Sunday, July 24, 2011


jer(does not include New Orleans)

African American Heritage Trail – or; starts in New Orleans, then Vacherie, Wallace, Donaldsonville, Hammond, Baton Rouge, Jackson, St. Martinville, Lake Charles, Opelousas, Alexandria, Natchez, Derry, Melrose, Shreveport, Grambling, Monroe, Tallulah, Newellton & St. Francisville.
American Wetland Birding Trail – 365 Canal Place, Suite 1475 (New Orleans, America’s WETLAND Foundation); 504-293-2610 or 866-493-8526;; final leg of birding trails in states bordering Gulf of Mexico; links trails in Mississippi & Texas; consists of 4 distinct trails.

jer ●Hawk’s Restaurant – 415 Hawks Road; 337-788-3266;

Grapevine Café & Gallery – 211 Railroad Avenue; 225-473-8463;; Cajun and Creole cuisine served in 1920s restored building.

Shreveport (includes Haughton)
Sights & Sites
R.W. Norton Art Gallery – 4747 Creswell Avenue; 318-865-4201;; American & European paintings, sculptures & decorative arts spanning more than 400 years; open since 1966 & well-known for impressive works by American West artists, such as Frederic Remington & Charles M. Russell; in early 1930s, Richard W. Norton among Rodessa Oil Field (north Louisiana) discoverers; son & wife amassed significant fine art collection; Richard W. Norton, Jr. & mother created R. W. Norton Art Foundation, which established R. W. Norton Art Gallery; set within 40 landscaped acres, including azalea gardens & featuring more than 15K plants.
Touchstone Wildlife & Art Museum – 3386 Highway 80 East (Haughton); 318-949-2323;; taxidermy displays in realistic natural habitat scenes; more than 1K mounted animals from around world; also American Indian artifacts & various memorabilia from Civil War, WWI & WWII.

Baton Rouge
Acme Oyster House – 3535 Perkins Road; 225-906-2372;; raw oysters, chargrilled oysters, oyster shooters & other classic Louisiana food like gumbo.
Gilley’s Gallery – 8750 Florida Boulevard (at intersection of Airline Highway & Florida Boulevard); 225-922-9225;; amalgam of fine Louisiana prints, antique maps, botanicals & out-of-this-world outsider, folk & primitive art; includes works of Clementine Hunter, whom Shelby Gilley, gallery founder (died 2010), started promoting in 1970s; gallery now run by his son, Eric Gilley; 12 Hunter works off entrance & several other pieces upstairs; these are among artist’s latest works, made in her late 90s; combine her painterly vocabulary (trees, animals, flowers) with photographs of some of her admirers, as well as, in one case, newspaper clipping of “cotton crucifixion,” with black Christ on white cross with 2 crosses on either side.
Sights & Sites
Louisiana State Museum – 660 North 4th Street; 225-342-5428;; yes, there’s probably more than you’d want to know about Mardi Gras here, but rest of museum, including 2nd-floor area devoted to Clementine Hunter, rocks.
LSU Museum of Art – 100 Lafayette Street (downtown, in Shaw Center for Arts; 225-389-7200;; diverse art collection, changing exhibitions, education programs & special events; originally intended to illustrate British & continental influences on early American art & culture in South.
Rural Life Museum – 4560 Essen Lane; 225-765-2437;; dedicated to back end of plantation life, with reconstructed slave cabins, antiquated farm equipment, flatboats & plantation bells; 5 Clementine Hunter originals.

Bars & Nightclubs
Teddy’s Juke Joint – 17001 Old Scenic Highway; 225-658-8029;; cover on weekends.

New Iberia
Brenda’s Diner – 409 West Pershing Street; 337-367-0868; fried chicken and pork chops.

Mosca’s Restaurant – 4137 US Highway 90 West; 504-436-9942;; worth special trip; formerly, Willswood Tavern, owned by Carlos Marcello; 1-of-kind roadhouse with film noir atmosphere; rough gravel parking lot; Creole-Italian; try oysters Mosca, chicken a la Grande; heavy garlic usage.

Kim Anh Noodle House – 6624 Jefferson Highway; 504-739-9995; city’s best pho, made here with either beef or pork broth; restaurant history tragic and inspiring; in 1995, 2 members Vu family gunned down at their New Orleans East restaurant by rogue policewoman, Antoinette Frank; they later reopened in old neighborhood, only to be destroyed by Hurricane Katrina (including looters stealing jewelry murdered Vu members had worn; Vus persevered, moving restaurant to Harahan; minuscule restaurant, with just 12 tables.

Bozo’s Restaurant – 3117 21st Street; 504-831-8666;; between airport and city; worth special trip; simple, bare-bones tavern is seafood bonanza; try redfish, trout, barbecued shrimp; gumbo, and/or fried oyster poorboy.

Don’s Specialty Meats – 104 Highway 1252; 337-896-6370 or 800-896-6370;; pork superstore.

Lafayette (includes Arnaudville & Opelousas)
Bars & Nightclubs
Blue Moon Saloon – 215 East Convent Street; 337-234-2422 or 877-766-2583;
Jolie’s Louisiana Bistro – 507 West Pinhook Road; 337-504-2382;
Pamplona Tapas Bar – 631 Jefferson Street; 337-232-0070;; artisanal bitters.
Tom’s Fiddle & Bow – 204 Fuselier Street (Arnaudville); 337-754-5528;; live music on 1st Sundays on porch overlooking Bayou Fuselier.
Blue Moon Saloon – 215 East Convent Street; 337-234-2422 or 877-766-2583;
Buchanan Lofts – 403 Buchanan Street; 337-534-4932;
Cochon – 921 Camellia Boulevard; 337-993-9935;; branch of wildly successful New Orleans restaurant.
Don’s Specialty Meats – 730 I-10 South Frontage Road; 337-234-2528;; known for excellent boudin and open for lunch, including Saturday-only barbecued pork chop sandwich.
Duo’s Cajun Corner – 840 Highway 167 (Opelousas); 337-628-0123; excellent boudin and hamburgers.
French Press – 214 East Vermilion Street; 337-233-9449;; best brunch, Louisiana style, around.
Jolie’s Louisiana Bistro – 507 West Pinhook Road; 337-504-2382;; try deep-fried speckled trout with rouille.
Original Don’s Downtown – 301 East Vermillion Street; 337-235-3551;; fry-heavy, seafood restaurant; try crawfish bisque.
Pamplona Tapas Bar – 631 Jefferson Street; 337-232-0070;; tapas.
Prejean’s Restaurant – 3480 Northeast Evangeline Throughway; 337-896-3247;; local fare bastion with live Cajun music every night and 14' taxidermically-stuffed alligator over kitchen.
T-Coon’s – 1900 West Pinhook Road; 337-233-0422;; on Mondays, offers rabbit smothered in pepper gravy.
Tsunami Sushi – 412 Jefferson Street; 337-234-3474;
Duo’s Cajun Corner – 840 Highway 167 (Opelousas); 337-628-0123; excellent smoked rabbit.
Earl’s Food Center – 510 Verot Street; 337-237-5501; boudin connoisseur’s favorite store.

Don’s Specialty Meats – 730 I-10, South Frontage Road; 337-234-2528 or 866-793-3667;; pork superstore.

Natchez (includes Frogmore)
Sights & Sites
Frogmore Cotton Plantation & Gins – 11054 US Highway 84 (Frogmore); 318-757-2453 or 318-757-3333;; working cotton plantation open to public.
Melrose Plantation Farm – 3524 Highway 119; 318-379-0171;; authentic antebellum town estate (1845), complete with slave quarters and other “dependencies,” including kitchen, privies, and stables; guided tour informs about slave owners and enslaved alike, including slaves’ individualized bell-summoning system and tragedies linked to then-innovative lead-lined cistern system.
Rosalie Gardens & Mansion – 100 Orleans Street; 601-445-4555;; National Historic Landmark; pre-Civil War mansion significant for its influence on architecture in wide area; during American Civil War, served as Union headquarters for Natchez area from July 1863 on; built for wealthy cotton broker in 1823 on bluff overlooking Mississippi River, on site of Natchez Indians’ massacre of French in 1729 at Fort Rosalie; owned, operated, and maintained by Mississippi DAR.

Natchitoches (includes Cloutierville & Melrose)
Creole Rose Estates Bed & Breakfast – 3798 Highway 119; 318-357-0384;; otherwise ordinary, mid-century home on Cane River with beautiful decking.
Sweet Cane Inn – 926 Washington Street; 225-226-8820;; 7 rooms decorated in variations of Old South; full breakfast.
Mama’s Oyster House – 608 Front Street; 318-356-7874;
Mariner’s – 5948 Highway 1 Bypass; 318-357-1220;; deck seating by water; seafood & steak.
Merci Beaucoup – 127 Church Street; 318-352-6634;; American-Cajun menu; order Bread Pudding for dessert.
Papa’s Bar & Grill – 604 Front Street; 318-356-5850;; for world-class turkey sandwich.
Kaffie-Frederick General Mercantile Store – 758 Front Street; 318-352-2525;; general store that dates back to 1863.
Sights & Sites
Bayou Pierre Alligator Park – 380 Old Bayou Pierre Road; 318-354-0001 or 877-354-7001;
Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historic Site – 155 Jefferson Street; 318-357-3101;; original French fort settlement replica, based on 1716 blueprints by Sieur Charles Claude Dutisné; was outpost to counter Spanish from advancing into French territory but soon became economically significant center, particularly with neighboring Caddo tribes; abandoned after 1764.
Little Eva Plantation (aka Hidden Hill Plantation) – 439 Little Eva Road (Cloutierville); 318- 379-0272 or 800-572-5925;; in 1950s Hidden Hill Plantation & surrounding properties purchased by 2 Texas businessmen, Sterling C. Evans (namesake of Texas A&M University Sterling C. Evans Library) & Gus Wortham; researching property, they learned that “Hidden Hill” was real-life inspiration for Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin; Evans thus renamed plantation “Little Eva”; birthplace of Clementine Hunter, Louisiana’s most famous female artist.
Melrose Plantation (aka Yucca Plantation) – 3533 Louisiana Highway 119 (Melrose); 318-379-0055;; National Historic Landmark; among largest US plantations built by & for free blacks; land granted to Louis Metoyer, who built “Big House” in 1832-33; he was son of Marie Therese Coincoin, former slave who became wealthy area businesswoman, and Claude Thomas Pierre Métoyer; house completed after Louis’ death by his son, Jean Baptiste Louis Metoyer; Metoyers were free people of color for 4 generations before Civil War; guided tours; on Louisiana African American Heritage Trail.
Natchitoches Parish Library – 450 Snd Street; 318-357-3280;
Prudhomme-Rouquier House – 446 Jefferson Street; 318-352-6723;; among most architecturally significant buildings in Natchitoches Historic District; constructed between 1790-1811; predates most other surviving buildings downtown; exterior remodeled in 1825 to resemble Federal-Greek Revival style (originally French Creole building); built in traditional French Creole method of erecting cypress beams & filling in spaces with bousillage (mud, Spanish moss & deer hair mixture); however, Prudhomme-Rouquier house is unique in that it is 2-story home completely done in this construction method; other 2-story Creole homes usually began as 1-story homes, elevated on brick piers or walls; Prudhomme-Rouquier house is only known example of true 2-story bousillage building in nation; Jean Baptiste Prudhomme, royal surgeon educated in France, originally acquired land from Spanish government; land then given to Francois Rouquier as dowry when married Prudhomme’s daughter, Marie Louise, in 1778; after Rouquier’s death (1811), house passed through several families’ ownership; purchased by Service League of Natchitoches in 1976.

Joe’s Dreyfus Store Restaurant – 2731 Maringouin Road West; 225-637-2625;; Cajun excellence; try crab- and shrimp-stuffed eggplant, etouffee, fried chicken, and/or bread-pudding.

Chalmette (includes Marrero)
Sights & Sites
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park – 6588 Barataria Boulevard (Marrero); 504-689-3690;; cellphone tour (504-613-4060).

Oak Alley Plantation – 3645 Louisiana Highway 18; 225-265-2151;; historic plantation located on Mississippi River; National Historic Landmark; overnight cottages are reasonably priced.
Oak Alley Plantation – 3645 Louisiana Highway 18; 225-265-2151;; historic plantation located on Mississippi River; National Historic Landmark.
Sights & Sites
Oak Alley Plantation – 3645 Louisiana Highway 18; 225-265-2151;; historic plantation located on Mississippi River; National Historic Landmark; named after distinguishing feature, alley or canopied path created by double live oaks row about 800' long that was planted in early 18th Century.

Johnson’s Boucaniere – 1111 Saint John Street; 337-269-8878;; specialty meats store, using recipes from world-famous Johnson’s Grocery (also previously located in Eunice); smoked sausage, tasso, BBQ sauce, and beef jerky.
Johnson’s Boucaniere – 1111 Saint John Street; 337-269-8878;; take-out or outdoor dining restaurant, using recipes from world-famous Johnson’s Grocery (also previously located in Eunice); smoked sausage, tasso, BBQ sauce, and beef jerky.

Bars & Nightclubs
Offshore Lounge – 322 Perry Drive; 337-351-2404 (Roy’s cell);; also known as “Roy’s Club.”

Port Barre
Bourque’s Supermarket – 581 Saizin Street; 337-585-6261;; famous for its jalapeño-sausage cheesebread.

Ville Platte
T-Boy’s Slaughterhouse – 2228 Pine Point Road; 337-468-3333;; famous for boudin and cracklins.

Breaux Bridge
Bayou Cabins – 100 West Mills Road; 337-332-6158;; rent cabins along bayou.
Boudin Bayou & Cracklin – 100 West Mills Road; 337-332-6158;é; seafood boudin; 100 year-old house.
Café des Amis – 140 East Bridge Street; 337-332-5273;; “zydeco breakfast” on Saturdays is institution; Cajun cooking in general (lunch & supper); make sure to try gateau de sirop for dessert.
Poche’s Market & Restaurant – 3015 Main Highway #A; 337-332-2108;; try pork backbone stew on rice.
Bayou Cabins – 100 West Mills Road; 337-332-6158;; swamp tours.
Champagne’s Breaux Bridge Bakery – 105 South Poydras Street; 337-332-1117;; spicy ground-beef pies and elegant French bread.
Charlie T’s Specialty Meats – 530 Berard Street; 337-332-2426; for boudin (try boudin ball) and cracklins.

Robin’s Restaurant – 1409 Henderson Highway; 337-228-7594;; crawdads and pepper; Tabasco ice cream for dessert.

Akers (a/k/a Manchac)
Middendorf’s Seafood Restaurant – 30160 US Highway 51 South; 985-386-6666;; worth special trip; unique, thin-fried catfish.

Roland’s Mini Mart – 101 Bourg Larose Highway; 985-594-9675; sells most amazing crayfish pies.

Sights & Sites
Chauvin Sculpture Garden – 5337 Bayouside Drive; 985-594-2546;; Kenny Hill’s concrete folk sculpture garden (over 100 works).

Schmoopy’s – 7244 Grand Caillou Road; 985-563-7809; onion rings have unusual corn flour batter that renders them crispy, well-seasoned, and yummy; fresh beef hamburgers with buns buttered and cooked on flat top, giving them slight fried flavor; great gumbo.

Big Mike’s BBQ Smoke House – 9301 East Park Avenue; 985-873-9515;; brisket, ribs, etc.
Big Mike’s BBQ Smoke House – 3034 Barrow Street; 985-876-4477;; brisket, ribs, etc.

Cajun Claws – 1928 Charity; 337-893-9437;
Shucks – 701 West Port Street; 337-898-3311;; seafood.

Sights & Sites
Lake Bistineau State Park – 103 State Park Road; 318-745-3503;; on Lake Bistineau western shore; beautiful vistas & outstanding recreational facilities; upland, mixed hardwood forest, open waters, and stands of cypress & tupelo trees; began in 1800 when several K acres of land were flooded due to gigantic log jam in Red River; gradually, however, as area dredged, lake began to drain; then in 1935, permanent dam built across Loggy Bayou, creating present-day lake; dam has since been enlarged, giving reservoir surface area of 26.9 square miles; 10 miles of woodland trails & 11-mile canoe trail.

Sights & Sites
Poverty Point – 6859 Highway 577; 318-926-5492 or 888-926-5492;; 800 years after Egyptians built Great Pyramids, and before Mayan pyramids; highly civilized Poverty Point inhabitants build complex array earthen mounds and ridges overlooking Mississippi River flood plain.

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