The meat pie created by the late James Lasyone is a vividly seasoned mélange of pork and beef enclosed in a half-circle pastry crust. It is deep fried until the crust is golden crisp and the moist, seasoned meat inside is steaming hot. Most people get one for lunch, sided by “dirty rice” and a typical southern vegetable such as okra or greens, but it’s not uncommon to see someone having a meat pie at 7am alongside a couple of fried eggs and a pile of warm grits, glistening with melted butter.
Lasyone’s true Louisiana menu also lists fried seafood (shrimp, oysters), red beans and rice with powerhouse sausage, and such non-Creole Dixie classics as catfish platters and chicken and dumplings with cornbread and black-eyed peas. We have eaten first-rate banana pudding for dessert, but the sweet tour de force here is a dish invented by Mrs. Lasyone called Cane River cream pie -- a variant of Boston cream pie, but with gingerbread instead of white cake.
"Even though a cup of gravy comes with your meat pie, the pork/beef mixture is moist enough that the gravy is unnecessary. That is dirty rice on the side."
"Named after the local Cane River, this dessert alone is worth a detour to Natchitoches."
"Lasyone's has been a Roadfood standard-bearer since long before the original edition of our book was published. This photo, featuring a papier-mache meat pie hanging in the window, was taken when we first drove through Louisiana in the early 1970s."
"Natchitoches is famous for their annual Festival of Lights. Lasyone's also decorates for the season."
"The streets of Natchitoches are rich with history. Lasyone's is a vintage eatery that fits right in."