The Nurse was keen on a weekend south Louisiana run to see the Plantation houses and other sights and I acquiesced if I could eat my way across Acadia. We started in New Iberia at the River Inn on Friday night and I have reached an age and girth when my travel photos have started to look like this:
Shrimp Remoulade....first time I ever had pickled watermelon rind for an appetizer....picked up a jar the next day.
Catfish and Shrimp Pirogue. A slab of grilled eggplant with a half dozen grilled shrimp loaded on it with a grilled catfish filet piled on top with the whole lot covered with a cream sauce swimming with baby shrimp.
Saturday morning we did breakfast at Victor’s Cafeteria in New Iberia. Breakfast was great but not particularly photo worthy. The neck banded Specks and Snows by the front cashier were another matter though:
There was one interesting encounter over breakfast. Because of a back story I’m not going to get into I was wearing a brand new “U of F” tee with a gator on it and I was approached immediately by a Cajun gentleman at the coffee pot that politely inquired if my intention was to be murdered over breakfast. I assured him it wasn’t and that all my Georgia Bulldog shirts had holes in them and wouldn’t pass the Nurse’s inspection. I told him that when I put the shirt on in the morning I recalled a couple of years prior when Florida played LSU in Baton Rouge and after the Gators scored early the Tiger fans chanted the extended opposite version of “U F Tebow!” so loud that even with broadcast technology being what it is you could still hear it on the national broadcast. The gentleman recalled that also and conceded that while the shirt at least represented the SEC he could not be certain that that fact would prevent a Saturday morning killing on the streets of New Iberia. Before breakfast was over another elderly gentleman commented on the shirt and I still had not completely plumbed the depths of Bayou Bengal vitriol until later in the afternoon when the quaint old Cajun man that takes your dollar to let you pass on to Avery Island to see the Tabasco plant peered in the truck and commented, “You know Arkansas is kicking your ass! “ (in baseball) “Don’t you?”
That evening we ended up at Prejeans in Lafayette. Gold standard. I’m developing a theory that the quality of Cajun cuisine in an establishment is directly proportional to the size of the stuffed/tanned alligator in the dining area. I want to say Prejeans claims theirs is a 14 footer. Note the 200 lb gar hanging on the wall behind it:
Shrimp gumbo that is peerless and was one of the most intense physical experiences I’ve had in some time….also crawfish and rice boudin balls.
Blackened catfish with crawfish etouffee and white rice and corn choux (stewed corn):
Sunday we headed back across the south. I was surprised to see nothing but sugarcane through Abbeville but from Kaplan on there was nothing but rice through Gueydan, Klondike, and Lake Arthur. That country reminds me quite a bit of Collegeport and Mad Island. One last stop at Walker’s Cajun
Restaurant at Jennings on the return trip for Po Boys (shrimp & oyster) :
Pretty darn good as the gator hide by the pie cabinet reflects:
If I lived in southern Louisiana I would weigh 400 lbs. That’s all there is to it.
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