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off the beaten path between Houston and New Orleans

I will be flying into Houston from the Midwest in early July, and I plan to drive to New Orleans for a few days sometime during my stay. I need some recs for down-home, rustic, simple regional foods in and between these two major cities. Planning to drive along the Gulf coast as much as possible. Price not too much of an issue but would like to keep the experience casual. Thanks!

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  1. This trip generally takes you along highway 90 from west to east. Cocodrie is the only sizable detour. I'm sure I'm forgetting some, but I bet the other posters fill in the gaps and then some. Have fun.

    Lafayette: Riverside Inn, T'Coon's, Norbert's, Billeaud's, Cafe Kimball
    New Iberia: Boiling Point
    Baldwin: Mr. Lester's Steak House (upscale steak house)
    Cocodrie: Coco Marina (get anything with wine island sauce)
    Morgan City: Rita Mae's (soul food), Latin Corner (Cuban)
    Somewhere in the woods between baldwin and houma: Chester's (fried stuff)
    Thibodaux: Bourgeois' meat market for beef jerky
    Houma: French Loaf, Big Al's, 1921
    Avondale: Mosca's

    6 Replies
    1. re: N.O.Food

      Thanks for the great start! I've looked up some info on these places and I can't wait to check some of these places out, especially Boiling Point, Rita Mae's, Houma and Thibodaux. I will definitely hunt down Chester's in the woods! What about Houston and New Orleans? I need the best muffulata(sp?)!

      1. re: napolean

        Hey Napolean, its me brian, you and I used to work together at R Bistro in Indy. How are things there? Do you still work there? Anywho on to the New Orleans recs. I cant help you with your trip from Houston but I can tell you where the best muffaletta is, its gotta be the Central Grocery in New Orleans. They invented the sandwich and everything else is just an imposter. The main gripe against the Central Grocery muff is that they are shrinking the size of meats that fill the sandwich. I do agree but its still the best tasting. If you do decide to get a muff someplace else make sure ITS NOT HEATED. It tastes so much better at room temp. What I like to do is grab one before I leave the city and eat in on my way back to Indiana. The sandwich could easily stay good for hours, or days if refrigerated (packed in a cooler). Please note the Central Grocery is closed on sunday & monday. If you do encounter the Central grocery is closed there is a restaurant called Franks that is virtually right next door and they serve a good muff.

        If you do plan on eating it right then get just a half because that will be plenty. If you are taking it for the road definitely get a whole.

        1. re: indiwaiter

          Hey brian! Wow, great to hear from such a reputable source! I will definitely try the Central Grocery for the muff. about R Bistro...I've been gone for over a year now, did the career switcheeroo. I do miss the rest. business. Chowhound has been a great release to say the least. Whataboutya? Maybe we can meet up for muff in NAWLAN'S!!

        2. re: napolean

          I live in Houston, what are you looking for here? There's a good cajun place in Winnie (about 45-50 minutes out of downtown Houston). Well, I like it because they have great fried frog legs. It's called Al-T's. They have great dirty rice and boudin balls. Actually, I don't think I've ever eaten anything there I didn't like.

        3. re: N.O.Food

          What about Doe's Eat Place in Broussard right next door to Cafe Kimball. Is this a franchise of the Greenville, MS company or just a joint someone named Doe's.

        4. If you're really planning to drive Highway 82 (the road closest to the coast through Cameron & Vermilion parishes), pack a lunch. It's a long stretch of mostly empty road. If you started out early enough, you could end up for lunch in Abbeville, but 82 is straight through the coastal marsh: no side trips, not a whole lot going on. Good birding, though.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Hungry Celeste

            Speaking of Abbeville, I have to be there for work in a couple of weeks, anyone know a good luch spot? Im pretty flexible, can be anything from white tablecloth to burger stand. Sorry, dont mean to get too far off the main topic.

            1. re: ana210

              I am a huge fan of Shucks (701 W Port St, (337) 898-3311)

              1. re: ana210

                Abbeville is a cute and sweet little town with some pretty good lunch spots. Courtyard Cafe (109 South State St.) in downtown Abbeville is a favorite of mine. Richard's Seafood Patio (1516 S. Henry St) serves up really good crawfish. Also, there are a few oyster bars on Pere Megret, by the Vermillion River, that you should check out, namely Shucks.

                http://www.bayoudog.com/articles/loui...

                  1. re: napolean

                    FYI......Shuck's has pretty good food, but is lousy for atmosphere.

                1. re: ana210

                  Dupuy's in Abbeville is probably the best spot in Abbeville right now, and Villager's Cafe in Maurice (between Lafayette and Abbeville) is supposed to have the best poboy in the land of great poboys.

                  1. re: thecajunfoodie

                    I've added Dupuy's and Villager's cafe to the map - crediting you
                    Regards Duane

              2. Here's a few for ya:D.I.Restaurant 6561 Evangeline Hwy.,Basile,LA (318) 432-5141 (opens @5PM).Good Cajun food and real good crawfish.D.I.s is about 12 miles N of Exit 65 on I-10.North of Rayne,LA in Roberts Cove is Hawk's (318) 788-3266.He opens at 5PM W-Sun.I share the opinion that he serves the best boiled crawfish in SW Louisiana.He's a little had to find (it really is in the middle of nowhere) but the crawfish is second to none.A little further E along I-10 is the Exit South to Maurice (:20) and Abbeville (:30).In Maurice you have Mr.Keet's on Hwy.167 on the left as you head S.(337) 898-0590.Real good crawfish and other Cajun delights.Also in Maurice is Soop's on Hwy.167 on the right as you go S.Down home kind of place open for l/d serving plate lunches and assorted cajun food.Try the quail gumbo if they have it that day.They're # is (318) 893-2462>Down in Abbeville, which may be the eatinest town in all Acadiana, you have at least two killer crawfish places:Richard's (a classic "boiling point") on Rte.355 about 1 mile S of Rte.14.(337) 893-1693 and Cajun Claws on Rte.14 about 1 mile E of Downtown (337) 684-1204.Two other Abbeville places worth mentioning:Shucks and Dupuys.Both serve real good cajun fare but the main thing at both places are the incredible oysters.Oysters on the half shell don't get any better than at these two places.Shucks is at 701 W.Port St. a stones throw from the bridge over Vermillion River (318) 898-3311 and Dupuy's is at 108 S.Main St. on the other side of said river.(318) 893-2336.Back closer to I-10 in Breaux Bridge is Cafe des Amis.Real good food spittin' distant from the bridge over Bayou Teche.Take I-10 Exit 109 S into Breaux Bridge about 2 miles.The Cafe is in a cool old building on your right before you come to the bridge.Finally,about 3/10s of a mile North of Exit 115 on I-10 is Crawfishtown,U.S.A..A tourist-ready place for sure (there's even a billboard out on the Interstate!),But don't let that stop you from enjoying some really good and large crawfish along with the other usual Cajun fare (gumbo/jambalaya/etc.)That's in Cecilia,LA (337) 667-6148.I sure hope this helps.I know it's making me hunger to return to SW Louisiana,but I'll have to wait for two more months to get my fill.Enjoy,and tell us how your trip works out.

                2 Replies
                  1. re: rockbound

                    Second Hawks for the best boiled crawfish!

                  2. If you're deviating a little farther north, allow me to suggest some places near/along U.S. 190

                    Palace Cafe in Opelousas, on the courthouse square.
                    Kelly's Country Meat Block and Diner in Opelousas on S. Union. Have a plate lunch, then step next door and buy all your Cajun meat needs (I wish I had a pork roast in my freezer for easter...)
                    Joe's Dreyfus Store in Livonia, between Opelousas and Baton Rouge

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: jamy

                      I believe that Joe's is closed now.

                    2. Hungry Celeste-What do you know about Joe's Dreyfus in Livonia.Back 15 years ago it was one of my faves in the area.Last two visits,however,the food was mediocre at best.I vowed not to return until I heard that they had come back around.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: rockbound

                        Joe's Dreyfus changed ownership then new owners couldn't make a go of it - lots of issues chefs and such then the owners up and left. Currently building is up for sale and/or lease. Please someone buy this wonderful place and turn it back into what it once was. Me and a couple of friends spoke to the owners and they were left high and dry.

                        1. re: rockbound

                          The original owners sold it, things went downhill a bit, and last I'd heard, it closed.