By Keri Elliott, columnist
While Hurricane Laura has ravaged our neighbors to the East, I figured in this week’s column it would be best to spotlight one of my favorite places in Beaumont.
Close your eyes and imagine sitting in a dimly-lit dining room with cool jazz playing in the background on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Okay, you can open them now. What if I told you, you can experience that same swanky atmosphere in downtown Beaumont? Would you believe me? Well you should! Sugas Deep South Cuisine and Jazz Bar is just that. A New Orleans-style eatery that specializes in dishes inspired by classic southern and creole recipes.
While reservations aren’t required, they are highly suggested, especially on the weekends when they are having live Jazz entertainment. I have visited Sugas three times and each time I have thoroughly enjoyed the meals and company. The first trip was a girls’ dinner in celebration of my mom and aunt’s shared birthday (twins obviously). We ladies did as ladies do and ordered an array of items from the menu and shared them, so we each could experience the flavors offered.
The second trip was a mommy-daughter brunch trip. A sweet friend of mine and her daughter (who also is my daughter Hagen’s best friend) joined us for brunch before we embarked on our final destination of The Nutcracker at the Jefferson Theater. The most recent trip was a date night with my handsome beau. While photos are limited at this time as they came before the Love of Food column, I can assure you the food is divine.
We began each dinner service with Fried Green Tomatoes, which aren’t like your momma makes them; they are better. Yeah, I said it. Served with shrimp remoulade and sriracha caviar. The nostalgic cornmeal crust brings home memories of your childhood while the remoulade and caviar add a touch of today.
The crab cakes, yes one of my favorites, are layered with a fried green tomato, pico, remoulade and a hot sauce beurre blanc. For those of you who don’t know, a beurre blanc is a white butter sauce, and Paula Deen says it best, “Everything is better with butter.”
For a true flash back to NOLA, I suggest trying a cup of their chicken and sausage gumbo. That roux ain’t from no jar! My sister is a shrimp and grits connoisseur, I bet she’s tried it at every restaurant if it is on the menu. At Sugas, her plate is clean. The jumbo shrimp are so large you have to cut them in fourths for a proper ladylike bite.
My dinner of choice is a perfectly cooked medium rare Ribeye topped with lump crab Oscar and served with a shrimp skewer, garlic mash and asparagus. You can’t forget to end the evening with a creamy and decadent creme brûlée topped with fresh berries.
For brunch, you’ve got to try the chicken and waffles and for the beverage a mimosa with Prosecco is the perfect accompaniment! For a dinner beverage, their lemon drop and dirty martinis are made with just the right touch of gin, and you can’t go wrong with a mixed cocktail off of their drink menu. It’s a bit on the pricey side; however, Sugas is intended to be a special moment location.
While I don’t think you’ll be turned around at the door for cargo shorts and a T-shirt, it is definitely a place to dress up and take your loved one out for a night on the town. If you reserve your night in advance for a date night, you can opt for private seating and rose petals.
Sugas is located at 461 Bowie St., Beaumont, Texas. Reservations can be made by calling 409-813-1809.
If you would like to email Keri your suggestions, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.