Lagniappes Cajun Creole Eatery
Lagniappe’s Cajun & Creole Eatery has been one of my favorite restaurants in the beautiful Marquette Downtown District since its inception back in April, 2006. Chef Don Durley has over 35 years of experience in food service, and it is channeled in every meal that he prepares for his valued customers.
Lagniappe’s is also the place that I just got engaged this past Valentine’s Day, so it has a very special place in my heart. Oh yes, and the food is excellent, too.
Upon arriving at Lagniappe’s for my food review, the décor was the first element that I took in. The ceiling is done in tiling that specifies different types of beer, drinks, and other fun times. I’ve never been to Louisiana, or Mardi Gras, but just being in this establishment makes me feel everything I’ve heard about actually being there. The music at Lagniappes just helps them in creating a feel unlike any other restaurant that I’ve visited in Marquette’s beautiful downtown district. You walk into Lagniappes and it feels like you’ve taken a major veer off of the beaten path, one that is worth taking the chance to do so.
I started out my meal with a glass of water and an appetizer, blackened Alligator bites. Wow…now, they are a bit on the spicy side, but not like a jalapeno burn, more like a saltier blend of sensory overload. They’re also offered deep fried, but I wanted to eat them how they were meant to be enjoyed in the Louisiana region from which the recipe hatched. Another appetizer that is popular for Lagniappe’s are their Hush Puppies, a pleasantly doughy blend of spices and cornmeal, and so we ordered a side of those.
Although Lagniappes features a full service bar, with drinks ranging from the sought after Hurricane drinks to the 14 speciality martinis, we did not take advantage of it on this visit. Lagniappes “Voodoo Lounge,” as it is called, carries 20 Michigan micro brews and carries beer from New Orleans’s Abita Brewing, as well as Dixie beer, to the U.P.’s Keweenaw Brewing Company (K.B.C.). The ‘Mixologists’ are well-versed with making any of their 16 specialty cocktails and you can tell that they really enjoy creating a laid back, fun time for their patrons.
For my entrée, I ordered the Seafood Risotto, which was rich enough to savor the creamy, blended Alfredo sauce, but not too heavy to make me uncomfortably stuffed. I caution you though, you probably won’t be able to finish it; I certainly wasn’t! There’s part of me that loves ordering a meal when I know I can enjoy the rest for lunch the next day! Gulf shrimp, crawfish, and crabmeat are the small pieces of heaven served up in this creamy wine and cheese sauce.
My fiancé ordered the Tenderloin Louis Armstrong, which he thoroughly enjoyed. The entrée is a half- pound, center cut, tenderloin steak; it was topped with sautéed, blackened shrimp and then finished by hollandaise sauce. One of the best parts of being engaged, or married for that matter, is that what is “half his” is also “half mine,” and vice versa; his Tenderloin Louis Armstrong was fantastic. A very juicy, tender cut of meat rubbed down just right with herbs and spices, it did not disappoint. And I didn’t hear a whole lot out of him for most of the meal, so I know he enjoyed it quite a bit, too. (He also enjoyed “his half” of my Seafood Risotto).
After our meal, our server approached us about dessert; I was really tempted to try the Southern Pecan Pie or Mississippi Mud Pie, as I love pecans, but I just did not leave enough room for that…next time, I vowed to try one of them.
One of the greatest features of Lagniappes is its close, intimate feel; which could also be looked at as a hinderance. Although the restaurant welcomes large groups, rehearsal dinners, and even does weddings, arrangements for gatherings of these nature need to be reserved and well plotted out. There is not a lot of space in this great little venue, but they do the best with what space they do have. It is accessible from Washington Street, although there is additional parking in the back, as well as an entrance in the rear of the building. There is no handicapped or wheel-chair accessibility, as there are steep steps into both entrances. Luckily, Lagniappes also offers its full menu on a take-out basis, and only needs about 20 minutes for most orders.
If you’re visiting the area, or are living here and haven’t yet visited this “jewel” of our downtown district, make a point to! I was not, nor will you be, sorry for taking the time to make Lagniappes a part of your dining experiences in Marquette, Michigan.
On Wednesday & Thursday evenings between 6-9:00 p.m., the Voodoo Lounge features live music on their stage. Blues and jazz fill the airwaves making you take in everything about the atmosphere even more. Lagniappes also has special weekend live music from time to time, and it is refreshed on their web page so that patrons can be aware of upcoming events featuring their favorite local musicians. Support this and every other local small business, it’s what helps to keep our wonderful community alive!