After spending spring break in New Orleans, I was excited to see that one of Tulsa’s newest restaurants, Flavors of Louisiana, would be centering on Cajun cuisine. The restaurant opened March 21, and it’s so new Google Maps can’t find it. It’s sister restaurant, located in Arizona, has been open since 2008 and is owned and operated by a native Louisianian, serving both city and country Cajun dishes. These styles differ: “city Cajun (New Orleans style) is spicy hot and with red tomato base sauces and the country Cajun (Acadian) is spicy flavorful with rich brown roux base sauce,” according to their website.
A sign featuring a happy gator eating a crawfish that is either also happy or, more likely, terrified, greets you as you enter the place. The restaurant is sandwiched within the London Square shopping center in Tulsa. A few stray beads hang on fixtures to remind you of the massive parties in New Orleans, while family photos hang on the walls near city letters.
The menu exemplifies everything one would expect to find at a typical eatery in the French Quarter. Flavors of Louisiana boasts 12 varieties of po’boy sandwiches: from alligator to oyster to chicken, each with a side. The other major section to the menu is “Cajun Specialities,” which holds jambalaya, etouffee and shrimp creole, among others. Each of these options comes with a starter salad, which adds a splash of health to any dinner, and garlic bread.
Full salads and gumbo, with chicken or various fish, offer lighter options for those interested. For large groups, there’s combination plates and an option to choose pieces of meat. Desserts include the typical cobblers and cheesecakes, but additionally New Orleans’ iconic doughy, sugar-drenched beignets.
To maximize our experience at the restaurant, we tried the Cajun trio, which offered jambalaya, gumbo and crawfish pie. The rice in the jambalaya was perfectly soft without being overcooked, and the bits of chicken and sausage scattered throughout added a change in texture. While a little spicier than I expected, it was never overwhelming. For the gumbo, I’d ordered the chicken and sausage over the seafood mix, so pieces floated in the warm, savory soup. The crawfish pie was the star of the mix, a flaky, buttery pastry with a creamy center, shaped like an empanada or calzone. Although I’m not a general fan of crawfish, the inside of the pie was still delicious. The chunks of crawfish, with their unique texture and chunkiness, offered a reminder that the creamy inside would still be filling.
Another in our party ordered an alligator po’boy with a side of red beans and rice. The large hunk of bread the sandwich was served on gave a satisfying crunch each time he bit into it, and the fried bits of alligator had a unique texture, which distinguished them from a fate of “tasting just like chicken,” as the saying goes.
The plates at Flavors of Louisiana are large enough to be saved for seconds. I split the Cajun trio with another, and both of us were satisfied at the end of the night. The jambalaya plate was almost boxed for another day before the good flavor got the best of my friend.
While I wanted dessert, beignets were only served in platters of six. This amount was too many for our full group of four that night, but the flavors and options of the restaurant meant that our return to Flavors of Louisiana is inevitable. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner excluding Mondays and Sundays, on 5800 S Lewis Ave.