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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.

                          1. When you are traveling Hwy. 90, take the Cade exit (Hwy 182) toward New Iberia. That's the Old Spanish Trail. It's much more scenic and will lead you directly to Bon Creole Lunch Counter in New Iberia for great gumbo and po-boys. Also have good boiled crawfish on Friday evenings. Continuing on 182 past Jeanerette, you will find the Yellow Bowl for great fried crawfish, catfish, shrimp and its signature crawfish etouffee.

                            -----
                            Yellow Bowl Restaurant
                            19466 Hwy 182 W, Jeanerette, LA 70544

                            Bon Creole Lunch Counter
                            1409 E Saint Peter St, New Iberia, LA 70560

                            1. 615 Highway 93 N., Scott, LA 70583. The Best Stop is along a two lane highway in the Louisiana countryside.

                              This place has some of the best boudin.

                              1. There's a great hole in the wall po boy place on Airline Hwy in LaPlace, about 15 miles before N.O. They baste their seafood in some type of creole mustard creation before battering and frying it. It's unbelievable! I've never paid attention to the name...does anyone know it?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: issabug

                                  Poboy place on Airline in LaPlace? I live in LaPlace and the only places I can think of are Mabile's and Frisco Deli. Mabile's makes good roast beef and fried shrimp poboys. Never been to Frisco Deli. Pier 51 is just off Airline on Hwy. 51 and their boiled seafood is some of the best I've had anywhere.

                                2. I'm real fond of a place in Lake Charles called Harlequins...it's on the loop service road just east of the Nelson Road exit. Its a steak-seafood sort of joint and you can get local stuff there. Nice joint.

                                  1. I'm reviving an old thread - it's pertinent to my travel plans - and probably a very popular road trip. There are 3 of us, recently retired doing a 2 week road trip, April 14 to 28 2009, from Houston to New Orleans and back. 2 or 3 days in New Orleans. Unhurried travel, with sightseeing and food having equal weight. We're from Calgary and speak some French. Soaking up local culture as much as possible.

                                    Think Lake St. Charles, highway 90 or 14 to Lafayette, New Iberia through to Houma, New Orleans, then Slidell, Baton Rouge, perhaps following Highway 190 through Opelousas.

                                    Our itinerary is not written in stone, on the western part of the journey we can weave back and forth on either side of I-10. But from Lafayette on it would be a circle trip.

                                    For food, we are looking for everything from roadside stands (if they exist) to restaurants. The emphasis being on authentic Cajun/Creole cuisine. Places that are consider to be institutions are of interest. Haute Cuisine is of little interest.

                                    In return, I promise to keep a diary and post results. I'll also do a google road map with the points visited and post it as well.

                                    Whoppee, can't wait!!!

                                    37 Replies
                                    1. re: rosetown

                                      I can heartily recommend a lunch counter in New Iberia on Hwy. 182 (St. Peter) called Bon Creole. Their specialty is po-boys, but their gumbo, fried catfish, softshell crabs, and bread pudding are also great. East of Jeanerette on the same highway is The Yellow Bowl, which has delicious crawfish etouffee, wonderful fried crawfish, oysters, and catfish, and excellent seafood gumbo.

                                      1. re: cajungirl

                                        Thank you, cajungirl, for your prompt reply. Keep them coming. This is not only for me, but also for others planning a similar trip.
                                        Regards Duane

                                        1. re: rosetown

                                          Dons meat market on I 10 right before lafayette has some mighty fine boudin and cracklins to go with you in the car. beaumont texas has a good barbe cue place on I-10 right past college st. called willie rays.

                                      2. re: rosetown

                                        Unfortunately or fortunately, our trip is postponed to October, in time for the Lafayette cajun/creole festival. In the the meantime I've started a google map of various food stops.

                                        Link below - never done this before so it's a test.

                                        Map from Houston to Lafayette - takes a little while to display in its entirety. Hope to add more information
                                        http://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?ie=UTF8...

                                        suggestions welcome

                                        Regards Duane

                                        1. re: rosetown

                                          For the "circle trip" portion, I would suggest stops in the following (in order of going south o from Lafayette to New Orleans and coming back to Lafayette from the north side.

                                          -Dwight's in Lafayette
                                          -Olde Tyme Grocery in Lafayette
                                          - Village Cafe in Maurice
                                          -Dupuy's in Abbeville
                                          -Yellow Bowl in Jeannerette
                                          - Big Al's in Houma
                                          -Bayou Delight in Bayou Black area near Houma
                                          -Spahr's in Des Allemands

                                          Stay and eat in New Orleans

                                          -La Provence in Lacombe
                                          -Middendorf's in Manchac
                                          - Roberto's River Road in Sunshine
                                          - Juban's in Baton Rouge
                                          -Joe Dreyfus in Livonia/Maringouin
                                          -Billy's in Krotz Springs
                                          -Steamboat Warehouse in Washington
                                          -Catahoula's in Grand Coteau

                                          1. re: thecajunfoodie

                                            Thanks for your recommendations. I've tried to follow your suggested routing and have added most of your suggestions to my map. More to come. It's slow and tedious because I'm striving for accuracy.

                                            1. re: rosetown

                                              Duane, I have to say your map is awesome!

                                              Also, if I plan on going through the middle of nowhere I check "THE small town list" on tigerdroppings (an LSU fan forum. Just do a google search for "tigerdroppings small town list" and you'll have 14 pages of rural gold.

                                              Looking at the map I also have to bring up Mosca's in Avondale. Great hole in the wall that looks much more dive bar-ish than it really is and they serve excellent food.

                                              1. re: thecajunfoodie

                                                Thanks for your praise and the heads up re tigerdroppings. My notion was to create a useful map that can be referenced by chowhounders replying to posts that request information for places outside of NOLA . I'll add Mosca's.
                                                Thanks again for all your help
                                                Duane

                                                1. re: thecajunfoodie

                                                  I 've looked at tigerdropping - quite a list. I've added Mosca's to the map.

                                                  Looking at my map, I think I can add Lafayette and Baton Rouge - with emphasis on cajun, down and dirty, local institutions, local color, but not exclusively. Need recommendations.

                                                  I've also been reading your blog - wow - very polished!!!

                                                  Duane

                                                  1. re: rosetown

                                                    Thanks Duane!

                                                    Here's some more in Lafayette according to those criteria:

                                                    Bonnie Bells Bistro (newly on Jefferson)-gumbo, bread pudding, burgers and fish dishes

                                                    Poor Boy's Riverside Inn:-great atmosphere and seafood

                                                    Don's Seafood (Johnston location)- seafood fried rice and catfish tidbits

                                                    Edie's- "love ya like a biscuit"

                                                    Dwyers- hashbrowns and plate lunches

                                                    Judice Inn- thin greasy burger heaven

                                                    And more in Baton Rouge:

                                                    Louie's Cafe- the Mitchell, super hash browns, and the Big Cheesy Lou

                                                    Sammie's Grill- homemade fried cheese logs, boiled seafood, country fried steak

                                                    American Market- the "Am Mart" sandwiches are an institution at LSU

                                                    Fleur de lis- the Around the World pizza minus anchovies is awesome

                                                    George's- dark bar with insane burgers and shrimp poboys (Perkins location is better IMO)

                                                    Chelsea's- great music, beer, and smoker pork loin au jus sandwich

                                                    1. re: thecajunfoodie

                                                      Creole Cafe, right off I-10 on University in Lafayette. Awesome creole/cajun/soul food plate lunches. Huge portions are heavily spiced. And cheap.

                                                      1. re: BayouTeche

                                                        Pastime Pizza is also great in Baton Rouge - the Big Ragoo or the sloppy roast beef po-boy. They just opened a second location. If you get a chance you ought to drive across the Causeway just to look around. They have lots of great places in Mandeville, Covington, Madisonville. It is beautiful and worth the drive. Keiths in Madisonville on the Tcefuncte is supposed to be off the map. La Provence is and Sal and Judys in Lacombe

                                                        1. re: carol land

                                                          The roast beef at Pastime is very good and it creates what I call the "smear." Dark hole in the wall status easily attained also.

                                                          Second La Provence (one of the best in the state IMO if your take atmosphere and experience in to play) and Sal and Judy's also.

                                                          ----
                                                          www.thecajunfoodie.com

                                                      2. re: thecajunfoodie

                                                        Definitely hit riverside inn - best restaurant in lafayette if you ask me.

                                                        1. re: thecajunfoodie

                                                          If you take the anchovies off a Fleur de Lis around the world, you don't deserve to eat there. The anchovies pull the whole thing together.

                                                          1. re: uptownlibrarian

                                                            I have to say uptownlibrarian, if the management of Fleur de Lis felt the same way, the place would have closed long ago from lack of business.

                                                            They could verify that 50% of the orders for the Around the World placed by first timers to Fleur de Lis are without anchovies (because they heard about leaving them off) and on 98% of the orders for the pizza placed by repeat customers the anchovies are 86'd.

                                                            While I appreciate those who have a taste for whole anchovies straight out of the can, Fleur de Lis' liberal use of them does anything but "pull the whole thing together." Indeed, I would say that it merely pulls the whole thing down.

                                                            If one feels the need to try it, get the anchovies on the side. Otherwise, if you dislike it, the entire pie will be ruined as there is no such thing as "picking off" the juices from the anchovies covering the pizza.

                                                            That being said, uptownlibrarian, I'll go half and half on an Around the World with you anytime and to each his own side!

                                                            ----
                                                            www.thecajunfoodie.com

                                                            1. re: thecajunfoodie

                                                              On the advice of a comely young thing in there years ago, I ordered Around the World with anchovies on the side and generally speaking that is the way I get them everywhere outside of the Northeast...The Fleur de Lis ovens incinerate the little devils and you get a salty strip without much of teh Divine Anchovy Flavor. I also do the same thing at DiGuilio's when I am over there. This is coming from a man who puts Gentlemen's Relish on things

                                                              1. re: thecajunfoodie

                                                                Halves? What you talkin bout? An Around the World serves one as far as I'm concerned, with maybe two slices leftover for a midnight snack. The anchovies do make it really salty, I'll give you that. But I like how they get a little crispy, and they make me thirsty for more Abita, so if that's wrong I don't want to be right.

                                                                I had a birthday lunch pizza party yesterday (not at FDL, more's the pity), and was lamenting that many places don't even offer anchovies any more. Around here, anyway. Perhaps elswhere in the country anchovies are going strong. Anti-anchovy sentiment is so widespread that you can hardly get good ones at the regular grocery. They're so good right out of the can, and they add a very interesting dimension to many recipes. Plus, anchovy stuffed olives. Enough said.

                                                            2. re: thecajunfoodie

                                                              ‎Edie's- "love ya like a biscuit"
                                                              Alright, I confess that I'm not very clever - the description is colorful - but, what in heavens does it mean? Maybe because I'm not partial to biscuits that I don't get it...
                                                              Duane

                                                              1. re: rosetown

                                                                Edie's is a small breakfast/lunch place. They are well known for their biscuits. Their regular biscuits, served with honey. Or as a breakfast sandwich with egg, cheese and bacon or ham. Also offer a blueberry biscuit, which is pretty kickass.

                                                                Should also note, the biscuits are served with lunch as well, gratis.

                                                                1. re: BayouTeche

                                                                  thank's for educating me. When I think of biscuit, I think of cookie. Wikipedia has a good article on biscuit - british vs american usage.

                                                                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biscuit

                                                                  Thanks Duane

                                                                2. re: rosetown

                                                                  Bayou Teche is once again very correct. Thinking about the blueberry biscuits is too much... Love ya like a biscuit is also Edie's slogan/tagline.

                                                                  The wiki article is very good, and to summarize it: we use a heck of a lot more butter, lard and buttermilk down here!

                                                        2. re: thecajunfoodie

                                                          still polishing my map - I need descriptions of Dwight's and Ole Tyme Cafe in Lafayette . Catahoula's and Steamboat Wharehouse as well.
                                                          Duane

                                                          1. re: rosetown

                                                            Dwight's hashbrowns are killer. Boiled shrimp, plate lunches, and club sandwiches are all standouts as well.

                                                            Olde Tyme Grocery has unbelievable shrimp poboys on crusty Langlinais bread. Their Olde Tyme Special (ham, turkey, roast beef) is also stellar, and usually has about 1.5 pounds of meat on it. Homemade fries are hard to find these days and they do them right here.

                                                            Catahoula's in Grand Coteau is great for a nice meal. Two of their salads are awesome, the Roasted Tomato & Crab Salad that contains a LOT of jumbo lump crabmeat and the Smokey Bacon Vinaigrette Salad with mixed baby greens, roasted pecans, apples & gorgonzola cheese. Entrees, go for the grilled fish dishes, the steak (with more lump crabmeat on top if you like) or the lamb. Grits and grillades at brunch are also excellent.

                                                            Steamboat Warehouse is a great place to have a drink on the deck overlooking Bayou Courtableu. While waiting, get the catfish tidbits or the Sidesaddle Angels (jumbo shrimp stuffed with oysters, wrapped in applewood smoked bacon, fried golden, served with our house remoulade). It may sound stupid, but these guys know how to fry and you are safe with anything cooked in their grease. Flounder Diane and Snapper Jack being two standouts.

                                                            ----
                                                            www.thecajunfoodie.com

                                                            1. re: thecajunfoodie

                                                              Man, thanks for the quick response and wonderful descriptions, they are now on the map - I'm a post or two from completing my map. Suggest that you check out Bayou Delight Restaurant on the map and test the link in the balloon.
                                                              Duane

                                                          2. re: thecajunfoodie

                                                            getting close - need descriptions
                                                            Blacks Oyster Bar - Abbeville
                                                            Courtyard Cafe - Abbeville
                                                            Boiling Point - New Iberia
                                                            1921 Seafood & Oyster Bar - Houma
                                                            Middendorf's - Manchac
                                                            Roberto's River Road Restaurant - Sunshine

                                                            That should complete the map.
                                                            Duane

                                                            1. re: rosetown

                                                              I think boiling point is the best boiled seafood restaurant at which I've ever eaten. (Try some of their homemade stuffed jalapenos, too.) When we lived in Lafayette, that was the only place we would go to eat boiled seafood. 1921 is a close second. When we lived in Houma, that's where we'd go to eat boiled stuff. I wish we had a place in new orleans that was even close to those two. Middendorf's for thin-fried catfish.

                                                              1. re: N.O.Food

                                                                Thanks for your valued opinion - I've added your comments to my map for Boiling Point and 1921 Seafood. Can you flesh out, Middendorf, seemingly famous, in a couple of lines.
                                                                Duane

                                                                1. re: rosetown

                                                                  Middendorf's is known for their paper thin, light and crispy fried catfish.

                                                                  1. re: BayouTeche

                                                                    Thanks - added comments to my map crediting N.O.Food, you, and mrsfury (from another thread).
                                                                    that leaves:
                                                                    Courtyard Cafe - Abbeville
                                                                    Roberto's River Road Restaurant - Sunshine
                                                                    and Black's Oyster Bar which appear to be in trouble according to this thread:
                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/601033

                                                                    edit: I didn't see you posted the concern regarding Black's troubles.
                                                                    Duane

                                                                    1. re: rosetown

                                                                      Black's is still good for the atmosphere, at least. Oysters on the half-shell. Chargrilled oysters. Serviceable fried seafood. But, still a shadow of its glory years.

                                                                      1. re: BayouTeche

                                                                        That leaves me with a dilemma - whether to include it with a caveat or to delete it from the map. I'll think about it - opinions welcome - but at the end it will be editor's choice.
                                                                        Thanks Duane

                                                                        1. re: rosetown

                                                                          didn't take me long - I' ll include with a caveat - too well known to ignore - further I've included Big Al's whose reputation has also suffered.

                                                                          edit: that leaves the Courtyard Cafe - Abbeville & Roberto's River Road - Sunshine for descriptions and then I'm done!!

                                                                          Duane

                                                                          1. re: rosetown

                                                                            Roberto's has excellent seafood dishes in a renovated country store setting. BBQ shrimp in a bread bowl, crab and brie soup, and the fish en papillote are great. The prices are affordable, both on the menu and the with the wine.

                                                                            I wish I could help on Courtyard Cafe, but eating there is on my "to do" list.

                                                                            ----
                                                                            www.thecajunfoodie.com

                                                                            1. re: thecajunfoodie

                                                                              I removed the Courtyard Cafe from the map - couldn't find any redeeming comments regarding it. I've added Pier 51 in Laplace crediting mrsfury.

                                                                              As far as Roberto's is concerned, I linked to the detailed article regarding it on your website.
                                                                              Duane

                                                                              1. re: rosetown

                                                                                Pier 51 - boiled seafood, sandwiches & pasta - don't get fried or stuffed things.

                                                                                Also, I responded to another thread (can't find it now) about Hymel's going downhill. I ate there last weekend and am happy to report that maybe they read Chowhound or someone told them because everything was far better that trip than previous ones. The stuffed pepper was loaded with shrimp and contained no ground meat, just the way I like it. It certainly didn't taste previously frozen although with their extensive menu it could have been. The other food I tasted from my friend's plate was yummy too. Now I don't know if I'd recommend it or just say that if you're in the area it's worth a stop.

                                                                                1. re: mrsfury

                                                                                  Although the map is final - I've included you additional comments regarding Pier 51. For the benefit of others, I will not be adding new locations to the map.
                                                                                  Regards Duane

                                                        3. There is a great stop is Iowa, LA called Rabideaux's. Home made sausages cheap, plus a selection of warm food. Pistolettes (fried pistolettes with either shrimp or crawfish and cheese), Meat Pies, Dirty Rice (the DIRTIEST I've ever had. awesome. gamey), and my personal favorite: Livers and Gizzards FRIED.

                                                          YUM.

                                                          14 Replies
                                                          1. re: Vivi Doom

                                                            Although not for October, the largest, best crawfish I have ever eaten were at a place literally in the middle of nowhere outside of Rayne called Hawke's

                                                            1. re: paz5559

                                                              Thanks, I've added Hawks to my map crediting you and others.

                                                              Map Houston to Lafayette
                                                              http://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?ie=UTF8...
                                                              takes a while to load!!

                                                              Need more suggestions between Houston and Lafayette. I've yet to decide how I will handle mapping the round trip from Lafayete to New Orleans and return. Maps of the larger cities may already exist and I have no intention of duplicating effort. I would just post the relevant maps here. Again suggestions are encouraged!!

                                                              regards Duane

                                                              1. re: rosetown

                                                                In Highlands Texas just before Baytown theres a great little cafe on the main drag called the snak shack good home cooking and the fried catfish is killer.

                                                                1. re: joedontexan

                                                                  Thanks joedontexan - added to the map - looks desolate in google streetview - hey, sometimes it's all about the food.
                                                                  Regards Duane

                                                                  1. re: rosetown

                                                                    The Pickett House in Woodville, Texas is great all you can eat family style home cooking and its pretty famous. A little out of the way up in east texas piney woods.

                                                                2. re: rosetown

                                                                  Huval's, in Henderson, Louisiana. Others have said "touristy", but it's beloved by the locals. And it's too far off the beaten path to be really touristy; and the seafood, whether crabs, crawfish, shrimp, etc.,,is excellent.

                                                                  1. re: underworld gourmet

                                                                    I assume you meant Pat's Fisherman Wharf. His surname is Huval. You must be a local!! I've added to the map - let me know if it's the wrong place.
                                                                    website:
                                                                    http://www.patsfishermanswharf.com/

                                                                    I've added 40 locations to my map - more to come. I won't include Lafayette, Baton Rouge, or NOLA.

                                                                    http://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?ie=UTF8...

                                                                    I've made the map private - If I make it public, anyone can edit. Through this exercise, I suspect occasional vandalism on google maps. Mostly mapping incorrect locations. I could be wrong.

                                                                    Still, it's possibe to collaborate with longstanding chowhound posters keeping it close to the chest, if anyone is interested.

                                                                    Regards Duane

                                                                    1. re: rosetown

                                                                      Second this place. MUCH better than some others along that stretch of I-10 that tend to catch passerby unwary travelers looking for seafood.

                                                                      1. re: rosetown

                                                                        I checked out Pat's of Henderson in Lake Charles after looking at Pat's Fisherman's Wharf and sure enough, it's the same people. It was always pretty good in LC and is right on the loop on the east side of town.

                                                                        1. re: texasredtop

                                                                          added to my map - can't confirm the accuracy of the location in google streetview - is it near the KIA car dealership?

                                                                          1. re: rosetown

                                                                            Yes, that's it. You can't hardly miss it if you're on the 210 Loop. I had to check streetview to be sure. I love that feature.

                                                                            I see Harlequin on your map. I've was eating there as soon as I was old enough to chew. My Dad used to go deep sea fishing with the Hunter's all the time. I can't imagine that after all these years (50 some odd) Harlequin would still be good. Back then it was so awesome. Guess I need to get over there and check it out.

                                                                            1. re: texasredtop

                                                                              Well, it's not what you remember as the Old Place...much snazzier set-up but it is on the side of town where their customers are. Family still has it, someone is always on-site. I sent a friend there en route to-and-from Houston a few weeks ago and he has become a semi-regular on his near-weekly commute. I would not say it is the sort of place that people fly in from tahoe to go to but it beats the hell out of similar set-ups in larger cities. My Italian/Cajun doctor loves the joint.

                                                                    2. re: rosetown

                                                                      Duane,
                                                                      I making the trip you describe with my family in October. How could I get a copy of your restaurant map? I'd love to have a copy! If you agree, you could email it to me at ritasteve@earthlink.net.
                                                                      Merci beaucoup!
                                                                      Steve

                                                                      1. re: soupysails

                                                                        Sorry soupysails, but I haven't been following this thread - I've sent the map link to you. Oddly I and my buddies are also doing this trip starting October 05, heading to Lafayette for the food festival ( or is it music as well? One of my friends is in charge of those details) - you know - footloose and fancy free!!!

                                                                        http://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?hl=en&a...

                                                                        Regards Duane

                                                                3. I've heard great things about Frey's Crawfish in Jennings. It's right off the main road, easy to find. We stopped there the day after Christmas on our way to NO but it was closed. We're going there in April when the thoroughbreds start running at Evangeline Downs. If it's good, we'll go on the way home too. :-)

                                                                  http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album...

                                                                  919 Lake Arthur Ave.
                                                                  Jennings, LA 70546
                                                                  1 337 824 6004

                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                  1. re: texasredtop

                                                                    If it's:
                                                                    Frey's Crawfish
                                                                    12289 Frey Road
                                                                    Welsh, LA

                                                                    google maps shows it as closed. I can't verify the accuracy.
                                                                    Regards Duane

                                                                    1. re: rosetown

                                                                      They've moved to Jennings. On Lake Arthur Drive. It's the main drag through town. Very easy to find.

                                                                      1. re: texasredtop

                                                                        I've added Frey's Crawfish House at their new location to my map - thanks

                                                                        1. re: rosetown

                                                                          Al-T's in Winnie is very good. It's hard to find good fried frog legs in Texas and Al-T's has them. Their dirty rice and boudin balls are real good too. It's right off of I-10 between Baytown and Beaumont.

                                                                          1. re: texasredtop

                                                                            I've added AL-T's to my map - a google map search yielded a totally incorrect placement. I finally, phoned them to determine where they are located!! Google streetview shows that I nailed it. 2 hours of work!!!
                                                                            Regards Duane

                                                                            1. re: rosetown

                                                                              I think Al-T's is worth it ;-)

                                                                              Sorry you had such an ordeal. The intersection at the interstate is a little confusing but you can't hardly miss it. It's on the south side of I-10 at Exit 829 (I think). There's a McDonalds on the north side of I-10. You'll be able to spot in on the left after you are on the south side of the interstate.

                                                                              I can't wait to hear about your trip. We're headed to Alaska by car this summer. I can't wait to return to Tete Jaune Cache/Valemount, BC. The salmon should be spawning on our return back to the US.

                                                                              1. re: rosetown

                                                                                Just checked your map - PERFECT! Enjoy!

                                                                                1. re: texasredtop

                                                                                  Thanks- enjoy your north to Alaska trip!!

                                                                    2. Since your list seems SW LA heavy, I thought I'd add a few SE LA places. Some of these are along US 90, following the southern route to NOLA, as opposed to I-10.
                                                                      --seconds on Spahr's in Des Allemands; wild-caught catfish, not the pond raised, tasteless stuff.
                                                                      --Chester's Cypress Inn, 1995 Hwy 20 in Donner, LA; fried frogs' legs, a setting unchanged for a zillion years. In the swamp betw Morgan City & Houma
                                                                      --LeJeune's Bakery, Jeanerette; best LA-style french bread around, plus old fashioned ginger planks. Weekdays only. You will need to stop & vacuum out your car after tearing thru a Lejeune's bread while driving.
                                                                      --Bourgeois Meat Market, Thibodaux, LA; red (pork blood) boudin, cracklins, beef jerky, etc

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                                                        I seem to remember a Chester's had awesome onion rings...is that the place? This is from years back.
                                                                        AMEN to LeJeune's! It's on Hwy. 182, Main St., Jeanerette. Best to get the bread at the bakery. But if it's closed, you can find it further down at Robie's Grocery, but it's in a plastic sleeve, so you'll have to heat it to bring out the crispness.
                                                                        For locals, order a loaf of bread dough, let it rise, and deep fry it. That was our Lenten supper, along with Steen's Cane Syrup and cold milk.

                                                                        1. re: cajungirl

                                                                          Ooh, fried bread dough. Always a treat.

                                                                          1. re: cajungirl

                                                                            cajungirl, that is the place. Anything that is lucky enough to grace the grease at Chester's is pretty much guaranteed to be awesome.

                                                                            Bourgeois' has absolutely the best beef jerky in the south and although very pricey, it is well worth it.

                                                                            ----
                                                                            www.thecajunfoodie.com

                                                                          2. re: Hungry Celeste

                                                                            I've added LeJeune's Bakery, Jeanerette to the map - the others I already had added - I've also added your colorful descriptions to the map. I prefer the 1 or 2 liner descriptions from chowhounders - sources other than chowhound I'm reluctant to use.
                                                                            Thanks
                                                                            Duane

                                                                          3. Pimanyolis for barbeque in Baton Rouge, Louisiana Lagniappe, Parrains, the Chimes or Jubans for seafood, Portobellos for italian and seafood, Ruffinos. Baton Rouge has many excellent restaurants. Jubans is on the higher end of the scale and worth every penny.

                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                            1. re: carol land

                                                                              I've add the above to the map except Portobello's. too many hits for Baton Rouge. I need to know which one.
                                                                              Duane

                                                                              1. re: rosetown

                                                                                The one near LSU on Lee is now a tapas joint. While I think they might have put another Portabello's where Kiva's was on Bluebonnet, it really is not one of the top 50 places in BR in my opinion. If you want Italian, go to Pinetta's, Digiulio's or Gino's and for seafood in Baton Rouge stop at one of the places listed by carol land.

                                                                                ----
                                                                                www.thecajunfoodie.com

                                                                                1. re: thecajunfoodie

                                                                                  latest map:

                                                                                  http://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?ie=UTF8...

                                                                                  Now need some recommendations for Baton Rouge and Lafayette with short descriptions to flesh it out.

                                                                                  Duane

                                                                                  1. re: thecajunfoodie

                                                                                    Portobellos is at Bocage on Jefferson Hwy close to Town Centre. I hate to disagree with thecajunfoodie but if you want to be treated like royalty, eat spagetti and meatballs that make me wish I had an italian somewhere in my lineage, a convivial atmosphere, the fish is excellent, the wines are great and if you are unfamiliar with the wine they will pour you almost a half a glass to try. Their stuffed mushrooms are to die for as is the JAG salad. It is cost effective too. meatballs and spagetti for 9.95. The only thing missing is a decent dessert and I'm working on Kiva to do that for me.

                                                                                    1. re: carol land

                                                                                      Jubans - excellent food and on the higher dollar end of the spectrum. Try the halleluyah crab if you go. Excellent atmosphere. Good location close to I-10. Parrains is also close to I-10. Both Jubans and Parrains are on Perkins Road - approx. 1 mile from each other.
                                                                                      Parrains/Chimes - reasonable prices, excellent boudin balls at the Chimes - same owner. A gazillion different beers.
                                                                                      Louisiana Lagniappe - excellent fresh seafood - midway cost wise b/t Jubans and Parrains. It is on Perkins off of Bluebonnet.
                                                                                      Portobellos - $40 - 60 generally for two people.

                                                                                      1. re: carol land

                                                                                        What's good at Parrains?
                                                                                        Who has a gazillion different beers? Parrains, Chimes or both?

                                                                                        Duane

                                                                                        1. re: rosetown

                                                                                          Chimes. Parrains is owned by the same people but the Chimes has MANY different beers, both on tap and bottled.

                                                                                          Parrains has excellent salad dressings, as lame as that may sound. All are homemade and include bacon cheddar ranch, Green Goddess, and Tabasco pepper jelly vinaigrette.

                                                                                          All of their grilled and paneed fish dishes are excellent, however, on one occasion (out of many), the fish was very much overcooked.

                                                                                          Also, their seafood platter is very good.

                                                                                          Pretty nice patio out back also!

                                                                              2. I have to call an end to suggestions to add to the map. I will add those suggestions to date. Pourquois pas, you might ask - well, it's starting to become unwieldy in google maps. I'm approaching its limitations. It's been fun. I still have things to add and edit and then review for accuracy. I can't thank all of you enough!!!

                                                                                Regards Duane

                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                1. re: rosetown

                                                                                  Voila:
                                                                                  This is the final, inComplete, imPerfect, map through Acadiana, from Houston to New Orleans and back.(not including New Orleans).

                                                                                  What it includes:
                                                                                  1) the locations (around 77) of almost everything posted in this thread
                                                                                  2) comments of posters for each location
                                                                                  3) addresses, phone numbers, and websites where they exist

                                                                                  The order of listings in the left pane of the map:
                                                                                  It starts just east of Houston, following the I-10 to Lafayette and vicinity, then veers south on Hwy 167 through Maurice to Abbeville. then follows Hwy 14 east to New Iberia. From there, following Hwy 90 through Jeanerette, Morgan City, and Donner. Then it branches to Thibodaux, Houma, and Cocodrie. From Houma, it moves through Des Allemands to Laplace and Avondale. New Orleans is skipped and we pick up the map again on the I-12 at Lacombe, proceeding through Madisonville and Manchac on the way to Baton Rouge and vicinity. From Baton Rouge it follows Hwy 190 through Livonia, Krotz Springs, Oupelousas and vicinity, to Hwy 97 (the Evangeline Hwy) and then south to D.I.'s Cajun Food & Music. From there to the I-10 and back to Houston.
                                                                                  The order is as the crow flies, but within communities it is alphabetical.

                                                                                  Clicking on a location in the left pane will display, in a balloon, information relating to that location. You can then click on another location, and the information will be displayed.

                                                                                  Here it is:

                                                                                  http://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?ie=UTF8...

                                                                                  It finishes, fittingly, in D.I.'s Cajun Food & Music. website below - make sure your sound is turned on!!!

                                                                                  http://www.discajunrestaurant.biz/

                                                                                    1. re: rosetown

                                                                                      Sorry to have to post to accomplish this, but I see no way to directly email other users... Duane, send me an email when you get a chance about this map.

                                                                                      ----
                                                                                      www.thecajunfoodie.com
                                                                                      thecajunfoodie@gmail.com

                                                                                        1. re: rosetown

                                                                                          This map was a whole lot of fun and I learned about some great new local places Ill have to try thanks to everyone who contributed.

                                                                                      1. re: rosetown

                                                                                        The map is wonderful. Thanks for all of your hard work.

                                                                                        I should tell you that Catahoula's closed its doors a couple of months ago. Jude Tauzin, the chef/owner, is currently trying to get something started in Lafayette in River Ranch. His place in Grand Coteau was a little too off the beaten path in this down economy.

                                                                                        1. re: pattisue

                                                                                          I earlier said Pimanyolis for barbeque and tamales. To my dismay we had a recent experience from hell there. BR being the food town that it is it will not survive. Horrible rude service and management didn't care. There are too many great restaurants in Baton Rouge to support a place who treats customers like they are trash.

                                                                                        2. re: rosetown

                                                                                          Can we assume you're currently on the road?

                                                                                      2. Henderson, LA -- Robin's Restaurant.
                                                                                        It's all about the crawfish.
                                                                                        1409 Henderson Highway, Henderson, LA
                                                                                        337-228-7594

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: mcsheridan

                                                                                          McSheridan - I have to respectfully make an addendum about Robin's Restaurant. Yes they do have crawfish, but there is also so much more to try from their exciting menu. The chef here is a true gem.

                                                                                          1. re: Clam Chowder

                                                                                            I would not dream of disputing you. :) I'm just Hooked on Crawfish! :)

                                                                                            Fact is, I'm full-on jonesin' for a half & half.

                                                                                        2. I've heard great things about Nash's in Lafayette. Does anyone have an opinion on this restaurant?? Did anyone mention the Sunday brunch at Cafe Des Ami? I'd recommend that.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Liz Gober

                                                                                            Nash's food is solid, if not amazing or truly excellent. The setting is lovely--an old house in Broussard. It's been a couple of years since I last dined at Nash's, and I can't remember exactly what I ate, but I wasn't unhappy with it.

                                                                                            1. re: Liz Gober

                                                                                              I've had the Veal Orleans several times at Nash's, and it was excellent!

                                                                                            2. Catahoula's in Grand Coteau is Closed....................

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: Littleman

                                                                                                Catahoula's closed last year, but the chef, Jude Tauzin has a new place in River Ranch called The Village Cafe. I've only been for lunch once, but it was very good.