- Jim M Nov 19, 2002 12:42 PM
We are planning our first trip to NOlA from the midwest in the spring. You all have helped me develop a notebook of dining with your posts. We will probably plan a trip of 5-6 days and will have time for some days in other areas of LA. I found information about Festival International de Louisiane in Lafayette. Is this worth our time to include in our trip? I know Lafayette is about 129 miles from NO.
yep, you should make the drive. Great local food, and music from all over the place! You can bring a cooler with your own beer around, if you like too. You can buy everything from Frozen drinks, to alligator sausage po-boys and all things crawfish (althought none boiled - too messy I suspect).
The Festival International in Lafayette is a three or four day "happening." It's spreads out from many music venues with arts, crafts, and food booths all over downtown Lafayette. If you speak French you WILL get to use your skills with the locals and people from all over the world. It's basically free and well worth whatever you pay to get to Lafayette. The city fills up so make your reservations in advance. There are many charming bed and breakfast inns in the surrounding area so you don't have to stay at a motel/hotel. Lafayette does have a Hilton, Comfort Inn, Best Western, Ramada, TravelLodge ... You name it. I have included a link to a good review of last year's festival and will post again if I can find that dratted festival website. If you come, scout out a restaurant to have boiled crawfish because they are still in season during the festival. Randal's in Lafayette is one, and it has a dancefloor for people who are interested in seeing or trying the Cajun Twostep. Don't have boiled crawfish at Don's, b/c they aren't really a boiled seafood place, but their crawfish bisque is "to die for" (Don's has two locations, the one close to the festival has better food, the best things on the menu are broiled whole flounder and crawfish bisque, Don't Hut is the second location and it just added an oyster bar but don't order Oyster's Rockefeller, their seafood platters are pretty good). Abbeville, Louisiana is another twenty miles down the road and the choicer crawfish patios there include Richard's which is a corrugated tin building on the bayou. If they have crawfish, they will be large. Abbeville also has Dupuy's Oyster House, Shuck's, Cajun Claws (always has big crawfish, purged) and Black's which used to have the best fried catfish around. Haven't tried it lately. And enjoy the spring weather if you're traveling from afar. It should be sweater weather at night or warmer. During the day we run the AC (most months). Enjoy yourself.
Well, here's the festival website but there's nothing on it yet except the dates. Eventually the schedule of music and events should be posted. The events include outdoor and indoor concerts, plays, even mimes and stiltwalkers from Quebec. For a list of Lafayette and surrounding motel/hotel/b&b try travellafayette.com. Good luck. Another restaurant worth mentioning is the Cafe des Ami in Breaux Bridge, which features cajun and seafood delicacies, but the real treat is the fact that they're open for early on weekends for a swinging breakfast with music and full bar. You have to get there early or you miss it b/c I think it's closed by 11:30 am.