Greetings from Lafayette LA

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
PREMO Member
Patron
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So we went to the Lafayette visitor's center this morning to get some tips and we asked the lady if Lafayette had a cute historic downtown. She kind of paused and went, "Nooooooo...not really..."

That is a damned black tongue lie. Downtown Lafayette is super cute, with historic architecture and city art, tons of places to eat/drink/shop, and a ton of personality. Way better than we expected.

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Most of the restaurants have a courtyard for outdoor dining. I'm not sure why the visitor's center lady told such a terrible fib - downtown Lafayette is quite charming.


Scott LA, which is where our campground is, is the Boudin Capital of the World. You can't swing a cat without hitting a boudin place. It's Cajun food heaven here, so Monello will spend a happy week nomming out on the local delicacies. We went through here a few years ago on our way somewhere else because I recognized a couple of the boudin places right off the interstate.

A word about cracklin:

I thought it was just dense pork rinds - meh, who cares. No. It's pig skin chunks with meat attached, and fried crispy but still retains that fatty texture. You only want to eat a couple of them because they're so rich, but MAN are they good. I got a tiny bag of them at Billy's this afternoon and it will last us awhile.

Our campground is maybe a 3 on a scale of 1-5. Monello is catching fish in the onsite pond, so he'll rate it higher. It's clean and the site is big, but the bath houses are multis and merely okay - not the luxe accommodations we had in Kemah.
 
If you’re still in the area for a few days, and a Dukes of Hazard fan, look into John Schneider’s place in Holden. It’s on the way to Ponchatoula just off of I-12. Looks like he has an event on the 10th of April if you’re interested. (https://johnschneiderstudios.com/) A strange place he settled on after his Hollywood career ended. I learned he moved there a few years back and had some flooding trouble along with some alimony trouble to deal with. He seems to be one of those washed up actors that’s accessible and trying to survive off his fame but a down to earth person. Safe travels!
 

Monello

Yeah, whatever
PREMO Member
The ride over from Kemah, on I 10, was all jacked up. 2 lanes merged into 1 for some construction. It was slow moving for a while. They must have been moving some construction vehicles because a few times we didn't move for a few minutes. Then we'd crawl along a bit more before stopping again. My GPS time to beat increased an hour & 15. So what should have been a quick jaunt on the interstate became a stop and go ex. I think that is more tiring than just going all out for the same amount of time.

Vrai beat me to the campground by over an hour. Her waze app picked up the construction and headed her towards a faster detour. Anyway she called my and gave me a heads up about entering the campground. It's a roundabout. But the signage is confusing. Her tip was to look for the KOA sign then turn there.

So I get off the interstate. I see the enormous KOA sign. I get the yield sign that takes me to a small bit of road before the rotary. I have to take a right on a fairly busy road. My instructions are to go to the roundabout and look for the KOA sign. Now when I was watching the traffic, I could see the first right turn would have taken me into the campground. What wasn't evident was that it was a 1 way road. That is how people leave the campground. I may have been tempted to make the hard right turn since it did lead to the campground.

Anyway just driving a car through there is stressful enough. To make matters worse, Billy's boudin & crackling shares the road with the KOA. That place is jammed packed with people getting their crackling fix. More on that later. Yesterday while when we were coming back to the campground after visiting Lafayette, we watched an 18 wheeler zoom right into Billy's parking lot. He was going a lot faster than what was prudent. I guess he needed a boudin really badly.

Back in 2017, we stopped in Scott, LA when we were car tripping. We stopped at Don's & Billy's to sample the boudin. Vrai made the campground reservation, not realizing that we had actually stopped very close by before. We have been to so many places, that they run all together. So if you asked me last week if I had ever been to Scott, LA I would have said no. But I would have unknowingly been lying. Which leads me to the next point.

Cracklings. Now I know why the highly addictive modified cocaine substance is called crack. And it's no coincidence that you can't spell cracklings without crack. Those seasoned pieces of meat and skin are highly addictive. We can buy them at the place right next door to the campground. Man are they ever tasty. Plus they have a great consistency. They aren't like the dried pork rinds they sell in bags at the convenience store. These are meaty bits fried up crunchy with just the right balance of meat, fat and skin.

The other food oddity here is boudin. They are quite popular. Billy's has 2 hot bars billed with all sorts of boudin, boudin balls and assorted cracklings. They do a brisk business. People go in there and they stock up. It's not uncommon for people to leave there with several bags bursting with goodies. Scott, LA bills itself as the boudin capitol of the US.

This region is quite cajun centric as far as food is concerned. Boiled crawfish signs are all over the place. Gumbo, etouffee, jambalaya round out the bayou trinity of dishes. While we'll see these offered at some restaurants outside of this area, you almost never see the boudins offered elsewhere.

So we will get our fill of cajun food while we are here. Then it's off to Biloxi, Pensacola then Panama City Beach. At some point we'll turn around and head back to South Padre Island. Not sure of our route nor stops for that journey. I trust Elon Musk won't blow up SPI, or as they refer to it as a rapid, unscheduled disassembly. Who ever coined that phrase needs to get a raise.

I've been fishing hard since I got here. Just 2 fish to show for my efforts. The pond here is 30 feet deep according to the people in the office. It was a gravel pit for when they were building I10 decades ago. I see quite a few bass swimming around. Now to find the lure that will entice them to bite. Most of the campgrounds that have fishing ponds are catch & release. Here some people eat what they catch. I'd rather let them go so someone else can catch them again.

Our time here will fly by. It's our first stop outside of Texas since September of last year. Seeing how the days are getting longer & the temps are getting warmer, it's time for y'all to plan your next get away. Maybe we will see you down the road.
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
PREMO Member
Patron
So in addition to gumbo and etoufee and boudin and meat pies and crawfish, Cajuns have a secret unsung culinary hero: tasso.

Tasso is a super salty peppery smoked ham butt, and you use it to season pretty much anything you cook. It lends a deep flavor to otherwise boring dishes like rice, grits, and eggs.

I bought a chunk at Billy's and will be throwing it in everything I make while we're here, until I'm sick of it and won't miss it when we leave for Biloxi.
 

Louise

Well-Known Member
PREMO Member
Lafayette is part of my old stomping grounds. Enjoy the unique culture of it all. Biloxi is where I went with my besties after HS grad. Safe travels.
 

black dog

Free America
Saw her alot over that way back in the day.
I was a huge psyc deli, cellar door, bayou, Cap Center and the old 9:30 club and other venues. My first wife dragged me somewhere almost every weekend. My younger sister is 10 years under me, she was a fan of The Twist snd Shout.
The wash area is a great place for endless good music.
 

phreddyp

Well-Known Member
PREMO Member
She wrote that song about The Twist & Shout that was every friday night at The Legion hall on Auburn ave in Bethesda. It and Psyc Deli were great music venues long ago.
Root boy slim and the Ruddets good time for all , I used to hang out with the manager of the Psyc Deli he was a next door neighbor.
 

black dog

Free America
Wow....blast of the past... Nighthawks, Stevie Ray, Lofgrin, the Cramps.... Somewhere I have a psyc tee shirt and Root Boys name is one of the bands on it.
My kid might have liberated it....
Where did you growup at? I did on Lone Oak on the Wildwood side, I went to Grovenor elem, NBJH and Walter Johnson.
 

phreddyp

Well-Known Member
PREMO Member
Wow....blast of the past... Nighthawks, Stevie Ray, Lofgrin, the Cramps.... Somewhere I have a psyc tee shirt and Root Boys name is one of the bands on it.
My kid might have liberated it....
Where did you growup at? I did on Lone Oak on the Wildwood side, I went to Grovenor elem, NBJH and Walter Johnson.
Grew up in Takoma Park worked at a tropical fish store on Norfolk ave in Bethesda . Went to Northwestern H.S. Adelphi , MD. Don't remember how many times I've seen the Nighthawks in the hundreds I'm sure .
 

Monello

Yeah, whatever
PREMO Member
Lafayette is part of my old stomping grounds. Enjoy the unique culture of it all. Biloxi is where I went with my besties after HS grad. Safe travels.
Is that where you went to college? I see they have a campus there. I wonder how much Lafayette has changed over the decades. Parts of Scott look economically depressed. But Uncle T's restaurant was packed on a Monday night, so business of obviously good. Billy's always has a line at the counter. They are only doing take out. Both times there I had to wait in line a while. The people buying are getting a bunch of things to eat, not just picking up 1 or 2 items to eat right away.
 

Monello

Yeah, whatever
PREMO Member
Don't remember how many times I've seen the Nighthawks in the hundreds I'm sure .
I worked with a guy who said at 1 time he was the manager for the Nighthawks. At the time I was stationed at Andrews. I had never heard of the Nighthawks. He was trying to convince me that they were a big deal. In my way of thinking a big deal band would be played on the radio at some point. Clearly they are a band with a large regional following.
 
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