One of the places in town that I love to visit and eat is Papa Roux’s restaurant here in town. After a short discussion with one of their managers, he agreed to let me shoot a short story about a visit there and eating as long as I didn’t disrupt the customers there. My constraints were that I couldn’t show any customers, was limited in equipment I brought, and no flash could be used.
You will find the restaurant busier than these images lead you to believe. They are always busy but well worth the wait. First, let me say that this location of the store looks like a dive. If you have ever traveled, you know a lot of the good local places often look like dives. Papa Roux is an excellent and wonderful place to eat. The food is good. It is always clean (it is one of the few restaurants who ALWAYS have a clean and stocked bathroom). And, if you are lucky, you won’t have to wait too long for a seat. One thing that makes the wait worthwhile is knowing you can get unlimited sides that always taste great. If you want to try a great place to eat, this is one of those great and inexpensive places. As a suggestion, if you walk in and there is a huge line, consider going down and eating at City Market at another of their locations. Right across from the Market is free parking after 3:3oPM. They rarely have any lines at night. They also have a Tirolean (“zip line”) for the orders from the upper level there.
The first thing you see when you drive up is their sign. Then the building as you pull in.
From here, you find a place to park and then walk in the door. You are always greeted by friendly faces and a place with the various menu items to choose from. This image was taken at one of their slower times – something that is very unusual. What you don’t see here are the two sets of customers waiting for their take out food. At dinner prime time, they often have a line out the door. This is why I suggested that you go down town for dinner.
Once you have your meal ordered, you move to their table area. As you can see from the images of the seating area, you need to bring your sharpie with you and should scribble a few words of wisdom somewhere on the walls or another place while you are there. On the second image, if you look closely, you can see the original box with the words across the bottom of the box to scribble saying. “just keep it clean.” Once you get a seat, make sure you order your initial set of sides almost immediately.
When you sit down, you will find the usual things at the table: salt, pepper, and Louisiana hot-sauce. You have to pick up the napkins with silverware in them at the desk along with straws. See that black card with yellow and white writing? That is how you order something or get the waitresses attention – just put it in the card holder. At the bottom of the card is a list of all their sides that you can order.
In a couple of minutes, someone is yelling your name to find you and your meal arrives at your table. Usually drinks, then sides and sandwiches.
And then the struggle begins… Eating everything. This sandwich is the regular sized sandwich. For most people, they should be able to buy one and split the sandwich between two people. As you can see from this, there is a LOT on this sandwich. You can see after a few bites that it isn’t any easier or less there to eat. It is packed full of meat.
There are several sides to choose from: apple sauce, coleslaw, corn bread, bread pudding, sliced bread, beans and rice, and a few others. Make sure you are ready to eat when you arrive there. You can see some of the items above and Red Beans and rice below.
Finally, you finish the meal… That took a while to eat all that food! This is the aftermath that is left behind from my visit (some of the side dishes are my wife’s, it just looked better being stacked that high):
And you look around, here is another place where the people had already left.
I hope this gives you a little feel for Papa Roux and what it is like to eat there. They don’t have wheel barrows to wheel people to their car when you finish, so make sure you don’t eat that much. And, when you leave, you know you have had a wonderful time there and will always leave full. One of the managers always says that he wants you full up to here (holding his hand to the fop of his eyes) with food before you go.
All information and images are ©2012 Don Krajewski on this post.