Café Roux’s (2508 Hollywood Ave., Shreveport), a new Cajun and country cooking spot that is still in the “soft opening” phase, more than makes up for what it lacks in atmosphere by serving the best oxtail plate lunch that I have personally ever tasted. The oxtail special is only available on Thursdays, when the restaurant offers several Jamaican-inspired specials including oxtail, jerk chicken and brown stew chicken.

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I don’t know what it is about oxtail, exactly (maybe the fact that this cut of beef contains so much fat and cartilage?), but it makes the most incredibly rich gravy. And I have not had a richer oxtail gravy anywhere than I had on a recent Thursday visit to Café Roux’s. These folks know how to make a gravy.

They also know a thing or two about banana pudding. I am, generally, kind of snobby about desserts. If I’m going to consume 2,000 calories worth of anything, I just want it to be worth it. I want it to be sinfully, decadently good.

Sherry Jefferson, owner of the much-missed Sherry’s Diner, set the gold standard for banana pudding in Shreveport, and since she closed her doors, I’ve not been able to find a suitable replacement until now. This is scandalously good, rich and thick banana pudding that you could probably turn over on the plate without spilling it. I’ve been daydreaming about it since I left the restaurant. Even if you don’t eat oxtail, just go and get an order of banana pudding.

The gumbo, which is a signature dish at Café Roux’s, is also way above average for Shreveport-Bossier, but it was the oxtail that made the biggest impression. This is a barebones, diner-style eatery with counter service, so I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who requires all of the comforts of a more upscale eatery. But they’d be missing out, because I’d trade a thousand white tablecloths for an order of these oxtails, yams and cabbage.

The gumbo at Café Roux’s is nothing to shake a wooden spoon at, but the oxtails made a bigger impression.
Weapons-grade banana pudding at Café Roux: the best in Shreveport?

Interested in learning more about Shreveport-Bossier’s restaurant scene? Download the fourth edition of Eat Here: A Food Lover’s Guide to Shreveport-Bossier.

20× is a project of the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau.