Taste In The Valley
By: Regina Mae Walker
Opening Night Restaurant Review Succotash: Cajun Dining $$
When I heard a new restaurant was opening in Guild, Tennessee, I was excited. When I heard it was going to be serving Cajun food, I knew I had to go! One of my dear friends, Kaitlynn, her husband, Daniel, and the owner of The Marion County Messenger, Duke, all beat me to it. They gave me their pictures and experiences from opening night so I could review more dishes. I was so encouraged by their reviews that I rushed over to pick up some food to go for dinner last night.
In a time when so many restaurants have had to close their doors, Ken Richardson and Tonya Bogle decided to open Succotash, a cajun themed restaurant. They decided to locally source as much food as they can (like buying eggs for brunch from local farmers). Ken runs the scratch kitchen, where everything is cooked day of. Ken’s family has ties to Louisiana and boy can you taste it! They are still working out some kinks, but my sources have only had praises for their cuisine! Their Grand Opening was set for Wednesday evening, but a power outage in the area meant they could not prepare for the event. So they reset their soft opening for Friday night. With the number of customers that showed up that night, Kaitlynn and Daniel had to order and then reorder because the kitchen was out of their first choice. This is not a fast food restaurant. It is a family restaurant with handcrafted cusine. So you must be prepared for things like that to happen. I promise you, if you love fine dining, it is worth it! Succotash is a work in progress and will soon be serving beer (Budweiser products as well as craft beers), and they will be looking to add spirits later on.
Kaitlynn had a hard time deciding what she should order, but she was pleased with what they ended up getting. For an appetizer Kaitlynn and Daniel tried the Cajun Cheese Sticks, cheese and spices hand-battered and fried to gooey perfection. Daniel ordered the Individual Cajun Crab Boil. Kaitlynn ordered a salad with maple bourbon vinaigrette (made in house) which was utterly delicious. She had steak (perfectly cooked medium rare as requested), lightly battered potato wedges, and mac ‘n cheese. Kaitlynn remarked, “I could have eaten a whole portion of just the delicious Mac ‘n Cheese!” She also mentioned how they really appreciated the fact that the battered food was hand battered and not bought frozen. It is a detail of a scratch kitchen that really stands out!
“Happiness is a good bowl of Remoulade… Good Etouffee helps too!” was the starting quote from Duke. He had their Crab Beignets paired with Remoulade for an appetizer. “It was fresh crab, and the spice was just right. It was not overpowering but built as you ate.” For his main course, Duke ordered the Etouffee, red beans and rice, and chow chow which he said were excellent. Classic Etouffee is a smothered shellfish and rice dish. It appears in both Cajun and Creole cusine. Succotash combined shrimp and crawfish in their Etoffee. Again the cooks did masterful work, using Cajun spices to enhance the flavors without overpowering their food. Duke was also struck by the quality of the sides. Chow chow varies around here, but Succotash’s recipe had hand chopped cabbage, with the perfect balance of vinegar and sugar, and of course a hint of heat. For dessert he had a decadent Banana Foster cake. A creamy blend of banana, caramel and cheesecake in a graham cracker crust. To sum up this experience Duke commented, “It is hand crafted, quality cuisine.”
I took one look at the menu and knew I had to try their Shrimp and Grits. It was definitely a Cajun twist on one of my favorite dishes. The fluffy grits were swimming with the flavor of seafood, the shrimp were big and tender, and a surprise bonus was the sausage! I do wish the name of the dish had prepared me for less shrimp and the added sausage, but it was utterly delicious. For my sides I tried the Jambalaya and Creamed Spinach. The creamed spinach was surprisingly spicy (but it shouldn’t have surprised me since I was eating Cajun). The Jambalaya was soft, warm, comforting and full of flavors. My Nana had the New York Strip and allowed me to sample a few bites. Kaitlynn was right: they cooked it to perfection, it was seasoned well, and it was tender. I was very pleased with my experience and will be going back to try more! If you want some delicious seafood or Cajun spice, go to Succotash! They are open 10am-8pm Wednesday through Sunday. Have some delicious food and support a local business.
“Taste in the Valley” is sponsored by the Jasper Snack Shack. The Jasper Snack Shack is located at 904 Betsy Pack Drive, the phone number is 423-942-8955. Be sure and tell them that you read about them in “Taste in the Valley”, in The Marion County Messenger!