In 1971, Russell and Margie Boutte bought a house in Lafitte on Bayou Barataria. The Boutte family lived in the front part of the house where Margie Boutte routinely cooked the family meals. Out of the back of the house, facing the bayou, the Bouttes operated a small grocery store. Local boaters, fishermen, and sportsmen pulled their boats up to the store to buy groceries and supplies. The aromas of Ms. Margie’s cooking wafted over into the grocery store making customers want to buy what she was cooking.
Russell Boutte, Jr. and his wife Katie Areas took over the business in the 1990’s. They have since divorced but maintain the family business together. Ms. Margie still does the “pot cooking,” i.e., red beans, turtle soup, gumbos and all plate lunches.
Boutte’s menu offers a variety of local favorites including fried chicken ($4.75 for ¼; $6.25 for ½), hamburger steak ($6.50) and red beans & rice with either pork chops or fried catfish ($7.00). Sandwiches and po-boys include foot-long oyster po-boys for $9.75 and foot-long shrimp po-boys for $7.00.
Boutte’s also offers broiled seafood items including catfish ($10.50), stuffed flounder ($16.00), and a char-broiled 14-ounce rib eye steak ($15.50), all served with baked potato, salad, and toast. There are two specialties that sound divine: Boutte’s Shrimp Supreme – broiled shrimp in butter sauce, salad, and garlic bread ($11.50), and Shrimp Lover’s Plate – shrimp remoulade, shrimp salad, cup of seafood gumbo, stuffed shrimp, ½ dozen fried shrimp and French bread ($16.00). Child’s platters are available and range in price from $3.75 to $5.50.
The menu offers a nice selection of appetizers: shrimp cocktail, shrimp remoulade, fried crab claws, fried crawfish tails, chicken strips, and crawfish meat pie. (All are $4.75). A full bar offers draft beer, bottled beer, wine, and cocktails.
Boutte’s is open Tuesday – Wednesday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Thursday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. Closed on Monday. The phone number is 504-689-3889. The address is 5134 Boutte Street, Lafitte. (Look for it on the right a short distance after crossing the Goose Bayou Bridge). You can also check them out on their Facebook page. Locals, families, and tourists alike are all welcome at Boutte’s where they will be warmly welcomed by Katie and her friendly, attentive staff.
In 1971, aspiring entrepreneurs Russell and Margie Boutte realized their dream of opening a little bayou grocery store and accidentally became restauranteurs. As Mark Twain said: “Accident is the name of the greatest of inventors.” Boutte’s Bayou Restaurant is a real gem on the bayou.
Reprinted with permission of The West Bank Beacon.