Johnson’s Grocery in Eunice, LA = B Rated Boudin
Location: 700 E. Maple Street, Eunice LA 70535
Ambiance: In “old Eunice” on a busy street in a residentialish part of town. Well-trod upon cypress floors harken back to busier days in this traditional grocery store. Now the shelves are bare and the meat case is sparse, but it is a place in transition (from what we hear). The owners are as nice as they come and the parking lot will be filled with cars if you show up on one of the days they make and sell boudin (Thursday, Friday, or Saturday). Don’t expect much, but do know that Johnson’s is a tradition that dates back generations.
Cost: $2.79 lb
Presentation: Pulled from a stainless steel bowl covered with a piece of loose-fitting aluminum foil, weighed, sliced (if you want) and wrapped in butcher paper. You’ll be wrung up at the front of the store.
Casing: Crisp and delicate
Rice/Meat Ratio: More rice than meat.
Texture: A mash of rice, pork, onion, spices, and, quite possibly, other ingredients. A pasty mixture that sticks to the inside of the casing as much as it will stick to your ribs. It is packed into the casing, creating a tight link.
Spices: Hot. Really hot.
Overall Taste: Interesting. This link has a complex spiciness to it. Lots of competing flavors are fighting to shine through. It is not a very porky tasting link and it may have pork byproducts challenging the pork meat and pork fat flavors. Visible red and black pepper, along with tiny bits of ground onion, make this a colorful and flavorful link.
Comments: Johnson’s is a store in transition. Word from the butcher is that the new family-owners are eschewing the grocery business in favor of expanding the meat and boudin offerings. It sounds like they are trying to reclaim some of their glory from days-gone-bye and we salute and encourage the effort. Stepping into the store is like stepping back in time and it warms our nostalgic soul to know that this place is doing what they need to do to keep serving their customers. We know that people drive from all over (even all over the country) for boudin from Johnson’s. We hope they continue selling it for decades to come. If you’ve heard that Johnson’s has closed you are only half right. The store is closed but they still open to sell boudin on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. —- WELL, THEY USED TO ANYWAY – BUT NOT ANYMORE. The store closed in 2005, but see below for an update.
UPDATE (DECEMBER – 2010)
Johnson’s Boudin is still available in Lafayette. Lori Walls (a member of the Johnson Family) Opened Johnson’s Boucaniere in Lafayette and they are not only using the famous recipe, but Wallace Johnson himself is still overseeing the boudin and he’ll be the one taking your order. Check out the new location here: Johnson’s Boucaniere and the review of the Parrain Special.