HUNTINGTON — You can now get a taste of Louisiana cooking in Huntington. A new Cajun restaurant named Gumbo Stop Cafe recently opened in Heritage Station. The small cafe features a daily rotating assortment of po’boys, jambalaya and, of course, gumbo.
The restaurant, located in the former home of Let’s Eat, had a soft opening at this year’s BrewGrass Festival and is preparing for a grand opening in coming weeks.
Gumbo Stop Cafe is co-owned by Debbie and Steve Annett.
“We both have food service backgrounds and have worked in multiple restaurants then more recently in healthcare,” Debbie Annett said. “With COVID, things changed. This building became available to ourselves, and we decided to start a restaurant.”
They started with a love of southern food and then realized their menu was almost all Cajun.
“We started work in January. ... We realized that there were over 700 tickets sold for the Brewgrass festival, and we knew we had to get in here,” Annett said. “We had a lot of business that day. The gumbo and the crayfish bread really took off. We had to delay the opening after that due to a death in the family. Then we were in one Sunday, and people just started popping in, so we decided to just go with it. There was so much response that we decided to not just do lunch and stay open until 8 p.m.”
The restaurant has a rotating assortment of dishes. These include Muffuletta ($6) and Roast Beef Po’Boy ($8) sandwiches. There’s also Jambalaya ($8), Chicken & Sausage Gumbo ($5) and Crayfish Bread ($6). Sides include Muffuletta Salad ($3) and Red Beans & Rice ($3).
“We aren’t from Louisiana, but we wanted to serve the food and make it as authentic as possible. It took me some work to get the ingredients. My muffuletta bread is from Gambino’s Bakery, which I get from Sysco. I knew I had to get Leidenheimer bread for the po’boys. I’ve had it before, and it is incredible. You have to keep it frozen and put it in the oven before serving,” Annett said. “We serve a Roast Beef Po’Boy, which is the original po’boy. The story goes that the streetcar workers were on strike, and bakeries would support them by making sandwiches for them. We want to do shrimp and grits down the line. Our menu is evolving and changing a little bit day to day. We are also going to have some specialty po’boys and salads. We ran into a recipe for a Greek salad, which had a mound of potato salad under it, while we were in Florida that we loved. We are also going to introduce some desserts like bread pudding and a banana pudding sundae layered dessert.”
Gumbo Stop Cafe is located at Heritage Station Shop 3 at 210 11th St., in downtown Huntington. It is open from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Cash and all major credit cards are accepted. For daily menus and specials, visit https://www.facebook.com/Gumbo-Stop-Cafe-107009234939372 or call 304-654-2240.