The Amazing Taste
There’s no need to travel to bayou country for authentic Cajun when Hebert's Specialty Meats and Cajun Ed's Restaurant can take care of those cravings right here in Tulsa.
What do you call those little miniature lobsters that live in fresh water? Crawfish? Mudbugs? Yabbies?
Whatever you call them, when Crawfest rolls around at Hebert’s Specialty Meats and Cajun Ed’s Restaurant, you’re going to be enjoying all the Cajun crawfish you want.
First things first, you need to make sure you pronounce the name right. “It’s like ‘Hey, bear,’” explains Ed Richard, who owns Hebert’s with his wife, Jennifer. Their daughter, Kimberly, is the general manager, making the whole operation a family business.
Hebert’s Specialty Meats and Cajun Ed’s provide Cajun food so tasty you must try it. If you think you don’t like Cajun, then you’ve probably never tried Cajun Ed’s. Ed, Jennifer, and Kimberly will win you over with their tasty food and welcoming attitude.
Hebert’s has been shipping meat products like alligator, poultry, and even turducken [a delicately deboned turkey that is stuffed with boneless duck and chicken] all over the country for 20 years with the slogan “the best Cajun food by real Cajuns.”
Ed is a Louisiana native who found that it was tough getting his favorite Cajun cuisine in Oklahoma. “Every time I went back home, I was bringing back ice chests full of food for me and my friends. Crawfish, andouille, boudin.” Eventually, he made a business of it, opening Hebert’s to ship Cajun food all over the country. Eleven years ago, Hebert’s moved to its current location at 71st Street near Lewis Avenue and opened Cajun Ed’s for lunch. That proved so popular, they made the jump to opening for dinner four years ago.
As soon as you pull up to the building, you’re transported to the Gulf Coast. You might notice colorful strands of beads hanging from the trees and a net decorating the entrance. Inside, you’re confronted by a case full of enormous steaks and other delicacies. The interior is brightened with purple, gold, and green beads, masks, and balls, while eclectic items like accordions, driftwood, audaciously colorful hats, and New Orleans Saints football memorabilia decorate the walls. Windows on the outside walls let in plenty of natural light.
If you’re there for lunch, queue up at the lunch counter and let them serve you one of their daily specials or regular lunch menu items. You’re in for a treat whatever your choice. You’ve got plenty of options including a chicken tender basket, a fried seafood basket with your choice of crawfish, shrimp, oysters, or fish, smoked sausage sandwich or flavorful boudin. You can get a shrimp or crawfish étouffée, or a nice bowl of gumbo or red beans. You can’t go wrong with a po’boy, crispy bread filled to overflowing with beef, pulled pork, turducken, fried shrimp, fried crawfish tails, or fried oysters. The fried shrimp or fried oyster po’boy are an especially good choice. Cajun Ed’s fried offerings are lightly breaded and perfectly seasoned, making for a treat of both texture and flavor.
The daily specials are special indeed and make it worthwhile to visit Cajun Ed’s any day of the week. Monday brings you an étouffée stuffed chicken. Tuesday offers a tough choice between a crawfish-jalapeno-stuffed chicken or the surprising Cajun-Mex special with three crawfish tamales and two soft tacos. You might think that Cajun and Mexican wouldn’t play well together, but Cajun Ed’s pulls it off very nicely. Wednesday features a broccoli stuffed chicken and Thursday’s special is Ed’s turducken served over dirty rice. Saturday is a serving of boneless stuffed Cajun chicken wings. But Friday, oh, Friday. Friday’s special is stuffed fish and must be tasted to be believed. Seasoned white fish stuffed with shrimp and crabmeat dressing, served over rice, and topped with shrimp étouffée. The fish is light and flaky, the shrimp and crab set it off perfectly and the étouffée is delicate and hearty at the same time, seasoned just right, and generously full of shrimp. It’s worth the wait for Friday.
The dinner menu offers too many choices to list. They start you with fresh pork rinds, seasoned with Cajun Ed’s spice, and served with red bean butter, so you’ve got something to munch on while you work your way through all the delicious options on the menu. Consider starting with the crab cakes. They’re made with sweet blue crabmeat and shrimp, fried to a crispy perfection, and served with housemade remoulade. Cajun Ed’s will be glad to grill up a rib-eye or a bacon-wrapped filet if you’re looking for a hearty meal. For an upcharge you can get your steak smothered with crawfish étouffée.
While you’re considering, pay extra attention to the specialty platters. The boiled seafood platter is not just a generous portion of boiled shrimp, snow crab, and crawfish, it is an example of Cajun Ed’s deft touch with seasonings. While the seafood is loaded with Cajun flavor, it never overwhelms the delicate flavors of the shrimp, crab, and crawfish. You won’t regret trying it.
When you check out, be sure to pick up one of Rachel’s pralines for sale by the register. Even if you’re too full to enjoy it right away, you will be glad when you’ve got room for its rich, creamy, caramely sweetness.
You won’t want to miss Crawfest coming up May 19. “It’s a ton of fun,” says Kimberly. “We have live music all day. We have tons of food available, not just crawfish. There will be activities like crawfish races and a bead art area for children. There will be tents so no worries about too much sun or getting wet if it rains. We’ve got everything covered.”
You can get your crawfish boiled, in étouffé, in boudin, and served up in tamales and tacos. Admission to the event is free. You can buy tickets for the food you want to try. There will be beer and soft drinks available.
One of the big events of the day is the crawfish eating contest. “It’s a lot of fun, good competition,” says Kimberly. “For three years in a row, the same gentleman won, and he just got beat last year. Winner takes a $100 prize and a trophy.”
Hebert’s Specialty Meats and Cajun Ed’s Restaurant
2101 E. 71st St. | Tulsa
Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
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