It's old news for many Lafayette residents, but it's good news for all of us as Lafayette has been named the Best Food City in the USA in the Rand McNally/USA TODAY Best of the Road® Rally.
"Our local restaurants make Lafayette what it is," says Gerald Breaux, executive director of the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission. "I think it's great for Lafayette because one of the main reasons visitors come to Lafayette is for the music, food and culture.
"It's the Good Housekeeping Seal, so to speak, of what we've always felt was our biggest asset," he says.
Lafayette was selected as a finalist in the “Best for Food” category and was judged against five other towns. Addison, W.Va.; Burnsville, Minn.; Costa Mesa, Calif.; Gulfport, Fla.; and Visalia, Calif.
In all, more than 600 towns were nominated by some 20,000 people across the U.S., in four other categories.
Other categories and winners are:
Friendliest: Walla Walla, Washington
Most beautiful: Sandpoint, Idaho
Most patriotic: Rapid City, S.D.
Most fun: Glenwood Springs, Colo.
The Best for Food judges, Bonnie and Jim Parr (aka The Fun Finders), visited Lafayette on their cross-country adventure. While in town, the Parrs sampled the food at a variety of restaurants from down home diners to the finest upscale eating establishments.
"At every meal, the main goal seemed to be introducing people to Cajun cooking and the history behind it," the Parrs say. "And we could work off the calories with zydeco dancing" at family-friendly restaurant/dance halls such as Randol's."
In the course of two days, the duo started with breakfast at Dwyer's Café in downtown. They attended a cooking demonstration at The Accidental Chef Cooking School and then had lunch at the Blue Doge Café.
From there, the Parrs went to Jolie's Louisiana Bistro and took in a boudin making demonstration at Johnson's Boucaniere. They had dinner at Don's Seafood Hut, dined at Charley G's, and finished the night at Randol's Restaurant and Cajun Dance Hall.
They started the second day of their tour at The French Press and went to The Original Don's Seafood and Stakehouse. Hub City Diner was next on their list, followed by a meal at Pamplona.
But the accolades may still be coming as Lafayette was a top 10 finalist in Southern Living's "Tastiest Town of the South" competition.
We'll know for sure come March 15.