I'm partial to Cajun and Creole food. I like their rich and crazy approach to meals, both in terms of flavors and attitude. So, with high hopes, last Saturday night we had dinner at The Free Man Cajun Café in Deep Ellum.
The atmosphere was lively and original. They don't play up the whole swamp, crocodile and Cajun music angle. It's simply a jazz bar with food inspired by southern Louisiana.
The crowd was a good mix of Deep Ellum regulars, a small contention of jazz followers, some college kids and tourists -- a Swedish couple was seated next to us. We chatted about tunnbrödsrulle.
There was a jazz band at the front of the house, and we sat about half way back the long, shoebox-like restaurant. The music was great, and we could carry on a conversation.
For dinner, we started with boudin sausage balls, which are deep-fried and served with a horseradish sauce. The muffalata had liberal amounts of chopped olives, salami, ham, provolone and smoked mozzarella. The delicious side of sweet-potato fries were seasoned with salt, pepper, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
The Voodoo Chicken Sandwich might be the Free Man's signature piece. Starting at the top, it's spicy Cajun sauce, fried pickles, white cheddar cheese, char-grilled chicken breast, tomatoes, shredded lettuce and purple onions.
Check their Facebook page for frequent updates. Owner John Jay Myers used to be a Deep Ellum musician himself and has live music in house just about every night.
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