It was Wednesday, November 16, 2017, at 11:32 in the morning when I first heard words gumbo and salad mentioned together in the same sentence. It was shortly thereafter that I experienced gumbo and salad together in the same bowl and I am here to tell you my life has changed.

Gumbo salad is a creation of the minds that are always cooking at Lafayette's Jambalaya Shoppe restaurant on Congress Street near Ambassador Caffery. The place has wonderful gumbos both chicken and sausage and seafood. They also have some kicking jambalaya and pastalaya which may be my new favorite South Louisiana born munchable.

Now that I've set the table, almost literally, what about that gumbo salad? It's the Jambalaya Shoppe's innovation to offer a healthy alternative to diners who want the great flavor but want to watch their waistline too.

The cooks, they don't like to be called chefs, that's too high falutin' of a term, take the seasoned chicken out of the gumbo pot and shred it ever so delicately. It is served over a bed of lettuce with boiled egg, tomato, purple onions, cheese, and croutons. The dressing is a cane syrup vinaigrette which may be the very best vinaigrette dressing I have ever tasted.

And if you want the same salad but with gumbo seasoned shrimp, the Jambalaya Shoppe can whip that up for you too. It's absolutely to die for.

With each bite, you get the sweet and savory of the chicken or shrimp. The vinaigrette simply accents the flavor and really excites the taste buds in your mouth. Put all of that with the crisp crunch of the lettuce and the juicy kiss of the cherry tomatoes and that little bit of a bite from the purple onion and you are in a very blissful salad place.

This is my new favorite salad. I think you'll like it too.

Pssst- (Whispering) Here's a secret, Friday morning at 6 AM Seize the Deal is going to have a limited number of half off certificates for The Jambalaya Shoppe on sale. Shhh don't tell anybody okay?