Wanting to bring a little Cajun to Tulsa is what prompted Ed Richard, owner of Hebert's Specialty Meats, to open shop. "Coming from Lafayette, Louisiana, I missed the food from the South," Richard said. "So I decided to start a business here with the food I love."
Hebert's has been open for more than 10 years (note: "Hebert's" is pronounced AY-BEARS), but Richard said it took some time to get the place going. "Because we ship products across the state line, especially our meat and poultry products, we have to have a federal inspector on site at all times." In fact, the inspector has his own little office on site and comes in everyday to ensure that all is running as it should. Richard said, "We are the only place where you can walk into and get a steak that has been U.S. inspected where it was cut and packaged."
Immediately walking into Hebert's, one can't help but notice the array meats and poultry- too many to name, but what the heck? Boneless Chicken Stuffed with Choice of Stuffing (cornbread Dressing, Dirty Rice Dressing, Pork Stuffing, Eggplant Dressing, Shrimp Etouffée & Rice, Broccoli Cheese & Rice, Boudin, Crawfish Etouffée & Rice, Alligator Dressing), Boneless Turkey Stuffed with Choice of Stuffing, Turducken, Cornish hen, Quail, Duck, Chicken Breast, Rabbit, Cajun Sausage, Boudin Sausage, Kabobs, Specialty Beef, Specialty Pork, and other Cajun favorites, such as Crawfish Etouffée, Shrimp Etouffée, Crabmeat au Gratin, Shrimp & Corn Soup, Shrimp & Crab Gumbo, Marinated Frog Legs, Marinated Alligator Tail Meat, Turtle Meat, Corn Maque Choux and much more.
My friend and I visited recently for lunch, which is served Monday through Saturday, 11am-2pm. (On Saturdays from 10am-noon, Café Au Lait and Café Du Monde Beignets are served.) Lunch includes Etouffée, Gumbo and Red Beans for $5.95; Smoked Sausage Sandwich ($1.95); and daily specials ($7.95), Monday-Wednesday, the special is Stuffed Chickens, on Thursday Turducken as served; Fridays are Stuffed Catfish and Saturday, Cajun Chicken Wings.
Because it was Tuesday, my friend tried the Chicken Stuffed with Dirty Rice and I had the Shrimp Etouffée. The stuffed chicken was visually stunning, dirty rice and all. The meat was very tender and flavorful and the rice complemented its texture wonderfully. (Dirty rice is a traditional Cajun dish made from white rice cooked with small pieces of chicken liver or giblets which give it a "dirty" color; other ingredients include green bell pepper, celery and onion-- affectionately known as the "Holy Trinity"). This came with sliced bread and a choice of green beans, potatoes with bacon or Corn Maque Choux. Richard explained the corn dish is beautiful in appearance and tasty too, as it is made with green bell peppers, sautéed onion, white shoepeg corn, and a rich roux (a traditional thick sauce) that keeps it all together. But alas, my companion selected the green beans which were good, but nothing too special.
The Shrimp Etouffée which was good, but probably not as rich as others I've had. The sauce was kind enough, but lacked a depth of flavor. Much goes into an Etouffée, such as Creole seasonings, butter onion, celery, bell pepper, tomatoes, shrimp stock, garlic, thyme, hot sauce, parsley, butter and black pepper. I did enjoy my side of Corn Maque Choux, though, which tasted fresh and delicious.
King Cake is now served at Hebert's, and so we chose this for dessert. Filled with a light, sweet cream, the dough was fresh and tender and the top was iced with the traditional Mardi Gras colors of green, yellow and purple.
The service and atmosphere at Hebert's is fun and the employees are very friendly.
The interior is colorful, for they carry a full range of Cajun products and lots of Mardi Gras regalia. Hats and beads of all sorts, t-shirts, shorts, aprons and many other gifts are tastefully displayed throughout the store.
Additionally, Hebert's carries many groveries; a full range of Tabasco and Zatarain's products, different varieties of Louisiana Hot Sauce, Zapp's Potato Chips, Café du Monde Beignet Mix, Jack Miller's BBQ Sauce, Tony Chachere's products, Camellia Beans, Spicy Beans, Spicy Okra, Pat O'Brien Hurricane mixes, jellies and jams, cookbooks, frog pants and more.
Richard added that, "After just one taste you will understand 'Un bon diner Cajun excite l'espirit tandis qu'il adoucit le coeur' or 'A good Cajun dinner excites the spirit as it warms the heart.'"
Hebert's Specialty Meats
2101 E. 71st St.
Share this article: