There are plenty of places one would associate with GREAT Cajun food; Lafayette, Baton Rouge, even West Monroe. Perhaps one of the last places anyone would place on this list would be Marquette, Michigan. Located in the middle of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Marquette is sometimes known as the UP's cosmopolitan city. Located downtown between Washington Street and the Jackson Cut, this might just be the best kept secret in Michigan!
Chef Don Durley has been an active force in UP cuisine for nearly 30 years. Since that time a standard of quality food and service unsurpassed has been the basis for their authentic southern eatery. Stepping into Lagniappe is like stepping out of Marquette and into Louisiana. Every menu item and ingredient is made from scratch and in house.
The menu is quite expansive and diverse, from alligator and crawfish nacho appetizers to gumbo, creole, etouffe, into Cajun seafood and pasta that will demand your attention. My wife and I visited the restaurant on a Thursday, which also included an authentic zydeco band, keeping the evening quite entertaining and lively. The dining room was full, but the service staff was helpful, efficient, and quick to keep up with customer demands.
Barb ordered the Ham & Cheese Po Boy with her choice of cheeses ( 1 of their 18 Po Boys) and I went with my favorite 'wing man', the Crawfish Etouffe. I often try to encourage my wife to expand her horizons and try something a bit off the chart, but she loves her comfort zone. When the food was served, I was quickly converted. The Etouffe was the best I have ever tasted outside of Louisiana, including my own! Thick with a rich roux that complimented the crawfish, celery, onion, bell peppers, and rice.....the perfect amount of spice vs. flavor!
Lagniappe is an establishment well worth visiting. Atmosphere ranging from the VooDoo Bar to the Gris Gris Shop to the dining room, this place has it all. But, above all it has delicious food. Visiting Marquette and an evening at Lagniappe should be a shared experience not to be overlooked. Outside of Cajun Country.......THIS IS A GOOD AS IT GETS!