With over 100 barbeque joints, it’s safe to say that this is the food Kansas City knows best. However, there’s one standout food truck defying the odds and finding success in the capital of BBQ.
KC Cajun, a Cajun food truck and restaurant in the Kansas City area, guarantees its customers will experience some of the great food and culture of New Orleans, despite being over 800 miles out of the bayou.
The founder and owner of KC Cajun, Chef Esra England, came to Kansas City from Jackson, Mississippi, to work in healthcare. Five years later, he decided it was time for a career change and started KC Cajun in 2016 as a catering company.
“When I moved to Kansas City, with it being one of the central places in America far from a large body of water, I noticed a big void in Cajun and bayou food,” England said.
In 2018, England acquired a food truck, and KC Cajun hit the streets. Mobility, it turned out, was vital during the pandemic.
“We were able to stay working because we had the truck,” England said. “Cafeterias and things like that closed, and we were able to fill that void.”
A trip to KC Cajun offers a dining experience unlike any other in Kansas City. On the menu, KC Cajun offers classic Cajun cuisine such as jambalaya, gumbo and po’boys – a type of sandwich that originated in Louisiana. However, also featured is KC Cajun’s own unique dishes, like boudin balls and an alligator po’boy made with alligator sausage. The KC Fries quickly became one of their specialties.
“Our KC Fries are probably one of our more unique dishes,” England said. “It’s our number one seller.”
After watching the preparation of the KC Fries, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the top dishes. The crispy fries are covered with a creamy cheese sauce, topped with shredded cheese, sauteed shrimp and crawfish tails and finished off with parsley and Old Bay Seasoning. This dish is definitely a must-eat for first-time customers.
Although barbecue restaurants receive the most attention in Kansas City, England said there’s a niche market for Cajun, which allows him to put a Midwest spin on classic Cajun dishes.
“I would say it’s a two-headed sword,” England said. “People come to Kansas City already wanting to try barbeque, and when they’re fed up with barbeque, they want to try something else.”
So on your next Kansas City trip, go ahead and fill up on those rib racks. KC Cajun will be there with a po’boy and some KC Fries when you’re ready to shake it up.