303 S. Cities Service Hwy. • Sulphur, LA
My original plan was to visit Cast and Clever just before Thanksgiving. I realize it’s not the most opportune time to visit a restaurant, as most businesses close early so staff can start enjoying time with family. But it was worth a drive over for the chance. Sure enough, it was closed.
After seeing a few new specials listed on social media recently, my wife and I again made the short journey across the bridge over to Sulphur.
Cast and Cleaver is a relatively new restaurant. Cast is a reference to a net or a fishing pole — for the seafood offerings. And cleaver denotes a butcher and the meats on the menu.
As we pulled into the parking lot, we saw the place was quite busy, but there was still plenty of parking available. I’d been to this building before in its previous life as Hollier’s, and I expected some changes from the old building. The place was extremely busy, and the dining room was packed. It took me a few seconds to figure out what was going on.
This isn’t a full-service, sit-down restaurant. As you enter you see a chalkboard wall across the room. This is the menu. You make your way around the side of the dining room where you stop to gaze and choose your meal. Once you have your order memorized, you then shuffle to the ordering and cashier station. It’s at this point you’ll notice a white eraser board with daily specials. This is designed to throw you off your memory game. After glancing over the specials, you’ll pretty much forget what you had planned and have to lean back to see the chalkboard again and do a little mental debate before submitting your final request to the waiting young lady.
Here we go: 1/2 dozen chargrilled oysters, loaded cheese fries, fried green tomatoes, kids’ fish and fries, boiled shrimp, chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and green beans, and a couple of sodas. Whew!
After I paid and the cashier took my name, we were handed our cups. We side-stepped to stand with the others as we gazed across the floor of occupied tables. They were busy, so there were a few tables that needed cleaning before anyone could sit. But it wasn’t long before we were able to claim a table. Once we were seated, we took a breather and got the feel of the place.
We were catching up with each other on the events of the day when I heard my name called. I raised my hand to signal my location. The runner acknowledged me and worked her way across the floor to set the plates of appetizers at the table.
First up were the oysters, loaded fries and fried green tomatoes. Visually, it was all very appealing. As for oysters, I’ve had some of the best and, honestly, some of the worst. These fell right in the middle. The one thing we noticed with the oysters, as well as the fries, was that they were a bit cool and may have been resting a little too long, as there was no bubbling in the oysters, and the cheese on the fries had begun to solidify a bit. The classic fried green tomatoes were a redemption — perfectly seasoned and tasty.
It wasn’t long before the rest of the meal began to arrive — the boiled shrimp and the fish for my wife, and the chicken fried steak topped with a white pepper gravy for me. I wasted no time digging into it. The chicken fried steak was thoroughly enjoyable.