Take a trip to the bayou with the Lagniappe

Dain Holter

Take the main entrance along a back alleyway or the hidden doorway off of Washington Street and head down the stairs, when you reach the bottom you’ll be transported to Louisiana.

re-Langiappe.OnlineLagniappe is a Cajun Creole eatery hidden away in downtown Marquette. Since their opening in 2006, Lagniappe has provided high-quality Cajun delights and maintained its unsurpassed service.

Southern jazz and soul music plays in the background, Mardi Gras beads hang from every wooden pillar, Bourbon Street signs and alligators at every corner welcome you into the Louisiana atmosphere of the Lagniappe. The restaurant’s bar—the “Voodoo Bar” looks like something straight from New Orleans, made of wood and decked in tiki head decor.

The employees, managers and owners of Lagniappe try to give you more than just a meal, they provide an all-inclusive escape to the heart of New Orleans.

The drink menu is quite expansive, offering many unique themed drinks such as a Cajun Bloody Mary, Alabama Slamma and a Crawfish Claw, as well as Louisiana beer selections.

I went with the waitress’s recommendation of the most popular cocktail—the Hurricane. With this drink you can choose which category of a Hurricane you’d like to endure, a three, four or five, depending on how many shots you’d like in your drink.

The cocktail came with a cherry and orange wedge garnish to give it that tropical storm look. The most unique thing about it, however, was the paper umbrella that came atop the drink. It looked as if it had been whipped around in a hurricane practically destroyed, adding a cute and comical touch.

The appetizers here will make anyone indecisive with their non-typical offerings, including dishes like alligator bites, crawfish nachos, fried frog legs and fried green tomatoes.

To begin my meal, I ordered the fried garlic cheddar grit cakes. This is three triangular grit cakes smothered in a creamy sauce and finished with a little shredded cheddar, monterey jack and gorgonzola. These were absolutely to die for and easily a new favorite of mine. The cakes are lightly fried to perfection. Upon first bite into the grit cakes I broke through the golden fried skin to reach the silky smooth inside. Its perfect texture alone makes you need another bite. It’s all brought together with an orange Tasso cream sauce that perfectly finishes the dish.

Choosing an entrée was just as difficult with the huge menu that can cater to almost anything you’re in the mood for, with sections for gumbos and soups, salads, po’ boys or traditional Louisiana sandwiches, creole classics, and pastas.

I had to go with a Lagniappe classic to complete this dining experience and ordered the Bayou Bouillabaisse. This is basically a Cajun stew consisting of catfish, shrimp, crayfish, andouille sausage, potatoes and vegetables in a Cajun tomato broth and served over a bed of rice.

This was a marvelous decision because I was able to try all the different types of meats the restaurant has. The dish also had the perfect amount of spice. It’s a common belief that most Cajun food is spicy and this had a kick, but it wasn’t unbearable and the flavors of the ingredients still shined through.

For the dishes here that do carry more heat, Lagniappe allows the customer to pick their level of spiciness, with a five being the hottest and three being the average spice of most dishes. If you’re passionate about spicy food and a five just isn’t enough, the restaurant has an extensive hot sauce bar with more hot sauces than you can think of.

Overall, it was a wonderful meal. The service here is timely for a sit-down eatery and the wait staff are extremely polite and helpful. I truly appreciate that the Lagniappe does not only serve you, but gives you an experience too.