Rich crawfish étouffée with rice and seasoned vegetables will quickly be a favorite here.EXPAND
Rich crawfish étouffée with rice and seasoned vegetables will quickly be a favorite here.
Photo by Jennifer Fuller

First Look at League City's Roux House French Creole Cafe

Long gone are the days of driving over to Pappadeaux in Seabrook for a spicy dish of étouffée, a plate of crispy fried alligator or a 20-minute wait for a table. While a couple of Cajun and Creole spots have opened up since Hurricane Ike washed away the Pappas chain in 2008, today the Houston Press visits League City's newest Creole restaurant, Roux House French Creole Cafe.

Located in a shopping strip, squeezed between Scotty’s Pub and San Lorenzo’s Mexican Restaurant, is Roux House Creole Cafe. Roux House is a bright, welcoming spot with cheerful New Orleans jazz playing and hanging red shutters that direct you to a chalkboard wall menu as soon as you walk in. Choose from stews and gumbos, po-boys and sandwiches, salads, boudin or heartier entrées.

Sit at the bar, order a cocktail, and enjoy the live feed of Bourbon Street.EXPAND
Sit at the bar, order a cocktail, and enjoy the live feed of Bourbon Street.
Photo by Jennifer Fuller

Just to the left of the ordering counter is a wooden bar with four white metal stools. On the wall above the bar area, there is a television that plays a live feed of the intersection at Bourbon Street and St. Peter Street in New Orleans. This restaurant has a stocked bar, so you can order a classic Hurricane or have a glass of wine with your meal. After deciding what to eat, place your order at the counter, grab your number and have a seat in this surprisingly spacious cafe.

Humorous sign on the fountain in this family-friendly cafe.EXPAND
Humorous sign on the fountain in this family-friendly cafe.
Photo by Jennifer Fuller

The tables are comfortably scattered throughout the restaurant and topped with black and white checkered tablecloths and condiment baskets filled with red and green Tabasco, Crystal and extra napkins. Hanging on the exposed brick walls with rustic lanterns are various framed pieces of New Orleans-themed art, from Mardi Gras posters to old black and whites of the French Quarter, including a turn-of-the-century photo of the Old Absinthe House. Arched walkways and indoor columns add extra pizzazz to this already lively joint. Check out the stone indoor water fountain, but make sure the kiddos don’t play in it. There is a warning sign that states, “Children found playing on the fountain will be thrown in the gumbo pot!”

Start your meal off with a bowl of creamy shrimp bisque.EXPAND
Start your meal off with a bowl of creamy shrimp bisque.
Photo by Jennifer Fuller

First to the table is a bowl of Gulf shrimp bisque, with slow-simmered Gulf shrimp stock, cream and cognac, finished with sherry-marinated shrimp, and it's only $5 for a small bowl. This warm, smooth bisque is filled with bite-sized chunks of shrimp and served with a slice of toasted buttered baguette. The flavor is so rich you’ll want to save a chunk of bread to sop up what your spoon couldn't capture. To easily make this a meal, order the large bowl.

Other appetizers are fried alligator, Gulf shrimp rémoulade and a Gulf shrimp corn dog, composed of five whole shrimp hand-dipped in cornmeal batter and served with peach rémoulade and bacon tomato jam.

Next up is the classic crawfish étouffée: sautéed Louisiana crawfish tails smothered in a rich, dark roux-based gravy, finished with butter, herbs and tomatoes, and served with hot rice and well-seasoned vegetables. Reasonably priced at $14, this pile of plump crawfish tails and al dente buttery vegetables will easily become one of your Roux House favorites.

Other entrées include mustard-fried catfish, red beans with andouille and tasso, and shrimp creole, all for under $15. For lighter lunch options, try the Creole cafe salad with your choice of grilled chicken, house-smoked turkey, or boiled shrimp on mixed greens with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, carrots and a boiled egg, or choose from a shrimp burger, Creole grilled chicken and Swiss sandwich, or the house-smoked turkey, Gruyère and honey-bacon sandwich. Combos are also available, if you want to try a couple of items.

Save some room to enjoy this super-sweet warm bread pudding.EXPAND
Save some room to enjoy this super-sweet warm bread pudding.
Photo by Jennifer Fuller

Bread pudding is the grand finale. Homemade cheesecake and Almond Snickers Chocolatey Goodness Cake are the other two options, but bread pudding is a necessity. Southern bread pudding is served with warm bourbon butter sauce loaded with pecans, which covers the top and drips down each side of this thick slice of pudding, accompanied by a small mound of whipped cream and a sliced strawberry.

“This restaurant has been years in the making," Roux House’s chef and founder, Beau Leacroy, tells us, "and all we want to do is give people a great place to eat."

Leacroy is a native of League City with a background in French and New American fine-dining cuisine. His love for New Orleans and his experience working with that city's chef Terry Thompson-Anderson inspired Beau to open this restaurant. "We plan on keeping things simple and delicious, and we will do everything we can to make our guests happy.”

Roux House French Creole Café
3202 Marina Bay Drive, Suite L
League City
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Mondays.

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