Houma, Lafayette, Baton Rouge-Looking for Good Eats!
My husband and I will be driving to the above places starting in NO (we already have plenty of recs for NO), and we're looking for the best local eats along the way. We love to eat anything, especially seafood and spicy foods. Mostly looking for casual restaurants and roadside greasy spoons with really good chow.
Also, we'll be visiting some plantation homes, including Oak Alley, and would like to find good recs for post-tour eating.
Big thanks in advance!
One of my best memories of boiled crabs and crawfish was in Thibodaux or Houma (I forget which). We asked locals for recommendations and they referred us to Red Lobster. We drove around an finally found a spot, originally a service station, which had a sign for seafood. I wouldn't even go in until my husband checked it out though a lady came out with a sack of crawfish and placed them in the trunk of her Mercedes. We feasted on crabs and crawfish and beer (which you had to get from the cooler). I kept the menu for ever so long but threw it out in a cleaning frenzy. I kinda remember on a corner, perhaps near a RR track. Sorry I can't be more specific but it dedfinitely was a locals place and one I shall never forget. We were used to Maryland steamed crabs but these boiled ones were the sweetest I have had. Not a gourmet restaurant - really just a hole in the wall - but a definite finger-food place with delicious crabs and crawfish.
One of the best places to eat in Baton Rouge is Dempsey's (13580 Coursey Blvd, 225-752-1199). It is a small family owned restaurant that makes the best fried shrimp, tarter sauce and french fries (homemade). They also have Po-boys. My husband's favorite is a 1/2 and 1/2 - it includes a cup of gumbo with 1/2 po-boy and fries. Their chicken and sausage gumbo is wonderful. They also have great fried catfish. Dempsey's is a neighborhood/family restaurant and the prices are very reasonable. You will enjoy your meal.
I stayed in that area a couple years ago and there was nothing that I would really call good eats. We stayed in one of the cottages that they have on the Oak Alley property, which was very comfortable, but never found a really good restaurant. We ate at one of the plantations, Nottaway, which was just horrible.
Whatever you do, don't miss the tour of Houmas House. I think it was the highlight of our trip.
Thanks for your response and for the tip on Houmas House!
I'm a bit surprised to hear that you encountered such bad or mediocre meals in an area of the country that has such a rich culinary reputation.
I was sort of hoping for the quintessential greasy roadside bayou experience--maybe that's a romanticized version of Louisiana that us Yankees are led to believe in :-)
I guess we'll savor our meals in New Orleans!
I was pretty disappointed myself and I probably missed some great hole-in-the wall shack. If there was something out there, I am sure one of the LA posters would have chimed in.
The meals in NO will definitely make up for the lack of good eats around the plantations. BTW, I didn't make it up as far as Baton Rouge - maybe you will get lucky!