Pat’s of Henderson in Lake Charles is back with everyone’s flavorful favorites
Pat’s of Henderson
1500 Siebarth Dr.
Good old-fashioned Cajun food is being served again, albeit inside new digs, at Pat’s of Henderson in Lake Charles.
Owner Nicholas Perioux, 44, reopened the eatery in Lake Charles in August. The restaurant had been closed since August 2020 due to what some in the Lake City regard as the first of five plagues.
In chronological order, the community suffered through Hurricane Laura (2020), Tropical Storm Beta (2020), Hurricane Delta (2020), a winter storm in 2021, and historic spring flooding (2020). All of this occurred as the world contended with COVID-19.
Those setbacks unfolded right after Perioux bought the restaurant from his family in 2019.
“We had to gut the whole restaurant,” he said. “And that did not start until after our fight with the insurance company.”
The end result is a relaxing and comfortable eatery that features natural lighting, a hip bar area and a new and improved kitchen.
By the way, the delicious and spicy dishes that customers all over the country were accustomed to at Pat’s of Henderson, are still being produced.
“We call our kitchen the heart of the house. I knew what made our business, it started with the food. Nothing changed in that arena,” Perioux said.
For folks wondering if the woman with the golden cooking touch is still working at Pat’s of Henderson, Perioux said, “Chef de Cuisine Menola Zeno is still with us. She is the keeper of the original family recipes.”
Zeno, 57, leads the kitchen staff and is regarded as Perioux’s sister since they were raised together. She prides herself on flavor.
“It is very important to me and in the dishes we prepare. Without it, people won’t come back and I want to see everyone from our regulars to new diners visit the restaurant,” Zeno said.
The stuffed red snapper is one of the dishes where the mix of quality ingredients and deftly applied seasoning is best exemplified.
“It is one of our hottest selling dishes along with the bite-sized catfish and bread pudding,” Perioux said.
Neither Perioux nor Zeno will share the secrets to the stuffing, but the mix of seafood, veggies and in-house seasoning blend is worthy of being eaten out of a bowl.
Other restaurant favorites are Pat’s crawfish étouffée and crawfish stew which share an earthy flavor pattern; both are spiced perfectly.
“I have these recipes in my mind from the way I was taught by other cooks who worked for the family. It’s about the technique for me and the fact that I cook with a lot of love,” Zeno said.
Perioux notes that anyone who visits has to indulge in the gumbo menu: crawfish gumbo, crab gumbo, seafood gumbo, chicken and sausage gumbo, shrimp gumbo, shrimp and oyster gumbo, and shrimp and okra gumbo.
“As important as our new building is, the staff, food and our family environment are what makes Pat’s the restaurant it is. We’ve always had a passion for French-Cajun food and that will never change.”
1 Crawfish Bisque
This complex yet velvety tasting crawfish delicacy is a staple dish at Pat’s and with a side of French bread is culinary heaven.
2 Crawfish Dinner
The ultimate mudbug combo which includes fried crawfish, a crawfish tart, bisque, étouffée over rice, boulette, and stuffed bell pepper — goodness to the 10th power.
3 Crab Dinner
Let your mind imagine the delightful flavor on a plate with crab boulette, gumbo, etouffee over rice, stuffed crab, fried crab cake, and stuffed bell pepper.
4 Half & Half Catfish Courtbouillon
Fried or grilled catfish on one side of the plate and catfish cooked in Cajun-inspired red sauce on the other side of the plate — yum.
5 Grilled Ribeye Steak
Perioux is proud of the restaurant’s steak grilling capabilities and meat dishes are enhanced with the 1855 Black Angus Beef brand product.