Alright. I am behind on this post. It’s been a
couple of weeks month or so since husband, kiddo and I went on an improv road trip. Ok. It was in March. Before St. Patrick’s Day. I had pre-spring fever.
Once the snow melted and we had a warm day we decided to start venturing to some cities we were hopeful of finding work and moving to. We picked Port Huron because there are two hospitals there, it’s located on the water, and the bridge to Canada is right now the road.
You can look out of the window of the Cajun Gator and see the bridge.
I’ll admit, while Michigan is growing on me, it’s ideally not where I wanted to spend the rest of my life. When I moved here in 2007 I thought it was a temporary solution to get my new life started. I wanted to go back to school, gather a career for myself and then be on my merry way. I wasn’t really planning on staying around here. The first year I was here I went on a lot of first dates and then their was one I dated for about a year. Life took us in different directions. During that rough spot, I met my husband. He knew I had dreams and desires to move out of this small town and I had to compromise on the moving out-of-state due to the fact he had kiddo.
Now that I have had time to tour the state of Michigan and test out some of what it has to offer, I’m willing to stay here if I can get some water property!
My obsession with Port Huron happened due in part to my trip to Niagara Falls and our little stops in Canada on the way there. So, we decided at the last-minute one Sunday (it was that first ray of sunshine after all the snow!) we decided to take the drive and see how far it was from kiddo’s house to determine the weekly pick-up/drop-off drive.
45 minutes, give or take, if you are interested 😉
Another reason I wanted to take the drive down there was because I remember seeing an ad on Indeed many moons ago for chefs to work at this cajun style place that was opening up down there. I have yet to eat at a southern-style authentic Cajun restaurant here in Michigan so I was really looking forward to checking it out.
With a few keystrokes and my trusty Internet I was able to find the name of the place and the location.
So we pointed the car south and away we went. While we were in Port Huron we checked out some water views, some houses and businesses. We checked neighboring cities and even visited the hospitals. We thought perhaps this might be a town we could call home.
I was very impressed with Cajun Gator. They picked a prime location right in downtown with great view. Walking inside your transported into what feels like an old jazz club or a place you might see in the French Quarters. It had a very industrial, somewhat modern feel, but at the same time the exposed brick gave it some of that distressed flair, like the place was older than it was.
Our waitress was amazing and she was very nice with her conversation when answering all of husbands questions regarding the area. She even took us on a little tour of the place and in the back is small alligator named Wally.
Yes, I said a gator. Wally is the mascot. Isn’t he cute? This photo I snagged from their Facebook this morning because the photo I took while I was there didn’t turn out. Stupid iPhone. Stupid glass. When we were getting ready to visit back in March, I had noticed Wally’s photo on Facebook. While he had a lot of wonderful comments, there were quite a few ridiculing the owner for keeping an alligator in a habitat that was not his own. I’ll say, I’m not really a fan of captive animals. I don’t go to the circus, I hate pet stores, loath backyard breeders, and cry over the zoo. I was a little worried about Wally, but he was adopted by the owner from a very loving family that no longer could care for him. He isn’t a sideshow to the Cajun Gator, but very much a part of the family. I can tell you, having seen it first hand, his space is beautiful and very accommodating. He really seems to like it. The story goes on that the owner had a different space for him, which he outgrew. Since opening the eatery, it just seems natural that Wally spend as much time with his family who is following their restaurant dreams. Being at the Cajun Gator not only allows the owners to share Wally with their customers, but it also allows them to spend more time with him instead of being home alone. I can tell you, Wally is certainly not suffering!
Alright, let’s get to the food, shall we? I know that is what you all came here for.
First, we started with some Gator Bites. That’s the very first photo. They were delish. Kiddo isn’t a fan of spicy food, so I had to clean off a bite so she could test out some gator. She said it was chewy. Other than that, she wasn’t sure what to think since there was just too much spice for her. Husband and I really enjoyed them. I know gator is expensive, I just wish the serving was a bit more. I don’t generally partake in crawfish, but I couldn’t help but slurp the tail. The rest I can do without. I know some folks will eat the whole thing, but ummmm no thanks.
Husband had Po Boy.
I enjoyed the Crawfish/Shrimp/Crab Etouffee.
And by enjoyed, I mean devoured.
It was YUMtastic. I even had leftovers. Go me. Enjoy it twice!
Kiddo had your standard kids meal – chicken fingers and fries. I guess I can’t expect her to be an adventurous eater all the time!
We had a really good time and I am already counting down the days for my next visit! It really made me feel like I was back home in the south. I enjoyed every minute.
Check out the Cajun Gator website and their Facebook for more information.
What a great outing. I’ve told DH one of the things that would inspire me to move is a house on a lake. I stayed at one for a teacher’s retreat and I’ve been hooked ever since. Don’t see it happening, but it is nice to have a dream. Hope you guys do find a place that offers great work and living opportunities for both of you.
I’ve been really fighting lately for a house with some water. I’m hopeful for the coast of MI, but with the driving distance, we might have to wait until our retirement days when kiddo is out on her own. I think I would be ok with a nice deck, quiet street, and a pool!
Sounds like a fun little trip and a delicious meal. I am totally not adventurous when it comes to spice, anything else, yes, spice, no. It is far too painful for me! I don’t understand how people enjoy it! I’m so happy to have you as part of The Yuck Starts Here team! HUGS
I like a little kick. My husband on the other hand, give him a bottle of Franks Red Hot and he would drink it if he could. Yuck.
Tammy @ creativekkids says
The food looks yummy, and I love parts of Michigan too. Around the lakes are so beautiful, and some properties are cheap right now! My grandma lives 15 minutes from Lake Huron so we go up there 2 times a year.(probably an hour or so from Port Huron.)
I want to move to Port Huron, but we can’t unless a job opens up at the hospitals. I wouldn’t mind having a little cabin or something up north to run away to, especially to do some good fiction writing. Water property has been my dream. So, maybe, one day. That neat that you have some family sort of close to me!
Robin (Masshole Mommy) says
I have to go google po boy because I am not sure what that means. Glad you enjoyed your meals 🙂
Were those Gator Bites plated on a piece of slate? They look good whatever they used as a plate.
Jessica Harlow says
Wally is a really “cute” mascot (for an alligator)! And, the etoufee you enjoyed sounds fantastic. I love cajun food, but don’t cook it very often. A visit to Cajun Gator would be perfect!
Melissa Pezza says
What a super cool restaurant! I love the food, and I LOVE Wally! I think that is just the coolest!
Donna Ward says
Chrystal, What a great restaurant and seems like a fab time you had!
Wally sounds more like a rescue Gator and sounds like a good thing for him. We’ve never been to Port Huron or that area – I so want to go
Cherri Megasko says
That looks awesome! My husband and I both are huge fans of Cajun food, especially crawfish. And it’s about that season … yum!
Lol…. I lived in Florida for many years and everyone just loved all sorts of gator treats… I’m too scared to give it a try…. My hubby did try it and said it wasn’t bad lol
michele d says
That dish wouldn’t be for me. I’m not interested in eating Gator. I know others have and they said it taste like chicken?
I really LOVE going out on random adventures and finding new places to enjoy and this place seems amazing! Wally is adorable and im glad they are treating him well!
Chubskulit Rose says
These are definitely my kind of food, now I am hungry lol. We seldom eat out but when we do, I always go for seafood dishes.
As gator for a mascot. And it looks like he’s smiling for their picture too, lol. Glad you found a place you like, and how nice that they gave you a tour!
Fi Ní Neachtáin says
I have to say I’d be with the kids on this one with the chicken and chips. I’m not as adventurous as I’d like to be with food! 🙂
I definitely couldn’t eat that but my husband would be all over it! Gators terrify me, I would love to see one in person. Also, Niagara Falls? Stops in Canada? Ah! My neck of the woods:)
Cara (@StylishGeek) says
I’ll definitely check out Cajun Gator if I am ever in that area. The first time I had alligator was a visit to South Africa. I was anxious and quite nervous…until I realized it tastes just like chicken! LOL!
Pretty cool mascot! We went on an air boat ride in the Everglades the other day and saw a bunch of huge gators. They came right up to the boat. I saw there were gator nuggets for sale at the restaurant there, but we did not try them.
My husband would go nuts for this. He is all about this style of cooking and loves unique dishes.
Chasity Boatman says
That’s wonderful that you and your husband were able to take a mini vaca. I personally LOVE fried gator. There’s a great place in my town that sells it. Always delicious.
This is a very interesting dish. It looks tasty and I will be curious to try it. I like trying new food ideas
Yona Williams says
I’ve been to a lot of areas in Michigan, but Port Huron is not one of them, although I have seen it on a sign before. I love trying out different restaurants and this eatery seems unique.
There’s a really nice cajun place in Louisville, KY that also serves fried gator. I remember trying it and ordering enough for the table to try. At first, others weren’t going to, but after I tried it, they did. It tastes great with honey mustard. 🙂