By Mike Gennaro, Publisher
The Hwy 19 vibe is alive and well, as businesses and local entrepreneurs re-invest in the buildings and development grows. Some may call it investing at the edge of the bubble, while some may call it value investing. Hot Tails noticed a value and doubled down on 4696 Hwy 19, improving the layout, seating, and business systems at the location that was previously home to a few regional restaurant transplants and start-ups.
Hot Tails is no stranger the biz, “In April of 2010, just 3 months after their graduation from culinary school, Cody and Sam Carroll opened Hot Tails in an old drive-thru convenience store.” Since then, Chefs Cody and Sam have been featured locally and nationally, and even had their own show on Food Network, called Cajun Aces, from 2017-2018. They take pride when people refer to their food as “Hardcore South Louisiana Cuisine.” Sam also competed on Beat Bobby Flay, taking home the win in 2018 against the famous chef himself.
I took the liberty to be the ambassador for the P&P crew and visited the Zachary location the day after opening—it was like they had been operational for years. When I go to lunch, I look for two things: fast and friendly service. I can attest that I was greeted with a smile as soon as I entered the door. Taking a seat at the bar, I had a glass of water within seconds and my order taken. The drive through was bumpin’ the entire time, but the staff was able to handle that and my order with ease.
As a patron at the other restaurants that preceded Hot Tails, the most notable “duh” moment for me was a change in layout. They added an expansive natural edge sinker cypress bar, opened up a window to the kitchen, added a draft beer selection, moved the flat screen TV’s to the bar area, and increased the staff.
I asked the one of three bar tenders if the staff was a veteran staff pulled from other locations, and she said yes. And yes, one of the owners was onsite. I think the staff made all the difference in the experience.
My fully dressed shrimp po’boy was out in 10 minutes. I was completely satisfied with the bread, the amount of seafood and size and quality of shrimp. There was a pink sauce applied to the top, a proprietary blend, that gave it a spicy kick.
Although I did not partake in the lunchtime beer ritual, the guy next to me did. They poured his beer in a beer goblet—classy. The beer selection was Low Road 22, Brieux Carre, Huckleberry Brewing Co, Michelob Ultra, and yep, Bud Light. The guy at the bar said he had to go check on his dog midway through lunch, came back and had another round. This time he asked for the beer to be poured in a frozen mug. Of course, they obliged. Hopefully, his dog was ok. That’s not the type of “hot tails” I’m talking about.
Go check out a clear and proven winner for lunch or a classy/casual dinner. Hours are Monday-Saturday, 11am-9pm.
See the full menu here. Call in for TOGO orders: 225-399-CRAW (2729)
Till next time!