You don’t have to go to New Orleans, or even leave New Jersey for that matter, to get some of the best Cajun food around. Tucked away in a two-room house turned classic New Orleans Dining Room and located directly across from the Belmar Marina, Ragin’ Cajun is ‘shore’ to please! With it’s burgundy wallpaper, lush curtains and hints of brass décor, Ragin’ Cajun definitely transports you to a New Orleans Dining Room. And when “B.C. and the Gringos” play on Saturday nights? Well, you just have to experience them for yourself. Hint: Get a seat in the front room!
Upon opening the door into their family style dining room, owner, Traci Orsi, or one of the girls greets and, if lucky, seats you immediately. But unless you’re very early, especially on the weekends, there will be a wait. Do not fret, that’s actually a good thing, especially in the warmer months, when tables are set up outside and you can start your own party on the porch with your beverage of choice (Ragin is a BYOB). In my personal experience, it’s a great way to start the night. Many nights there is more of a party outside than inside! (And B.C. and the Band never forget their outside audience.)
With menu items including Creole Onion Soup (like French Onion but chicken based and topped with Gruyere Cheese), Alligator Sausage, Blackened Chicken Bites, Red Beans and Rice, Shrimp and Scallop Etouffe (succulent shrimp and scallops with fresh vegetables in a spicy brown gravy with a kiss of lime, pictured above), Shrimp Daddy Pasta (jumbo shrimp, alligator sausage, mushrooms and artichokes in a Cajun cream sauce topped with bow tie pasta), the choice of entrée is not easy. And let’s not forget the vegetarian dinner with the popular Veggie Creole (broccoli, carrots, zucchini, squash, and mushrooms cooked in spicy tomato stew served over rice and topped with red beans). And I haven’t even gotten to the ‘washboard specials yet’!
So, if Y’all ain’t in no rush, go late, open your bottle of wine or beer or whatever on the porch, listen to B.C. and the Gringos play (or other bands during the week), meet some new friends, enjoy a fabulous overflowing dish of Cajun/Creole food, and, at the end of the night, hang out for Traci to pull up a chair and join you at the table.
1102 New Jersey 35
Belmar, NJ 07719-2731
Beverly A. Beveridge is our Monmouth County Regional Editor. Bev resides in Eatontown with her husband, Bob, daughters, Melissa and Brittany, son, Glenn, dog, Bailey and cats, Kitty and Slodki (polish for honey/sweet). Beverly’s ‘culinary curiosity’ was sparked by her brother who is a chef in Paris and author of many cookbooks. She enjoys dining out, piano, tennis, traveling, designing her JERSEY GIRL swimsuits and Calendar, music (especially Rock Concerts) and meeting new people. Enjoy her ‘fun’ reviews! Passport to Peru – Home of the Jersey Girls Swimsuit models and ‘Calendar’ Girls! ‘Passport Swimsuits – A Swimsuit to fit ‘every body’. www.passporttoperu.net