Despite threatening weather as well as the Azalea Trail Run and Callaghan’s St. Paddy’s Day street party as competition, this year’s Downtown Cajun Cook-Off went off without a hitch. Last Saturday the pots were hot and the music was kicking as the sun came out enough to make the event a comfortable one.

All proceeds went to the Child Advocacy Center of Mobile, so everyone wins in the end. But at the heart of this gathering of great Cajun food is fierce competition. This year brought about some upsets as some new faces made their way to the awards podium.
First place went to Advanced Disposal for their Catfish Acadian, which another competitor praised as “an awesome crawfish étouffée with sort of a catfish nugget.”

Second place was awarded to last year’s champions, The Garage, aka Boudreaux, Boudreaux, Boudreaux and Bennie. They took the silver with their Rougarou Maque Choux.

Bronze found its way into the hands of Wind Creek Casino for their étouffée-covered fried green tomatoes.

The competitors seemed to be supportive of one another, and a good time was had by all. Let’s hope for a third year in healthy weather.

After a successful first month, Dauphin’s adds happy hour and lunch
Apparently Mobile loves the view, food and service at Dauphin’s downtown so much that the restaurant had to offer more opportunities for diners to visit. This week Dauphin’s introduced happy hour from 4-6 p.m., offering half-off cocktails, beer, wine by the glass and bottles of wine under $100.

Beginning March 28 Dauphin’s will be serving lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, with a variety of salads, po’boys, tacos and sandwiches. There will be daily lunch specials as well as standards such as red beans and rice, étouffée and shrimp and grits on the ready for diners on their lunch hour and cocktails for those who can enjoy the 424-foot view.
April 10 will be the launch of Dauphin’s Sunday brunch. No word of an exact menu just yet, but I bet it will be fantastic. Located in the RSA Trustmark Bank building, go for the view, stay for the food.

Manci’s Antique Club offers crawfish to Eastern Shore
It’s that time of year for the mudbugs to find their way into the honky-tonks and bars of South Alabama, and Manci’s Antique Club is one of those places.

Tuesdays are the designated weekly night for crawfish at 1715 Main St. in Daphne. Cost is $10 from 6:30-10:30 p.m. while supplies last. To make matters better, the talented Josh Ewing will be keeping the customers elbow deep in tunes.
Hot and spicy crawfish is a great promotion but don’t neglect Manci’s regular fantastic food if the mudbugs run out. The burgers are, of course, legendary but you should also give the Pigbird Po’boy a chance. There is plenty at Manci’s to make it worth the drive on a Tuesday night.