etoufeI am hungry just thinking of writing this post.  We recently partook of the newest restaurant to grace downtown Leesburg:  The Cajun Experience.  It definitely was an Experience!  If you don’t look out of the window to check your beignetsbearings, your fast-pasted DC metro life becomes irrelevant and slowly melts away.  Don’t look now; you are in slower pace Louisiana now and the only things that matter are your family, the food in front of you and the company at your table (and possibly surrounding tables).  Owned and operated by poboynative Louisianans, the Experience offers traditional Cajun (not to be confused with creole) dishes: etouffee (pronounced A-Too-Fay), gumbo, po-boys, etc.  Being from Louisiana, Lafayette to be exact (and about as Cajun as you can get!), I really, REALLY like my husband’s etouffee.  The Experience’s etouffee makes my husband’s etouffee taste like a Chef Boyardee right-out-of-the-box knock off (I hope he is not reading this!).  The etouffee is rich, flavorful and served with a side of potato salad.  As it is seasonal, order the etouffee as long as you can!  First-timers, don’t be shy with the potato salad.  Go ahead and mix it with the etouffee; your taste buds will thank you!  I also recommend the beignets and coffee, both of which are reminiscent of a certain New Orleans cafe.  Needless to say, I cannot wait to try more dishes (red beans and rice, chef’s special and pecan pie?) during the Leesburg Flower and Garden Festival this weekend.  By the way, last chef’s special was blackened Talapia on a bed of etouffee.  C’est tres bon!

cajunexperienceThe Cajun Experience is located at 14 Loudoun Street SE, Leesburg, VA 20175 (and they are hiring!)

The Cajun Experience–Downtown Leesburg
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2 thoughts on “The Cajun Experience–Downtown Leesburg

  • I had high hopes for the Cajun Experience, but was terribly disappointed. My daughter had a blackened chicken salad – the chicken tasted day-old and the seasoning was without taste. I suspect it was leftover, but then again I’ve had better leftover chicken. I had the Maque Choux – again, without any special flavor despite what appeared to be excellent ingredients. It takes some effort to mess up shrimp. Served with bread that, once again, tasted day-old. I had two bites of the potato salad before I could offer up the guess that it was, indeed, potato salad. My wife had a shrimp po boy; more bread than content. Can’t agree about the beignet either – greasy and served with a ton of unsifted confectionery – I’ve had better fried dough. We won’t be returning. I wish them luck, but would not be surprised if they were gone in a year.

  • I don’t know what Tom R is talking about. I had the shrimp poboy lunch special there a few weeks ago and it was awesome. I haven’t been to Nawlin’s since 2005 (pre-Katrina) and with one bite was taken right back there. The bread was authentic New Orleans french bread and was loaded with excellent fried shrimp. The food was spot on New Orleans/Cajun, including the gumbo and delicous beignet.
    I can’t wait to go back and try the Etouffee. The people working there were all great too, including the owner

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