Lyn D’s offers casual cajun heaven
By Erin Robertson
Pulling in to the driveway of Lyn D’s Cajun Gypsy Café was like parking at some nondescript strip mall. The exterior wasn’t eye-catching in any way; if anything, it would normally have deterred me from dining there. But a good friend, Mike, recommended the place, and we had a lunch date in the middle of the week to prove the worth of Lyn D’s Cajun fare.
We were met at the door by a wooden counter and paper menus from which to order, and a friendly waitress waited for our requests as pans sizzled and delicious smells wafted out from the kitchen behind her.
The menu was small but enticing. Spicy sausage and chicken piquante, the jambalaya, the po-boy sandwiches, the seafood gumbo, the red beans and rice, a few green salads and an entire column of fried nibblins’ all sounded delicious at that very moment.
I settle upon a cup of the Brew soup and a small order of Lyn D’s famous crawcritters. Mike knew what he wanted from the first mention of the place, and confidently asked for the crawfish etouffee meal.
After finding a table, Mike and I retrieved our own drinks from a sideboard laden with sweet tea decanters, jugs of water, a bowl of ice and sliced lemons. The walls were covered in photographs and local paraphernalia, news clippings, and a “Thanks for 11 Years” anniversary banner that was now almost a year old. Everything was extremely casual – Lyn D’s doesn’t try to put on any false fronts or draw in business through aesthetics. They rely on their quality cooking to be spread through word of mouth, and probably only the tried and true locals know about this place.
Our food arrived quickly, which was greatly appreciated, as my hunger was only encouraged by the delicious smells floating around.
My soup was divine: shrimp and crawfish rested in cheesy bisque with a splash or two of beer to accent the dairy. I could have eaten a giant bowl of that soup, or even bathed in it if I dared to be so bold.
My crawcritters were a perfectly fried complement to the smooth soup. Lyn D’s mixes rice with crawfish and seasonings to form a patty that is then fried and served with a special critter sauce. The sauce was an interesting mixture of what tasted like cocktail sauce and something creamy, but with a definite spicy kick at the end. However, I could have been confusing the bite with that from another dish – everything we ordered was perfectly seasoned and with delightful heat.
Mike granted me a bite of his etouffee and I was immediately in Cajun food heaven. The sauce was thick enough to act as a sort of gravy over the rice and crawfish, their succulent red and pink bodies adding sweetness to the vibrant dish.
We enjoyed our meals with plenty of good conversation, and I left Lyn D’s stuffed and vowing to return again. As we waved goodbye to our servers, I contemplated my next visit. I’d like to try the red beans and rice, but the gumbo was definitely calling my name. Perhaps I could return tomorrow?
Lyn D’s is located at 535 W. Poplar St., and can be reached for take-out or catering orders by calling (479) 575-2586.