They started about the same time as Lagniappe. This is also the same time I started my career at Picker’s Paradise. Two decades of Café 219 are not enough for us, but we don’t get to choose when one of our favorites leaves.
Todd Henson carved out a niche for the lunch crowd at the corner of Joachim and Conti serving sandwiches, pizzas and everyone’s favorite tomato-basil soup. Coming from La Pizzeria, many of our Mobile waitstaff and kitchens owe a lot to his influence.
My normal order was either a wedge salad and soup (maybe two soups) or just three soups. Katie had the chicken sandwich and Lucas had the white pizza. Rarely did we wander. Café 219 had the best red beans and rice (even if it wasn’t Monday), and as good as the tomato soup was, the potato was better in my opinion. But the gumbo made the biggest impact on me.
In a gumbo town, you have four or five that stand out, none better or worse, just different. The dark roux of Wintzell’s, the tangy flavor of Royal Scam, the classic taste of Market By the Bay, and the Dew Drop’s wonderful contribution should be on anyone’s list. Todd’s was different than all of these with a light roux, a tremendous amount of thyme and the perfect rice-to-soup ratio every time. And it was as good as all the previously mentioned.
There is a hole in the downtown Mobile lunch scene that will not easily be filled, and a cool building that stands vacant. Adieu, 219.
Downtown Cajun Cook-Off returns for 2022
A nationwide shutdown can only delay it. The Downtown Cajun Cook-Off is back for its sixth episode this Saturday, March 26. As one of Mobile’s favorite food festivals, this fiercely competitive get-together benefitting the Child Advocacy Center of Mobile (cacmobile.org) is perhaps the most delicious way to raise money for a worthy cause.
Children under 6 are free with a ticketed adult, and those run you $13 online through the Child Advocacy Center’s aforementioned website or $15 the day of the event. Operating from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Cathedral Square in Mobile will be brimming with samples of Cajun fare and live music from Phil and Foster as well as the Bay Cats, as 20 teams of amateurs and pros alike compete for bragging rights of whose dish is the most authentic.
It’s a family affair, so bring money for adult beverages, if you’re so inclined. This is an event not to be missed.
This page is available to our subscribers. Join us right now to get the latest local news from local reporters for local readers.
The best deal is found by clicking here. Click here right now to find out more. Check it out.
Already a member of the Lagniappe family? Sign in by clicking here