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Cajun Pacific
4542 Irving Street/47th Ave., SF
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Pretrial hearing at Pittsburgh's Pub
7/21/01

McClure

McC EatsThey have quite a large menu for such a tiny place out there. Cajun Pacific is located just blocks away from its namesake, the Pacific Ocean, in the outer reaches of the Sunset. Don't shy away from the distance — my fellow Judges took the long N Judah ride and seemed none the worse for wear when we met.

Our waiter was a friendly beachcomber type. Listen close to him. I don't know if it's his mumbly Johnson talk or my potato-filled ears that made him difficult to hear but you don't want to miss out on what's being cooked up special -- that's where I found my tasty sandwich.

We started off with a "sampler" seafood appetizer. You can get that barbecued or fried, and we chose fried of course. It was great for three judges. For $6.95 you get two pieces of shrimp, oysters, and catfish. The shrimp was jumbo, the catfish was delicious, and the oysters, well, they were fried, thank Neptune. We all went for different types of the Po Boy sandwich, specialties of the house I do believe. Mine featured a nice sized soft-shell crab that really filled out the bun nicely. They give you the option of fixin's: lettuce, tomatoes, and a pickle. Next time I think I'll skip 'em, don't really need it. Every bite was a delight of tasty, crunchy crab. It wasn't a cheap treat at $8.95 but well worth the price. We shared some fries: fresh-cut potato type with seasonings, nice.

When you go you may want to check out the backside of the menu. Quite an extensive list of entrees, including meatloaf and jambalaya. I'm venturing over to that side next time, oh yeah.

 

Turner

Once upon a time I happened upon a gas station/mini-mart called Glen's Cajun Deli in rural Louisiana. They sold poboys (po-boys, poorboys, et al.) It's the South's version of a submarine sandwich or hoagie. But they've got a lot of seafood down there, and it's cheap. That's why I got a giant fresh-made sandwich stuffed to the gills with big, fresh, juicy, crispy, Cajun-spiced shrimp for around five bucks. Lettuce, tomato, mayo, on a soft French roll.

Oh, daddy! I never forgot it. There must have been 20 shrimp on there. But, alas, that was rural Louisiana, and this is San Francisco. Still, a tip from reader-eater Toni led us to Cajun Pacific, which is practically IN the Pacific out in the Sunset. I must admit, having had that Louisiana sandwich, they were up against it. And they fell short. But I really liked the atmosphere and their legit Louisiana chow.

Our seafood sampler was perfectly fried (where'd the grease go?) with nice chunks of catfish, oysters, and giant butterflied shrimp. I thought the shrimp was alligator for a while, it was so big and flat. Real nice breading and great spicy dipping sauce. Then came our po-boys I think Judge McC made the best pick of the night with the softshell crab. My shrimp po-boy was right-on in every way but one. Not enough shrimp. I must have had three or four bites where I could not detect shrimp. Sad. But the bites WITH shrimp were quite good. Very close to what I had at Glen's, minus the mountain of shrimp.

Now, I know shrimp are probably a lot more expensive here than in some bayou Louisiana gas station. And the price was probably fair at $6.95 (or was it $7.95?) for that amount. Maybe a smaller roll? Or, raise the price a buck or two and throw on a few more shrimp. I'd like to go back and try the other dishes on the menu: jambalaya, crawfish pie, file gumbo, etc. Those crawfish beignets looked good. Anyway, if you never ate a sandwich from a gas station in Louisiana, or are looking for good Cajun, definitely check it out.

Based on lack of shrimp, I award three corn dogs.

 

Vardigan

"Sunset" is a swear word to me after living there in a former life. The first time the Court dined in those fogged parts we were gored by the Bashful Bull, our most roach-strewn restaurant yet. This time we were being sent even further out on the N Judas, this time into the 40s, where I used to live. All signs pointed to street-car trauma, fistfights between judges, and food poisoning.

None of that happened! Our N rides were nearly pleasant, and the judges were all nice to one another. What's more, the food at Cajun Pacific (a restaurant too good to exist when I lived near it) was scrumptious. Fried things are usually good, but those in our appetizer sampler plate (particularly the oysters and the shrimps) were battered and fried with exceptional care. I really enjoyed my "Da Bomb" po-boy of "barbeque" (actually just sauteed in some bbq sauce) catfish and shrimp, but it came up short in one respect: seafood count. There were about four shrimps, and a couple small slabs of catfish, a lack that left these both hard to taste inside the bun and other fixings.

For that reason, and that reason only, I can't award more than three dogs. But three dogs in the Outerest Sunset is pretty tough to wrench out of this judge. Congratulations, Cajun Pacific. Where were you when?

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