If you ever take Alternate 19 through Palm Harbor, then you may have noticed the large, red “Gumbo” banners that appeared this summer outside the Key West center on the corner of Alternate 19 and Alderman Road. The banners are advertising the new Le Gumbo Cajun Café that opened in May. The name actually says a lot about this place. The space used to host a coffee shop, and Le Gumbo decided to maintain their coffee tradition while adding a small, but satisfying, lineup of Cajun menu items, including jambalaya, gumbo, crawfish etouffee, red beans & rice, muffaletta, and po-boys. Each of the Cajun entrees can be ordered in either cup or bowl size. At the moment, all entrees are priced under $10 and come with a piece of cornbread.
The moment we walked through the doors, we caught the beckoning scent of Cajun food. The dining room was decorated New Orleans-style, with feathery Mardis Gras masks, Voodoo dolls, fleurs-de-lis, and photographs and artwork depicting jazz musicians.
You order at the counter and then seat yourself. On my first visit, I ordered a muffuletta half round and a cup of chicken & andouille gumbo. The gumbo was delicious – the chicken and sausage were very tender and the broth had great flavor. It had the perfect level of spice for me, but I did notice they had a line of different hot sauces and Cajun seasonings at the counter for anyone who wanted to spice it up.
The sandwiches here are all made with Boars Head meats – an excellent foundation for a great sandwich. My muffuletta had just the right amount of meat and cheese on it. Between the olives, dressing, and cured meats, the sandwich was characteristically briny, as one would expect from a muffuletta.
I have never been to New Orleans so I can’t comment on the authenticity of the food served at Le Gumbo. However, I can tell you that I really enjoyed the food here and it is a great value. If you like spicy food, Boars Head meat, and lunch under $10, then there is a good chance that you will really like this place too.