The Scene (Saskatoon) – Bon Temps Café


Let the Good Times Roll…

So, I’ve had this thing about New Orleans lately.  It seems that everywhere you look, someone is heading there without me… my colleagues, the Top Chef crew, the Dance Moms – but alas, my time has not yet come.  The point of telling you that is, I am quite aware that I’m not qualified to comment on any area of authenticity, Louisiana history or true Cajun culture as it’s represented at Bon Temps… but I can tell you, on authority, they make a damn good time.

All over our Wink Artist Network, I’ve been seeing posts about the bands who’ve been playing there lately.  From Whiskey Songs to the Steadies, and every cat in between, Bon Temps has been making a name for itself as one of the best venues in Saskatoon, and with so much homegrown talent out there, that’s saying something.  So at long last, it was time to see what all the fuss was about.

As in any hospitable land, you must begin with a drink.  Now normally, I’m a wine girl, followed by a stiff martini, and repeat.  In New Orleans, I’m told however, you have a Hurricane.  Ok.  Tasty.  Juicy.  Sneaky.

Clearly this is not meant to help with the decision-making process, but two Hurricanes in… I was officially on vacation.  (Albeit in frozen Saskatoon and not the deep, hot, South, but hey, let’s pretend.)

Thankfully, the crew I was with took control of ordering, and all I had to do was sit back on my porch swing and enjoy.  The Hot Flappers (wings) definitely caught my attention.  Now a wing doesn’t do much to impress me, and the cookery was fairly standard, but I have to say that the sauce kicked my ass, just a little.  Likewise, the innocent-looking crabcakes were crabby and yummy, but definitely spicier than I had expected when paired with their roast habanero aioli – and I loved it.

Having said that, I will definitely issue a warning about the spice – they’re not fooling around.  The hushpuppies served as a bit of a buffer, as did the biscuits with bacon jam… (yum) but this is where the Hurricane ends up coming in handy once again, (aside just from the relaxation factor,) to wet your whistle and pretend to cool your palette.  Cleverly, it’s also an easy way to get customers pretty toasted in the afternoon.

Hands down, my favourite dish was the seafood creole.  I’m hoping it was authentic, so that when I eventually DO get to New Orleans, it will taste just like that.  Good to share and packed with shrimp, crawfish, scallops and snapper, smothered in a flavourful creole sauce and served over rice… delicious… and the only real reason we didn’t go for the table full of ‘Cajun Spice Boil’ which is supposed to be unreal.  Well, that, and the fact that you have to order it a day in advance.  On the list for next time.  On the list as well are the Po Boys, The Honey Pecan Chicken and the Big Messy.  Ok everything I on the list.  I’ll have to come back.

Not that I need an excuse.

With places like Bon Temps popping up every time I swing through Saskatoon, it seems there will always be an excuse to settle in with some great food, catch the latest act and catch up with old friends.  In a land that is nothing like the Deep South, a little taste of live music, spicy food and a stiff cocktail will have you sayin’ “Yeah you right!”


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