The Cheezy Cajun (3325 St. Claude Ave., 504-265-0045; www.thecheezycajun.com), a deli and grocery, opened in Bywater Dec. 4 in the former home of the St. Claude Community Hardware store. The restaurant offers dishes reflecting owners and longtime Bywater residents Michael Ducote and Doug Minich's hometown flavors, uniting Wisconsin cooking and Acadiana. They also own French Quarter pizza and Italian restaurant Mona Lisa (1212 Royal St., 504-522-6746).
Patrons will find traditional crispy cheese curds alongside house-made boudin, head cheese, fresh cracklings, jams and jellies. The Carr Valley garlic "bread" cheese is a salty baked cheese square topped with the chilled tomato and pickled salad, and there's no actual bread. The sandwich selection includes hot roast beef with Kaise Meister ghost pepper cheese sauce.
Chef Maryjane Rosas ran the kitchen at The Country Club, and here she teams up with sous chef Jena Newton and Peter-John Hanne.
"Chicken pot pies are delicious," Rosas says. "My sous chef, Jena, made this beautiful head cheese with some new twists, including a little bit of ginger."
The charcuterie selection includes salamis, rillettes and rillons (slow-cooked pork belly cubes).
Cheezy Cajun also operates as a grocery, selling signature jellies and jams and artisanal cheeses from Wisconsin. A meat case is stocked with stuffed poultry, pork chops and boudin-stuffed peppers, ready for patrons to cook at home.
The drinks menu features craft beers from Abita and Goose Island, wine and a creative cocktail list. The Wisconsin old fashioned is made with brandy, and the pisco sour features La Caravedo Pisco, egg, citrus and bitters. The Bloody Jane is a variation of a michelada with beer, lime, tomato and salt, and the traditional bloody mary includes house-made pickles.
The Cheezy Cajun is open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. weekdays, except for Wednesdays when it is closed, and from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.