Momma Pearl’s Cajun Kitchen (Colorado Springs, CO)

Most of the time I’m in Colorado Springs, it is because I’m visiting the United States Air Force Academy for work. While during non-pandemic times, if you can ever swing a visit to their Mitchell Hall dining room, it’s a sight to behold, with them serving the entire student body in 30 minutes in a giant dining room (the only similar experience I’ve had was dining at the Naval Academy’s King Hall). But during these pandemic-restricted times, the primary dining option for visiting researchers is… Subway. My Academy host agreed that this was sub-par, so every day we headed off-campus to try out some different dining options. And in this case, we headed out the North Gate to the nearby shopping center for some Cajun food at Momma Pearl’s Cajun Kitchen.

Much like my recent Bonny & Read review, I’m sure a few of my readers are now saying “Colorado is not Cajun country.” While they would indeed be right, in this case I wasn’t concerned; my host Keith is actually from Louisiana, and he assured me that Momma Pearl’s knew what they were doing.

Despite the shopping center location, Momma Pearl’s did a good job of setting up a pleasing interior, with a nice bar on one side of the restaurant, and a nicely-appointed dining room with booths and tables on the other. The other part of the ambiance that was immediate was the smell; I’m used to a good Cajun place smelling like the “Cajun trilogy” of onions, bell peppers and celery, with some nice notes of seafood and hot pepper, and Momma Pearl’s immediately smelled like a proper gumbo shop.

Myself, while I was particularly tempted by the gumbo, I decided to go for one of my second-favorite Cajun foods: a Jambalaya. Momma Pearl’s offers up their jambalaya as a chicken and sausage version, with or without shrimp. While I do generally love shrimp with a jambalaya, since this was the middle of a work day I opted to skip the shrimp to avoid potential triggering of my seafood allergy. But I was certainly not disappointed, this was a great jambalaya

My host Keith instead went for one of his favorites, the Shrimp Étouffée. I didn’t have a chance to sample this, but from an aroma, texture, and visual appearance, it was a nice match with some of the better étouffées I’ve had in Louisiana, like at the now-closed The Old Coffee Pot Gumbo (RIP, I loved that place)

Overall, I really liked Momma Pearl’s. My Jambalaya was quite nicely done, and pleasantly reminded me of my several trips to Louisiana. Similar, my USAFA host Keith enjoyed his étouffée. If you’re looking for good, solid Cajun food around the Colorado Springs area, Momma Pearl’s Cajun Kitchen certainly delivers.

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