Sep 23, 2009

Joe Hall & the Zydeco Breakfast at Cafe Des Amis

No cooking on the blog this week. Instead, I'm featuring Joe Hall and the Louisiana Canecutters at the Zydeco Breakfast at Cafe Des Amis.

Why? 1. Because it was fun and Joe Hall and his band are, in my opinion, one of the best Creole music artists out there. 2. Because the food was great. And C. Because of a recent fishing trip, I don't have the time to work up pictures and clever (yeah, right) things to say about a recipe. Just being honest. Plus, fishing trumps everything. Again, just being honest.
We've been to the Saturday Zydeco Breakfast a few times. We always go when Joe Hall plays because we think he's the best. Unlike a lot of Cajun-style music, his has a bluesy, soulful feel that I like. And Mr. Joe is incredibly nice. My husband once interviewed him about his musical influences and he was very gracious to sit down and talk about it. Oh, and he can make a mean pot of red beans and rice.

Zydeco and Cajun music are both from Louisiana, but they differ somewhat in who and what influenced them. Zydeco music stems from Creole style music, which is what Joe Hall focuses on. I asked The Husband to do a little guest appearance. He is quite the student of Cajun and Creole music. Here's his take on it:

The difference between Cajun and Creole music in Louisiana is really only a matter of degrees, and some people insist there is actually no difference at all. Both Cajun music and Creole music—as they are known today—began with the collaboration of Amedee Ardoin, Creole accordionist, and Dennis McGee, Cajun fiddler.As segregation took hold during the early part of the 20th century, Creole music and Cajun music began to diverge. Though both musical forms still played the same tunes with the same lyrics, Creole music was more strongly influenced by African and Caribbean rhythms passed down among Creoles from their history of slavery. Cajun music, on the other hand, took upon less of these blues sounds and evolved with its primary influence being the musical heritage carried into Louisiana by the Acadians.Zydeco is a further evolution of Creole music. Typically, Zydeco music is characterized by an increased urban and R & B influence. Zydeco music can be traced back to the experimentations of Clifton Chenier, though his version of Zydeco still maintained strong ties to its Creole heritage. Today, Zydeco music has changed considerably, with lyrics sung primarily in English and brass instruments and guitars replacing the more traditional role of the fiddle.

Every Saturday, Cafe Des Amis holds a Zydeco breakfast. There's a cover charge, but if you order almost any breakfast, you get the cover you paid applied to your ticket. I've noticed that most kids order pancakes or beignets. The various egg dishes are what adults usually have in front of them. And maybe a bloody mary or mimosa too. Every week, a different artist plays for the crowd. Both tourists and regulars attend, eat, dance, and have fun. By the time the band starts, the place is packed, but that just adds to the peppy, friendly feel. It's casual and there's crazy crap written on the to read while I try to wake up, drink some coffee, and wait for the band to start.

Cafe Des Amis is located in Breaux Bridge, LA (aka Pont Breaux). The Zydeco Breakfast menu as well as lunch and dinner menus and a schedule of bands can be found here.

Cafe Des Amis is in a quaint area of Breaux Bridge, along with antique shops and other miscellaneous businesses.

First things first. The gentleman in the background is enjoying an 8 AM beer at the bar. But I need coffee. Like yesterday people!

Things are starting to crowd up. It's almost 8:30 AM.

The Boy. Excited because of the huge glass of chocolate milk and because Mr. Joe is about to start playing.

Breakfast. The Boy ordered beignets to go with his chocolate milk. A sugar fest. The Husband and I always order Eggs Begnaud which is a biscuit topped with either crawfish etouffee or crawfish au gratin and 2 eggs of your choice. It's also served with plain grits, cheese grits, or andouille grits. I usually get crawfish au gratin, scrambled eggs, and andouille grits. The Husband almost always gets etouffee, scrambled eggs, and andouille grits. And coffee. There must be a steady stream of coffee.

The crowd parted briefly so I could at least try to get a shot of Joe Hall and the Louisiana Canecutters. Personally, I like to sit on the sidelines, away from the dance floor and band. It's very loud.

A few short clips of people passin' a good time to Joe Hall's music.

A happy plate. As usual, the food was really good.

Going home across the Bayou Teche. Happy and full.

1 comment:

  1. What a great post! I really enjoyed the video, so much better than breakfast at Cracker Barrel - LOL! That is one delicious looking breakfast. Andouille grits sound great.


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