When Linh Ma moved to New Orleans to experience the culture, she had no idea that she would fall in love with the food that is as much a part of the lifestyle as anything else.
And now she’s sharing that passion with the people of Manteca.
Since November, Ma has owned and operated “The Cajun Spot” – a restaurant inside of Cardoza Center West that specializes in the Cajun seafood that she became such a fan of while living in one of the most storied cities in the South.
And according to her boyfriend Chris Nguyen, who manages the restaurant, placing such an eatery in Manteca was a no-brainer with practically no other restaurant serving seafood or anything with the southern flair they bring to the cooking.
“The thing that really sets us apart in this community is the food,” Nguyen said. “There isn’t anybody else that’s cooking anything like this, and by word of mouth we’ve really built up the following here in Manteca.
“Since November we haven’t done any sort of advertising and we expected business to be very slow, but through references we’ve actually done pretty well in this time and are looking forward to the future.”
In true Cajun fashion, the restaurant serves up its delicious bounties not in dishes, but by the pound – the kind of place where you dump a pile of crawfish onto the table and put the scraps in a bucket as you gnaw through the batch.
If crawfish isn’t your thing, there’s also shrimp, clams, mussels, both snow and king crab legs and Dungeness crab – capping off the by-the-pound menu with lobster tail for those who are looking to treat themselves.
Sides include sausage, corn, red potatoes, white rice, garlic bread and potato salad, and fried offerings to augment the fresh seafood include chicken wings and tenders, catfish, panko shrimp, okra, Cajun fries, French fries and mozzarella sticks.
The thing that everybody seems to enjoy, Nguyen said, are the trifecta shrimp – boiled and then served with a sauce combination that includes Cajun spices, garlic butter and lemon pepper.
“So far that’s what everybody says that they like the most,” Nguyen said. “We have a lot of people that come in here and tell us that they’re happy that Manteca now has a restaurant like this. And we hope that more people find out about us.”
Beer and wine is also available, and the restaurant also offers Chesapeake Bay oysters – with a Tuesday special offering them up for only $1 each.
The Cajun Spot is located at 283 W. Louise Avenue, and is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 3 to 9 p.m. and Thursday through Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. For more information call 209.239.1588.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.