Roux Dat
Food & Drink

Roux Dat Expands Cajun Mini-Empire

Chad Glassley says running a mini-restaurant is trickier than it seems

When Chad Glassley moved to town in 2013 with ambitions of opening a Cajun restaurant, he originally set his sights on one of the kiosks along downtown Santa Cruz’s Pacific Avenue.

When that didn’t work out, he and wife Aurelia, an Aptos High School grad, simply opened a fast-casual restaurant called Roux Dat in Capitola instead. Then, last year, their original plan came to fruition, when they signed the lease on a kiosk outside Bookshop Santa Cruz for Roux Dat’s second location.

But running a small-scale version of the joint is trickier than Glassley had originally imagined, partially because he has to keep it stocked by trucking over stews from the Capitola location. He figures the logistics will get easier once the restaurant opens a third branch in a couple of months at Abbott Square, just off of Pacific.

OK, so jambalaya or gumbo?

CHAD GLASSLEY: Both, just because they are very different stews. Do rice in the middle, and I would do jambalaya on one half and gumbo on the other. It’s fun to compare.

Fried pickles or fried green tomatoes?

I like fried green tomatoes better, because there’s a little more substance, and I like the tartness. It’s almost like a green apple.

Why is it so hard to find places that serve alligator?

There was a ban for a while in the state of California, and then it got lifted. But it was mainly just for clothing, for boots and belts and things like that. We get our alligator from Louisiana, so we are pretty far away, and the price can get high, so maybe people don’t stock it. But we always find it’s a nice little surprise: ‘Really, you have gator on your menu?’

Mardi Gras is March 5. Any plans?

We might do a couple Mardi Gras beer specials. We’ve got the Mardi Gras Bock on tap from Abita. We always look into doing a crawfish boil, but everyone wants crawfish at that time, and again, like alligator, the West Coast gets left out because it takes a while to ship out here.

rouxdatcajuncreole.com, 295-6372

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