Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011
Written by Anna Purdy
The second full weekend every October Girard Park, used most of the year as a place for impromptu barbecues, pick-up basketball games and its walking track, becomes the epicenter for all things Cajun and Creole. Festivals Acadiens et Créoles is a hotbed for hot plates of food to soothe and intrigue you.
A great secret of festivals is that there are some vendors who only come out for the event — there are no brick-and-mortar restaurants where their fare is readily served. Every year at Mardi Gras I head to the corner of Jackson and Johnston streets where a family makes the best pork sandwiches. I enjoy one each day until Mardi Gras is no more. With some of these food suggestions, that is the way.
Remember to bring cash. Most vendors aren’t going to take a debit or credit card.
So let’s tantalize your taste buds and get them thinking about what your choices are this weekend.
CATAHOULA’S — Rachel Leckelt took over this famous restaurant a short time ago and has pumped a vitality back into the brand as well as Grand Coteau. While it will be serving up a bisque and lasagna and fish tacos, the treat you don’t want to miss is Catahoula’s shrimp and mushroom crepe. Anyone who has spent time in Paris knows that while we have hot dog carts, they have crepe carts, and this harkens to that line of thinking. A delicate and soft egg-based blanket in which tender mushrooms and Louisiana shrimp can snuggle will set you back $7. First bite will make you think you’re in Europe — until you hear the zydeco playing.
COCHON — New contender with a solid backbone, Cochon just opened in Lafayette’s River Ranch development and is determined to prove it is worthy among all our Cajun food. Chef Donald Link created the menu for both this and his original New Orleans’ Cochon, and what the man loves best after smoking meats is pickling things. Pickled fruits and vegetables from all parts of the garden and grove make their move at his restaurants and here the pulled pork sandwich with pickled cabbage, smoky, crisp and lean, is the thing to get. $7
BON CREOLE — Bon Creole is in New Iberia, but as of this writing its now famous crawfish spinach boat isn’t on the menu. Ever see people walking around Festival International with that dreamy, creamy bread bowl stuffed and oozing onto their fingers, sucking their hands as they scramble away to eat? You know what I’m talking about. And after you get done eating what amounts to a crawfish and spinach cream sauce you get to eat the bread soaked with its juices. They are also serving up burgers, shrimp poboys and red beans & sausage. $7
FEZZO’S — Fun name, great menu and an even more popular dish. The fried catfish with seafood éouffée on top is just about the most simple and most delicious thing you can get your hands on. If you have tourists in from out of town scared of catfish, tell them Fezzo’s gets farm-raised fish and they should shut up and eat. The fish crust is the thing — the fish itself is meltingly soft, and the seafood party on top makes it. Fezzo’s has corn dogs with French fries for picky kids as well as seafood étouffée and a crab boulette topped with étouffée. In other words, you’d best like étouffée. $7
POUPART’S — Everybody gets a sweet tooth now and then. Some of us, like sharks, have several rows of sweet teeth just waiting to chomp. You should hit up Poupart’s. Now with two locations, one in downtown Lafayette and one on Pinhook, Poupart’s has been around long enough to have fed everyone in Acadiana at least five times. Many restaurants in town get their bread here. While the menu has both savory and sweet, try Poupart’s chocolate eclairs. Simple. Rich. Decadent. Perfect. At $2 apiece, buy several.
PAT’S DOWNTOWN — Pat’s is as famous for its plate lunches as its fancy new patio on which to relax. A famous spot to chill during and after Downtown Alive! on Fridays, Pat’s will be offering crawfish enchilada, chicken and sausage jambalaya, crawfish étouffée-stuffed potato and peach cobbler. These last two make folks flock to Pat’s. This restaurant has several types of stuffed potatoes — because who doesn’t like a creamy sauce or meat when they carbo-load — and each is terrific. Oddly enough these are easy to eat at a festival. The cobbler is popular, too, and once lured my ill friend from her sickbed with its power. Potato is $5 and the cobbler is $3.
This is just a highlight of some well-remembered favorites and by no means represents all the vendors waiting to tempt you. For a complete list of all the foods being offered at this weekend’s Festivals Acadiens et Créoles as well as a music schedule and places to see and stay in Lafayette, grab our guide in this week’s issue. And remember to bring hand sanitizer along with your appetite.
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,575 rigs were exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.
A crew began erecting the 25-foot mini-wheel late morning Friday in anticipation of the evening’s Hottest Night of the Year party at the park.
Frances Boothe of Nunez, who also happens to be filmmaker Stephen Meaux’s grandmother, prepares a cool-weather fave.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
New Iberia colonial or Broussard traditional home
The LPSB is poised and ready to move forward with the termination of Pat Cooper following a discussion Thursday with the attorney hired for the investigation of the superintendent, but a decision of this magnitude should be left up to the new board seated in January, especially with three pro-investigation board members bailing out come the new year.
Fiery style for game day
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Google vs. Amazon in drone race; more deaths in Syria; Russia escalates Ukraine conflict and more national and international news for Friday, August 29, 2014.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
Three bedroom Port Barre cottage or three bedroom historic district Opelousas home
No laboring for shoppers this holiday
It will be next month before Gov. Bobby Jindal will likely get a chance to change the membership of a South Louisiana flood board that is suing dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.
The attention surrounding Victor White III has spiked with the release of last week’s autopsy report, which has raised a number of serious questions about the night of his death and has put the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office under an increased wave of scrutiny as more national media outlets are jumping on the story, most recently seen on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
The Acadiana Center for the Arts and the Lafayette Economic Development Authority have announced a new artist stipend program, ArtSpark, designed to offer financial aid to local artists.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
Three bedroom traditional or two bedroom Victorian cottage