Standing behind the front end of a ‘54 GMC serving locals “momma’s favorites” is where you’ll find Christina Reed each day.
Reed, a Ville Platte transplant, moved to St. Charles over a year ago and has now opened what she describes as her dream business – the Iron Gate.
“I originally wanted a home and garden shop, but with the economy on the downside I decided to add food to give my business a little something extra,” she said. “It was supposed to be just sandwiches and salads with coffee, but I ended up with a full-blown kitchen and no garden area. But that will come in time.”
Reed credits her Boutte restaurant’s unique flare to her love of antiques and home cooking.
“Besides the classic-car counter, all of our tables and chairs are antique,” added Reed. “I have armories, buffets and lots of other great items for people to see like gifts and other accessories.”
Casual cooking sessions with her parents and grandmother is how Reed learned to cook – a skill she is now sharing with others six days a week.
“Customers are loving the Iron Gate,” she said. “They enjoy the mix of ‘80s and ‘90s music with the sweet smell of creme’ brule mixed in with the delicious aroma of food cooking in the kitchen.
“There’s always a smile greeting you when you walk in and I strive to make each customer comfortable.”
With help from her two sons – Malcolm, 11, and Evan, 4 – Reed dishes out daily plate lunches in addition to adding new items to the menu.
“The menu is still a work in progress and we’re continuing to add new and exciting dishes,” said Reed. “We also have burgers, wraps, salads, soups, po’ boys, desserts, coffee, espresso and cappuccino, And fresh pastries like Italian cream cake, brownies, butter cake, scones, chocolate chip cookies, stuffed breads and candies.”
Reed’s daily lunch specials include: marinated pork on Mondays, crawfish pasta with crawfish balls on Tuesdays, chicken spaghetti on Wednesdays, sticky chicken on Thursdays, and shrimp etouffee on Fridays.
“Response from locals has been great and we’ve been busy,” Reed said. “We’ve even had to extend our hours to 8 p.m.”
Catering has also worked its way into Reed’s business.
“We didn’t plan on catering, but we’ve been asked to do it,” she said. “We cater to different organizations, parties and office meetings.
“I love to cook and enjoy seeing people enjoy the food I cook. When someone asks me for the recipe, it tickles me. That means they like it.”
The Iron Gate is located at 13299 Highway 90 in Boutte. Hours are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.