Both chefs know how to eat cheaply, too. While the 99 Cent Chef is a city boy from Los Angeles feasting on street tacos, the Swamp Chef roams the backroads and swamps of the South, digging deep for fried and long simmering Cajun eats.
When I'm in Louisiana visiting Mom, I often run into the Swamp Chef and am only too happy to tag along and shoot him trying out the local cuisine.
Our first video together is done in Gonzales, Louisiana, known as the Jambalaya Capital of the World.
You can get Cajun-style Jambalaya all over town, but for the cheapest and tastiest look no further than The Jambalaya Shoppe.
Click on any photo to see larger.
It is a small roadside stand with friendly service. Click here to read a nice article about their 26th Anniversary. And since the food is pre-cooked, your order is ready in a couple of minutes. And don't worry, Jambalaya tastes even better when it has been setting a while.
Cajun-style Jambalaya is different than Creole-style. There is no tomato sauce in Cajun-style Jambalaya - just meat, seasonings and rice. You can go to New Orleans for tomato Creole-style Jambalaya.
Of course, the locals make Jambalaya the way they like it, usually with sauteed onion, garlic and Cajun seasonings. As for meat you can get chicken and smoked sausage, or pork and smoked sausage. For this Cheap$kate Review, the Swamp Chef got Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya.
You can get only Jambalaya for $6, or order a plate that comes with Cajun Potato Salad and White Beans with a small white bread Dinner Roll for $7. It's a cheap and hearty plate that will fill you right up!
The White Beans are creamy tender - almost mushy, but in a rich flavorful way. They are mild tasting and not spicy.
And the Potato Salad is Cajun-style, that is, creamy with mayo and mustard, and the potato chunks extra soft. Our Mom has a delish version a click away, here.
As mentioned earlier the Jambalaya is a dry version, kinda like Dirty Rice or a Chinese stirfry rice. The rice soaks up the browning from the meat - that is the trick to making a Cajun-style Jambalaya. You can see how our Mom does hers another click away, here.
Jambalaya meat is either chicken or chunks of tender pork and sausage. Louisiana is known for meaty and pungent Andouille sausage, but this is closer to regular mild smoked sausage, although it's a chunky and rough ground link like Andouille sausage.
The links are on the small size, but you get plenty of slices. Cajun food is spicy, but this Jambalaya is not, so go ahead and feed the kids, and set out Louisiana hot sauce for the grown ups.
You can order large buckets of Jambalaya if you are throwing a party or have visitors. They have a few other menu items that come and go depending on the season, like Gumbo and Pastalaya (just like rice Jambalaya, but made with spaghetti.) I've had it all there and have not been disappointed.
You don't come here for the ambiance, you come here to chow down! Locals get Jambalaya to go, but there's a picnic table if you can't wait. And one word of warning, don't wait until the end of the day to get yours, often they will close early because they run out of Jambalaya.
You can visit their website to see what's happening foodwise and get the exact address and serving hours. There are a dozen Jambalaya Shoppes in the area, now.
It was a hot day in Louisiana when I shot the Swamp Chef, but there is a local favorite way to cool things off...a drive-thru frosty Daiquair stop. Since I was shooting, we got the Happy Hour 2 for 1 special that day. We both like a White Russian, made with coffee and chocolate flavors and milk, plus plenty of Everclear alcohol -- Ooh, Wee.
If you have never had a local drive-thru Daiquiri think of a 7-Eleven convenience store Slurpee, with a boozy kick. Daiquiris come in many fruit flavors too, Mom likes her Strawberry Daiquiri, which you can see us getting ours, here.
After picking up the Daiquiris, I followed the Swamp Chef to Jambalaya Park in Gonzales. We sat ourselves down and shot the Cheap$kate Dining Review for my food blog. And how does a Jambalaya Plate with Cajun Potato Salad and White Beans by The Jambalaya Shoppe rate on my Cheap$kate Dining Scale of 1 to 9, 9 being best?
Well, check out my video below of the Swamp Chef to find out! And be sure to come back soon, I have more Swamp Chef episodes on the way.
Jambalaya Shoppe Cheap$kate Review - VIDEO
Play it here, video runs 4 minutes 46 secondsMy YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.
My favorite Jambalaya Shoppe is here:
1503 N. Airline Hwy.
Gonzales, LA 70737
Monday-Wednesday: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Thursday-Saturday: 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
*They sometimes close early if Jambalaya sells out!