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Eat at Mom's
You know that old saw about never eating at a place called Mom's? Forget it. At Mom's Cajun Rotisserie, a radically unpretentious lunch spot next door to the original Antone's on Taft, you can acquire a Louisiana-style plate lunch better than anything your mother ever served up.

This month-old vest-pocket ethnic cafeteria is the latest brainchild of Billy Landry, scion of the legendary Lafayette restaurateuring family and one of the founders of the late Don's Seafood in Houston (for symmetrical thrills, see the Lagniappe review above). Along with partner David Cunningham, Landry is turning out heartbreakingly good rotisserie-roasted turkey injected -- Lafayette fashion -- with garlic and spices. It is moist. It is full of flavor and soul. It is everything turkey usually is not.

Put it together with resilient snap beans, a sublimely eggy-and-cheesy broccoli casserole, plus one of Sheila Partin's insidiously sweet, grandmotherly Wellbread dinner rolls, and you've got happiness on a plate. It's a plastic plate, and so are the utensils, but anyone whose priorities are in place won't even notice. Tony's it ain't; good and cheap it is.

There's also sprightly Cajun corn; a thickish, comforting crawfish etouffee with a mannerly cayenne undercurrent; a cauliflower version of that splendid broccoli casserole; and opulent bread pudding that emerges victorious from its styrofoam cup. Real lemonade, too -- and even a real mom (the gracious lady at the cash register is Cunningham's mother).

Landry is still tinkering with his Cajun pot roast; right now it's on the tough side. But when he describes his favorite custom-made lunch -- the roast beef tucked into a Wellbread roll and slathered with gravy -- his eyes kinda roll back in his head, and he goes into your basic Louisiana food trance. Imagine the effect it could have when he gets it right.

-- Alison Cook

Mom's Home Cookin' & Cajun Rotisserie, 905 Taft, 522-4500.

 
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