You gotta know how to get there, to get there. Located in the River Ranch community in Lafayette, Louisiana, it's difficult to locate and not all that wonderful in appearance, once you arrive.
First thing you notice as you enter the restaurant: The outside dining area seems more conducive to this wanna-be upscale eatery, than the actual inside. Poor lighting, lousy coloring of interior walls, little if any design decor save maybe for the wine shelving . . . finds one a bit exacerbated prior to encountering any staff personnel . . . worsened even more so as one easily notices the longest wall area in the dining room, has traversing its entire length, an original finished (Not even painted!), putrid white 2" PVC sewer pipe totally exposed for your dining pleasure.
David, our server, was a relieving charmer from the onset. He was knowledgeable, caring, proud of his employer, hard working with several responsibilities there besides serving, etc. This latter, perhaps, spelled his ultimate doom to us later, as having finished our rather fine meal, he somehow lost himself to us for what seemed like an eternity, and we had to beg another server for our credit card back after having given it to David, prior, for payment. With more than 18 years of service serving food in various quality restaurants, this might have been more of a slip than his normal reality, though it left us questioning his professionalism demonstrated so ably, earlier.
The pricing at Village Cafe for dinner approaches upscale dining for this area. And, you won't be bringing home boxes of uneaten cuisine offerings, as the portions, though exquisite in presentation, are anything but bountiful.
My wife ordered the Farmer's Market Salad very highly recommended as verbally the highlights of the attractive menu was shared with us by our server. It waltzed in at $10.00, which really seemed to be the bargain on the menu, although it fell far short of the " . . . our salads are very large, capable of being one's entree for dinner." description from our server. The salad was wonderful in presentation, but not nearly enough to fulfill my wife's moderate appetite. In quantity, it was about the size of the large salads served at Wendy's.
The Farmer's Market salad is a mixture of green lettuces, adorned by mandarin orange slices, cheese slices, abundantly drenched in a very sweet, tasty vinaigrette dressing. The highlight of the dish to both of us, were the small cheese slices whose quantity in the dish, were not nearly enough.
Neither of us had heard of the cheese: Jersey Bruce Bloomy Rind produced by Eodie Farms. Not being one to try new foods, I was reluctant, but the appeal of the "beauty" of this cheese won the night, and I hesitantly partook. I followed that action very soon, by inhaling another slice quickly before realizing, I had only left two slices for my wife to consume for her entree. Without a doubt, the best cheese I've ever tasted.
With the cheese coming in at a "10+", my wife liked the salad as did I, and rated it a "7" on our subjective "1-10" scale.
I ordered the Pork entree from the menu. This item's presentation would have matched any presentation anywhere, of which I'm aware. It was literally a work of art and reins in at $30.00.
The entree is composed of only about three ounces or so of smoked, center cut, pure pork tenderloin (Absolutely awesome!), encrusted with bacon wrapped cracklings, served in a Louisiana muscadine wine syrup (Amazing!). It is plated with four full size grilled okra and about two teaspoons (I'm not kidding, that was it!) of sweet potato puree (My wife really liked this.).
The top of the plate presentation, included about a half ounce of ham hock poached, slow cooked pork belly. (Wow! Not sure I've ever tasted anything so delicately wonderful in my life in the meat realm, but certainly has to be a fancy plated heart attack in the making?) I'm not certain why only a half ounce or probably less, or why the pork tenderloin was so tiny, but I must tell you: By far, together with the tenderloin, the best pork dish I've EVER eaten anywhere!
No question, this easily was deserving of the "10++" rating we gave it!
I also ordered a side of their Au Gratin potatoes which encompassed about seven bites worth. They were quite good, but I've had better. They bounced in at $6.00 and rated a "6".
We finished our Village Cafe sojourn with another highly David-recommended dish: Mixed Berry Cobbler. This tasty dish was as expected with quality ice cream topping it, save for the yellow cake layer at the bottom and the scarcity of berries in the dish itself. This came in at $9.00 and rated another "6".
$55.00 was our dinner cost prior to tax/tip. For that, we experienced our best tastes ever of a pork dish where both meats were simply stellar!
Still hungry, obviously, we swung by Best Stop on the way home for three pounds of smoked boudin, which finally appeased our unfulfilled appetites.
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