The University Of Louisiana at Lafayette professor has been on the ground in Cajun country for years documenting this vital foodway.Business carried me to Breaux Bridge late last year, and I immediately vectored in on Charlie James’ pinkish red cinder-block store on Berard Street a few blocks from the old downtown.
“We opened up in 1994” Mr James explained as I took a leisurely walk through the tiny, quick mart-cum boudin parlor.
“Brand new then eh?”“I said 1994” James reiterated. He was nonplussed that nearly a quarter century in business would earn him the appellation “brand new”
But boudin’s like barbecue in that many of the old joints opened decades ago and are now run by the grandchildren of the founders.
Charlie T’s is a full service boudinerie with multiple types of the fabled sausage being served as well as short order items like griddled hamburgers, chili dogs, and fried chicken.Locally, James’ shop is known as one of the few places that serve chicken boudin, an oddity in the world of Cajun sausage.
But it’s pork I’m after so I buy four packets of ‘hot’ boudin from the cold case and also avail myself of both types of cracklins on offer.
Charlie James has big cracklins that are commonplace in Acadiana but he also offers tiny cracklins that are just a step away from being crumbs.Both are delicious.
James’ boudin is also good with a heavy dose of pork meat and green onions stuffed into the hog guts casings along with plenty seasonings. You won’t be reaching for your salt shaker when you eat Charlie T’s boudin.
The shop is a typical Cajun market with big sacks of dried red beans sitting alongside plastic bags filled with rice from Evangeline Parish.Out back you’ll find a brace of smokers and cords of Louisiana hardwood slowly curing under the hot sun.
Charlie T’s Specialty Meats is one of the finest charcuterie parlors we’ve visited on our travels across Louisiana. It’s a two hour drive from New Orleans, and well worth a visit next time you’re traveling through Acadiana.
Charlie T’s Specialty Meats
530 Berard Street,
Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
Hours of operation
always call ahead