Spoony & Nata’s Down Home Cafe Review
While sitting at work the other day, I was trying to come up with a list of places close to my office that I had never been to for lunch. With the help of my co-workers Emily and Justin, we quickly came up with a list of about 6 restaurants we needed to check out soon. The one that jumped off this list was Spoony & Nata’s Down Home Cafe, simply because it sounded the most interesting. There are not many choices in the valley for New Orleans / Cajun style cuisine, so we gave it a go.
After driving right past it, we finally discovered that Spoony & Nata’s is a small cafe tucked into an apartment building at 1810 S. Main Street. We arrived about 1pm, and promptly discovered we were the only customers at that time. We’ve experienced this before around town, and I’ve never let it discourage me from trying something new. Onward!
The decor inside Spoony & Nata’s is sparse, but welcoming. The space is small, with 6 booths total, a counter with 4 stools, and a handful of other tables by the kitchen. There is a large mural of some New Orleans style buildings around the kitchen serving window, which is behind the counter. The space was clean and we received prompt service (obviously). Not bad so far.
The menu is also sparse, but includes many Southern classics like Red Beans and Rice, Jambalaya, a Shrimp Po’ Boy, and Catfish. Sandwich prices are reasonable (in the $6-$8) range, and come with a choice of fries or potato salad. The Entrees are a little more expensive, with most in the $10-$14 range. Emily decided on the side order of Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya, which was only $6.95 and was still a generous portion. Justin went with the 6″ Shrimp Po’ Boy with potato salad, and I chose the daily lunch special for only $5.95. The special of the day was two fried catfish fillets, fries and sweet tea.
My catfish came out piping hot, flaky and fresh. The two fillets were served over fries with a side of tartar sauce. It went great with the Louisiana hot sauce that was on the table. The fries weren’t anything special, but I couldn’t complain either. It had been a while since I had catfish, and for the price I would definitely order it again. The sweet tea was incredibly sweet (like good Southern tea should be) and it almost reminded me of a Thai iced tea, but without the cream.
Emily and Justin also enjoyed their entrees, and were completely satisfied, for the price range. Emily’s Jambalaya was a little dry, but I tend to like more soupy Jambalaya’s. The consensus seemed to be that we were pleased with the meal, but it wasn’t necessarily memorable. I will probably be back though, simply for the good lunch prices and the proximity to my office.
Spoony and Nata’s has been open about 7 months, and there was a trickle of local customers into the restaurant as we ate our meal. I imagine they do more business during the dinner hours. If you are in the area, a better bet for Cajun cooking is The Bayou on State Street. The prices at The Bayou are higher, but the atmosphere is alive and energetic, and they have 100′s of unique beers you won’t find anywhere else. However, Spoony and Nata’s left me satisfied, and I’ll probably be back for their lunch special another day.
For more info and hours of operation, check out SpoonyandNatas.com.