I’ve been working in the Norcross / Duluth area for over 20 years. For many of those years, particularly those prior to the opening of the Forum on 141 and the Mall of Georgia, there was a dearth of “nice” restaurants for a business lunch. When they opened Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, (back in the early 2000s?), it gave us a nice, white tablecloth kind of place to take or meet folks. The area has grown immensely, but there still isn’t another convenient choice if you want to split-the-distance with someone from downtown for a lunch meeting.
There’s also second metro Atlanta location, over on Windy Hill in Marietta, along with an outpost of the Pappas’ mui excellente take on Mexican food, Pappasita’s. It must fit their business plan to be right beside the interstate as both locations here suffer from the same egress issues – interstate and only allowed to make a right into and a right out of their parking lots. (I learned about a third metro location in Alpharetta when I was pulling up the link for this post.)
On this occasion, I was meeting a couple of folks and when I arrived, around noon, the place was packed.
I ordered a boudin with a side of red beans and rice. If you aren’t familiar with boudin, it is a combination of rice, sausage, green peppers and onions, all crushed together and stuffed into a sausage casing. It’s a Louisiana specialty, and there is even a Cajun Boudin Trail you can follow, which will lead you to the Boudin Cookoff in Lafayette each fall. A friend of mine had been talking about his journey along the trail while we was recruiting physicians in rural Louisiana. I had never tried it, so today was the day.
While the taste was fine (like sausage, rice, peppers and onions) but it was the interesting texture that dissuaded me from feeling the need to order it again. The red beans and rice were very good. They do Cajun well. I believe that there is much better, and much cheaper Cajun food in Atlanta (at Gumbeaux’s in Douglasville, or Henry’s Louisiana Grill in Acworth or Boudreaux’s Cafe Acadiana in Duluth), but there are tons of people who must disagree. I can’t say that I’ve ever been to Pappadeaux’s (10+ visits) when the place wasn’t packed. And the food is good, but, beaux, is it pricey.