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New Cajun ‘Pick & Peel’ Style Restaurant Set to Open in F.C.

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A FULL BAR with TVs and wired for electronic entertainment will add to the atmosphere at Chasin’ Tails, the new Cajun-style restaurant that will open quietly this weekend at the intersection of N. Washington and Westmoreland, and will then hold a gala Grand Opening on Saturday, April 7. (Photo: News-Press)

Forget what your mama taught you about manners at the dinner table. At a new restaurant opening in Falls Church this week, they don’t even provide utensils unless you request them.

It’s going to be all about “pick and peel” of tasty Cajun seafood and other good stuff when Chasin’ Tails opens to the public at the corner of N. Washington and Westmoreland, steps over the border from the City of Falls Church in Arlington.

The tablecloths are butcher paper. There’s a roll of paper towels at each table, and a setting including hot sauce with the salt and pepper.

Privately owned by a New Orleans-based family, the new restaurant is the first of what general manager Mike Jones told the News-Press Tuesday will develop into a large chain of franchises.

It’s designed as a unique type of concept, integrating a full bar, almost a sports-bar type TV and electronic entertainment atmosphere, with some serious, fun eating.
The first location was chosen on the ground floor of the Westlee Condominiums, across the street from the venerable La Cote D’Or restaurant – almost its alter ego with its outstanding reputation for fine French cuisine and French countryside atmosphere.

The location was chosen because, Jones said, it is in an area not currently saturated by restaurants, but accessible to people from all over the region who will seek it out because of its uniqueness.

It was not lost on him that it is also on the pathway linking the East Falls Church Metro with the popular State Theatre and other Falls Church venues.

The establishment promises to join the likes of recently-opened Mad Fox Brewing Company and Famous Dave’s in nearby downtown Falls Church, appealing as well to a younger demographic while remaining family-friendly.

Chasin’ Tails will be open for happy hours and dining during the weekdays, and earlier on weekends.

The menu is built around “Bayou in a Bag,” described this way: “Your fresh catch is boiled and soaked in our signature Cajun-style blend then tossed and sauteed in one of our savory sauces. The monstrous mess is then sealed in a steaming bag to intensify the flavor as it’s delivered to you.”

Served that way are crawfish, shrimp, snow crab legs, king crab legs, blue crab, lobster, clams, mussels and raw oysters.

The “styles” are original Cajun (with voodoo sauce), lemon-pepper, garlic-butter, or “the whole shebang,” and the heat options are mild to “N’awlins Hot.”

Fried seafood is also on the menu, including shrimp, soft shell crab, calamari, oysters, catfish, gator, crawfish tails and chicken tenders. There is seafood gumbo and jumbalaya, “Whole Shebang” wings and fries, sweet potato fries, sausages, corn on the cob and potatoes on the side. For $50 you can get “The Bayou Catch” of a pound of crawfish and shrimp, a one-pound lobster, and a half-pound of snow crab legs.

While some of the seafood is shipped in from New Orleans daily, the bulk comes delivered fresh by reputable suppliers regionally, Jones said, having worked for a number of the area’s better eating establishments. Formerly in the Clinton White House, he said he tried his hand at running for office in Maryland, but then realized that he is really a “foodie,” and went into the restaurant industry.

The restaurant plans a soft opening this weekend, with a Grand Opening on Saturday afternoon, April 7. Free food samples and a jazz band will be featured then.
Did I say you won’t get a fork or spoon unless you ask?

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