Well, I de-clare!

Well, I de-clare!

An afternoon drive down to the Beau Rêve house in Port Arthur is reminiscent of the days of Southern belles and their gentlemanly escorts; settled elegantly on four acres of land, the majestic white home on Atlantic Avenue (Sarah Jane Road, to nearby residents) now houses a real Southern belle who enjoys serving Cajun French cuisine of the Deep South.

And yes, you can eat in the big house. All you have to do is ask.

“We cook with a lot of crèmes, butters, fresh seafood; everything is made from scratch every day. All of our meals, all of our desserts, everything, but our main ingredient is a lot of love and a lot of care,” owner Becky Bellard said, as only a Southern lady can. “We have some very unique items that people try and just love.”

The grilled chicken Florentine smothered in a white cheese and spinach sauce served on angel hair pasta is a favorite among diners, as well as the shrimp etouffe, chicken fried steak and the seafood baked potato. But interestingly enough, the best hits with us were the quiches.

“The quiches are a really big seller,” Bellard said of the cheesy pastry meal.

Quiche, which is similar to a soufflé but set in an unsweetened pie crust, features beaten eggs whipped up with cheese and whatever ingredients one chooses to include — usually vegetables and various meats. The egg mixture is poured into the crust and baked.

“It’s basically an egg pie, is what I call it,” Bellard explained. “There are many variations, which makes it a meal that can work for any time of day. For brunch it works perfectly — it’s very filling.”

Beau Rêve does both a ham and cheese quiche with a cheesy, rich flavor and a seafood quiche that features shrimp and crabmeat — topped with a plump Gulf shrimp (which is all Miss Becky uses in her kitchen).

The lunch special includes a bowl of soup, and we recommend the roasted red pepper bisque, which is like tomato basil with a tangier flavor.

“For some reason, people seem to think that quiche is like a lady’s meal, but we have men order it all the time,” Bellard mused. 

While quiche is not regarded as the wildest dish out there, we feel it is long overdue that we refute writer Bruce Feirstein’s long-standing assertion that real men don’t eat quiche — we invite Feirstein to make his way down from Hollywood and try Miss Bellard’s rendition of the French dish. And while we’re at it, we invite the Southern gentlemen here in Southeast Texas to challenge his assertion, as well.