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Gibby C's in Collinsville serves up southern Cajun-style dishes to hungry locals
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Gibby C's in Collinsville serves up southern Cajun-style dishes to hungry locals

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Collinsville restauranteur Carla Gibson abides by the phrase “Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler” to help her create an enjoyable dining experience for her customers.

The Cajun French expression, which translates to “Let the Good Times Roll,” is tattooed on Gibson’s left arm as a daily reminder to live up to the inked adage, especially when cooking up her signature dishes in the kitchen.

“I love to see people’s face when they eat my food,” said Gibson, owner of Gibby C’s South in Your Mouth, which recently opened in downtown Collinsville. “That’s how I express my love is through food.”

Gibby C’s, located along the town’s historic Main Street, serves up southern Cajun-style recipes to hungry locals looking for a unique meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Patrons can enjoy a variety of salads, pasta dishes, beef and chicken entrees, seafood medleys and more. Gibson’s signature plates include her bourbon burger, Salisbury steak and mashed potatoes, jambalaya, shrimp and crawfish enchiladas, étouffée and Cajun eggrolls, to name a few.

“You get a wife and a husband: He loves jambalaya, but she can’t stand shrimp; she just wants a good ol’ boy chicken noodle soup or chicken and dumplings,” Gibson said. “I got both of them covered.”

Gibson came to Collinsville from New Orleans, Louisiana, in 2001 to pursue a career as an oil and gas mechanical engineer. In 2015, however, she was laid off due to the industry’s downturn, and was faced with the challenge of finding another job.

During that time, she started making and selling salsa and pork rinds to help support her son who played competitive baseball. It wasn’t long until Gibson’s small catering service, which she named “Gibby C’s,” turned into a local household name, and she began serving homemade recipes to her fellow neighbors and other residents on a regular basis.

“We went from making 30 meals of these 9-by-13 pans in a weekend to making 400 or more,” Gibson said. “I had a full staff of seven people working out of my shop at the house. People would line up for hours … they would buy five of these meals at a time.”

Over the next couple years, Gibson operated her namesake business from her home until Nov. 2021, when she moved into her current storefront, which was formerly occupied by The Blessed Baker and The Cake Lady.

Gibson now serves those same homegrown dishes from what she calls her new “hole in the wall” that sees high foot traffic during peak dining hours — a testament to her fluctuating items that she creates fresh on site.

“I always do something different; my menu is always changing,” she said. “It’s real; it’s not processed … that’s what sets us apart, is that every single thing that we make in here is from scratch.”

When asked what it means to serve Collinsville residents from her new restaurant, Gibson replied, “Food is comfort. I want people to be happy with my food, to talk about it.”

More information about Gibby C’s South in Your Mouth can be found at 918gibby.com.

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