Chelsea and I were looking for places to eat the other day because I’ve been going to my local favorites over and over again and hadn’t gone anywhere new to write about.
For some reason, we both thought about Chastain’s Food and Spirits — I guess mostly because neither of us had ever been there. I’ve driven by this location 1,000 times over the years, but just never really was interested in checking in out.
Now, Chastain’s has been in its present location for a long time, and I’ve heard good things about it. When we arrived the parking lot was quite full, indicating a loyal fan base.
We walked in, and I was surprised how well laid-out the place was and that while it was jam-packed with people, it didn’t feel crowded.
We started off the meal with some Duck Tenders that were breaded and fried and served with a spicy sweet and sour sauce. These were very tender and had a nice and crispy texture to them. The sweet and spicy flavor of the sauce made for quite a nice little marriage of flavors that I will surely order again.
We weren’t over the top hungry, so we decided to share the Dutch Hamburger Steak which was stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon and topped with mushrooms and grilled onions with a side of au jus. We got two house salads and two loaded baked potatoes to finish off the meal. This hamburger steak is my new favorite in Lake Charles. The steak was juicy throughout and there was just the right amount of cheese to complement it. The onions and mushrooms were grilled down nicely, and the flavor combination with the an jus made for a perfect topper to the meat.
I had it in my head that this was one of those places that served food but had a bar atmosphere. I was wrong and I’m very happy to say I’ve found a place I will go check out again, as there were several other menu items I’m interested in trying. If you’ve made the same mistake as I and have driven by this place time and time again, please pull over and give it a try.
I wanted to comment on my brother Marco Pacetti, who’s just started another phase of his culinary career in south Florida as a Culinary school teacher in Florida’s public school system. He’s teaching middle school kids about food and giving them the lifetime of knowledge he’s acquired over his many years of adventures in the food industry. I just wanted him to know I am beyond proud of what he’s doing now and that these kids will get to share in his passion for food. They will get to experience what motivated me at 18 to want to be a chef.
I started as a dishwasher in my brother’s kitchen. Over the next eight years, I gathered a vast array of knowledge of a craft that’s been a part of my life for more than 27 years.
My first chef’s job was as a corporate chef for Holiday Inn. I’ll admit that I fudged my résumé a bit because while I knew I could do the work, I wasn’t quite there yet when it came to experience. Marco spent many a day on the phone with me as I asked him questions about food and preparation of huge banquets, with which he had a ton of experience.
I want to also thank him for being a big brother who always wanted me to succeed even if it meant taking a step to the side to let me continue to grow in my culinary journey. He has inspired countless young men and women with his passion for food and there are some very successful people out there who cut their teeth in this field under his tutelage. Chef Mo should be an inspiration to anyone who has a passion for food and wants to make it a lifelong career.