For Ken and Geri Wadsworth, Chasin’ Tails Sports Bar and Cajun Cuisine in Clear Lake is more than a restaurant—it is a combination of hard work and heritage.
While some of the recipes are the owners’ creations, many of the Creole-Cajun recipes—most notably the gumbo and etouffee—have been passed down through Ken’s family for generations. They have remained family secrets, as Ken and Geri mix the spices for the gumbo and etouffee themselves.
“My mom and her family are from Opelousas near Lafayette, [Louisiana,] so that’s the Cajun side, and that’s where most of our recipes come from. They’re over 100-year-old recipes,” Ken said.
The couple also works as contractors, which allowed them to build their first restaurant—a steakhouse in Colorado—and Chasin’ Tails in 2014 from the ground up. The couple renovated the inside of Chasin’ Tails and made customized decorations, including the New Orleans-style doors on the wall.
According to Ken, the key to running a successful restaurant is consistency, whether it be the size of the portions or the quality of the dishes served. All of the meals are fresh and made in-house, Geri said.
“We actually burn the roux for the gumbos and our etouffees in the kitchen. It’s not from a jar; it’s not from a bag or anything. Everything is made from scratch,” Geri said.
The owners go to Louisiana to pick up their sausage, Cajun pork and boudin—a Cajun sausage made with pork, rice and spices. Boudin is used to make several menu items, including the popular boudin egg rolls, which Ken and Geri created.
The existing staff is one of the most rewarding parts of owning the business, as is getting to know the regulars, Geri said.
The couple is considering an expansion of Chasin’ Tails, or even possibly franchising the restaurant.
“No matter where we go, everyone has heard about Chasin’ Tails, even though it’s such a small restaurant,” Ken said. “It’s pretty cool.”
Chasin’ Tails Sports Bar and Cajun Cuisine
2402 Bay Area Blvd., Houston
11 a.m.-10 p.m.