In the tiny town of Arnaudville, Louisiana, you can find an eatery that is huge in terms of flavor and local support.
During this time of social distancing and isolation, we still have to eat. And we still want to patronize local restaurants that we love, helping to keep them in business. We urge you to check the websites of the restaurants we’ve reviewed and to consider eating local as a way to help our communities.
Location: The Little Big Cup, 149 Fuselier Road, Arnaudville, Louisiana
Menu: The Little Big Cup has a wide, crowd-satisfying menu full of Cajun specialties and locally-sourced seafood and produce. Surf and Turf dinner buffets and weekend brunch buffets showcase a vast array of popular favorites, but the a la carte menu impresses, as well.
The brunch menu, for example, includes expected dishes such as eggs, bacon, sausage, grits and biscuits, but it steps up its game with gumbo, jambalaya, creme brulee French toast, hog cracklins and boudin.
Shrimp, catfish and crawfish dominate the dinner buffet which also offers corn maque choux and shrimp, corn and crab bisque. Standouts on the a la carte menu are the sauteed seafood tower, the Cajun Kevin Po Boy (named for the owner), and the blackened catfish with crawfish etouffee.
Little Big Cup’s Facebook page has had thousands of clicks on the video showing a Cajun Kevin Po Boy under construction. This po boy stands upright and is meant to resemble stumps sitting in water, such as those found often in the bayou. The bread is hollowed out, then green and red peppers, onions, shrimps, crab meat, crawfish and andouille sausage are sauteed together and added to a heavy cream sauce. That concoction, often described as “so good it’s sinful,” is poured inside the hollowed out French bread and spilled over the sides.
With a tagline of “where Cajun cuisine lives on,” Little Big Cup thinks of itself as one part bar and one part Cajun eatery. The wine and cocktail offerings are surprisingly plentiful, considering the size of the town.
Thoughts: What is the likelihood that a native of Arnaudville (population of about 1000 people) with a head full of food and cooking knowledge would go to New York City (population of 8.5 million) and happen upon a native of Trinidad with a background in business and management and discover that they both had a passion for opening a restaurant? Kevin Robin and Sanjay Maharaj chose to make their dream a reality by moving back to Kevin’s home town, believing that he knew the kind of food “his people” loved.
As for the name of the restaurant, Little Big Cup began as a coffee shop in the fall of 2012, but the owners expanded a few years later adding a large dining room and a deck from which diners can see the Bayou Fuselier. Much of the food served at Little Big Cup is produced within a 150-mile radius. The restaurant has a spacious feel to it, so that when diners are allowed to come back inside, it should be easy to space the tables far enough apart to be safe. The building is across the street from the grocery store Kevin’s family has owned for five generations.
Kevin and Sanjay have created an environment of a family that reflects the atmosphere and pace of the region among their employees and with their diners. They host local musicians and occasionally invite poets to read their works. Diners say they feel like they’re coming into the home of an old friend.
Price range: Appetizers are $8-22. Salads are $9-16, and entrees range from $10-36.
Disclosure: The reviewer received a complimentary meal as part of a press trip sponsored by Lafayette Travel.
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