Cajun Stop Heads North

Popular EaDo Cajun and po' boy spot opens in north Houston suburb — with tamales, too

Popular EaDo Cajun and po' boy spot opens in north Houston suburb

Lisa Carnley Cajun Stop
Lisa Carnley is bringing The Cajun Stop to Spring. Photo by Eric Sandler

The dining scene in both Spring and The Woodlands is booming, and Houston restaurants are taking notice. Beginning Tuesday, one of EaDo’s most popular spots for po' boys and Cajun seafood will join the movement.

Lisa Carnley, owner of The Cajun Stop, tells CultureMap that she’s purchased the Tamale Pot in Spring for a second location. Signs announcing the change will go up by mid-June, and a grand opening will take place July 21.

“It’s 10 minutes from my house,” an excited Carnley explains. “It’s where Tomball, Spring, and The Woodlands meet. There’s not a lot of Cajun food out there.”

Open since 2009, the Cajun Stop has won acclaim for its authentic Cajun cuisine. The restaurant’s po' boys, which feature expertly-fried seafood and bread that balances a crunchy exterior with a soft interior, are among the best in Houston. During crawfish season, patrons back the restaurant for large mudbugs and a properly spicy boil. 

In the beginning, Carnley plans to serve the Tamale Pot’s menu while introducing three po' boys to preserve the restaurant’s existing customer base. By mid-June, the restaurant will serve Cajun Stop’s full menu, including brunch items. While most of the Tex-Mex items will go away, the tamales will remain available as a side item.

The new location will also be decorated to showcase it for future investors. Carnley hopes to attract franchisees who want to spread her signature po' boys, gumbo, and crawfish to new fans. 

Unfortunately, the original location’s future at 2130 Jefferson isn’t quite so certain. Carnley says she’s spoken to her landlord about renewing her lease before it expires, but they haven’t finalized a deal yet.

“That’s why I haven’t put a lot of money into this place,” Carnley says. “I’m going to wait until I’m 100-percent on the lease before I drop a lot of money into it. If I’m only going to have it a year, I’ll just fix the little things. If she gives me another five years, I’ll renovate this place.”

Whatever the future holds for her first location, Carnley's track record of success suggests that diners in Houston's northern suburbs have a new arrival to be excited about.