Evangeline Cooks Up Traditional Creole Fare in Cozy French Quarter Location

Photo Courtesy of Evangeline

In the French Quarter, where fine dining is a hot commodity, there’s Evangeline; the restaurant that is serving delicious food in an atmosphere that feels like old New Orleans. Located at 329 Decatur St., Evangeline is named after Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie, an epic poem published in 1847 by the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Owned by Rhonda and Tony Miller, a lot of the restaurant’s recipes are inspired by Tony’s family history and where he grew up.

I spoke to Rhonda Miller, via email, and asked her to tell me a little about the restaurant. She described a welcoming space where the goal is to make every customer feel as if they’re at home.

Photo Courtesy of Evangeline

“We have never owned a restaurant, but we are passionate about creating delicious home-cooked meals for locals and our welcomed guests to New Orleans,” she said. “We have over 30 years in operations management and customer service management.”

When it comes to the menu, Ms. Rhonda tells me that Evangeline’s specialty is seafood and all the good things that you would expect from a classic New Orleans restaurant.

She explained, “Our specialty is alligator and crawfish dishes; we focus heavily on these proteins in true Lafayette Breaux Bridge style, one-pot cooking. Our crawfish and grits are our signature dish, and it was featured on Food Network. We also have an appetizer that includes three of Louisiana’s well-known sausages: boudin, andouille, and smoked sausage. We do a home style gumbo that is Tony Miller‘s recipe; his family originates from the Breaux Bridge area and Evangeline Parish.”

The delicious food will make your mouth water. The aforementioned Acadia Crawfish and Grits ($19.95), is peeled crawfish tails sautéed in garlic with the Cajun trinity of onion, celery, and green pepper, and mushrooms, served over a bowl of creamy Creole Grits; Crawfish Etouffee ($17.95), is Louisiana crawfish simmered in a rich New Orleans style sauce served over steamed rice; and Pasta Evangeline ($19.95), is fettuccini and Louisiana Gulf shrimp sautéed in white wine and olive oil with fresh scallions, garlic, tomato, and mushrooms.

Photo Courtesy of Evangeline

The cocktails here are made by craft cocktail bartenders who use locally sourced ingredients and draw inspiration for new cocktail specials from New Orleans classic history. Keep it traditional with a Sazerac, French 75 or Pimm’s cup or try one of Evangeline’s signature cocktails such as a Debutante, Miss Mezcal or French Quarter Mule.

In New Orleans, we like to do brunch and Evangeline is the perfect spot with a tasty menu and cozy patio.

“Our brunch is very traditional New Orleans.” Rhonda said. “Classics like Crabcake Benedict, Pain Perdu, fried chicken and southern biscuits smothered in an alligator sausage gravy, and bread pudding beignets. We feature bottomless mimosas and bloody Mary’s and we offer a very relaxing atmosphere inside or you can sit back and enjoy our large courtyard and have a lazy brunch from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.”

Photo Courtesy of Evangeline

More brunch goodies include Cajun Breakfast ($12.95), eggs your style, with bacon or sausage, creamy creole grits, Cajun breakfast potatoes, and a fresh buttermilk biscuit; Hangover Poor Boy ($13.95), scrambled eggs, Cajun sausage, alligator sausage, green peppers and onions, dressed and served on Leidenheimer poor boy roll w/ breakfast potatoes; and Decatur Brunch Burger ($12.95), fresh ground beef patty, cooked your way on a Kaiser roll, dressed with fried green tomato.

Like so many restaurants, Evangeline had to adapt during the pandemic. Being located in such a high-traffic tourist area can be difficult when there are no tourists. To keep their staff safe, they chose to shut down for a few months, until they knew they could safely open and serve customers.

“Evangeline is still very young in the restaurant industry and we are still building our reputation as being a New Orleans destination for brunch, happy hour, and dinner,” Rhonda said. “Being in the French Quarter in a high tourist area, we chose not to do takeout; We closed down from March 16th through June 15th.  We reopened and have continued to rebuild, month by month. It has been extremely tough, but we are committed to being a New Orleans staple.”

Photo Courtesy of Evangeline

Evangeline is the perfect summer spot with happy hour, Thursday through Sunday from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 pm daily, weekly seafood specials, including raw oysters now and charbroiled oysters in late June, weekly craft cocktail specials and a selection of local beers. 

The restaurant’s patio is the perfect spot to spend late summer days enjoying a drink and a meal and taking in the sounds of New Orleans.

Evangeline is open Thursday 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Friday, 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

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