Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word

RAGIN’ CAJUN
This week’s venture into cultural diversity took me to an incredible dive bar called Lincoln’s Roadhouse, off I-25 and Pearl Street. Mr. R suggested we find a Blues club for our evening’s activity. I realize that Blues music has claimed an important role in American history, but admit that I’ve never really experienced it. Of course I’ve heard it in small doses via the radio, tv and movies, but have never understood the “moving” appeal to the genre. The same goes for cajun food. All I’ve ever heard about it were people bragging about the extreme spiciness of their jamablaya, much like one brags about chili that is too hot to eat. I assumed I wouldn’t like the food, and figured I could tolerate the music.
It was a good sign when we walked into Lincoln’s Roadhouse, a divey/biker/neighbohood bar with sticky, vinyl covered chairs, dark wood on the walls and ceiling, and the required “regulars” at the bar—the old guy wearing with gray sideburns, wearing a sleeveless denim shirt with a Sturgis logo on the back, the skinny older woman, with bleached hair, tight jeans and an orange-lipstick smile. Those sitting at the bar looked like they belonged there, and I suspect some of them had been coming here daily for 20 years. We took a seat in the dining area, near the pool tables, and Mr. R proceeded to mostly kick my butt in pool as we waited for our food to arrive. I did pull one game out and win, but I had severely underestimated my opponent, and can blame mostly my own cockiness for my loss.
I have only ever known seafood as a “luxury,” or “high-end” kind of food, something I eat on special occasions. When the etouffee, sausage and po-boy sandwich arrived, I realized that seafood was used in Cajun cooking as a staple—an ingredient that was always on hand, and could be incorporated into just about any meal. I was surprised the sauce in the etouffee wasn’t spicier, nor was the crawfish taste fishier. I really liked the flavor of the sauce, and after scooping it up onto the garlic bread it didn’t take long to devour the whole dish. The red beans and rice were tasty, as was the chicken gumbo, but I absolutely fell in love with the shrimp po-boy sandwich. I began craving another one as soon as I finished the first one.
By the time we finished eating the band was getting started, and between the food and a couple of beers, I immediately found myself tapping my foot to the music. I didn’t understand all of the words being sung, but watching the band members, and the few couples who took to the dance floor, (which was really just the entryway to the bar,) I found myself swaying, bouncing and clapping uncontrollably. It wasn’t long before Mr. R coaxed me off my stool and onto the dance floor, where we danced with reckless abandon. I honestly don’t remember the last time I danced like nobody was watching, I’m sure it had to have been during my drinking years. The singer gave us a big smile that said “I’ve got you now,” and from that point on I felt every note his played was specifically for us. Finally, exhausted, sweaty and smiling, we gave it up and sat back down at our table.
The band wrapped up the song quickly, having worn us down, and as we left the club to run for the car in the pouring rain, the singer gave us a big smile, and I’m sure he was aware of just how big of an impact he’d had on my life…

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July 9, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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