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Avery Island and back?


MJP
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My girlfriend and I will be in NOLA from 1/10-1/16. I'm toying with the idea of renting a car and driving out to Avery Island to see the Tabasco factory and bird sanctuary out there. On the way out or back, is there anything interesting for culinary or normal tourism? I was toying with going to Lafayette but couldn't find too much of a draw outside of various Acadian cultural centers and such.

"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside" -Mark Twain

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In New Iberia, which is the town the factory sits just outside of, there is a restored plantation home downtown called The Shadows. We did both the Shadows tour and Avery Island our last trip down. You won't be there when Avery isalnd is in full bloom, but it is still beautiful. You feel like you are in another world.

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent. Epicetus

Amanda Newton

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As far as I am concerned, all trips out of New Orleans that go west or southwest are boudin trips. You must seek out and eat boudin wherever you can. If that is your mission, you will have a wonderful trip.

That said, I have not really figured out what to recommend to you. Others, however, have studied this weighty matter a great deal. I suggest you visit the Southern Foodways Alliance's Southern Boudin Trail web site for some guidance. They helpfully provide a link to another web site, The Boudin Link which has boudin evaluations. I have heard good things about The Best Stop in Scott, if you don't mind going slightly out of your way. Most of the places I know personally are probably too far west for your trip.

I also suggest that you make this at least an overnight trip -- it is a long round trip for one day and all that driving leaves little time to enjoy the food and sights. You could spend the night in Lafayette, or go for something romantic, like a night at Lafitte's Landing in Donaldsonville (which would lead to more good food).

Edited by davidberiss (log)
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Lots of good stuff along US 90 between NOLA & N.I....I just made this trip yesterday to visit family. If you do the drive on a weekday, go to LeJeune's bakery in Jeanerette (before noon). Been in the same spot since 1884, baking french bread whose only ingredients are flour, water, lard, yeast, and salt, as well as delicious, old fashioned ginger cakes (aka planks). It's on highway 182 (aka "old" highway 90). The old brick building is on the national register, and the whole operation is from the land that time forgot. Yesterday at 10 am, the ancient wooden screen doors, festooned with an artificial christmas wreath, were propped open, a big ol' electric fan was blowing cool air across two rolling racks of ginger planks, and the nice baker w/tattooed neck was snoozing in the back. We had to holler to get him to come out & wait on us....tapered french loaves are $1.25, individual poboy loaves $.45. Go down the road and buy a stick of butter, 'cause you can't let that warm french bread sit in the car without eating some of it.

Also in Jeanerette is the Yellow Bowl restaurant; purportedly the oldest place (still open) to serve crawfish etouffee as a menu item.

I saw a bunch of the usual places with boiled crawfish, though it's still kinda pricey (more than $4/pound for boiled). Billeaud's, a big boudin joint in Broussard, now has an "annex" called Billeaud's Too in New Iberia.

If you're looking for food closer to NOLA, stop in at Spahr's in Des Allemands for their fried catfish...real, wild-caught, local fish, not the dog-food eatin' pond raised junk. The catfish sauce piquante is pretty good, too.

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