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The Cajun House wins three Readers Choice Awards, celebrates 33 years in St. Albert

The frog legs are surprisingly popular
2710 RC cajun house CC 2243 2
Gordon Gidora is the owner and executive chef at The Cajun House voted as the 2021 Readers' Choice as Favourite Seafood Restaurant.

Jambalaya, frog legs, alligator — multi-Readers Choice Award winner The Cajun House has it all.

This year, the St. Albert Cajun and Creole restaurant tied with the Riverbank Bistro for first place in the fine dining category, won first place for best gluten-free dining, and took home the first-place title for best lunch spot in the Thestreetgypsies 2024 Readers Choice Awards.

“I hope that when people come in, they're having a nice time and good food, and that's been, I think, the secret over the years,” said executive chef Gordon Gidora.

This summer will mark the 33-year anniversary of the restaurant, which Gidora opened in St. Albert after working at the Louisiana Purchase in Edmonton.

Although the restaurant specializes in Cajun and Creole cooking, Gidora sees the unique, Louisiana style as “just another part of cooking.”

“It's a little bit of French cooking, a little Italian, a little Spanish -- there's some French Canadian in there too,” he said.

However, Gidora said that his style of Cajun is not a complete match with what diners will find in New Orleans.

“I think maybe we're a little spicier,” he said. “In a lot of their gumbos, their roux, they really cook them hard or dark. I don’t do that … but other than that it’s very similar.”

Most of the restaurant’s seafood comes fresh from the West Coast or East Coast of Canada, but its frog legs and alligator are straight from Louisiana.

The frog legs are surprisingly popular.

“Today at lunch, I had three orders of frog legs,” he said. “Alligator, you know, it's one of those things, like if you're really adventurous, you're going to try it. So sometimes we sell lots of it, and sometimes not as much.”

The alligator is like “a sweeter chicken,” he said.

The restaurant’s top-selling items are the Louisiana jambalaya and the seafood jambalaya, but the whole menu “sells pretty consistent,” he said.

Gidora will occasionally tweak recipes, because he believes there’s always room for improvement, and he said that none of his recipes have been “perfected.”

“We try our best all the time, so we think it’s pretty good,” he said. “I've been open for a long time, so it must be pretty good already. We've always tried to be consistent. That matters the most.”

About the Author: Riley Tjosvold

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