Earlier in life, Joe Vuskovich tried to be a horse-breeding polo player; in the end, he set his sights on crayfish, chicken, shrimp, and sausage. The folks in Indiana, where Yats has five locations, celebrate his career choice daily with hearty helpings of Cajun/Creole jambalaya and gumbo. Vuskovich marvels at the popularity of his chili cheese étouffée, a Big Easy classic he makes with a Cheddar-y Wisconsin twist. Plates come in three sizes, each ringing up at $8 or less: It’s a price-to-portion ratio that leaves stomachs—and wallets—full. 955 W. Randolph St.; 312-829-7930.

Photography: Tyllie Barbosa