PANTEGO – It's not every day you can find quality Cajun soul food, miles away from the boot. But Thibodaux native Perna Johnson is bringing her Louisiana flair to the great state of Texas. Perna's Cajun and Soul food in Pantego – near Arlington – opened back in October.
And it's already taking off.
Yep, you can blame Johnson's home recipes for that!
"I started cooking at the age of eleven,” Johnson told Newsfix. “Watching my grandmother and I used to see her in the kitchen seasoning without measuring. I was like 'I wanna be like that when I grow up.’ I worked in a lot of kitchens before now."
But it ain't nothing like having your own, and cooking what you want when you want. That's why Perna's has a rotating menu, with items like grilled pork chops, crawfish and shrimp pasta, jambalaya and homemade boudin. If you're looking for a sweet finish, the ooey-gooey butter cake is an instant classic.
Chew on This, one of the most important (not to mention delicious) items on the menu is the Big Earl po’ boy. Half catfish, half shrimp – named after Johnson's late father.
"That's my dad,” Johnson said. “He was a big supporter of me growing up. So when he died, the last he ate was a po’ boy. So as I got this place going I was like I wanna do something to remember him."
And with the help of Johnson's sons, some amazing food, and friends who have turned into family – it’s safe to say his legacy will live on at Perna’s.
Now that’s the true meaning of soul food.