Tag Archives: Cajun

Mudbugs Cajun Cafe

9 Mar

After asking all of you where to dine for Mardi Gras (thank you everyone!), hubs decided that he wanted to stay local and dine at Mudbugs Cajun Cafe, located in the Carmel Arts District.  I was okay with that, because I knew Mudbugs would be serving King Cake.  We made our way out to celebrate Fat Tuesday and nosh on some Cajun delights.

Now, I understood that it was Mardi Gras and the restaurant would be busy because of this.  But wasn’t expecting for the line to extend from the counter to the side walk.  By the time hubs and I approached the counter (easily 15 minutes – but it wasn’t a problem at all) some counter seats opened up.  Hubs grabbed us a seat and I waited another minute to order our food.  That was when I discovered the crawfish casserole was sold out – sad – I really wanted to try.  I quickly selected something else and  placed our orders.  We both had decided on the “pick 3 combo” which at $9.95, is a sampling of three entrees (can’t select a catfish po’boy, but other po’boys are free game).

The service, despite being busy, was very quick.  We didn’t have to wait long before a smiling face brought us our trio’s and order of hush puppies.  The hush puppies, which were free because I had received a postcard coupon after my first visit, were crisp and delicious.  Subtly sweet, they were deep fried bites of corn nibbles and dough.  I love hush puppies; the fried sweetness was perfect with the subtly spicy remoulade sauce that is accompanied with.  I believe this is the same remoulade that you receive with a po’boy, which neither my husband or I ordered.

Hubs trio consisted of dirty rice, jambalaya and sausage/chicken gumbo.  The gumbo seemed to be your standard gumbo, but this meal also reminded me how gumbo is always just standard to me.  I guess I’m not a huge fan of the roux-based stew.  It always has a thick bean taste to me, but I know that is the seasonings.  However, the sausage had a good bite to them as did the chicken.  The dirty rice was a bowl full of beef flavor.  Though celery, seasoned ground beef and other vegetables are all cooked into it, the beef stock was the main taste component for me.   The jambalaya seemed similar of the dirty rice, but with a few more ingredients.  I only had a bite of the dirty rice and jamabalaya – I’m sure there is more to it than what I am saying, so you may as well try for yourself.

Dirty rice front right, gumbo left and jambalaya was back - sorry for lack of close-up

I also ordered the gumbo as part of my trio with the shrimp etouffee and chicken courtbouillon.  The shrimp etouffee was hands down my favorite of the evening.  It was a creamy, thick shrimp stew over a small portion of white rice.  Not spicy, but a good seafood flavor – a must order again if you are a shrimp fan.  And when I say thick, this stew was thick and delicious with every bite.  The chicken courtbouillon was also tasty.  A kick more in flavor, probably the spiciest out of three I had (which doesn’t say too much because it really wasn’t overly spicy. If you like spicy, you won’t think it is spicy), the tomato based stew was served over rice as well.  Chunks of chicken and veggies were well incorporated – every bite definitely had something to it.   Both entrees were served with two pieces of thick, toasted bread.  Perfect for scooping up the stews.

Etouffee is front right, Courtbouillon left and Gumbo in back

And of course, the Mardi Gras treat, King Cake.  I love the pastry as previously mentioned, and this one did not disappoint.  For $10, we were given our very own soft, doughy pastry that was stuffed with a cinnamon filling.  I love cinnamon, thus I was content (okay, ecstatic) with the overly spiced pastry.  A little cream cheese would have made this the best yet.  Plastic baby was not included.

The thing I loved about every item that we ate was the hearty element.  It tasted like home cooking – the kind that sits on the stove all day to get the flavors to marinate together so there is happiness in a bowl (and tummy) when consumed.  I’ll definitely go back for more of the shrimp etouffee.  Plus, I have to try the crawfish casserole…and the beignets are quite good too.   I’ll do the trip again for sure, but throw in a po’boy next time.

Mudbugs Cajun Cafe * 20 W. Main Street * Carmel, 46032 * 317-843-8380

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Mardi Gras – Where to Dine?

28 Feb

It is right around the corner – Mardi Gras.  Also known as Fat Tuesday, individuals around Circle City will be gorging themselves on culinary delights come Tuesday, March 8.  Being one of those individuals, I am wondering where to eat.  When I think about Fat Tuesday, I think about noshing on Cajun/Creole food.  I love the fried po’boys and jambalaya.  Oh, and I adore paczki (a Polish pastry, stuffed with goodness) too.  But where to find some of these treats?  Just a few places to consider that specialize in Louisiana fare:


  • Mudbug’s Cajun Cafe (Carmel) – they will be celebrating all week with King Cake and buckets of beer.  I’ve had the po’boys and gumbo, but there is a variety to choose from.
  • Yats (4 locations in Indy, check their site for the one nearest you) – I’ve got to be honest, never been here.  What is everyone’s opinion?
  • Bar at the Ambassador (downtown) – I dined there a few weeks ago, and I don’t see it again in my near future.  But that is just me – is there a reason why I should?

What will I be eating this year?  Not sure yet.  I think I am craving bouillabaisse – a French inspired seafood delight with broth that should be soaked up with some bread.   And if I can get my hands on some king cake, that would be good too.  The cream cheese pastry (my preference of filling) is always so buttery and divine, everything a pastry should be.

Any suggestions on the best Cajun/Creole eats in Indy?  Where are you eating for the holiday?

Bar at the Ambassador

23 Feb

After an attempt at dinner at a Broad Ripple establishment, a group of friends and I ended up leaving due to a wait time and made our way to the Bar at the Ambassador.  You may recall there was a lot of talk about BarYats, which after some ownership conversations, ended up as the Bar at the Ambassador.  I hadn’t been, and really didn’t even think about dining there, but the situation brought us to a late night dinner at the establishment.

Upon walking in, dark wood is the overall color palate of the bar/restaurant.  There is a very large bar taking up a good portion of the floor, but enough tables that we were able to find one for our group of 7 easily at 9:30p.m. on a Friday evening.  Though set up as swank, the environment was inviting yet dark at the same time.  We sat down, ordered a round of drinks and perused the menu.  The chef is from (or lived there for quite sometime) in Louisiana, so I wasn’t surprised to see 75% of the menu have cajun flair to it.

I began with a cup of the baked french onion soup. The crock bowl was covered with a thick layer of what tasted like a crispy broiled Gruyere cheese.  I love the crisp, salty cheese on french onion soup, so I was happy to see there was an ample amount of it.  Underneath was a piping hot, thick and sweet soup.  The onions had a deep, rich brown color to them and that sweet caramelized flavor that you can only get from letting them cook for a long time.  French bread soaked up the broth, and I was happy to share the bowl with hubby as he too is a french onion soup lover.  For our main dish, hubs ordered the jambalaya.  He is lover of the rich cajun spice dish, and he wasn’t disappointed with the Bar’s version.  A thick mix of rice, andouille sausage and chicken were flavored with the subtle hot spice of the cajun flavors.  It was thick, rich and he ate it all.  I’m not a huge lover of cajun, but even I thought this bowl of jambalaya was fantastic.  I had ordered the soft shell crab po’boy.  Two fried, soft shell crabs adorned a large piece of toasted french bread.  The crabs were crunchy, fried in a corn mix batter that was a little too salty for my taste.  Lettuce, tomato and pickles added even more to the sandwich, making it quite large to fit into ones mouth even with a lot of smashing down.  The fries were thin and crispy, decent.  Overall, the sandwich was good, but I think I could find another po’boy in the city.

I don’t know if I would dine here again for dinner, but maybe for a lunch if I was in the area.  The food was decent and moderatly priced, but the establishment seemed more like a late night grab a drink bar place to me versus somewhere to grab food.  The waitress did warn us that the vegetable stack wasn’t good though, so you may want to stay away from that.

Bar at the Ambassador * 43 E. 9th Street * Indy, 46024 * 317.602.2279

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