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Shopping Mall Cajun

Take away its deep fryer, and Boudreaux's is deep-sixed

According to manager Audra Hooks, the next Boudreaux's store will open at Gulfgate Mall, after that property is all refurbished and gussied up, of course. And it turns out that this first store is, in fact, a franchise prototype. "Oh, yeah, we're going to have a lot of stores. We'll probably start franchising within a year or two," Hooks confidently predicts. "And after that we'll go nationwide, for sure."

Amy Spangler
A chain in progress: Boudreaux's has big ambitions for its Cajun fried entrées.

Boudreaux's will play well in the Midwest, I'll bet, just as it does in second-tier shopping centers here in Houston. Its appeal is all about speed and convenience and the compromises busy people are willing to make when they're hungry. It's easy to find the restaurant, and it's easy to find a parking space. Best of all, you can get in and out in less than an hour, before the noise level drives you crazy. If I worked a tight schedule in a restaurant-starved part of town, I'd eat at Boudreaux's, too. The place may not be great, but it's mostly good, and hey, it beats a drive-thru window.

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