Date Night heads to the far northern reaches of Cobb County and is amazed at what we find. We are in beautiful downtown Acworth tonight at a place that we have wanted to check out for a long time, but we have avoided it due to traffic and difficulty in getting a reservation. We both get off of work early today, and we are able to get out in front of the traffic for a “senior citizens reservation” at 5PM.
Henry’s is located in the historic district of Acworth. There are lots of stores for window shopping, and tonight, Santa is coming to town. Henry’s was a five and dime store back in the day, but now they pour Abita beer instead of root beer floats. And when you are eating cajun food, there is nothing better than Abita.
There are five Abitas on draft tonight. We go with the Turbodog porter (on the left) and the Andygator doppelbock, which is a strong German-style lager. Both become perfect accompaniments to tonight’s spicy food.
Because it’s so early, we have our first course in the bar and the rest of our meal in the dining room. The bar is busy at this hour. Our stomachs get busy with an order of hush puppies.
These are not your usual boring fried balls of cornmeal. They are creamy inside and full of jalapeño pepper, which gives them a little kick. An additional kick can be found in the remoulade sauce on the side. At $3, these are a bargain and a great starter.
Don’t miss the complimentary cornbread that comes with your food. It’s excellent. Knowing we are about to eat a huge meal, we take the leftovers home because we don’t want to waste them.
For our next course, we move from the bar to the dining room. It’s early and the tables are just starting to fill up. They will be waiting in line when we leave.
The Cajun Sampler is an great way to taste three items from the appetizer menu. You can choose from five things. We get the gumbo, shrimp and grits, and the jambalaya. The gumbo is the spiciest of the three, with large chunks of andouille sausage and shredded chicken. We are reaching for the Abitas often during this course. The jambalaya is much less spicy than the gumbo. The shrimp and grits are not spicy at all and almost taste bland after the gumbo. All three can be ordered in larger quantities.
We decide to split an entree, which comes with either a house or a Caesar salad.
What’s Louisiana Ooh La La? It must be good because it has been featured on ABC’s Nightline and the name is trade marked.
Proprietor/chef Henry Chandler went to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (U-La-La, get it?). He describes this as “sex on a plate”. He may be onto something. Shrimp, oysters and crawfish are flash fried and tossed with spinach, tasso and angel hair. Then they add a special Cajun cream sauce. This is Henry’s signature dish, and we get a half order. Make sure you get it when you visit.
Before we order dessert, a word about the great service we get at Henry’s tonight. Our server Ashleigh does a fantastic job, even though she is quite busy. Two manager-types come by to make sure that everything tastes good. Henry has done a great job training his staff, who all pitch in to make sure that we are happy.
After all this food, do we have room for dessert? No, but we order it anyway.
Last week we had Krispy Kreme bread pudding at Stillhouse. This week, we have bread pudding at Henry’s, because what’s more Bourbon Street than bread pudding? We can’t finish it, but it’s delicious. Don’t worry, we put this in our doggie bag as well.
As we leave Henry’s, we get a bonus. Santa is about to arrive and kick off the holiday shopping season in Acworth. The Big Guy arrives via a Cobb County fire truck and the Acworth Christmas tree is lit (sorry for the bad picture). Happy holidays to all, and to all a good night.
The Bottom Line on Henry’s: Ooh la la! This may be the best-kept secret in Atlanta eating. Of course, judging by the crowds, it’s not really a secret. Henry’s shames many places that charge twice as much and are half as good. This is one place that is worth the drive. Get on up to Acworth and put some Cajun in your mouth!