PORT ALLEN, La. (BRPROUD) – When it comes to barbecue in south Louisiana, there’s one name everyone knows; Couyon’s.

“You could probably compare right, but we think that we have something pretty special and unique over here” said Paul Mladenka, founder and owner of Couyon’s.

“We tell people if you’re looking to roll up your sleeves and enjoy some good ‘cue and just get comfortable and casual, this is the spot to be” Mladenka said. “We feel we bring that uniqueness whenever you walk in the door here.”

Mladenka opened Couyon’s flagship restaurant just off LA1 in Port Allen nearly 12 years ago. Since then, it’s become a foodie staple in south Louisiana and known nationwide.

“Excellent BBQ, fantastic baked potatoes, fresh seafood… it’s hard to go wrong” Mladenka said. “It’s comfort food man. This is the stuff that we grew up eating and we’ve said since the beginning that part of our mission statement is bringing people together with good food and that’s what we do.”

What they do starts long before the doors open; a careful process to get that familiar taste just right to keep you coming back.

“Our BBQ really put us on the map” Mladenka said. “We cook it the old school way…. low and slow. They season the meat, get it taken off of the pit, making sure it’s cooked properly… but they’re an extremely hard working group of guys with a fantastic work ethic and a serious attention to detail” he said.

That attention to detail has helped earn Couyon’s multiple awards and recognitions, but Mladenka says his biggest prize is the team he’s built and continues to lead.

“We’re family and we work hard and take care of our customers and we’d like to think that’s a huge reason why our business continues to thrive” said Mladenka.