given a try.
Further, there is a meat and chicken section on the menu that covers steak, grilled pork chops, several pastas and Red Beans & Rice. There is also an offering of Jambalaya and Gumbo made strictly with the Andouille sausage and chicken. There are several salad selections available along with Po-Boys and Burgers. The Po-Boys are made with fresh French bread, dressed (lettuce, tomatoes, mustard and mayo) and can be served with Sausage, Ham or Turkey or seafood style with Oysters, Shrimp, Catfish or Crab Cakes. All are moderately priced ($5.75-$13.95) and generous in portion.
The atmosphere at LeDoux’s is particularly casual and entertaining. The music makes you feel like you are in the French Quarter, and rotates from jazz to calypso, always fun, peppy and foot stomping. Live entertainment is provided on the weekends.
In addition, the inside dining room is simple. The tables and chairs are wooden and there’s not much on the walls. You will, however, find a third shaker on each table. In addition to salt and pepper, the third shaker is Cajun in nature and gives you the opportunity to add as much of your own dry spice as you see fit. The outside patio is beautifully decorated with hanging baskets and colorful umbrellas. The staff here seems to make the adventure far more enjoyable. They are very knowledgeable about the menu and each has their own favorite selections. They also wear colorful beads and genuinely seem to like working here.
I live south of town so this is definitely a “destination” restaurant from my direction, but those living in Troy and the surrounding areas should put LeDoux’s on the frequently-to-visit list. I think Don LeDoux, his staff and chefs offer a great, unique offering of the Bayou and its rustic cuisine right in our backyard.
LeDoux’s is located at 3006 North County Road 25A, Troy. Hours of operation are Sun-Thu 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Fri and Sat 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, call (937) 875-2000, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit online at ledouxsrestaurant.com
Reach DCP dining critic Eleanor Hill