The waiting is finally over as Huntsville’s newest restaurant, Cajun Steamer, opened its doors this Monday!
The restaurant, which had it’s humble beginnings as a roadside stand in Birmingham Alabama, is the creation of Louisiana born Jeff Thompson.
After moving to Birmingham in the early 1990s and discovering there was no Cajun food at all to be had, he was determined to either do something about it or go home. “I missed the food and the festivities and fun and the Mardi Gras, New Orleans style flavor,” commented Thompson.
So he set up a small roadside stand and sold crawfish from a trailer hooked up to the back of his truck. It may not have been fancy, but it soon developed quite the following as word of his fresh seafood at reasonable prices took Birmingham by storm and proved that the market was ready for authentic Cajun cuisine.
In a recent interview with restaurantnews.com Thompson recalls that, “It was pretty simple – just a couple of tables and some umbrellas – but you wouldn’t believe how excited people got over it. It was as if I had introduced them to a whole new culture, like they’d never had crawfish before – not the fresh kind anyway.”
Fast forward several years and that small roadside stand has now matured into a fast growing chain, with the Huntsville store marking the company’s fifth location. “I just knew it had a good feel and was a great fit when I saw it,” Thomson remarked on finding the store’s Huntsville location in Twickenham Square.
And the moment you enter the restaurant, you know you’re in for a good time. “It’s just a good home feeling, and a comfortable New Orleans style atmosphere serving authentic Cajun food,” said Thompson “We’ve got a fun laid back attitude that attracts business men in suits to people coming in a t-shirt, we take it all. It’s a fun place to come.”
And speaking of business men, Thompson has even gone the extra mile to hire two dedicated employees who’s sole job it is to handle catering and to-go orders. “We understand, at lunch especially, that people come in and that they need to get their stuff and go. So we’ve got somebody that handles all that, and to insure that everyone is taken care of.”
With a menu featuring items such as fresh oysters, crawfish, Royal Red shrimp, gumbo, jambalaya, boudin and etouffee, po-boys, and our personal favorite – freshly made beignets – the restaurant will be open all this week for dinner starting at 4pm each day.
Then, starting the following week on Monday the 23rd, the restaurant will start operating during its normal business hours of 11am-9pm Mon-Thurs, 11am-10pm Sat & Sun, and 11am-9pm on Sundays.
CRUNKLETON & ASSOCIATES