| Photo by Robin May
Finally, an old-time hot dog vendor on Jefferson Street! Russell Hiltz first trundled out his Grateful Dawg cart the week of Festival International. Almost a month into his tenure as the only restaurant on wheels downtown, Russell is building up a customer base of lawyers, bankers, city workers, receptionists and, well, journalists. The San Francisco native (who lived in Lafayette in the 1970s, got a degree from then-USL, moved back to California and returned to the Hub City 10 years ago) is a Grateful Dead fan, hence the name of his product. Jerry Garcia would be proud.
The secret to the Grateful Dawg is the built-in grill on Russell’s cart, the last stop for the oversized wiener before settling into a bun. “Someone once said, ‘You buy the sizzle, not the steak,’” he says with a chuckle. A Grateful Dawg is steamed to 140 degrees before rolling onto the skillet, where it crackles into a slightly crisp-on-the-outside/juicy and tender-on-the-inside hot dog. Smother it in chili, or choose from such toppings at fresh tomato, onion, jalapeño or spicy relish, along with the derigeur condiments.
Russell was a nurse by trade until January when the patient he had been providing at-home care for up and died after nine years. “I thought, ‘What can I do where I can be my own boss and be creative and do the kind of thing that I have some talent for?’” Russell recalls, “and here I am with my own hot dog cart in one of the most beautiful places in the world, downtown Lafayette.”
Russell found the dog cart on Craig’s List, haggled a deal, then drove to north Texas and returned with the cart behind his truck. The rest is mystery.
Meanwhile back at the cart on Jefferson Street, the Grateful Dawg says, “Eat me. Eat me now.” You say, “OK.”
And don’t forget to pick up a jar of Russell’s Cajun Barbecue Sauce.
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Prepare yourselves for sun
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
Due to the chaos of Mardi Gras and the weather, the entry deadline for this year's INDesign Awards has been extended by one week.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
Queen Evangline and King Gabriel ruled Tuesday night
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
IND Style does Gabriel
Newsy bits for the fam
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.