BY LYNN BROWN PHOTOS BY JEFF BROWN
A little bit of Mardi Gras and a lot of authentic Cajun food are the most obvious marks of the theme of Zydeco’s. In downtown Mooresville, 30 minutes southwest of Indianapolis, this restaurant with a New Orleans theme dishes up southern home cooking, some of which we lifelong Hoosiers recognized and others we didn’t (ever tasted crawfish?). Here, everyone wears Mardi Gras beads, many of the drinks are specialties including the beer from Louisiana, and the voodoo is (whew) just a reference to the making of some pretty special shellfish.
Come and add a few Creole words to your vocabulary, like jambalaya, etouffee, and tasso. You can even try your hand at decorating an oyster shell, and adding your creation to some distinctively not fishy-smelling wall art.
Come as you are, and you will fit in well with the friendly and relaxed eclectic collage décor, but do come with an appetite and an ear for good music. Many of the most recognizable dishes you can get in appetizer size, so you can try more than one. Our favorite highlight on our visit was the fresh Indiana corn chowder, Hoosier with a touch of Cajun. Better get there before the fresh corn is gone, but no worries, oysters come into season November 1.
Already receiving plenty of kudos from the likes of Food Network, WISH TV, and others, Zydeco’s can get pretty crowded, but the owners would say, “crowd on in.“ After an opening night in September of ’98 in which they ran out of food after two hours and had to order pizza, Deb and Carter Hutchinson have a history of close relationships with their customers, many of whom enjoyed supporting and helping them along. Back then they greeted customers with a fair warning: “Welcome to Zydeco’s. We have no idea what we are doing, are you sure you want to eat here?” Now they limit themselves to being open four evenings per week, Wednesday through Saturday.
Make it a destination by visiting Willowfield Lavender Farm or Anderson Orchard, two other wonderful Indiana treasures in the Mooresville area with delicious things to do as summer wanes and fall comes.
11 E Main St • Mooresville (317) 834-3900 • zydecos.net