After a busy day on the Bayou boat tour chasing alligators, we decided a little dinner back at Suire’s would be just the thing. Winding thru the crawfish ponds and rice paddies, we set out to find Suire’s (sounds like beers) once again and we arrived at the little cajun eatery.
Having eaten here before and being smitten by the delicious fish and shrimp, we knew we’d be back for more. Not only is the food fantastic, the people are just incredible. Joan is the order taker… and she still does it just like her Mama did; the way she’s been doing it for the last 34 years…. and she hopes to do it for 29 more (her exact words). She remembered us from the days before, and with her gentle, not-quite-French cajun accent, she took our order, and then brought a big bowl of the finest Shrimp Gumbo we’ve ever tasted!!! Brown, smooth and smokey, with lots of shrimp and fresh rice to dump in…..UmUm good!!! Staying to chat with us, she talked a bit about how she and her sister run the store, with her sister doing most of the cooking (she is one fine cook!).
On the board walls were framed write-ups by The New York Times, and several other notable papers.
Shortly after delivering the mouth watering gumbo, Joan arrives with platters of shrimp and fish….some of the best we’ve ever had….and it is just slightly spiced…ever so gently, that even those of us without a “hot” palate can love it! Joan continued talking; about the filming crew that was in last week from America’s Heartland, to do a special on Suire’s, and how she had to show them how she “bags” an order. Just another day for her, it seemed. Then we asked about a photo on the wall of a vintage truck and RV….it sure did belong to Bob and Jan VandenBorge, whom we had just spent five days with in Boerne….such a small world!! Joan says to tell them “Hi”!!
While waiting for our food, another local, who introduced himself as Howard, chatted with Bob about his crawfish farm. He educated us well on the rigors of farming crawfish. Many farmers will alternate planting rice, then after it’s harvested, they will flood the fields and the crawfish, that have burrowed about 18” deep to hatch their young, will then rise to the surface and feed on the leftover rice straw. Howard pulls his crawfish pots (183 of them) about every 3 days and nets about 1lb. per pot…now that’s a lot of crawfish! The locals here are very warm and friendly and will gladly engage you in conversation, sharing stories of their work and themselves graciously.
Oh, and we returned yet again, for a last lunch with Joan; we just had to try that Turtle Sauce Picante…..who would imagine that turtle would taste just like slow roasted beef?….it was slap-yo-mama good!!! In a robust, satisfying creole gravy that was not-too-hot but just right!!! They sell this in pint containers, frozen-to-go….but they were out of it…so she just ladled some up and put it in a container for us, to go along with the Shrimp Gumbo that is already traveling along.
We are going to miss many things about Abbeville; Joan and Suire’s is at the top of the list for certain!! Cajun…. Creole….GOOD!!!