In Acadiana, it seems no town is too small to have its own Cajun butcher shop, one richly supplied with sausage and tasso and all the smoked, stuffed and bacon-wrapped regional staples of the Louisiana meat counter. Now Lakeview has one too.
Chris’ Specialty Meats opened Sept. 9 at 6251 West End Blvd. The project has been taking shape for months in a new corner building, where proprietor Rich Graham and his partners are expanding a well-established butcher shop brand from the Baton Rouge area.
“It’s that Cajun country butcher shop experience, that’s the niche we’re looking to fill.” said Graham. “We want to be that place people hit on the way home.”
The Lakeview shop is the first New Orleans offshoot of the Chris’ Specialty Meat brand, which has locations in Baton Rouge and Prairieville. The shop got its start in 1994 when the siblings Chris and Twyla Lachaussee opened a store based on traditions from their hometown of Maurice, a Vermilion Parish town famous for its turduckens.
Turducken is part of the menu at this new Chris’, along with an array of specialty sausages (including its “tiger sausage,” a pork link with a distinct snap to the casing) stuffed meats and smoked meats, steaks and ready-made gumbos and soups, casseroles, dressings and sides to bring home.
Graham said he will soon add hot boudin links for grab-and-go snacks, while sandwiches and plate lunches could join the rotation later on.
“We know we have to start doing boudin soon, that’s what everyone asks about,” he said.
The area has a few similar Cajun-style shops – namely Gourmet Butcher Block in Gretna and Boudreaux’s Boudin & Cajun Meats outside Mandeville, while LaPlace has its own deeply-ingrained butcher shop tradition, revolving around andouille.
But the new Chris’ is planting the flag in a different part of town, and is arriving right at the kick-off to football season, the unofficial but widely recognized start of Louisiana’s grilling and barbecue season.
The shop shares a roof with Big Easy Pralines & Gifts, a candy store related to the Chris’ Specialty Meats brand. That should open in another month, Graham said.
6251 West End Blvd., 504-309-0010
Open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Saturday
Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter @IanMcNultyNOLA.