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Oct 28, 2013 11:30 AM

Bucket List item #1... trip to Louisiana! our way through Louisiana!
Seriously; I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all the great responses on this board and hope you have a few suggestions for the wife and I. First trip ever to NOLA...been waitin' 66 years!
We are flying in to Houston from Alaska on Nov 21,'13. Spend nite there, rent car and drive to Lake Charles area, spend a few clams in the Casinos there, then drive on to LaFayette in search of some good oysters, crawfish, boudin and what not for the next nite.
Morn of 23rd we plan to drive down the Hwy 190 and eventually wind up in Metarie for the remainder of our stay...(flying back from NOLA airport on Thanksgiving Day) We are just headquartering in Metarie from the 24th thru 27th...will have the car for day trips, etc from there.
We were thinking one trip to Billoxi, just to see some beaches and a little of Miss. for one day.
We want to try it all...Cajun, Creole, Seafood,seafood and seafood! We like out-of-the-way places with down-home food that will welcome our Levis and short sleeves.
We are keenly interested in all things Southern, so any must-see activities as well as must-try cuisine suggestions will be most welcome!

Thank you in advance for your guidance!!

Al H

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  1. Google the following for casual places with good seafood and local specialities that you can easily access with a car: R&O's, the Galley, Dragos, Seither's Seafood, Zimmer's Seafood, Sal's Seafood, Castnet, Harbor Seafood, Liuzza's, Crabby Jack's, Rivershack, Short Stop...these are just a start. It's not crawfish season but there will be good shrimp, crabs, and oysters as well as freshwater and gulf fin fish.

    1 Reply
    1. re: uptownlibrarian

      That is a pretty good list of Metairie "joints" with decen tfood and good prices. I'll add Stingray's in Kenner and Pier 51 in LaPlace for local seafood.

    2. No offense to the lovely people of the MS Gulf Coast, but I wouldn't waste any of your precious time in NOLA day tripping over there. Beaches are ho hum, muddy, not'd have to drive all the way to the FL panhandle to get some decent beaches.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Hungry Celeste

        I-10 at the Scott exit offers the opportunity to sample multiple varieties of boudin from six different makers: Don's Specialty Meats, Billy's Boudin and Cracklin, Early's Supermarket, Mike's Country Corner, The Best Stop, and Romero's.

        1. re: Hungry Celeste

          HC, I replied to you but don't see it!...might not have hit the reply button.
          The Scott exit is definitely in!!! Thank you!

          1. re: Hungry Celeste

            2nd on Scott. If you're really into Boudin you might check out the SFA boudin trail:

            2nd also on skipping MS. I live in Biloxi and work between the MS coast & Nola. Beautiful photo below notwithstanding, our nice beaches are on the barrier islands & are only accessible by boat. Chartering a boat to go out to Horn or Cat Is for beachcombing or kayaking would be a good reason to drive over but didn't see that sort of thing on your list.

            I'd also skip Lake Charles and go straight to Cajun country for a couple of days then onto New Orleans for the remainder.

            1. re: maf

              Speaking of Boudin, you might want to check out
              and if you're into boudin, you might possibly like cracklins...heres a cracklins map

              Note, I can't actually vouch for these interactive site, as I'm just warming up to them in prep of my own trip.

          2. re: Hungry Celeste

            Please spend a day on the Mississippi Coast if you like. The Society of American Travel Writers held their convention there last week and enjoyed all there is to eat, see & do.

            And I think Mr. Taylor caught the beach well.

            1. re: AreBe

              Georgeous picture...thanks for taking the trouble to post it and the link.

            2. re: Hungry Celeste

              Being a Coast native, I agree, regarding the beaches. I used to wonder why folk, from MN, or WI, would rush out into the Gulf in Gulfport/Biloxi, but that was common.

              OTOH, I would drive through the Coast, but stop at the Whitecap for lunch, and Mary Mahoney's for dinner. There are several casinos (seems to be draw for the OP), so two meals would not be out of the question. Then, I would drive to FL for the beaches.


            3. First things first: do you mean HWY 190 or HWY 90? Are you taking INterstate from Lake Charles to Lafayette? (HWY 90 would be the alternate and it is fun, if slow).

              9 Replies
              1. re: hazelhurst

                I knew a sharp-eyed responder would catch that! I did mean Hwy 90. We thought we would get off the Interstate so as to take in more of the local flavor. We don't mind that it may be slower...don't have to be in Metarie till 6pm or so. The fun part sounds great...we are not looking to wrestle any alligators, but if you have any suggestions for activities in that part of the country they would be welcome. Thank you!

                1. re: alaskal

                  Certainly--especially this time of year--I recommend running thru New Iberia and stopping by Shadows-on-the-Teche which is at its loveliest this time of year. The crisp light and shadows of low humidity days really play off the house beautifully. And the design of it is very interesting. The plae across the street, le Rosiere, used to be a favorite of mine but last I heard it quit selling to The Public when the Woods family bailed out. There' a Little River place I have head good things about but I have not have a chance to get down ther in about a year so someone else will have to suggest vittles around there.

                  I agree with HC on the Scott/Duson exit on I-10..lotsa good stuff around there. It would be a VERY long day--and I bet you'd not make Metairie by 6:00PM.but you might want to go Lafayette to Abbeville (Dupuys is good there), then HWY 14 to New Iberia and so on across from there.

                  1. re: hazelhurst

                    Looks like we will be spending another day in the area! Was undecided about New Iberia but not any more. Thank you for the routing tip.

                    1. re: alaskal

                      I wouldn’t waste one day in Lake Charles, New Iberia, Gulfport or any other diversion at the expense of a day in New Orleans. You didn’t wait 66 years to see Metairie. Cut out all that extraneous activity and hightail it over to the Big Easy. There’s plenty to do and see here that will require more than just two nights (25th and 26th) if I read your original post correctly.

                      1. re: shanefink

                        I can see stopping at Avery Island if you're driving in along US 90, but I'm generally agreeing with you: if NOLA is the focus, forget the hinterlands.

                        Driving from Lafayette to NOLA on US 90 isn't especially quick, as the overalll route is a bit longer and significant portions are full of traffic lights & local on/off traffic. On the other hand, you will get to drive a long, elevated stretch between Morgan City and Houma skimming along the cypress treetops; I have seen bald eagles many times along this roadway.

                        Closer to NOLA on US 90, you can stop for a meal at Spahr's Catfish (wild caught, not pond raised) or if you arrive later in the day, you can stop at Mosca's for dinner:

                  2. re: alaskal

                    HWY 90 can be a great trip, with small burgs with great food. OTOH, HWY 190 has some charm too. Plenty of good, local spots on each, but a different experience.

                    Most of all, enjoy your travels.


                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                      We'll be travelling NO-Lafayette along the 90. What're your thoughts on the Old Spanish Trail (182) as opposed to sticking to the 90 proper.
                      I realize they join at some points, but I'm wondering more between Franklin and Lafayette.
                      I assume the 90 was built for speed, whereas the older 182 will join the main streets of Baldwin, Jeanerette, New Iberia, etc.

                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                        Hunt, I will hit that shit up.

                        Thanks man. You are a great resource of anything and everything La. centric.

                    2. re: hazelhurst

                      If you are going down Hwy 90 then perfect. RM's Boiling Point is a must stop for lunch. It is just south of Lafayette, right before you get to New Iberia it is right off the highway.

                      The locals take me here for crawfish and head on shrimp. Unbelievably fresh...definitely not fancy and touristy place. It is the place the locals know about.


                    3. The Tabasco factory is about 30 min. south of Lafayette. I enjoyed the Gardens & wildlife there more than the factory tour.

                      Get lunch or snack supplies and something to drink at Martin Wine in Metarie. Dorignac's Food Ctr. is also a good place to gather provisions.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: AreBe

                        Thank you AreBe...Garden and Wildlife tour is right up our alley...and I always keep a bottle of Tobasco in the fridge. Very good to know about Dorignac's Food Ctr, was wondering how far I'd have to go.

                        1. re: alaskal

                          No need to trek out to Dorignac's in Metairie unless you're staying nearby---Metairie is a sprawling suburban area, and you may be miles from said store. There is a nice Rouse's supermarket in the central business district on Baronne St; it is easily accessible if you are visiting the French Quarter or downtown areas.

                        2. re: AreBe

                          Can you have lunch at the Tabasco factory on Avery Island ?


                          Is Nook Bonin's boudin still around ????

                          1. re: kevin

                            Nope, no lunch, but according to the website "The TABASCO Country Store® offers a wide array of TABASCO® Sauces, condiments, collectibles, gift boxes and gourmet foods."

                            I remember lots of samples, lots of sauces not sold by my grocer and a few packaged foods.

                            1. re: kevin

                              There is no lunch but down the road on that side of New Iberia is Bon Creole which is a very good po-boy and plate lunch spot.

                              While the food isn't all that great I do like Victor's for the atmosphere and decent beans and greens in the cafeteria line. and you can pretend Dave Robichaux walked in.

                              1. re: collardman

                                Good option. We have dined at Bon Creole several times, and the food has been great.


                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                  Bon Creole is now on the list, thanks to you and Collardman; Mr Hunt.
                                  We are going to pass on the beach as there is just too much else to do with our limited time.
                                  Thanks to all for your invaluable advice!

                          2. In Lake charles, Pat's of Henderson is good. Has a large lunch menu (drink included) that has extensive mix of cajun and creole style dishes.
                            You'll need to check via phone for some of the places to visit around New Orleans. SOme are still closed/remodeling since Katrina or Gustav or Ivan, etc.