Farmers Market Spotlight: Fais Do-Do To Go
Annalia Bailey brings best of Cajun cuisine to Northwest Colorado
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — When a potential customer visits Annalia Bailey’s mobile restaurant for the first time, she can usually tell whether they’re from Cajun country, and that’s usually the same thing they’re trying to figure out about her.
“The first question that people from Louisiana ask is ‘Where do you get your crawfish?’ or ‘Why don’t you have an accent?’” said Bailey, owner and operator of Fais Do-Do Bistro and Fais Do-Do To Go.
Bailey grew up eating and cooking Cajun food in Lafayette, Louisiana, one of the 22 southern Louisiana parishes officially recognized as Cajun, or Acadian. There, everyone knows the phrase “fais do-do” — pronounced fay doh-doh — one meaning is “to go to sleep,” but the other is “a Cajun dance party.”
“One thing I love about Louisiana is the culture, and the food is a huge part of that,” Bailey said. “That’s what there is to do down there, is eat and drink. It’s an experience in itself.”
Five years ago, Bailey moved to Colorado. She continued learning about the restaurant industry from the inside out, and all the while, she had an idea brewing.
“(Restaurant work) was something I didn’t want to go back to unless I had a fun project,” she said. “This is that fun project.”
She ordered her custom-built, fire-truck red mobile restaurant trailer in April, from Tennessee-based company Custom Trailer Pros. As it was being built, Bailey made plans for summer, scheduling for Fais Do-Do To Go to appear at the Main Street Steamboat Farmers Market and the Steamboat Free Summer Concerts.
Top seller: Crawfish and fried shrimp poboys. “The seasoning I use is one you’d use in a crawfish boil,” Bailey said.
Personal favorite: Can’t choose just one. “I have a lot of favorites. I like to eat different things all the time,” Bailey said.
What’s new at the stand: A new special, usually a breakfast option, each week at the Farmers Market.
She also established a temporary branch of Fais Do-Do in downtown Craig, which will operate out of The Barrel Cathedral brewery, at 576 Yampa Ave., through October. That location, called Fais Do-Do Bistro, currently offers lunch and dinner five days per week.
“It’s like a kitchen incubator,” Bailey said.
The Fais Do-Do menu includes a variety of po-boys and other dishes, as well as a weekly breakfast special for the Farmers Market, ranging from a shrimp-egg dish to beignets, or sweet, fried French donuts without holes. Fais Do-Do also carries a line of Louisianan artisan sodas called Swamp Pop.
While Sunpies’ menu includes poboys and J.W. Snacks in Craig offers gumbo, Cajun food isn’t common in Northwest Colorado, so Bailey isn’t surprised to find fellow southern Louisianans surprised to find her business here.
So she tells them where she gets her crawfish: from southern Louisiana towns including Eunice and Mamou. And as she chats with them, maybe they’ll start to hear an accent.
But the real test for Fais Do-Do is when that first bite of fare hits the tastebuds of a south Louisianan.
The difference between authentic and non-authentic Cajun food, Bailey said, is “night and day.”
“It’s been fun hearing their feedback,” she said. “A lot of people have given me their stamp of approval.”
Once Fais Do-Do Bistro’s lease in Craig comes to an end in October, Bailey will focus on the mobile restaurant full-time, operating as a food truck as well as catering public and private events. She plans to expand the menu and is interested in traveling through Colorado, and maybe beyond.
Find Fais Do-Do To Go at the Steamboat Farmers Market every Saturday through Sept. 21.
Julia Ben-Asher is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.
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