Lake Charles, LA
Going to the casino this weekend, and I have heard that it has some wonderful restaurants, but I love to venture out to where the locals go for great food. Any suggestions?
If you don't need "fancy", I have a place for you. It is 10 minutes away, in Sulphur. It's called The Boiling Point, and it's very, very not "fancy" but the food is really good.
1730 Beglis Pkwy
Sulphur, LA 70663-5909
It's a true cajun place that locals populate. Everything from gumbo to crawfish to the best boudin (get angel wings on horseback - fantastic). It's not a diet place. You can also get their homemade cracklin's to go, which my husband LOVES.
My mom & her family are from Lake Charles, and I visit relatives there a few times each year. Over the years, I've become a huge fan of Steamboat Bill's (http://www.steamboatbills.com). There are 2 locations, but one is on Lakeshore just off of I-10, so it will probably be easier for you to find. They have excellent fried seafood in huge portions, a casual local crowd, and great boiled seafood, plus a lot of the typical Cajun and Creole foods like gumbo, etouffee, and red beans & rice. If you're looking for a relatively cheap, down-home, local place with great SW LA food, it's probably your place.
Also, if you're driving there ... just a bit east of Lake Charles is a meat shop/lunch counter/convenience store called Rabideaux's Sausage Kitchen (http://www.manta.com/coms2/dnbcompany...). It's a mile or so off of a mostly-empty interstate exit, but they have amazing fried boudin balls and the best smoked andouille sausage that I've had anywhere in Louisiana (and, believe me, I've had a ton). I stop there every time I go out to Lake Charles, and I usually buy a styrofoam cooler and about 15 lbs. of frozen andouille to take home with me, plus a couple of fresh boudin balls and crawfish pistolettes.
In Lake Charles at the moment, and I'm asking my inlaws where to go in LC. Here's some good names:
Pujo Street Cafe
Harlequin Steak House
DeAngelo's (closed due to fire but will reopen)
We just ordered a crawfish boil and picked everything up premade. It was from Choupique Crawfish - absolutely scrumptious.
Hope this helps!