Transplanted Cajuns find home in the Heart of Texas

Just over 18 months ago, Hurricane Rita skirted the Texas Coast and when it was all said and done, Louisiana natives Mike and Letha Benoit (pronounced Benwah) lost everything they owned except a few things they gathered before fleeing to Texas. Now, they are growing new roots here in Brady as the owners of the Cajun Kitchen and Friday marked the end of their first year in business. Natives of Hackberry, Louisiana, their home was completely destroyed in the hurricane. In fleeing the historic storm, they spent about a month living with their two sons in Kyle and in Austin. Over the next several weeks, they stayed with several other family members before moving up into the Central Texas region. In their travels within a circle that had San Angelo to the west and Brady about in the middle, they kept reflecting on what a friendly little town Brady was. ‘We really liked the people,’ Benoit said. That led them back with the intentions to relocate permanently.’ A longtime cook, Benoit decided to give Cajun-style cooking a try right here in the Heart of Texas. The costs of purchasing land and a building and opening a restaurant were more than the couple wanted to spend so instead, they had a custom trailer built with a kitchen and all the necessities to cook their tasty dishes. One year ago, they set the trailer up in a fenced-in lot on South Bridge Street next to the Subway sandwich shop. Dedicated to home cooking, the couple said they would not offer a menu, but would instead cook something different every day. Most of their dishes require several hours to cook, and will be started at home before being brought to the trailer. Benoit said that he has always enjoyed cooking. ‘Cajun men do much of the cooking,’ he explained, saying that cooking usually starts very early in the morning and much of it is done before breakfast. The pair will work as a team. ‘Letha takes orders and handles the money while I cook. She will do most of the clean-up, but I’ll help’I will dry,’ he laughed. The Cajun Kitchen starts serving at 11 a.m, ‘serves until the food is gone.’ The number to call to place an order is 325-456-1892. Plans are underway for relocating their business to the lot on South Bridge Street next to the old miniature golf location. According to the Benoits, they anticipate cleaning up both lots and making use of the facilities.

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