Bud's Louisiana Café is one of my favorite places to eat in San Diego! Luckily for me, it's tucked away in a commercial office area just a block away from Carlos's work! So whenever Carlos has time for a mini-lunch date with me, I say 4 out of the 5 times we go to Bud's. Also, if you're going for lunch (as well as for dinner) go early or make reservations because it gets pretty packed at this cozy restaurant! We usually get there around 11:30 am with no problem getting a seat right away.
When I first tried Bud's, I have to admit, I didn't know much about New Orleans style Creole and Cajun cuisine. I pretty much went off of Carlos's recommendations and since then I've been totally hooked! I could eat here everyday if I could!
Despite being located in a generic boxy commercial complex, Bud's interior is quite inviting with a warm and casual atmosphere. There's even a small outdoor seating area that is just as pleasant as long as it's not too cold or too hot. Fortunately, San Diego's weather tends to be pretty gorgeous most of the year. Of course, the staff is always very polite and friendly, and their service has never disappointed me.
Partial pic of Bud's Menu.
We usually start off with a side of their delicious jalapeno corn bread muffins. I'm a huge fan of corn bread in general and I have to say the jalapenos give these muffins a unique smokey flavor. In addition, the muffins are absolutely soft and crumbly, and are either great to eat as an appetizer or as dessert!
Our usual Arnold Palmer Lemonade Ice Teas.
Fabulous Jalapeno Corn Bread Muffins
For this particular lunch date at Bud's, Carlos had their Crawfish Étouffée. Their Étouffée includes crawfish tail meat pan sauteed with garlic, butter, thyme, and basil and tossed in Bud's sauce of onions, celery, green peppers, and a light tomato roux. Carlos thought this dish was hearty, savory and a total standout. He also found the crawfish to be both flavorful and tender.
For my lunch, I had my usual, Bud's Cajun Jambalaya (their full portion not the appetizer). Their jambalaya consists of a spicy rice dish with andouille pork sausage and tasso (cajun smoked ham) with caramelized onions, celery, green peppers, and creole seasoning. I absolutely love this dish! It definitely has quite the spiciness to it but it's just the right amount of spicy for wimps like me. The combination between the andouille sausage, ham, chicken, and rice is just perfection to my mouth...savory, smokey, and so so flavorful! The only thing I wish is I could go for less chicken and more of the rice medley. But overall, a total must try dish!
There's still so much I have to try if I can get myself to not order my favorite Cajun Jambalaya again and again! At least Carlos is more adventurous with his food choices. He's tried Bud's Alligator Burger which he thought was delicious and not overly gamey. He also recommends the Fried Catfish Po Boy Sandwich (and I do as well) which is an excellent sandwich with soft, fresh bread and catfish that is so flaky good and perfectly peppered. Carlos also loved Bud's BBQ Pork Ribs, a special of the day, which were moist, tender, and tangy.
I can't recommend Bud's enough! For great New Orleans style food, Bud's is a definite must! Your mouth will thank you...I swear!!!