Dig Baton Rouge

Island Flavor

Creole Cabana delivers Caribbean favorites with Louisiana flair

Did you miss out on a trip to the beach this summer? No worries. Creole Cabana can transport your taste buds there with just one bite of their menu. A concept from the owners of Sammy’s Grill, Creole Cabana promises to bring you island-inspired food with a Louisiana twist. And after a year of tasting and testing recipes, we have to say they definitely deliver on that promise.

There are plenty of televisions in the building, perfect for football season. If you just want to hang out and have some tasty beverages, Cabana has you covered with their double-sided bar—one side serving the restaurant and the other serving the patio.

Speaking of the bar, Creole Cabana’s signature cocktails deliver on appearance and taste, complimenting their dishes in the best possible way. Everything from the Blueberry Limeade to the Toasted Coconut Margarita is made with fresh ingredients and fits in perfectly with the restaurant’s atmosphere and aesthetic.

We started off our dining experience with the ceviche, which is always a great test for a restaurant’s authenticity. While it’s not a complicated dish, the ability to balance the flavors and keep it light and refreshing is the key to a successful dish. Creole Cabana really gets it right. It’s a generous portion size served with plantain chips. So it’s good for sharing as an app or keeping it to yourself for a meal.

Next, we were treated to the Fried Mac & Cheese. Five balls of mac and cheese rolled in a flaky panko crust and deep-fried. The first impression was that the crust was delicious, but the inside a bit dry. But then we discovered the cheese sauce they were plated in and all was right in the world. These delicious cheesy treats disappeared quickly and satisfied the ultimate comfort food craving.

The gumbo is the same gumbo base that they use at Sammy’s. The addition of green onion sausage, crab, shrimp and chicken makes it a hearty dish that will feel familiar and new all at the same time. Shout out to keepin’ it Cajun by adding a deviled egg to the bowl, reminiscent of adding potato salad to your gumbo.

This is where things get very real. I adore jerk seasoning and love when it’s done right. So there was a lot of pressure on our next dish, the Jerk Chicken and Dumplings. We dove right into the sweet potato dumplings in a vegetable cream sauce. These fluffy bites were delicious and I could have eaten an entire plate of just dumplings. As for the chicken? Well, it was smoked jerk heaven on a plate. The meat was seasoned perfectly and so tender it melted in your mouth. Everyone agreed that this dish was a favorite.

There are plenty of side dish options, our favorites of the night were the roasted veggies, which were in a light cream sauce and the coconut rice with black beans. The idea of rice and beans sounds simple, but the sweetness of the coconut and the beans mixed so well. They were a great compliment to every other dish we tried.

For dessert, we enjoyed a Tres Leches bread pudding with cheesecake flavored ice cream. While the bread pudding concept may be played out in these parts, I promise this is a great variation to give new life to an old favorite. Lastly, we tasted caramel stuffed churros with a mango peach cobbler topped with ice cream. The cobbler was sweet and tangy, and the churros were exactly what they should be—crispy and coated in cinnamon sugar.

There are plenty of other options on this menu, including salads, tacos, and even a burger. Portion sizes were generous and the menu cohesive. There are vegetarian options and we were happy to learn that many ingredients were locally sourced. The whole meal felt like a perfect blend between two distinct cuisines that surprisingly compliment each other. If you’re looking for an island staycation right here in Baton Rouge, look no further than Creole Cabana on Burbank Drive.

 

  Photos by Mihn Kiet

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