Last Spring, I spent a month or so looking into the origins of Shreveport-style stuffed shrimp, a unique style of stuffed shrimp made popular by the historic Freeman & Harris Café (which, at one point, was the oldest black-owned restaurant in America) and, later, Pete Harris Café. That story, “Secrets in Shreveport: The Stuffed Shrimp Legacy of Freeman & Harris,” ended up running in the May/June 2013 issue of Louisiana Kitchen & Culture magazine. While the story definitely didn’t solve the mystery of who created the famous stuffed shrimp recipe, it did give me a great opportunity to meet and get to know about a dozen people with special insight into this topic. While I was interviewing the late Chef Orlando Chapman (of Brother’s Seafood), I met Chapman’s brother, a cook who I only know as Pinto. Pinto, who previously cooked at Brother’s Seafood, has just opened his own restaurant, a no-frills seafood and soul food joint called Down South Cajun Seafood at 273 E. 70th Street in Shreveport (former location of Louisiana Seafood & Pho Saigon).
On the Down South Cajun Seafood menu, you’ll find those intriguing Shreveport-style stuffed shrimp ($12.60 for 3, which is a full serving; $22.50 for 6) and tartar sauce, as well as daily plate lunch specials, seafood platters, po-boys, burgers and more. There’s a signature burger called the Sandra, which is topped with grilled onions and hot peppers ($7.50), as well as chicken livers fried or smothered by the dozen ($7 a dozen), fish platters that include buffalo, trout and catfish, dirty rice, ham fried rice ($5.25/$8.25) and more.
Down South Cajun Seafood is clearly a new restaurant just getting started. When I visited, there were only a few tables, and they appeared to be intended as a place to wait for your to-go order. Everything is served in take-out containers.
Daily plate lunches are $7.80, and are as follows (as of April 2014):
Monday – Chicken fried steak or beef tips
Tuesday – Smothered pork chop or smothered hamburger
Wednesday – Baked chicken w/ dirty rice or chicken fried steak w/ rice or mashed potatoes
Thursday – Fried chicken or smothered chicken
Friday – Buffalo fish, baked turkey and dressing or BBQ ribs
Down South Cajun Seafood hours of operation are: 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun.-Thurs.; 9 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri. & Sat. The restaurant’s phone number is (318) 861-3300.