Hurricane Katrina evacuee opens Cajun hotspot in Houston

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crawfishHOUSTON, TX – It’s crawfish season. And around these parts, that’s practically a holiday. And traditionalists know there’s really only one way to do it.

“We don’t do any seasoning on top, all the flavor is cooked into it,” says Lisa Carnley, owner of the Cajun stop on Jefferson Street.

She’s been running the little Cajun spot just east of downtown for over four years. But Chew on This: the move to Houston for this Louisiana native wasn’t something she’d planned.

“I was living in New Orleans when hurricane Katrina came along,’ she says. ‘We sat in the house, the shingles were coming off, we saw trees flying by; it was scary, we thought the house was about to come down on us.”

Like many affected by the storm, Lisa found her way to Houston. Bringing with her the recipes she’d grown-up with all her life. The result is a little piece of Louisiana in the heart of Houston.

And after four years of frying up Cajun favorites for folks from Houston and Louisiana alike, the bayou city has become home.

“It’s been a very welcoming city, especially with all the Katrina evacuees, they all come here to eat, so it’s kind of like, I get to be at home I get all the people back at home and that’s why I stay.”