Food & Drink

Eats Beat: Boo-Ray’s Cajun cooking worth the search

Bread pudding at Boo-Ray’s in Hudson Oaks.
Bread pudding at Boo-Ray’s in Hudson Oaks.

Boo-Ray’s of New Orleans has gone undercover.

The Cajun restaurant’s handsome new Hudson Oaks location is open on Lakeshore Drive. But there’s no sign.

It’s easy to find: Just look for the crowd of cars around Boo-Ray’s, perhaps the westernmost outpost of first-rate Louisiana cooking.

This “lakeshore drive” leads to Lake Weatherford, not Lake Pontchartrain.

But in its 12th year, Boo-Ray’s is established as one of North Texas’ leading seafood restaurants, offering everything from a shrimp-and-crab-stuffed filet mignon with crawfish hollandaise to fried alligator and all sorts of seafood with generous amounts of Cajun hot sauce or jalapeño heat.

Boo-Ray’s was launched by partners and a chef from a certain Cajun chain where the spice level was too shy and suburban for his Louisiana upbringing.

Instead of toning down the spice, Boo-Ray’s cranks it up.

Fried catfish comes with jalapeño cream sauce. Blackened dishes come with a meunière sauce. Even chicken-fried steak comes with an andouille sausage cream gravy.

The seafood gumbo has a rich, brown roux and doesn’t skimp.

For dessert, there’s a family-size serving of bread pudding with bourbon sauce.

Boo-Ray’s is open for lunch and dinner daily at 201 N. Lakeshore Drive, Hudson Oaks, behind a Toyota dealership off U.S. 180 at Interstate 20; 817-599-6266 (but phone service is slow catching up to the move).

A second Boo-Ray’s is at 7255 Boat Club Road, Fort Worth; 817-236-6149,

(The old Hudson Oaks location at 3039 Fort Worth Highway will become the new home of a La Playa Maya location, moving from Weatherford.)

Wise pizza, wise prices

Grapevine and Southlake have a pizzeria every few blocks, or one under construction.

But for the moment, the new pie in town is California-based Wise Guys.

Wise Guys moved into a former breakfast-lunch cafe in the grocery shopping center where Farm Road 1709 crosses into Grapevine.

That puts it squarely up against legendary Grimaldi’s, with Kansas City-based Spin! under construction nearby in Southlake and Coal Vines, Mellow Mushroom, Campania, Fireside, i Fratelli and a dozen or so chains not far away.

Like Vivo 53 in downtown Fort Worth, another California creation, Wise Guys serves artisan brick-oven pizza billed as “thick” crust but really a medium. (There’s also a thin crust.)

The choices among 21 varieties include pizzas made with eight cheeses, 12 sauces, 12 meats, and 25 veggies and herbs, including all the familiar toppings plus garlic chicken, zucchini, squash, pepitas, artichoke hearts and Hatch green chiles.

The prices are attractive compared with neighbors’: $8-$12 for personal or small pizzas, with a slice plus salad as a lunch special. The largest pizzas still cost less than $20.

The restaurant also serves pastas, sandwiches, salads and soups.

The service is fast-casual, meaning you order at the counter but a server still brings everything. That’s a little different from the customary self-service soft drinks.

Wise Guys doesn’t have the famous name of some neighbors. But don’t doubt the pizza.

Mediterranean bargain

Reminder: The new Sunday lunch buffet begins this weekend at Terra Mediterranean Grill.

Terra’s popular weekday buffet, similar to the Chanaa family’s Ali Baba Mediterranean Grill buffets in Dallas, will be served 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays for less than $15; 2973 Crockett St., 817-744-7485,

Bud Kennedy’s column appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in 817-390-7538

Twitter: @EatsBeat