Bon Temps Poboys and Specialty Meats in Orange Beach, Alabama.

By John Mullen

October 31, 2019 – Orange Beach, AL – (OBA®) – On a recent Thursday Jesse Sonnier was in his kitchen at Bon Temps PoBoys and Specialty Meats working on the night’s special.

“On steak night,” Sonnier said. “I hand cut all the steaks and I was trimming ‘em, trimming the fat. I was like man, I can’t believe I’m throwing this away. I’ve got to be able to do something with that.”

Bon Temps Poboys roast beef debris poboy with crawfish boiled ham in Orange Beach, Alabama.Thus, was born ribeye fat roux, the versatile basis of just about every Cajun dish. It’s made from equal parts oil and flour but the oil can be anything from butter to bacon grease to cooking oil. Or ribeye fat.

“I gotta be able to do something with that ribeye fat,” Sonnier said. “I’m gonna render that thing down and make a roux out of it. Everything we make is a roux. A lot of things we make with roux. Roux for the red beans and rice and the meatball stew. A lighter roux for the etouffee. But yeah we use it for almost everything we make.”

Bon temps shrimp poboySonnier and his wife Meghan opened the new Cajun flavored restaurant this spring to bring a little more bayou flavor to the beach.

“A coon ass boy trying to make a living,” he laughs. “You can’t get that kind of food over here. We did a lot of research and asked what is Orange Beach missing. A good Cajun place.” It is located on Canal Road at the Commons shopping center in the strip behind McDonald’s.

bon temps red beansHe’s put together a regular slate of daily lunch specials and they have proved popular. Mondays are for red beans and rice with corn maque choux and homemade cornbread and Tuesdays are jambalaya with smothered cabbage and a roll. On Wednesdays Sonnier brings out the chef’s special for the week and Thursdays bring smoked fried chicken wings served with mashed potatoes and a roll. Bon Temps rounds out the week with crawfish etouffee on Fridays served again with the corn maque choux and homemade cornbread.

Some of the chef’s specials have included chicken sauce piquant with green beans, meatball stew with smothered cabbage, cornbread and a boiled egg, hamburger steak with mashed potatoes and black-eyed peas.

bon temps meatball stew“We sell more lunch specials than anything,” Sonnier said.

A recent Wedensday the chef’s special was gumbo made with the ribeye roux in one of the big black pots he keeps in the kitchen.

“It makes everything better,” he said. “I cook all my stuff in the black pots back there. Gotta have a black pot. Use for anything. Fried eggs, cook a sauce. Whatever.”

His own lunch that Wednesday was a bowl of gumbo and he added a boiled egg and potato salad to the bowl.

“If you’re a real Cajun you put your potato salad in your gumbo,” he said. “Like my grandmother used to say, don’t mess up another plate.”

Sonnier has at least two regular nightly specials – 50-cent chicken wings on Mondays and a ribeye special with a stuffed potato and salad for $19.99 on Thursdays – but he is hoping to add a special for every night.

bon temps burgerThe regular menu includes a variety of traditional poboys, specialty burgers and even a variety of specialty hotdogs. Potatoes are sliced fresh daily and fried to order. And what Cajun place would be complete without a muffuletta? You can get a half one or go all out with a whole one.

One of the poboys, the Beach Bum, has crawfish boiled ham with debris style roast beef with swiss cheese, lettuce, au jus gravy on a Gambino’s New Orleans style French bread. All poboys sit atop the famous Cresent City bread.

“I cook roast beef usually once a week in that big ol’ black pot slap full to the top for our roast beef poboy,” Sonnier said. “Cook it from scratch, cut it, marinate it, make a brown gravy out of it and put that in the black pot.”

bon temps crawfish1For football games or anytime a crowd gathers Bon Temps offers boudin or chicken wing platters. Bon Temps is also available for catering and when crawfish are in season expect the pots to be boiling.

From the specialty meat side, Sonnier offers a variety of Cajun goodness you can bring home to cook for yourself.

“In our freezer case you can find seasoned and stuffed chickens, chicken breasts, pork chops, bell peppers; boudin, fresh and smoked sausage, andouille and Tasso,” Sonnier said.

If you don’t want to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving, Bon Temps is taking orders through Nov. 14 for 12-14-pound Cajun fried turkeys for $54.99 and can feed 14-16 people.