Leslie Turk

Meals-to-go concept opens in River Ranch

by Leslie Turk

If you like to eat out but prefer the comfort of your home, River Ranch's Cena may be what you're looking for. The meal assembly concept opened this week in the Shops at the Crescent, a few doors from CC's Coffeehouse.

Avoid the grocery store and a messy kitchen but still eat healthy, home-cooked meals, as everything Cena offers is made of fresh ingredients (aged beef and no hormones or steroids in the chicken). You can place an order online or by phone, and if there are steps to the cooking process, the ingredients will be packaged separately. The menu of 14 entrees rotates monthly; among April's choices will be Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin with Pumpkin Butter, Chicken and Smoked Gouda in Puff Pastry, or Hibachi Steak Medallions. Nutritional facts are offered with each meal.

Once you go online, you either select a session (you don't need to book a session on Tuesdays) or private party or place your to-go order. Fresh and frozen entrees are always available for a quick pickup. Cena is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

Cena's local franchisees are Eunice natives Billy Stagg, his wife Lori and Lori's sister, MidSouth Bank exec Karen Hail. The Staggs have relocated to Lafayette from Atlanta, where Billy worked as a district manager for a restaurant company. He has 21 years of experience in the industry.

The trio will soon introduce food and wine tastings on the first and third Thursdays of each month.

Cena, which means "dinner" in Italian and Spanish, was founded in 2004 in Spokane, Wash.