Thursday, July 17, 2008

Memories of Glenn's Cafe

Back in the 1980's a chef from New Orleans started a culinary sensation by taking Cajun cooking out of Louisiana and sharing his mouth watering recipes with the rest of the nation. His style of cooking by using a super hot iron skillet to "Blacken" fish and meat would soon be attempted by many of us as Cajun recipes became the rage. This style of cooking actually caused a shortage of red snapper in the U.S. and most restaurants had to stop selling that type fish for a while due to supply shortages. During the early stages of this craze a local chef named Steve Cupp opened a little restaurant on the Southwest end of Business Loop 70 offering Cajun dishes and some of his own creations. I don't know where the name of Glenn's Cafe came from, I guess it was there before Mr. Cupp opened his restaurant, but that name is still famous today in its latest incarnation located in Boonville.

Glenn's Cafe was small compared to most restaurants and you had to arrive early to get a good seat. Sometimes you would find yourself sharing a table with a stranger as they tried to seat as many customers as they could. My friends and I always to get there before the lunch or supper ush and would watch as the place filled up around us. We tried almost every item on the menu during our many visits there and found it all wonderful, except for this stuff called "pot liquor" which I guess was a broth made from boiled vegetables for stock. (It had a weird taste, almost like dishwater mixed with vegetable soup.) The owner watched all of us as we bought a round and drank it down. He and the waitress just smiled and moved on while we all tried to put on brave faces after drinking that muck. But the food was heaven; I loved the corn bread which was sweet and almost creamy when biting into it. The shrimp creole was awesomely spiced and the blackened pork chop was my favorite, but everyone loved the seafood gumbo and the bread pudding. At this time in history we were able to eat fresh, raw oysters from the Gulf Coast without catching some life threatening disease so we ate our fill.

Glenn's Cafe moved to a larger location on 9th St. with a varied menu mixed with Cajun and Southwestern dishes. The food was still awesome but more expensive. The place was always filled but did not have the same feeling as the older location as it looked so new and all. Since it grew out of our price range we ate there less, except for special occasions. Eventually it closed for reasons unknown to me and finally opened up recently at a hotel in downtown Boonville. I wish I could remember the time line but the dates are vague. I do plan on trying Steve Cupp's new location sometime in the future and who knows, if they are available I might slide a few raw oysters down for old times sake.

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