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“Excellent Cajun fare; terrible crabcake”
Review of RT's Restaurant

RT's Restaurant
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Ranked #23 of 767 Restaurants in Alexandria
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $6 - $24
Cuisines: Cajun & Creole
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Glebe Rd
Transit: Bus at corner of Russell and Mount Vernon Avenue
Reviewed January 3, 2014

We came for the crabcake; we'll be back for the Cajun.

First the bad news. We had heard (and read) that RT's made the best jumbo lump crabcake in Northern Virginia--as good as any in Baltimore. Answer: Oh my goodness no. It might be the best in NoVa, but I sure hope not. And it doesn't hold a candle to any Baltimore crab cake. Not white. Not fluffy. Not golden brown. Not jumbo and barely lump. Plenty of filler. And they squished it down like it was somebody's hamburger. I think they must have mixed in some of the Cajun étouffée sauce, because it had that whole smothered-in look to it. After thinking about it, I really do think the last time I had a crabcake like this was just outside of New Orleans. Which raises the whole Louisiana vs Baltimore crab debate again. Final answer: we came here specifically for the crabcake and didn't even finish it. Wow.

Now for the good news. Wow! This is an amazing Cajun restaurant! Who would even make up a dish like crawfish and shrimp beignets? They were astonishing! Put together the two iconic shellfish from bayou country, fry 'em up lightly with some crispy extras, all on a spicy dipping sauce that I shouldn't have let leave the table (would'a been perfect with the breads)--what a batch of Cajun magic. We also had the popular Death by Gumbo. *Now* the dark brown sauce belongs! Plenty of andouille and crawfish, plus a head-on NoLa BBQ shrimp in the bowl--all wonderfully seasoned.

The menu boasted several Cajun classics, as well as inventive should-be classics. Pecan-crusted haddock is already singing to me. The jambalaya looks amazing. And the Catahoula with an Andouille-based cream sauce? The special today (which we should have gotten) was low country shrimp and grits.

Service was spectacular. And I love RT's down-home reminds-me-of-bayou-country neighborhood-place atmosphere. This is what Cajun is supposed to be, and this is how it's supposed to be served. It's a bit of a drive for us, but we will *so* be back. RT's is a true winner, and we are total fans.

Let's see what else would be helpful? Back to the beignets. First, don't be tricked--they're not the dessert beignets that you want with your coffee on Jackson Square :-). But they're amazing. If you *do* get 'em, ask for an extra basket of bread but *don't* let them clear your beignets plate--keep it for some wonderful bread dipping. ... Seriously.

Hope this helps!

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Thank 4allisons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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154 - 158 of 243 reviews

Reviewed January 3, 2014

food always great, service a bit slow. I met a friend here for dinner; she had the gumbo and raved about it. I had the pecan crusted haddock, and it was awesome.

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Thank loist51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2013 via mobile

The seafood was very fresh & the Cajun dishes were perfectly done. We had the calamari & crawfish & shrimp beignets along with She Crab soup for appetizers. Oh how delicious they all were. Ordered the étouffée, seafood in parchment, fried oysters, & Death by Gumbo. WOW!! Area may make you think you should skip this place but if you want quality food & plenty of it you'll visit this restaurant. Wish it were in Atlanta!

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Thank ljbaughman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 15, 2013

My wife and I decided to try RT's after reading the Trip Advisor reviews, and it didn't disappoint. We started with the crawfish and shrimp beignets and the Acadian peppered shrimp. Both were very good...I thought it was funny that the server made a point to let us know the shrimp would come with the head on. I guess that had been a surprise to some previous diners. For dinner I had the smothered catfish and my wife had a special which was a halibut fillet stuffed with crab and shrimp in an andouille cream sauce. The catfish, which is smothered with shrimp etouffee, was really good, but the halibut was outstanding. For dessert we went with banana's foster cake and bread pudding. In total, the meal came to approx $115, including everything above with two glasses of wine and a beer. It was worth it for one of the best meals we've had in a while. Please note this is not a "fancy" restaurant, so don't expect knock-out decor. Parking is also a little limited, but we didn't have much of a problem. We will be back, and we'll probably make this one of our regular places.

Thank USAFReb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2013

We came here after reading the reviews on TA, and can confirm the great reviews. The location is very surprising as the neighborhood has gone down since RT's was built. Parking is limited, but we found a parking lot across the street at an out-of-business lot. The service was very good, and the food was really good. Prices are a little high, especially for this neighborhood. We ate here for lunch and it was uncrowded. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but go in and you won't regret it.

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1  Thank jabberwockies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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