A Taste of NOLA in ATX
Austin Fat Guys visited a local deli this week called Sambet's Cajun Deli & Fiery Foods. Could there possibly be any better combination of a cuisine and food establishment? So you're not only a deli, you're a Cajun deli? Whoo-ee, I gua-ron-tee! Perfect! Excuse the Justin Wilson reference, but Sambet's is quite a treat when it comes to Cajun food. Generally speaking, Cajun is quite possibly my favorite cuisine in the world, except maybe for Thai. Maybe I should say they're tied, no pun intended. I just love Cajun food. So many kinds of shrimp styles, étouffée, alligator, the ever popular gumbo, po-boys, jambalaya, muffuletta, boudin, red beans and rice, spices, cayenne pepper-- the list goes on and on. Needless to say, the Fat Guys had a good time reviewing Sambet's this week.
Sambet's Cajun Deli is located in Northwest Austin near McNeil and Research, tucked away in a small shopping center. By no means difficult to find, but it is easy to miss. Although a small establishment, it's big on flavor and Louisiana culture. Sambet's is quite well known for its po-boys and boudin. Both are very tasty, but they aren't their only offerings. Being a deli, they sell Cajun cooking ingredients as well as a variety of fiery sauces and mixes for your inner Cajun chef.
Somewhat familiar with Sambet's, the Fat Guys decided not to go 'all out' when ordering as we sometimes have the tendency to do. We already knew what we liked, so we each ordered our favorites and shared bits and pieces as is our custom. Matt had the Crawfish Po-Boy and it was mighty tasty. Plenty of fried crawfish tail meat on a po-boy roll dressed in spicy mayo with lettuce and tomato. Light and crispy, the crawfish was just wonderful and spiced to a mouthwatering flavor. I should have ordered my own.
Dave ordered the trusty stand-by, the Boudin (pronounced: boo-dan) Sandwich. The most common boudin, at least locally and within Louisiana, is a type of white sausage-- usually made with pork and/or rice and plenty of aromatic spices. The boudin sandwich at Sambet's features the boudin removed from its casing, grilled with slices of provolone cheese, lettuce and tomato, served on a po-boy roll. If you have no idea on what to order here, try the boudin sandwich. You won't be disappointed.
I opted for a cup of Jambalaya and a pint of Chicken and Sausage Gumbo. By and large, gumbo (seafood or otherwise) is the most popular and widely known when it comes to Cajun dining. There is a good reason for this. Gumbo is a such a magical dish that it can give you a sense of being home, especially on a cold day. I can proudly say gumbo is one of my comfort foods. It's made with a roux, which is made from flour and oil and gives the dish its desired consistency. Then add in your favorite spices, veggies, okra if desired, and protein, be it shrimp, chicken or sausage-- or a combination! Once it's complete, serve it with steamed rice, and it's a hearty meal. The gumbo at Sambet's is definitely deserving of its Cajun heritage. I ordered their chicken and sausage gumbo, but their seafood gumbo is also mighty tasty and definitely worth a try. On the other hand, their Jambalaya--a delicious relative of paella and more of a Creole dish--is very tasty and hearty as well.
I'd recommend Sambet's as a great place to try Cajun food for the first time. It's a good bet you'll find something tasty and you'll grow to love Cajun food. Visiting Sambet's will set your wallet back anywhere from $5 to $10 for a single person, but you can also order larger 'family' portions that are just a little higher in price. They also have your run-of-the-mill drinks there, i.e. iced tea, sodas, etc. But they do have Big Red in a bottle! There's just something great about Big Red in a glass bottle. Ok, enough yammering-- go try some great Cajun food!
Sambet's Website and menu
Google Maps location
8650 Spicewood Springs Rd #111
Austin, Texas 78759
Hours: Mon – Thurs, 11 – 8
Fri & Sat, 11- 9
AFG Rating: 1 Lone Star Point