Pelican Landing both tasteful, tasty

Anchoring one end of a strip of businesses along a busy Gonzales highway, Pelican Landing’s interior offers an inviting contemporary design with clean lines and well-placed lighting and artwork. Black tables and chairs, and also booth seating fills the airy dining room which is painted a light grey. Black- and white-framed line drawings of different species of seafood pop against the grey backdrop and hint at what’s to come with the meal. A small candle and vase of flowers adorn each table. Lights hang over each booth, while televisions (muted) hang on opposite sides of the space. A Percy Sledge tune played softly as we perused the menu.

We were in for a treat when we ordered the fried green tomatoes ($5.25) as our appetizer. The oblong, white plate held 10 tomato slices covered in a flaky, nicely-seasoned batter which reminded us of that used on homemade onion rings. Alongside was a cup of likewise homemade-tasting remoulade sauce for dipping. Quite delicious.

Our server, Ashley, also brought us complimentary rolls just out of the oven, which were also quite good.

Pelican Landing’s crabcakes ($16.95) are the larger variety, hamburger-sized in fact, and fried to a golden brown on the outside. With a nice crabmeat-to-filler ratio, the plump cakes were dotted with green onions, and well-seasoned. Another cup of the tasty remoulade sauce accompanied the cakes, which also came with a side dish. The garlic pan-fried potatoes ($2.50 if ordered separately) were small pieces of potato tossed in garlic flakes and fried to a dark brown, a lighter alternative to a big baked potato. We also tried both of Pelican Landing’s pasta dishes. The Cajun jambalaya pasta ($13.95) offered a generous plate of shrimp, andouille sausage and chicken sauteed with onions and bell pepper, tossed with a Cajun sauce and angel hair pasta. Three rounds of crunchy garlic bread were served on the side. The menu says “spicy,” and we found it flavorful and filling, although some may find it too fiery hot.

The shrimp scampi with cream sauce ($12.95) also contained angel hair pasta topped with a plentiful amount of small- to medium-sized sauteed shrimp and roasted garlic and covered in a garlic butter cream sauce. A guest found the dish overly rich but under-seasoned. The piping hot stuffed potato ($3.25) received high marks, however.

Another guest dined on the 12-ounce ribeye ($18.95). Thinner than we’re accustomed to, the steak was still quite juicy and flavorful, cooked to medium as ordered. The accompanying side salad mixed romaine lettuce, tomato, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, and bacon bits. All elements of the large salad were quite fresh, and we especially enjoyed the bleu cheese dressing topped with bleu cheese crumbles, a nice touch.

We went home with leftovers and two desserts. The cherry cheesecake ($4.95) was very good, very creamy, and not too dense. The cherry topping was just minced cherries so we might choose another topping next time.

The white chocolate bread pudding ($4.95) was out of this world. Molded into a small cake shape, the super-moist dessert was dripped with a pecan praline sauce and topped with white chocolate chips. Every bite was a delight. I’d go back just for that.