Trip to Louisiana/2009 NOLA Roadfood Festival

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joerogo
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/14 15:53:48 (permalink)
buffetbuster

No, I hadn't really noticed the french fries po boy, but my group got a kick out of the lettuce & tomato one.  I ould have to be eating in Louisiana a very long time before I settled for one of those.


 
Now why would someone from Pittsburgh notice french fries on a sandwich?


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rouxdog
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/14 16:02:53 (permalink)
Annie, When in the mood I crank up the kitchen Aid and make a pretty mean Boudin, at least I, and friends, think so. I then slow smoke in our Bradley at about 225 degrees for a spell. Smoke but don't dry out! Refrig. overnight. Last step, slice into about 3/4 inch sections, then in a skillet, with a little oil, quickly saute til lightly brown and serve. When my roughneck buddies and I do a weekend at the Picacho ranch, I've been tempted to prep as above, remove the casing and scramble up with a bunch of eggs. Served with biscuits, gravy, preserves, butter and coffee. Seems we'll be ready for a big day!
#32
Buffalo Tarheel
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/14 16:19:52 (permalink)
Buffetbuster,
 
Thanks for the recommendation for Shreveport.  Strawn's sounds like a winner and ought to be a good stop on the trip.
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rouxdog
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/14 16:44:43 (permalink)
Your route plan is perfect for a Zozo get-together!!!!!!!!! I have a few suggestions for Roswell, great town! You and Cousin are welcome to spend the night with us. Of course that depends on your plans. Please know you are welcome!
I attempted to e-mail you more detailed info, I failed to be able to "send". Incompetency!!!!!! E-mail me, please.
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ann peeples
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/14 16:49:23 (permalink)
Dean, I bet you do make a mean boudin! I have got to get out to your neck of the woods an let you cook for me!Or at least share your filling recipe....
#35
jbs780
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/14 17:08:56 (permalink)
rouxdog

Well 007 "was" a terrific cook demonstrator posting on the "recipe" page via video. Daughter, he referred to as camera girl, also had an ankle biting rat dog. The man could put together some good eatin! His cousin is John Folse a renowned Louisiana chef. 007 was kind enough to airlift terrific cajun food specialties to me. 007 is also known as Jeff Folse, owner of a heating and cooling operation in Baton Rouge. Hope this helps.
Ole Rouxdog
 
PS. Whether right or wrong, welcome!


I have met Chef John.  Good Fella.  Better cook.  Had him as a guest on my radio show once...his subject was THE HISTORY OF TAILGATING...It was a sports talk show, covered LSU and such. 
 
I have not met Jeff.  He is no longer with us? 
 
And thanks for the welcome...glad to be here!  Enjoying the site.
post edited by jbs780 - 2009/04/14 17:09:58
#36
rouxdog
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/14 17:18:31 (permalink)
Annie, the door is always open here on the ranch for you. Oh, even though the door is always open, being sophisticated we do have a home security system, an accurate 12 round 9 mm and two ready clips. Good friends are always welcome and protected. We're a "safe house"!!!!!!!!!
We'll set up a New Mexico ranchers culinary feast or more eclectic fare. You name it!!!!!!!!!
What is your preferred ratio of ground up chicken parts, andouille,rice, herbs and spices etc., in boudin? 
post edited by rouxdog - 2009/04/14 17:21:11
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buffetbuster
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/15 13:22:07 (permalink)
Friday April 3, 2009 cont.
 
In the decade plus of reading Roadfood books, one of the restaurants that really jumped off the pages and made me want to visit was Robin's

in Henderson, Louisiana.  On this day, I finally got to eat there.
 
When we pulled up and there was only one other car in the parking lot, I was concerned.  Since I didn't call ahead, I figured they must not be open for lunch, which wouldn't be that big of a deal, as we were driving back through this area later in the day and could stop for dinner.  But the front door was open, so we walked into an empty dining room.  Where is everybody?  We got seated by a taciturn young lady who was also our waitress.
 
There was never any doubt that the four of us would be focusing in on crawfish for this meal.  And the menu makes that very easy.

First out of the kitchen were the salads.  All the dressings are made here and the honey mustard

on mine was excellent.  The main appetizer we shared was an order of the grilled andouille sausage.

The portion size was smaller than I hoped, but these sausages had a wonderful well-spiced, smoky flavor.  One in the group (Johnny, I think) also had a bowl of shrimp and okra gumbo.

 
Mariton did order her own meal this time, but didn't go too crazy and had a crawfish salad.

What a great little lunch that turned out to be.  Doug (the mudbug) went for the seafood platter.

I don't think I sampled anything off his plate, so that makes it hard for me to comment on it.  But I do know he was very pleased with his food.  As often happens, Johnny knew exactly what to order and went for the crawfish dinner,

which is crawfish in several different incarnations.  Everything on his plate was a winner, but the crawfish pie (the small round thing on the right) was nothing short of spectacular.  While tasting it, I was thinking about the lobster pie at The Maine Diner.
 
There was never any doubt that I would be going for the crawfish etouffee,

since this is one of my very favorite dishes.  Fresh crawfish in a luxurious sauce, this was the best version I have ever had the pleasure of eating.
 
We all saved room for dessert and desserts here are unusual.  Not only do they make their own ice creams, they have some unusual flavors.

Clockwise from top left, that is vanilla, coconut, tabasco and fig.  All of these were very creamy with a perfectly subtle flavor, with the vanilla being my personal choice.  I would gladly eat any of these again, even the tabasco and I'm not a fan of real hot foods.
 
In their review, the Sterns mention that owner Lionel Robin enjoys coming out and meeting customers.  There were several times in which I saw him poke his head out the kitchen door and I waved.  But he would just wave back and go back in to the kitchen.  So, I figured meeting Mr. Robin wasn't meant to be.  When we walked outside, there he was in the parking lot with his prize winning bird dog Maxx.  I struck up a conversation and we had a nice 15 minute talk with him.  What a nice man!  Here we are posed in front of the restaurant

and Johnny saying hello to Maxx.

 
As great as the food was (we all agreed that this was the best meal of the trip), I may have been most impressed by the autographed photo to Mr. Robin by nearby Breaux Bridge's own Ali Landry.

 
Robin's
1409 Henderson Highway
Henderson, LA
337-228-7594
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/04/16 15:31:03
#38
MiamiDon
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/15 13:33:33 (permalink)
That looks like another fine restaurant. 

The crawfish dinner looks great!  I am not sure what some of the peripheral items are

At the front, the dark brown thing.
At the left, the scoop of white stuff.  (butter?)
At the top, the brown sphere.  (a fritter?)
#39
buffetbuster
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/15 14:24:16 (permalink)
joerogo

buffetbuster

No, I hadn't really noticed the french fries po boy, but my group got a kick out of the lettuce & tomato one.  I ould have to be eating in Louisiana a very long time before I settled for one of those.


 
Now why would someone from Pittsburgh notice french fries on a sandwich?
Joe, I sure walked right into that one, didn't I?

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Nancypalooza
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/15 14:42:34 (permalink)
Don, if you go back to the menu listing for the crawfish dinner, one of those has to be the boulette and one has to be the crawfish stuffed bell pepper, I think.  I don't see anything that looks like bell pepper though.
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/15 15:33:43 (permalink)
Friday April 3, 2009 cont.
 
The drive from Henderson over to Breaux Bridge is short, but thanks to the GPS, we headed miles in the wrong direction.  Finally, we got headed in the right way and found Champagne's Breaux Bridge Bakery

Since 1889!  And those signs look like they have been here most of that time. 
 
The first thing that caught my eye was the Gingerbread Stageplanks. 

I have never heard of a stageplank before, but these were soft with a heavy molasses flavor.  I didn't find out later that this is a common cookie found in this part of Louisiana.  Not a large selection of bakery items here, but everything did look good.  I went with a dozen cookies,

including peanut butter, oatmeal, sugar and those interesting looking chocolate crinkles.
 
Mariton was next and bought one bright red coconut ball, to see if she liked it.  I was skeptical that she would, since with her spending so much of her life in the Philippines, she is used to fresh coconut.  But she loved it and ended up buying a dozen more.

Johnny stepped up next and got more cookies and a single light, flaky cream puff.

Doug finished it up with even more cookies and a two bite chocolate eclair.

 
They did have the bread sitting out that the Sterns raved about in the review. 

But as you can see, we were mostly interested in the sweets.  The woman who waited on us,

(here seen with Doug), was one of those world weary/seen everything types and was at least mildly amused with our wisecracking.  We had fun with her.
 
Champagne's Breaux Bridge Bakery
105 Poydras
Breaux Bridge, LA
337-332-1117
 
 
Needing a break from all the eating, we became food tourists and visited the Tabasco factory on Avery Island.  It costs $1.00 dollar to cross what they call a bridge, but if you didn't tell me it was a bridge, I might not have noticed.  The factory tour was free and only took a few moments.  And then they take you into a room and you watch a 10 minute movie.  Then you walk down a hallway and look through some glass windows into the factory and you are done.  I have to admit, I was expecting more.  But it was free, so.....
 
Over in the gift shop, they had a large assortment of goodies available to try. 

My favorites were the mayo and for the second time of the day, Tabasco ice cream.  That was fun, but I was especially intrigued by the Tabasco candies.

I think all of us bought a few small items, but none of us bought very much. 
 
While we were there, we drove through the bird sanctuary/wild life preserve, which we enjoyed very much.  Although the place has lots of beautiful scenery

and is home to many different species of wildlife and is best known as a rookery for egrets, we were most excited to see alligators.



I was more than a little nervous taking that last photo.  You can see in the background all of the egrets.
 
After spending several hours here, we were ready for dinner.
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/04/15 15:42:02
#42
CajunKing
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/15 15:52:07 (permalink)
You are making me cry BB!!!

Breaux Bridge, Avery Island... {{sniff sniff}}   HOME!!!!!!!!

:-)
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carolina bob
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/15 16:09:02 (permalink)
buffetbuster, I'm angry! I didn't get to see any alligators. Got to eat one, but I didn't see any. Great photos, BTW.
#44
ann peeples
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/15 16:44:08 (permalink)
Gosh BB-you are killing me with the continued, wonderful report...dean-you make whatever you please, and I will enjoy!I am a bit ill these days with switching meications for my diabetes-but want to travel so much!
#45
mar52
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/15 17:36:16 (permalink)
That crawfish plate!  If I could eat that every day I would.  If only.

*sniff*
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carolina bob
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/15 18:02:00 (permalink)
buffetbuster, as envious as I am that you got to see gators in the wild, I'm even more so that you got to eat at Robin's. It was one of the three roadfood restaurants that I planned to stop at on the way to NOLA, but, just as I got "travelin-manned" at Lasyone's and Boudin King, I also missed out on Robin's because of the late hour. BTW, I got travelin-manned on the way home too. This time it was the Brick Pit in Mobile; turns out that they're closed on Monday. Three times in one trip! Now I know how it feels to be Steve, and no, I don't mean because I was pursued by a bunch of pretty young waitresses ( like that's gonna happen to me. ) Oh well... if I drive down to Texas ( que! ) before heading east to Charleston SC for next February's Glee Club thingie, I'll have another shot at some of those places.  
#47
Louis
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/15 18:10:30 (permalink)
I've heard of a lot of different ice creams, but Tabasco ice cream is a new one on me.  I'm intrigued.  Can you describe what it tastes like?  Is it hot tasting?  Or does it just have a tabasco flavor to it?

#48
HDtravlr1
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/15 23:50:30 (permalink)
Thanks buffetbuster for the great trip report. I always enjoy your reports. Robin's is on my short list also.
 
This post educated me in more ways than new places to eat when you used the word "taciturn". I was not familar with that word. Googled it and found the Merriam-Webster definition

taciturn:  temperamentally disinclined to talk

I feel smarter thanks to you!
 
Johnny
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Nancypalooza
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/16 08:32:05 (permalink)
I love the bakery lady's face--she looks like she'd play along.  :)

And Clemson is a little bit prouder of you today Cliff. 
#50
joerogo
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/16 08:51:59 (permalink)
 buffetbuster, That is some great Roadfooding.  You can't get food like that anywhere else, especially Pennsylvania.
 
I see Doug D' Driver is also a Roadfood machine.  Great Guy!
 
 
#51
buffetbuster
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/16 08:55:38 (permalink)
Joe-
I think this was from the tv show King of the Hill, but I remember a line saying something like, "Nothing puts a man in the grave faster than a Louisiana diet".  Maybe I am better off living in PA, because if I lived down there, I probably would have been dead by forty!

Oh, and we have some quality shots of you coming up! 
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buffetbuster
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/16 14:32:57 (permalink)
Friday April 3, 2009 cont.
 
Neither Johnny, Doug or I care for oysters, but Mariton loves them.  So the guys were understanding about my desire to stop at a restaurant that specializes in oysters.  It was a short drive from Avery Island to the small town of Abbeville.  My first preference would have been Black's Oyster Bar,

but I remember reading here in the forums that they had closed.  When we got into town, we found Black's and even though it still looked good from the outside, all the lights were off at 6:00PM on a Friday night.  There was no sign on the door or windows saying they were out of business or on vacation and you could still see condiments on the tables.  Very odd!
 
Instead, we went across the street to Dupuy's Oyster Shop

Although we walked in and got seated right away, within 15 minutes, there was a line out the door, so we were lucky we got here when we did.  Dating back to 1869, Dupuy's has a large menu of seafood available.  But the menu bragged up the onion rings,

so I started with an order of those and I am so glad I did.  They had a heavier breading that I typically prefer, but they were well seasoned and had a great crunch.  Fantastic!  Johnny got a fried alligator appetizer. 

Even though they used the same breading as in the onion rings, we were mildly disappointed in that you really couldn't taste the alligator meat.
 
There was never any doubt that Mariton was going to order the fresh raw oysters. 

With a dab of the horseradish on the side and a dash of hot sauce, she was a happy girl.  I wasn't paying as much attention as I should, because even with the photo,

I don't remember what it was that Johnny ate.  The item on the left has to be fried oysters, but the other two things are a mystery.  What is that in the middle?  Next time I talk to him, I will ask and report back.  Being a shrimp lover, I got a sampler platter

of fried shrimp, grilled shrimp and two huge stuffed shrimp.  This was a fine meal!
 
Before we left, I asked the waitress what happened to Black's.  She told me that has seen them open once in a while, but no set schedule that she knows of.   Once again, very odd! 
 
Dupuy's Oyster Shop
108 S. Main Street
Abbeville, LA
337-893-2336
 
At this point, we were getting pretty full.  But when I suggested we stop for ice cream in Lafayette on the way back to New Orleans, nobody put up too much of a fuss.  So we found Borden's, which is housed in a great looking old building. 

If you look at the wall facing the street on the left, you can see one of the Elsie the Cow logos.  Or you could look right here.

 
Judging by the red finger nail polish,

this must have been Doug's scoop of rocky road ice cream.  (Just kidding buddy!)  Actually, here is his sundae right here,

which I can't remember the flavor.  Johnny and I went for shakes,

his banana nut on the left and my mint chocolate chip on the right.  Nice and thick, this was a great way to end a busy eating day.
 
Borden's
1103 Jefferson St.
Lafayette, LA
337-235-9291 
 
At this point, we were as full as could be.  It was a long two hour drive back to our hotel outside New Orleans.
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/04/16 14:48:54
#53
buffetbuster
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/16 15:14:57 (permalink)
nocarolina & HDtravelr1-
I had very high expectations of Robin's and it more than lived up to it.  I sincerely hope both of you get a chance to eat there.  And I don't want to give the impression that the waitress was rude or unfriendly.  She just spoke softly and used an economy of words.
 
Louis-
While the Tabasco ice cream did have a distint Tabasco flavor, it was by no means overly hot.  In fact, the taste was rather subtle and it really didn't hit you until the back end, if you know what I mean.

#54
ann peeples
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/16 15:22:42 (permalink)
BB-what fun this leg of the trip has been to read. Great food, and great to see Elsie the cow again!
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Nancypalooza
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/16 15:46:30 (permalink)
I know!  I remember Borden's ice cream bars and those plastic figure-8 shaped sticks they were made on, and then you could make napkin holders out of the sticks.  (I needed things to do as a child.)
 
You are a good man to get the Nibbler some oysters.  But it looks like the shrimp treated you right too.
#56
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/16 16:07:18 (permalink)
Nancypalooza
 
You are a good man to get the Nibbler some oysters. 
Considering this was her first trip to New Orleans and all she had seen so far was the car and restaurants, she was an amazingly good sport.  It was the least I could do.....

#57
andrew61083
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/16 16:57:18 (permalink)
buffetbuster
 
Judging by the red finger nail polish,

this must have been Doug's scoop of rocky road ice cream.  (Just kidding buddy!)  Actually, here is his sundae right here, 
 

 
 
 
 
I'll admit, you got a chuckle out of me there!

post edited by andrew61083 - 2009/04/16 16:58:30
#58
joerogo
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/16 17:43:55 (permalink)
buffetbuster, Let me just take a minute to thank you for the contributions you make to this site.  I know it's a very tedious and time consuming task.  But whenever I do a search, your trip reports are always there to help.
 
Right now you have me wanting to jump on a plane and go back to NOLA.  It was a great trip and a great time. 
 
I arrived on Saturday and went to Desire for lunch.  I was sitting in the window watching the festivities outside. (I just noticed You, Johnny and Doug in the picture, to the left)
 

That's Michael Stern at the podium talking about the worlds largest Po' Boy that was being assembled.
 

 
I didn't get to try the Po' Boy because I was having my way with a plate of these
 

 
You just can't get oysters like this anywhere else.  And what's a trip to NOLA without turtle soup laced with sherry.
 

 
This was a very good soup.  A little shy on the turtle meat, but very tasty.
 
Without a doubt, the best part of the trip was all the people I got to meet.  Sundancer7(Paul), Iwannago, Mariton, Doug(I thought he had orange nail polish), Bruce, Sue, Chris, Amy and I apologize if I missed anyone.
 
We had a good time walking, talking and eating at the festival.
 

 
My favorite pic is Paul trying to give away his duck cracklin's.
 
 

Not many takers for that one.
 
The meat pies were very good.  That's Johnny in the blue shirt walking away with a pie. 
 
  
And that's Johnny standing in line for a Snowball.  Personally, I wouldn't eat anything that would remind me of the weather back home.
 

 
A nice pic of Mariton and Iwannago.
 

 
A well deserved break.
 

 
One thing about NOLA, where ever you go you will find live music.  The street musicians are excellent.
 

 
  
post edited by joerogo - 2009/04/16 20:28:21
#59
Nancypalooza
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Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/16 18:17:52 (permalink)
Joe, that is a pretty awesome picture of Paul.  Very show don't tell.  :)
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