If you are looking, for an authentic Cajun butcher shop, that’s been around for years and years, you need to visit Charlie’s Meat Market. Charlie’s Meat Market is an old-fashioned butcher shop located on 117 Chesnutt Street in the small town of Mamou. Mamou is in Evangeline Parish about an hour northwest of Lafayette. This place does not have a website but surprisingly they do have a facebook page. Now thankfully, almost everyone can plot an address in their smartphone and easily find any location so you should not have any trouble finding this place. But just in case you still use a paper map, make sure you take highway 13 north from Eunice. And once you pass the curve with the flashing light in between the crawfish ponds, you will see Chesnutt street on your left. (Go slow, too, because you will get a ticket if you go one mile over the speed limit.)
I have been getting boudin and sausage from Charlie’s Meat Market for years. I recommend taking the drive to Mamou and giving their meat products a try. But you might want to get their early to get some boudin. If you wait too long, they will usually sell out by lunchtime. Over the weekend, I luckily managed to make it Charlie’s early on a Saturday morning. There was already a crowd waiting in line. The line moved fast and I able to get 4 links of boudin for around $6. The boudin is spicy, flavorful and meaty. The skin is not chewy. I asked them once, why is their boudin’s skin so easy to eat. I told them that boudin from other butcher shops seemed to have skin was chewy and hard to eat. It was easier to just squeeze the rice-meat out and eat without the skin. The owner of Charlie’s told me, it was probably because at Charlie’s they use the sausage casing for their boudin. It’s cheaper than the regular boudin casing.
Charlies offers an array of different smoked meats and cut meats. In fact, when I first moved to Lafayette from Mamou, I was surprised to see the sausage for sale that was not smoked. I thought when a butcher shop sold sausage that meant smoked sausage but I see that all place do it differently. Charlie’s Meat Market has been around for years. The store has been run by the same family for generations. It is one of the last true Cajun smoke shops. Everyone speaks French inside the store. They offered low priced meat specials the combine different cuts of meat. At Charlie’s Meat Market they smoke anything. You can find turkey wings, ribs, mixed sausage, garlic sausage, and regular pork sausage.
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