Lafayette and Lake Charles
We are coming to the Lafayette and Lake Charles areas for the first time. Is there a good, casual place in Lafayette for Sunday lunch? We'd like to try cajun/creole/seafood. Any recommendations for the Lake Charles area? We'll be there a few days. We won't have kids with us, so sports bar type places would be okay. We don't like chain restaurants, and would like to try "locals" places.
Lafayette has all kinds of places all over the city. Generally, people rave about Prejean's and Cafe des amis in Breaux bridge.
For Lake Charles, there are three good places whose names are now escaping me! UGH! I will say that the higher end restaurant at the Auberge du lac casino hotel is absolutely delicious. I am blown away everytime I eat there. Get the duck crepes and the lamb chops. Excellent.
Calvin Trillin tells the story of going into the cajun country--he finally found a Lafayette native who was doing his medical residency in NYC, called him for advice on restaurants, and was prepared for all sorts of arcane directions like "go two miles past the old Gulf gas station, take a right at the big oak tree, then...." but instead got the advice:
"eat anywhere". And his source hung up.
Trillin decided to put the advice to the test and found it utterly accurate.
I'd kind of recommend La Fete du Lafayette, on N. Johnson St., but be warned--it's buffet style and everyone I've ever seen eat there has a tendency to gorge, which at this state of life and waist I can no longer afford. Up to you. But it is excellent, and a good intro to the local cuisine.
I would reiterate Cafe des Amis, they are a favorite Sunday lunch spot for my family. Either Don's Seafood location, Johnston St. or Vermilion St., also has very tasty traditional South Louisiana cuisine. Blue Dog Cafe on Pinhook has been a favorite with many out of town guests. They feature a buffet-style brunch on Sunday and will usually feature live entertainment. As for Lake Charles, my favorite "restaurant" is actually a bar called "Darrell's" (sp?) off of I-210 which serves outstanding Po-Boys. The "Special" is not to be missed.
You will find other Lafayette references on the general "South" board.
In Lafayette I like Gator Cove (but I've only ever had the boiled crawfish or crabs), Dwyer's Cafe (plate lunch, or off the menu), T-Coons on Pinhook (plate lunch), Hub City Diner, Olde Tyme Grocery for po-boys, and the oft recommended Prejean's. I know it's sacrilege to mention a chain, but Zea's is purty darn good.
Maybe you're not thinking of pizza, but Deano's Pizza is very good - get a sampler pizza that includes the Marie LeVeaux (crab meat), and Crawfish a la Deano's, and Shrimp a la Deano's), or maybe the Jacques Boudreaux (crab, crawfish, and shrimp), and be sure to get it with the seasoned olive oil instead of tomato sauce. Then there's the Cajun Executioner or the Seafood Seizure; it's all good.