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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to

< Back to Oral History project: Lunch Houses of Acadiana


Brenda Placide

On the advice of her mother, who taught her to cook, Brenda Placide opened Brenda’s Dine-In & Take-Out for the love of cooking, rather than for the love of money. Her customers thank her for it every weekday by leaving her with nary a leftover. Like at many of Acadiana’s lunch houses and diners, Brenda’s menu is small and changes daily. Red beans and fried chicken on Mondays, turkey wings and smothered liver on Tuesdays, gumbo on Fridays. Each plate lunch includes the main dish, plus one “vegetable” side (such as corn, baked spaghetti, or mustard greens), a small salad, and dessert (such as bread pudding or peach cobbler).

Three generations work at Brenda’s, including her daughter, Taeleab, and her grandson, Typann. With tutelage from his mother, Brenda’s son, Damian, opened a sister restaurant of sorts in Arlington, Texas. At Damian’s Cajun Soul Café, he offers a rotating menu that’s almost identical to the one at Brenda’s.

While Brenda’s is primarily a take-out restaurant, the dining room can seat about twenty-five people, and it hosts a small but steady crowd throughout the day. On the morning of our interview, her own pastor dropped by for his Wednesday regular: baked chicken, smothered okra, and sweet lemonade.

Date of interview:

Sara Roahen

Sara Roahen

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


Alex Raij Txikito

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