Our story and the legend of Evangeline

We specialize in fresh, seasonal cuisine with ingredients purchased directly from local markets and fisherman. The catfish is a house specialty by itself, in the jambalaya, or on a poor boy. The same care goes into the procurement of local Gulf shrimp, Louisiana blue crab, and Acadian sausage. Lucky travelers and locals alike can feast on shrimp and grits to sautéed crab cakes.

Evangeline also hosts a full menu of Louisiana microbrews available both on draught and in bottles. There are so many unique and flavorful styles brewed year round and seasonally around southern Louisiana. There is something for everyone from light beers such as wheat ale made with Louisiana sugar cane all the way to dark stout made with Louisiana sweet potatoes. Plus styles in between like golden ale made with nearby honey and porter made with New Orleans coffee.

Evangeline is simplistic in menu design and service, with portions that allow multiple sampling opportunities of fresh Louisiana grown cuisine. From the sweet potatoes to the casual atmosphere, our restaurant offers the perfect alternative to those searching for something in between Bourbon Street and white tablecloth dining. Evangeline also features a unique French Quarter courtyard with rare views of the city and a cozy fire pit lounge.


Our story and the legend of Evangeline

Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie, is an epic poem published in 1847 by the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It describes the betrothal of a fictional Acadian girl named Evangeline Bellefontaine to her beloved, Gabriel Lajeunesse, and their separation as the British deported the Acadians from Acadie, modern day Nova Scotia. The poem then follows Evangeline across the landscapes of America as she spends years in a search for him, at some times being close to Gabriel without realizing he was near. Finally she settles in Philadelphia and, as an old woman, works as a Sister of Mercy among the poor. While tending the dying during an epidemic she finds Gabriel among the sick, and he dies in her arms.

In 1907, Judge Felix Voorheis, a St. Martinville, Louisiana resident wrote the book Acadian Reminiscences: The True Story of Evangeline. He committed to the page stories told to him by his grandmother who said that she was the adoptive mother of a girl named Emmeline Labiche, whose story Longfellow heard, and who renamed her Evangeline presumably for creative effect. In his version, the lovers reunite not in Philadelphia but in St. Martinville, under a Live Oak tree that stretches its branches toward the chocolate brown waters of the Bayou Teche. They embrace passionately and all was well until Gabriel (actual name Louis) revealed that he had married in the years that passed. Emmeline later went insane and died.

Among the sites that claim a relation to these figures are a house north of Lafayette, Louisiana, which supposedly belonged to Louis, and the grave of Emmeline in St. Martinville. The “Evangeline Oak” tree in St. Martinville also lays claim to marking the original meeting place of Emmeline and Louis and still stands today.
Voorheiis’ book was a huge hit in Southern Louisiana as at that time, Cajuns were decidedly second class citizens. When Voorheis connected the immensely sympathetic Evangeline’s story with local Louisiana soil, her determination and loyalty, it was a rallying point of pride for Cajuns as a group.

A folk hero was born.