Where y’at for good Cajun food around here? Yats, of course.
Now you can find this popular Cajun-style restaurant at a closer-to-home location, 8352 E. 96th Street. The other locations are in Broad Ripple and on Massachusetts Avenue downtown. “Yats” refers to the phrase, “Where y’at?”, which is how folks in New Orleans say, “How are you?”
Yats is known for good Cajun food, and even though it was one of the hottest days of the year, we still had to check out the newest location, just to be sure!
The clean, small eatery sports a red and blue checkered floor and fiery yellow-orange walls. You head straight back to the counter to order right off a chalkboard listing four or five items. Each plate is $5 or $6 dollars for a combo.
We picked three dishes that our server, Chase Stout, said are some of the most popular. My pre-teen daughter (who usually goes for only for pepperoni pizza) order the red beans and rice with smoked sausage.
We also tried the popular chili cheese etouffee (a Louisiana-style stew of fish, veggies and sauce over white rice), and my other dining pal ordered the Caribbean jerk chicken etouffee.
As we were filling up our drink cups, the food arrived at our table. My daughter was excited about the speedy service, saying, “It is so nice not to have to sit and stare at your pop for an hour waiting for your food!”
The red beans and rice dish was topped with large pieces of sausage and covered in a red sauce. It was delicious and not too spicy… definitely my daughter’s favorite!
The chili cheese etouffee was a little cheesy and a little light on the crawfish but was spiced to perfection. The Caribbean chicken etouffee was the spiciest of the three dishes, with a generous amount of chicken as well as carrots, tomatoes and even a bit of coconut. All dishes come with a big chunk of warm, buttered bread—which was a hit with everyone!
The walls of Yats are dotted with photos of Louisiana, mirrors, mardi gras masks and framed reviews from Indianapolis Monthly, Dine magazine, Nuvo and NWA, the Northwest Airlines magazine which named Yats as the place to check out for Cajun cooking when in Indy.
Yats is owned by New Orleans-born-and-raised Joe Vuskovich. It is simply a spot for inexpensive, good Cajun food—there is no standard Midwest fare, such as hot dogs and mac and cheese.
The restaurant regulars seem to know the routine. They quickly clean their Styrofoam plates of etouffee and go back for more bread. A second helping is only 50 cents! That must be why the regulars keep going back… the same reason my daughter wanted to go back the next night!
Good job on your newest location, Yats!