Personnes d’Acadiana: A Family Meal

With the assistance of her two daughters, Glenda Broussard of Breaux Bridge cooks plate lunches for the common man and culinary stars alike.

Craig Mulcahy Photographs

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    As she speaks of humble beginnings – or tries to speak of humble beginnings, anyway – Glenda Broussard’s voice gets lost amongst the unpleasantness of what sounds like her shirt sleeve rubbing against the phone’s receiver.

    Making matters more indistinguishable, there’s a bunch of metal clanging in the background. And if you listen hard, you can faintly hear two other female voices – most likely Broussard’s daughters, Kasie and Kayla Rossyion – contributing to the scattered culinary symphony that is Glenda’s Creole Kitchen.    

    It’s early Tuesday morning, too early for a ruckus. All this noise – it doesn’t quite jibe with the sleepy setting surrounding the restaurant. As Broussard says herself, Glenda’s Creole Kitchen is located “on a country road in a country area with fields to the front and the side of me.”

    “What’s going on?” Broussard repeats before laughing. “I’m cooking, of course. I got my hands on some smothered chicken. We also got smothered okra with chicken and sausage. Let’s see … stuffed turkey wings, smothered pork chops. It’s all got to be done by 10:30 [a.m.], it’s all from scratch, and we never skip on the love when we cook, so I’m busy right now. The Keebler Elves don’t come in and make everything. I have to cook it.”

    It’s been like that for the past 12 years, ever since Broussard rustled up the courage to stick her ladle in Acadiana’s saturated plate-lunch scene. Originally, Glenda’s Creole Kitchen opened as a drive-thru-only service but now houses a bustling dining area.

    “You got picnic tables outside, too,” Broussard adds, “and the whole place just reminds you of the good ol’ days. Remember those? Seemed like everything went well back then. You didn’t have the troubles you do today. I like to think I cook like it’s the good ol’ days – things were good; food was good.”

    Today, a fiercely loyal group of regulars congregate for the lunch hour (a liberally timed “hour,” Broussard explains), dining on such staples as smothered okra with crabmeat and shrimp on Fridays and stuffed pork roast on the weekends.

    But thanks to a couple of recent cable TV appearances, Broussard and the Creole Kitchen gang have gladly fed some unfamiliar faces from unfamiliar places – as far away as Russia. In August 2012, Glenda’s Creole Kitchen was featured in a segment of Anthony Bourdain’s Travel Channel hit show No Reservations. Two months later, chef G. Garvin of the Cooking Channel brought a camera crew to Breaux Bridge for the show Road Trip.

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