TNT booms into St. John restaurant scene

Published 12:13 am Saturday, April 8, 2017

LAPLACE — C.J. Triche has always loved to cook.

Even as he worked at Marathon all those 30 years, he dreamed of someday opening his own restaurant.

In 2004, he and his wife Brenda did, opening a small seafood market and restaurant in their adopted home of Springfield.

TNT Seafood — which stands for Triche and Triche — still is a popular spot, now located in a converted gas station near Hammond.

In 2013, C.J. and Brenda moved home to LaPlace.

They commuted for a time, then let their daughter and son-in-law take over the business.

Brenda Triche prepares to serve boiled crawfish at her new LaPlace restaurant.

They aren’t quite ready to retire, though, and have been looking to open a restaurant closer to home.

Last month they did, and, so far, TNT Seafood Restaurant and Bar is a rousing success.

Since the opening March 24 at 405 Belle Terre Blvd. (the old Italian Pie location) C.J. and Brenda, along with grandson A.J. Delaneuville and his wife Allison, have been hopping.

“The first night the line was around the building,” C.J. said. “I didn’t think it would be as good as it was.”

Added Brenda (a little sheepishly): “We ran out of food. I was running all over the place buying food.”

Since then things have calmed down a bit, but locals still are packing the tables and booths for hot boiled crawfish and shrimp (crabs will come soon), fresh fried seafood and a wide array of poboys.

There’s also a daily lunch special.

TNT also is a market, which sells live seafood.

And don’t forget the onion rings. They’re huge.

C.J. said his longtime connections to LaPlace have helped the word-of-mouth.

TNT Seafood Restaurant & Bar promises plenty of good food.

“(Brenda) knows so many people,” he said. “I know so many people. My grandson A.J. sold cars for two different dealerships. He knows a lot of people.”

Eventually — when they really retire — they’ll turn the local business over to A.J., whom some may remember as a standout athlete at Riverside Academy back in the day.

He has given up his car-selling days to join the family business.

“It’s hard work,” he said. “It’s been non-stop, but I love it.”

C.J. said his love for cooking is what spurred his latest venture. It’s a trait handed down from his mother.

“I can cook anything,” he said. “I don’t have any favorite thing. As long as I’m in front of the stove, I’m happy. It doesn’t matter what it is. The only thing I don’t do is bake.”

With that in mind, he wants TNT to be the best.

“I want this to be the best restaurant in St. John Parish, in the River Parishes,” C.J. said. “My goal is to make sure my customers come here happy and leave here satisfied, with a full stomach.”