Philadelphia, PA - When you’re craving the flavors of creole cooking, look no further than Beck‘s Cajun Cafe. Located in 30th Street Station, as well as Reading Terminal Market, it has never been easier to get the authentic flavors from The Big Easy right here in Philadelphia, PA.
Since 2009, Chef Bill Beck has been passionately preparing exotic and flavorful dishes with ingredients shipped right from New Orleans. His restaurant menu inspired by the rich culture, people, and history of New Orleans highlights the best of Cajun and creole cooking. He’s got everything from crawfish, cornbread, and po boys to beignets and bread pudding.
“To me, there’s nothing on earth that compares with the panoply of flavors, the rich and distinctive heritage, and incredibly exotic ambiance of New Orleans. These are the foods that enticed me to pursue my passion for cooking – and I’m pleased to be able to share them with Philly.” - Chef Bill Beck
Chef Beck earned local distinction in the 1990s for Beck’s Gourmet and Beck’s Catering, which served corporate clients in the Fort Washington and greater Philadelphia business communities. Since 2007, he has operated Taste! Catering, which serves distinguished corporate and community clients. Stop by either of his restaurant locations to get a taste for yourself and “Let the Good Times Roll” – or as they say in N’awlins, “Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler” – with Beck’s Cajun Cafe.
We stopped by to see the newest remodel to Beck’s Cajun Cafe. They’ve got new red and white lamps hanging, but the counter seats are still hard to come by! Like with many vendors in Reading Terminal Market we highly recommend coming during non-peak hours (breakfast-early lunch or late lunch-close). With so many unique dishes on the menu we decided to kick our New Orleans style lunch off with the Best of Philly 2011: Train Wreck with Andouille sausage, steak, salami, and onions served on a french baguette with cheese and creole mayo. This is one loaded cheesesteak packed with flavor- totally different than most cheesesteaks you’d find in Philadelphia.
The sandwich that may be most popular (and a New Orleans classic) are the Po Boys which are served on french bread or a wrap with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and creole mayo. Different variations of these include Fried Oysters, Fried Shrimp, Blackened Chicken Breast, and Fried Catfish. We tried the Fried Shrimp and it was delicious! The fresh crunch from the veggies helps balance out the fried and breaded shrimp inside the soft french bread. We also couldn’t help but take a bite of the Alligator Sausage Sandwich topped with caramelized onions, peppers, and creole mustard. This was our first taste of alligator, but it won’t be our last- that was some good sausage.
Another be classic from New Orleans is the Muffaletta. This giant sandwich is piled with salami, ham, mortadella, sharp provolone, and olive salad on italian bread. Jambalaya is also a filling dish made with Andouille sausage, chicken, and shrimp served with rice, peppers, onions, and cajun creole seasoning. This is the stick-to-your-ribs kind of food that is sure to comfort you on any grey day. And if you’re looking for more ways to try alligator they’ve also got some Gator Gumbo made with their alligator sausage. The gumbo is served piping hot over a scoop of white rice and is easily comparable to chili with its thick and meaty consistency.
Don’t forget your sides of Fried Mac and Cheese Balls or Zapp’s Chips (Voodoo, Tobasco, Cajun Dill Jalapeno). They’re also serving up Abita Root Beer to quench your thirst. For dessert the Bread Pudding with vanilla whisky sauce is a bit hit with customers.
Beck’s is open early for breakfast too! The Bourbon Street Breakfast gives you a little taste of everything with red beans and rice topped with a fried egg and cheese and served with grilled cornbread (breakfast is served until 11 am). And arguably the BEST sweet treat in the morning are Beck’s Beignets. These French doughnuts served hot and topped with confectioner’s sugar (ONLY served Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday mornings).
Take a souvenir from Beck’s home with you as they sell T-shirts, spice rubs, and signature sauces like: Creole Mayo, BBQ Onions, Beck‘s 3 Devils Hot Sauce, and Devil Dust. Beck’s Cajun Café is a family owned business that cares about and invests in its employees, customers, and the local community. #BecksGives is Bill’s way to bring about change and awareness while supporting the immediate needs of Philadelphia’s communities on a personal level. He has created fun ways for his employees, customers, and businesses to give back a little by volunteering with local community organizations. #BecksGives social media campaigns will highlight the needs of community organizations and encourage readers to become active volunteers. Employees at Bill’s Beck’s Cajun Café are also encouraged to donate their time and service to local organizations and receive pay while working with a charity of their choice.