ON THE MENU — Big Doobie’s Boudin and Cracklins has big Cajun flavor in award-winning food
Big Doobie, Joshua Rodrigues’ nickname, isn’t for any reason that might come to mind.
In fact, it happened by total accident.
“It originated from a friend of mine…in Eunice, Louisiana,” he said. “I met him at a barn dance one night over there. I’d never met the guy before in my life. He walked up and said, ‘What’s up, Big Doobie?’”
Joshua told the man he had mistaken him for someone else.
“And he’s like No, man, Big Doobie,’” the Port Acres native explained. “I said, ‘That’s not my name.’ And he goes, ‘Well it’s your name now.’”
The two have been close friends ever since.
So in August 2018 when Joshua and his wife Kristen decided to open a restaurant, naming it was a no-brainer, as was where they would put Big Doobie’s Boudin and Cracklins.
“This is our hometown,” Kristen said.
Neither grew up with an intense love for cooking, or even the knowledge of how to make cracklins and boudin. But seeing as how in 2019 they won first place in a Louisiana boudin contest as the only Texas team among more than 60 participants, it’s clear they’ve certainly mastered the art.
So much so that their friend that originally named Joshua now calls their hometown Port Arthur, Louisiana.
Joshua got his start in cracklins by visiting the Port Arthur KC Hall.
“A man would always bring cracklins in there,” he said. “One day he asked me if I wanted some and I said yes. I asked him where he bought them and you’d have thought I stole his last dollar bill.”
The man agreed to teach Joshua how to make them.
“We cooked several pots and threw a few of them in the ditch because there’s an art to cooking cracklins,” he said.
His interest in boudin came from several events the two attended in Louisiana, all largely tied to cultural traditions used to feed communities.
One Christmas Kristen asked her husband what he wanted for Christmas and he said a sausage stuffer.
“So we started making it at home, giving it to friends and family,” he explained. “Next thing you know, the phone just starts ringing. ‘Hey, you got anymore boudin?’”
Now their full-service food truck with a covered patio for on-site dining offers just about everything you can get from pork products. The menu includes boudin, cracklins, boudin balls, pepper jack balls, Cajun meat pies, Cajun crawfish pie, hog head cheese, pepper jack boudin eggrolls, and even Cajun fried chicken wings for those that would prefer a different meat.
Big Doobie’s Boudin and Cracklins is located at 8247 West Port Arthur Road. For more information, call 409-548-1335.