So the first thing you'll do when you roll into town is weigh yourself. We'll weigh you out when you split, to see just how well you've done .... Putting digits on y'all's odometers and expanding your Louisiana cultural horizons and belt circumferences is our goal here at Le Premier BRU!
We've got some incredible eats in Acadiana. I mean, I know you've eaten barbeque, Tex-Mex and tofu in Austin and have probably been to Paris ... maybe you even once nibbled your way through the Italian countryside ... and of course, everyone love's their momma's cookin' ... and these days, has got a fave little hipster gastro joint in the neighborhood .... But let me just prepare you ... the grub around Lafayette rates against any on this planet. The Gulf of Mexico provides us with a sinfully bountiful seafood harvest (for the next 50 years or so - no thanks to BP). From high-end nouveau peasant fusion, to workin' man's rice n' gravy plate lunches, we love to feed folks ... and we ain't messin' around.
Here's our (very condensed) list of "must eat" restaurants down here, along with some fare descriptions and off-menu insider local ordering recommendations. And this doesn't even get into the real best places to eat – that'll happen when you get invited back to someone's house or (even better!) camp for a supper, grillin', gumbo or a crawfish or crab boil
Your cardiologist might not join us in all the recommendations we've listed here ... but we've literally got one of the best heart hospitals in the nation right here in Lafayette ... And Oshner's, just up the road in New Orleans, is renown for it's liver transplants (supply and demand)! So geaux for it! ... We can bore it out if you start feeling a bit tight or turning green!
Judice Inn (3134 Johnston St) – Best burger in the world. Period. Straight outta The Class of '47, a joint that used to do curb service. Not a big overwhelming thing ... more subtle. Done with a special sauce. And don't ask for ketchup or fries, you'll be slapped. Order with cheese and grilled onions and craw-tator potato chips. Add Tabasco. Wait 5 mins ... order another ... it's Cajun crack!
Alesi's Pizza (4110 Johnston St) – I know you're thinkin' "I didn't come to south Louisiana to eat burgers and pizza!" Trust me. Alesi's has been a locals' fave since the '50s. Cool old neon pizza-throwing sign out front. Their pizza is thin, slightly sweet and old-school. Another great pie in town is Deano's – try the crabmeat-and-mushroom "Marie Laveau" or the Cajun sausage, shrimp and jalapeño "Cajun Executioner." And all the I-tal joints in town offer scrumptious antipasto "wop" salads, for those of you descendant of the old country.
Don's Downtown (301 E Vermilion St) – Since 1934. Start with a "Cliff" old fashioned. Seafood gumbo, crawfish bisque, quail, frog legs and a slammin' hamburger steak or ribeye done étouffée style. Just off of Parc Sans Souci ... the bar there definitely makes for a good clubhouse during Downtown Alive!
Don's Seafood Hut (4309 Johnston St) – The cousin of Don's downtown. They got in a family fight a few generations back ... now everbody wins! Great seafood ... start with char-grilled oysters and then order off menu as follows: "Cajun fried rice with lump crabmeat and a filet kabob (medium rare) on top." Feeds two or makes for a great large table appetizer. I'll buy (and then escort you directly to the edge of town) if you don't like it.
Creole Lunch House (713 12th St) – Creole soul food. Get a "stuffed bread" to accompany any order, or on its own with sides. It's like a zydeco hot pocket. Meatball and chicken fricassée!
Bread & Circus (258 Bendel Rd) – Hipster and delicious deli cum rock'n'roll dining. Awesome cane-glazed fried chicken and cured meats and pork belly ramen.
Poupart's & Keller's Bakery (1902 West Pinhook Road & 1012 Jefferson) - Morning coffee and confections. Both done en francais.
Charley G's (3809 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy) – Fine dining in a casual but cool deco-city grill decor. I like a booth in the bar. Fresh wood-grilled gulf fish and duck.
Poor Boy's Riverside Inn (240 Tubing Rd, Broussard, LA) – Old school seafood recipes done right and in a comfortable atmosphere. Crabmeat au gratin. Seafood salad!
Olde Tyme Grocery (218 W St Mary Blvd) – Killer po-boy sandwiches. Fried shrimp or roast beef and Swiss. Roll your sleeves up and let the gravy roll down to your elbows.
Saint Street Inn (407 Brook Ave) – My fave "hidden gem" restaurant. Near campus/downtown. Chef Ashley is a culinary star on the rise at this small, laid back, screen door porch restaurant. Miso gulf fish and whipped sweet potatoes. Scotch egg starter.
Pamplona (631 Jefferson St) – Spanish tapas in a cozy but sophisticated Euro-vibe bar scene/dining room. See "CC C'est What" Vol. 1.
Tsunami (412 Jefferson St) – Sushi. See "CC C'est What" Vol. 1.
Country Cuisine (709 N University Ave) – Soul food and Sunday bar b que lunches. Fried poke chop sang-wich!
MaeSone Noodle House (4807 Johnston St) – The Vietnamese have thrived as fishermen and rice farmers in South Louisiana. This place is the real deal. Delicious pho and semi-healthy cuisine, for when you're tired of the poke chops and gumbo.
Antlers (555 Jefferson St) – Proper plate lunches. Wednesdays: Smothered – and smothered and stuffed – poke chops with blackeyed peas and candied yams. Thursday: Same preparation options with their legendary chicken, rice'n'gravy, and corn macque choux.
Taco Sisters (407 Johnston St) – Drive thru or eat at the picnic tables out front. Brisket burrito, chicken chili, and great breakfast brisket biscuits.
Dwight's (4800 Johnston St) - Killer cajun plate lunches and mama's cookin', Louisiana style.
Dwyer's Cafe (323 Jefferson St) – Old downtown diner ... breakfast and a heavyweight blue plate special lunch line.
Cedar Deli (1115 Jefferson St) - Downtown. Mediterranean sandwiches and other old world deliciousness.
The French Press (214 E Vermillion) – Duck and sausage gumbo, Sweet Baby Breesus, Cajun Benedict.
La Fonda (3809 Johnston St) – Since 1957. Old school white tablecloth Tex-Mex. Order the off-menu fried chicken or the Don Briggs – a queso and onion smothered steak with brabant potatoes!
Mel's Diner & Hub City Diner – Both are authentic '50s diners, and Mel's has late night breakfast/sandwiches.
Eat 'em up ... Yum-yum ... Ummm dey good!