Featured photo: The fried avocado and shrimp tequila appetizer ($13) at Tejas, a Southwestern-influenced restaurant in Shreveport.
What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “Southwestern cuisine”? For me, the term only conjures up a few ingredients: avocados, roasted corn and various “zesty” sauces like chipotle mayo. Honestly, like a lot of folks, my perception of “Southwestern” food has probably been shaped as much by chain eateries like Chili’s Grill & Bar as by any other force in the universe. I cannot name a restaurant in Santa Fe.
So, like recently opened eateries Ono’s Traditional Hawaiian Cuisine and Parish Taceaux, Tejas presents an opportunity for Shreveport-Bossier’s food lovers to try something new. Though Tejas has been described as a steakhouse in some write-ups, I have a hard time seeing it that way. There are two steaks on the menu (one is chicken fried), but Tejas is pretty clearly a concept restaurant that really is all about the Southwest. There’s frybread ($9), a traditional Native American bread that’s dense and chewy and is served loaded with toppings. There are cornmeal-battered fried avocado slices served with Gulf shrimp in a poblano crema ($13). I am told that the grilled quail rocks, but haven’t tried it personally.
If you’re looking for something familiar, comforting and delicious, the chicken fried steak ($15) is one of the best versions in town. The Tejas CFS is a strip steak that’s been battered and deep fried, covered in a heavy, jalapeño-spiced cream gravy and served atop a pile of mashed red potatoes. Weston McElwee, the owner of Tejas, described the chicken fried steak to me as “about as simple as it gets,” but it’s not every day that you come across a version as delicious as this one. I should point out that the Tejas CFS is only served for lunch, which is almost an act of cruelty. It is guaranteed to reduce your afternoon productivity levels.
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Check out Eat Here: A Food Lover’s Guide to Shreveport-Bossier.