Donaldsonville Restaurant | Heard It through the Grapevine
BY: Susan Arcement
211 Railroad Avenue, Donaldsonville, Louisiana
Hours of Operation:
Mon: Closed Tues - Fri: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm Sat: 11:00 am - 9:00 pm Sun: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Phone Number:


We heard it through the grapevine that there was this little cafe in Donaldsonville that served great food, so we decided to give it a try. On our first trip up the bayou to this restored downtown eatery, we were surprised to meet my niece, Janna. She was there with others from her company – seems they eat there a lot.

Well, she obviously knew what was good on the menu, so, of course I asked, “What’s good?”

“Everything,” was the quick reply. From my limited experience (been there twice), I’ll have to agree – certainly everything I tried was delicious!

Grapevine Café and Gallery, nestled on Railroad Avenue in the historic downtown, serves up fresh, local cuisine daily, some authentic, some original. The walls of the restored 1920s building are adorned with the artwork of Louisiana artists.

On a nice day, you’ll want to sit on the jasmine-scented patio at one of the wrought-iron tables with colorful umbrellas of lime green and watermelon red. Vines grow on the old bricks and strings of lights are hung from above to light up the area for the Friday night patio band.

For lunch, we had a fresh salad of lettuce, spinach, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes with Caesar dressing with peppercorn.   A spicy okra pod dressed up the plate.

Meals are served with a small loaf of REAL French bread. How do you know if it’s real French bread? Well, it’s crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. But the real telltale is, when you tear it apart, you end up with a lap full of crumbs!

We got the highly recommended Eggplant Wheels for an appetizer.   Huge slices of deep-fried eggplant comes with a choice of topping – Shrimp or Crabmeat Etouffee or the spicy Crabmeat au Gratin, which I chose.   Simply delcious!

My perfectly fried large catfish fillet, topped with the Crabmeat au Gratin, was perfect. It came with a side of okra and tomatoes and a potato salad. But the belle of the ball was the Crawfish Pie that Kaye ordered! Thinking she was getting your regular run of the mill pastry, we were delighted to see the beautiful masterpiece that they call a pie at The Grapevine Café. Their Crawfish Pie is actually crawfish etouffee nestled between two golden puff pastries that absolutely just melt in your mouth! (I was so inspired I actually went home and did my own version.)

Dessert was the tart sweetness of a Lemon Ice Box Pie covered in whipped cream. Haven’t had this old-fashioned favorite in years, and it was a satisfying conclusion to a very satisfying meal.

From just our small sampling, I can understand why folks travel so far to get to this quaint little café in the heart of Donaldsonville. It’s worth the trip.

What Cajun Daughters Love about Grapevine Café and Gallery: Delicious authentic and original Cajun/Creole dishes in a quaint atmosphere.