Day 9 Martin Creek State Park to Lafayette Louisiana

We crossed the border into Louisiana. A couple of miles over the border we stopped at the Tourist Information Centre and picked up brochures and maps, and had a long and very helpful chat with a guide on what to see and do in Louisiana. She told us about Natchitoches, a little historic town south of Shreveport. The movie ‘Steel Magnolias’ was set and filmed there. We changed our plans and headed straight there, rather than going into Shreveport. Natchitoches has a street full of shops and eating places along the Cane River Lake. We had lunch at Papa’s Bar and Grill (which is right next door to Mama’s Oyster House) – Greg had a grilled chicken sandwich, I had a shrimp po’boy, which is the Louisiana version of a subway sandwich. It’s my mission to eat as much local food while we’re here.

We drove a couple of hundred kms south to Lafayette, population 200,000. We’re in Cajun country now, and Lafayette is right in the middle, and the largest town in the region. We are now seeing much more of a French influence, rather than the Spanish that we’ve noticed since we landed in California. Streets are called ‘Rue’, heading east is ‘est’, just little subtle things like that.

We ate at the Blue Dog Cafe in Lafayette. Cafe doesn’t really seem the right word for it – it’s actually a huge restaurant with at least 3 very large rooms full of tables, plus outdoor tables as well. And it’s all tables and chairs, no booths with bench seats like we’ve seen in other ‘restaurants’, which we think of as ‘diners’. Anyway … the reason it’s called the Blue Dog Cafe is that the walls are full of paintings of dogs that look very much like my brother Phil’s blue heeler, Brewster. The waiters wear t-shirts with the slogan ‘Sit. Stay. Eat’. And they serve fantastic Cajun food.

Greg had Blackened Catfish with Angel Hair Pasta and Spring Vegetables, I had Crawfish Etouffee* with Corn Macque Choux and both dishes were delicious. Here’s their menu, so you can see what else they offer, including photos of some of the dishes – click here.

The restaurant was busy, and our meals were a bit slow, which was fine with us – it gave us a chance to people-watch and draw crayon pictures on our ‘tablecloth’, but the waiter gave us a complimentary dessert – Bread Pudding with Pecan Praline Sauce. I had seen recipes for this dish and thought it might be like our Bread & Butter Pudding, but it’s much denser and tastes fantastic! We shared one between us, and we just managed to finish it. The total bill, including 2 local draught beers, was $40.

* Crawfish are freshwater crustaceans which taste like prawns. The guide at the Tourist Information Centre had mentioned that it’s crawfish season, so of course I had to try them. Delicious!

Blue Dog Cafe Layfayette Louisiana

2 comments to Day 9 Martin Creek State Park to Lafayette Louisiana

  • Margaret & Derick Smith

    Derick would love this place as he likes to try different food. I would have the bread and butter pudding which sounds dilicious

  • Sally

    It’s fasinating to hear about this part of the U S and the great food instead of the more travelled west and east coasts . Sal xx