In the past when we've asked friends what makes good boudin, the answer is always simple - "somewhere on the side of the highway." About 15 miles east of Lafayette on I-10 lies Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, also known as "the crawfish capitol of the world." And across the street from the much advertised Desi's Little Capitol casino lies Chicken on the Bayou Boudin Shop, which has some of the best roadside food we've ever had.
Although we discovered it on accident (attempting to get to a gas station for a drink and a break), we've since stopped at Chicken on the Bayou many times because it has such good food. There's no crazy road marker signs every mile on the road advertising its authenticity and menu like some of its pricier counterparts. What gives this place away, which is little more than a trailer at the gas station, is that it is always packed.
Chicken on the Bayou shares a parking lot with the Landry's in the area, and it's very clear which one is more popular. On our latest visit, the Landry's side had about five cars to COTB's full lot (we had to park on the Landry's side). It's a bit more of a wait than going to a Subway down the road (usually about 15 minutes), but it's worth it. Chicken on the Bayou is supposed to specialize in fried chicken; however, out of all the times we've been there we've never gotten it. Something about eating fried chicken and then driving for about three more hours back to Houston just doesn't sit well.
Hot boudin is a much less messy car food, and Chicken on the Bayou's is exceptional. You can buy it frozen, and take it home and make it at your leisure (you just have to tell the staff how you want it). Both the pork and the crawfish boudin links are excellent (they also have alligator), with hot, moist, smooth textured centers with a good, although not overpowering, amount of spice.
The boudin balls are a little too greasy (grab a stack of napkins if you buy some), but still tasty enough to suffer a little heartburn. Pick up a cup of the heavenly red beans and sausage for whatever ails you for the ride home from a trip to Bourbon Street. Quite possibly, these are the best red beans we've ever had.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.