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Food, Hometown Tourism

Food Truck Friday: Sambets Cajun Roadside Cafe

Sambets Food Trucks Austin-1

Something funny has happened to us since we started this Food Truck Friday series. Shaun and I used to be content, just minding our own business, driving down the road. Now my eyes dart around the side roads and alleys, scouring for our next food truck experience. This is how we happened upon Sambets Cajun Roadside Cafe – and when I see Cajun food, my soul and stomach jumps for joy.

Sambets Food Trucks Austin-3

This sweet little place used to be in a brick and mortar building down the street from our house but had disappeared a long while back after a fire in 2011. Pronounced sam-bets (after Sam and Betty, the original owners), we first found ourselves in the old restaurant while trying to get our yearly crawfish fix. A New Orleans style brass band set the mood while we had good times and great food with friends.

Sambets Food Trucks Austin-4

Doug Slocombe, the owner and Chef, is a wiley older guy, with plenty to say about the new place that took over the old Sambets. Make sure to chat him up when ordering – he is hilarious and one hell of a chef to boot! This place had a cult following and since they’ve been back in business, they sell out of food regularly – so get there early!

Sambets Food Trucks Austin-2

This is what we ordered:

Shrimp Po-Boy: Shrimp rolled in seasoned corn flour, fried lightly ‘til crispy, topped with Doug’s special spicy mayo, on a warm po’boy roll with lettuce and tomatoes. (We added Louisiana hot sauce on top.)
16 oz Pint of Crawfish and Shrimp Etouffee: a dish found in both Cajun and creole cuisine typically served with shellfish over rice. The dish employs a technique known as smothering, a popular method of cooking in the Cajun areas of southwest Louisiana. (per Wikipedia)

Sambets Food Trucks Austin-5

Sambets Food Trucks Austin-6

I’m always a fan of Crawfish Etouffee so it was a no brainer for me to order it. Soups and stews really do it for me. While the broth was a little thinner than I’ve had previously, the flavor profile was deep and earthy, with the perfect amount of spice. They don’t skip out on the crawfish in their servings and my tastebuds were eternally grateful for that.

Shaun went with the shrimp po’boy and for him, it ultimately comes down to how “legit” the bread is. Crispy on the outside and with the perfect crunch to reveal the soft innards of the french bread, it was the perfect vessel for the flavorful fried shrimp and spicy mayo. I’m glad no one was around to watch us eat because I think we may have hit a new record how fast you can devour a po’boy.

Score: 4.5 out of 5
Cost: $19
Ordered: 1 shrimp po’boy and a pint of etouffee
Favorite thing: I don’t think we can decide.
Least favorite thing: How they were out of lots of things. (Popular!)
Type of food: Straight up CAJUN.

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