In the realm of Cajun cookery, KT Trinh says, if you can make it in Lafayette, La., you can make it anywhere.
“People in Lafayette are fluent in French!” exclaims Trinh, who recently left his successful food mart there to open Seafood Pot in North Charleston. The counter-service restaurant’s menu includes boiled crawfish; fried shrimp; hot sausage po-boys and gumbo.
“We cook the way it’s supposed to be cooked,” he says. “It’s nice for the taste buds.”
Trinh says local seafood fans are so eager to find out how his seasoning methods stack up against their memories of Cajun-style feasts that he’s had to regularly shoo away would-be customers prior to Seafood Pot’s debut; the restaurant is scheduled to open on Wednesday.
“I got people coming by every day,” Trinh says. “And I’m saying we’re not ready. You have to be ready.”
Although he was born in Vietnam, Trinh immigrated to the U.S. when he was 12 years old. “Our children grew up with Cajun food,” his wife, Jessica, says.
In Texas and Louisiana, Viet-Cajun crawfish has emerged as an emblem of cultural exchange: Boiled crawfish tossed in butter with garlic, ginger and lemongrass is a hugely popular (and messy) way to celebrate mudbug season. But the style radiated out from Houston, which means most established Vietnamese restaurateurs in greater New Orleans still spice their seafood with cayenne pepper, bay leaves and other traditional Cajun ingredients.
To that end, Trinh stocks economy-sized containers of Zatarain’s crawfish, shrimp and crab boil, so customers can make Cajun seafood at home.
“It makes it taste better,” he says.
Seafood Pot is located at 5629 Rivers Ave. For more information, call 843-737-5173, or visit facebook.com/seafoodpotsc.