5 Great Foods Everyone In Acadiana Should Try At Least Once
In 1995 the Good Lord finally moved my spirit to move to South Louisiana. I grew up in Mississippi and I guess the Almighty figured I had done my time in hell so he moved me and the family here. It has been my pleasure to wake you up for almost 18 years on the radio. It has also been my pleasure to explore the very simple pleasures of a place that I am proud to call home. Although I can't officially call myself Cajun, I am grateful that you and so many other real Cajuns have allowed me to slip into the club as an honorary member.
One of the things I love about life along and south of I-10 is the great homage that is paid to what some would call very simple things. As I started my discussions around the radio station to decide what items I would include in this little narrative, it dawned on me that I'm not the only one who has missed out by waiting so long to experience these great foods. Here are my suggestions, I would be honored if you'd like to add your suggestions to the list via the comment button.
The very first time I visited the city of Crowley, Rice City Liquors was pointed out to me. I figured it was because I was an alcoholic and my host felt the need to show me where the refills were.They have since changed the name of the place to Rice City Kitchen. I don't think they were ever known for booze, their claim to fame was chicken salad and tamales.
The creamy goodness of the chicken salad is like spreading a little bit of heaven on bread. The tamales have never made it back to my house in Lafayette. I always wind up eating them in the car. All I can say is there may be tamales that are just as good but I don't think there are any that are better.
If I was sentenced to prison and could only eat bread and water I would be fine with that if the bread was from LeJeunes Bakery in Jeanerette. This quaint little bakery has quietly been setting the standard for French Bread in Acadiana since 1884. Every warm and delicious bite of this delicious bread is like traveling back in time using your tongue as the vehicle. The light and delicate softness of the inner loaf is match by the delightful tug of the crust when your teeth first sink in. When I buy bread at LeJeune's I always have to buy multiple loaves since one will be eaten in the car.
Back to Crowley I go this time for donuts. The people at the International Rice Festival should be ashamed for starting the 5k race that close to Ruddock's Bakery. Ruddock's should be the finish line. Talk about a motivator to get done with your run in a hurry. There is something special about Ruddock's dough that gives their donuts a delicious chewy texture. There is also a hint of vanilla or maybe that's just the flavor of sugar coated heaven. Regardless a dozen donuts from Ruddock's will only last to the Rayne exit on the way back to Lafayette.
On Ridge Road where the traffic backs up at E. Broussard is a sanctuary. It might look like a gas station on the outside but inside is one of the most delicious treats your taste buds will ever tango with. Pepin's Cuban Sandwich is about as authentic as you can find in South Louisiana. The fresh ingredients and the care in preparation insure that every bite is not so much about a sandwich but about a heritage and culture that the owners are so very proud of. I understand if you ask nicely, Pepin might even bust up on a bongo action while you eat.
The world's greatest weather guesser, the late Floyd Cormier, always insisted that I go out to Cafe Des Amis in Breaux Bridge for this. It's truly a Louisiana experience. There is something about the rhythmic beat of Zydeco music combined with delicious food that leaves one feeling satisfied on a lot of different levels. Whether you dive head first into beignets or enjoy your omelet with grilled boudin or etoufee you are going to know you've just become one with something very special that only South Louisiana can offer.