ZYDECO BISTRO

Cheap Eats 

ZYDECO BISTRO

The fact that some of the most authentic Cajun and Creole food you can get in these parts is served from a big yellow rig has much to do with the guy at the helm. Originally from Baton Rouge, Johnny Schulze went to culinary school in The Big Easy — the obvious source of his inspiration.

"I got the idea to start a food truck at Jazz Fest in New Orleans," says Schulze, known to many as Chef Johnny. "It just took me 22 years to do it."

The 45-year-old chef got his start a little later than most — after joining the Army right out of high school and becoming an explosives expert. After the service, he graduated from culinary school and worked as a chef for a number of years, while dreams of running his own business danced in his head. "It's a scary thing to go into business for yourself," he says.

But by October 2010, Schulze started painting crustaceans on a former DHL delivery truck. And by April, Zydeco Bistro was ready to go.

"My favorite menu item is the crab salad," Schulze says. "Crab's my favorite food. I could eat my weight in crab." No surprise that the chef sources all his seafood from the Gulf, the better to whip up those salads and authentic renditions of crispy catfish po boys ($5), accompanied by staples like poulet and andouille jambalaya ($6) and crispy pommes frites ($2).

"I do Creole and Cajun food the best," he says. "Others may try and copy me, but that don't compare." — Justine Stumpn more at 440-465-7333.

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