Monday, July 8, 2013

A Cajun Life

A Cajun Life, located in Damascus, Oregon, serves up Cajun soul food from New Orleans. I first tried this place out at the 2013 Portland Summer Food Cart Festival.

Chris Fontenot's food cart dream started with a successful Kickstarter back in April 2013. Chris basically missed the food he regularly ate at home in Louisiana and could not find authentic Cajun food anywhere else that came close.

At the Portland Summer Food Cart Festival, three items were served, each at $8. I was delighted to see chicken and sausage gumbo on there, but they add tasso (a special peppery smoked ham from Southern Louisiana) to bring even more of Louisiana to Oregon.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
The Bayou Boogie is a unique menu item: Chicken, sausage, and tasso gravy served over white rice.

Bayou Boogie
For me, I'm a big seafood fan, and the Crawfish Etoufee was my pick. Crawfish tails in a creamy sauce, served over rice. They had some Louisiana hot sauce on the table, so I had to add some to my meal. I thought the vinegary kick from the hot sauce paired very well with the etoufee.

Crawfish Etoufee
(A Cajun Life)

It's a good portion of etoufee. For my plate, I'd ask for more etoufee and go lighter on the rice portion. Yeah, I know I grew up in Hawaii, but for some odd reason, I only need a small amount of rice to be happy. No, I'm sure the world didn't end.

At their cart in Damascus, there's a Sampler option allowing customers to get half-orders of Crawfish Etoufee and Bayou Boogie. Crawfish Pistolettes ($3.50 each or 3 for $9) is a French bread stuffed with crawfish cheese sauce. Seriously sounds amazing.

Aside from pop-up events, the actual food cart is in the Old Deans parking lot in Damascus, usually open on Fridays and Saturdays. A Cajun Life also will appear at the Gresham Farmers Market and the Damascus Fresh and Local Farmers Market. Check them out! 7.5/10

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