Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A League of Its Own: Charley G's

Every city rich with culture and history rooted in food has that ONE restaurant known for its prestige in the culinary scene. People make reservations weeks in advance, the service is impeccable and it is the one place to visit for that special occasion.

New York City has Thomas Keller’s per se. This hot spot, located between Central Park and Broadway in famed Hell’s Kitchen, customizes their menu according to the dietary needs of the diner. 

Josiah Citrin runs L.A’s Mélisse. The American-French restaurant has won multiple awards and boasts 2 Michelin Stars. 

New Orleans, home to many outstanding restaurants, is home to Commander’s Palace. James Beard winner, Chef Tory McPhail, runs the show where the dinner service is known worldwide for its pomp and circumstance.

With the countless honors that are rolling into Lafayette, it is only natural that a few restaurants would begin to emerge as beacons of fine dining. One of those restaurants has always been Charley G’s.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Black Cafe at Uptown Lofts

Some things are best left simple. A steak seasoned with just salt and pepper. Two scoops of vanilla ice cream. Pepperoni Pizza. Morning coffee…BLACK.

That’s what attracted Trey and Jodee Ware to the newly constructed Uptown Lofts located at 518 S Pierce St Suite 100. After spending over 6 years at Old Tyme Grocery and 6 more at CC’s Coffeehouse, the dream of owning their own place seemed like a distant thought for the Wares. But as it sometimes does, opportunity reared its head and a spot at the newly developed Lofts was built with a coffee shop in mind. Through a series of serendipitous events, the Wares were contacted and BLACK Cafe became a reality.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Trends: Butter Coffee

Butter and coffee are two of the greatest food discoveries of all time. The smell of coffee brewing will stop you in your tracks at the office and force you to wait in the break room; cup in hand. A warm, buttery croissant will make you fall off of that diet wagon two hours after you have committed to eating healthier. So what happens when you combine the two? What happens when you put butter in your coffee?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Talkin' Bout a Taco Revolution: Urbano's Taqueria

Ricardo Valerio is no stranger to hard work. He journeyed to America from Honduras at a young age and worked in restaurants across the country. Starting as a dishwasher, Ricardo proved himself and was given one tabletop to wait. His charm and smile not only won over customers but the owners of the establishment. Soon he was given another table. Then another. Before he knew it, he was in charge of an entire section. Quickly making his way up the ladder, Ricardo was told that, due to being an immigrant, his dreams of success would not come to pass. Not deterred, Ricardo emptied his bank account and decided to start the restaurant HE wanted to run; a place that offered fresh food in a casual setting. Before making his move to Florida, he called his father to give him the news. His dad, an alum of USL, was happy for his son but gave him one piece of advice.

"If you can't make it in Lafayette, you can't make it anywhere!"

Ricardo accepted the challenge.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bread & Circus: Fall Menu Sneak Peek

Moscow Mule
In his five book collection of poems entitled Satires, Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis, known in English as Juvenal, made public his ills and annoyances associated with 1st and 2nd century Rome. Holding nothing back in his educated yet humorous critique, Juvenal exposed the threats that plagued the common man. Among those were threats stemming from the government itself. In his tenth book in the series, Satire X, Juvenal's disdain for governmental manipulation in order to gain power is viewed. In 140 B.C., Roman politicians devised a plan to win the votes of new citizens by giving out cheap, or sometimes even free, food and entertainment. "Bread and Circuses", the practice of providing free wheat and playful games was brought to the forefront of Roman culture.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Road Trip: Phatz Cafe, Opelousas, LA

Not a day goes by that I don't thank Louis Lassen. You know...Louis Lassen; the blacksmith by trade and preacher by vocation who immigrated to New Haven from Denmark in 1886 and then opened a chuck wagon that sold butter, eggs and sandwiches? How could you not love the story about Lassen being yelled at by angry customer Gary Widmore which in turn birthed an American food staple?

"Louie! I'm in a rush, slap a meatpuck between two planks and step on it!"

According to The Library of Congress, Louis Lassen invented and sold the first hamburger in 1900. Although this claim has been widely disputed with others worldwide claiming stake in the burger's creation, the fact that Americans love hamburgers cannot be disputed. In fact, Americans eat nearly 50 billion burgers a year, which translates to three burgers a week for every single person in the United States.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Ever have a secret so good that you wanted to share it with everyone? A secret so juicy that you wanted to shout it from the rooftops? Well, Lafayette, we at Eat This Lafayette have a secret like that and we want to share it with just you!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

BBQ & Boudin: Johnson's Boucaniere

Everyone has that one favorite uncle. He gave you your first beer. Brought you to that concert your parents didn't know about. Let you borrow his sports car that weekend. Sure, you love your other uncles, just not like you love THAT uncle. The same holds true for Lafayette's love affair with boudin. We love all of them, but we all have a favorite. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

One of Lafayette's Finest: Pamplona

In his 1926 novel, The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway introduced the world to bull fighting and the festival of San Fermines in honor of Saint Fermin in Pamplona; a festival otherwise known as the running of the bulls. Located 57 miles from the Spanish food mecca of San Sebastián, the city of Pamplona has made a name for itself as a city of passion and excitement. Pamplona, a Spanish tapas restaurant located at 631 Jefferson St., carries the same distinction. Blending elegance with rustic Spanish flavors, Pamplona is a gem in the Lafayette dining community.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Acadiana's First True Neapolitan Pizza: Bread & Circus Provisions

Growing up, there was nothing better than knowing that pizza was for dinner. There may not be a food as lovely as pizza. Hot, gooey cheese. Smooth, sweet sauce. Warm crust. Either growing up made pizza lose its magic, or pizza has become less than stellar. Regardless of the cause, Chef Manny Augello of Bread & Circus Provisions has made a giant leap in improving the pizza scene in Lafayette. Drawing from his Sicilian roots, Chef Manny introduced the first authentic Neapolitan pizza to hit the Hub City. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Time for the Muscadines! New Vendor at the Horse Farm, Y Bar Farms

Located in Bunkie, Louisiana on what used to be the Tagarina Plantation, the Y Bar Farm is a 40 acre patch of land that is home to Black Angus Cattle, 200 year old pecan trees, and Black Bear Vineyards. Black Bear Vineyards is two acres dedicated to Louisiana's favorite late Summer crop: muscadines.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Creole Creamery: New Orleans, LA

My wife says I'm a strait-laced, by the book kind of guy. I've always followed the rules. I've never been in any serious trouble. I've only received one ticket in my life. My parents taught me that everyone received a response of "Yes Ma'am, No Ma'am. Yes Sir, No Sir." They still do regardless of age. 

But I do have one vice. One so powerful it brings me to my knees in submission. It is the kryptonite to my Superman. The pit of brooding vipers to my Indiana Jones. The self-doubt to my crippled Cyrano de Bergerac.

Kneads No Introduction: Great Harvest Bread Co. of Acadiana

You may not be able to tell by looking at me now, but I used to be a runner. Because of that I paid close attention to what I ate.

Until race day.

The one thing I looked forward to the most was the post race expo. I knew what booth I would spend most of my time around. Dripping in sweat, muscles burning from lactic acid I would always find my way to the Great Harvest Bread Company of Acadiana tent and eat my weight in bread and pastry samples. I hated being "that guy" eating all the free samples, but their breads and treats were just so addictive.

Sad to say I eventually stopped distance running. That also meant that I stopped having my post race tradition. It wasn't until recently that I stepped foot into this marvelous bakery, and I already want to go back for more confections, chai, and conversation. I don't normally write about chain restaurants, but this one just doesn't feel corporate or cold.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Dine on the Bayou: The Little Big Cup

Nestled on Bayou Fuselier, The Little Big Cup reflects the culture of Arnaudville to the fullest. Known as a haven for artists and musicians from around the world, the charm of the city is felt from the moment you arrive.

Friday, August 15, 2014

St. James Cheese Company: New Orleans, LA

Most of the world's problems could likely be settled with cheese. There is something about it that makes everything better. Sandwiches taste better, pizza can't exist without it, and even the greenest of vegetables dipped in a bubbling pot of it become edible. Cheese is magic. It is addictive. It is a drug.
No. It really is!

Excuse me while I channel my inner Alton Brown.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Peaches, Popsicles & Tamales: Farmer's Market Finds at 3 Horse Farm Hotspots

Being a Lafayette Farmer's Market regular I often find myself visiting the same vendors and buying the same local fare:

WesMar Farms for milk and cheese.

Bread & Circus for curry ketchup or belly bacon.

Inglewood Farms for okra and peppers.

This past week I challenged myself to stretch my boundaries and discover three vendors that I hadn't visited before. I hoped to find some hidden gems and I was not disappointed.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

La Petite Grocery: New Orleans, LA

We weren’t entirely sure what we were in store for when we crossed the bustling intersection of Magazine Street and General Pershing in New Orleans. It was our first visit to La Petite Grocery. We had done our research on Executive Chef Justin Devillier and studied the menu the night before. I secretly expected a grand foyer lined with white gloved workers standing at attention. I was worried I had underdressed and would have to wear the restaurant's jacket for gentlemen who don't meet the dress code. I was pleasently surprised when I saw the quaint yellow building on the corner. We walked in to a warm and inviting building that was flooded with charm.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Something to Crow About: Fried Chicken at the Circus

If you are a chicken living within a 50 mile radius of Bendel Rd, you are a marked piece of poultry. Simply put, Chef Manny Augello has put a price on your head and countless restaurant patrons are willing to pay whatever it takes. I know I am.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Novel Take on Crêpes: Astra Modern Market

In his correspondence with editors and autographs to fans, the great American writer John Steinbeck often drew a mythological winged pig dubbed the Pigasus. Accompanying the doodle was the Latin phrase “Ad astra per alas porci.”

Friday, August 1, 2014

Pharewell to Oysters

Things change. It is an inevitable part of life. Especially in the culinary world if you don’t adapt, you die. Phares’ Oysters-Seafood & Steaks, a staple of Lafayette cuisine, has outlasted neighboring competitors for many years. Now with its newly announced changes, Phares’ is primed to excite you with small plates that pack huge flavor. Say Pharewell to the old and hello to the new Phares’ Kitchen.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lafayette Bred & Fed

Looking back at it, I guess you can say I never really had a chance. Food had its grip on me before I was even born. That’s why I’m proud to say I’m “Lafayette bred and fed.” In the 1980s, my Dad was a high level executive in a large, global healthcare organization. Before his big break, he started out like a lot of people waiting tables. He was a server at Evangeline Downs, ran the Pizza Hut on Evangeline Thruway, and later the Popeye’s chains of Lafayette. He has this great story of cooking a gumbo in the kitchen of the Four Corners Popeye’s while riding out a hurricane with Al Copeland’s attorney; a man who would later become my Godfather and connect my Dad with the job that changed his life. Food is powerful.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Help Me, Sweet Baby Breesus!

Located directly across from Parc Sans Souci in Downtown Lafayette, The French Press offers up fresh Louisiana versions of classic dishes that we have all grown to love. This casual dining spot with a rustic charm has quickly become a favorite in town and has even garnered the attention of SAVEUR Magazine who called it one of their “100 Inspiring Places and Things to Eat” (Jan/Feb 2013). Walking in, you can see why.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Forever A Lab Rat

It was an early Saturday morning when I walked into the mysterious building. Beakers and vials lined the counters. The periodic table of elements hung near the entrance, appearing to be a reference for weird and bizarre experiments.

An entire wall was a black chalk board with illustrations of what looked like potentially life-changing inventions. Strange hisses and thick clouds of steam filled the atmosphere. Beautiful fixtures designed out of black pipe felt cold to the touch that morning.


All my senses were alive. And then, stepping out through a set of doors comes a lab coat wearing Mad Scientist of sorts. What kind of molecular gastronomy did he have in store? What had I done? Why did I sacrifice myself for the sake of your stomach, Lafayette? This is my story. The story of the day I became a “Lab Rat” and first tasted the Boudin Croissant.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fricassee Cafe is Lafayette on a Plate

From the moment you pull into the parking lot of Fricassee Cafe & Bakery you can almost hear your grandmother calling your name telling you that lunch is ready. It’s fitting that the restaurant, owned and operated by Renee Gary, was her grandparent’s house and is located in Carencro just outside the Lafayette city limits.  The property also serves as the headquarters of Nanny’s Original Louisiana Pecan Pralines. Everything about Fricassee just feels right. It is home. It is us.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bread & Circus Provisions: The Jucy Lucy

There is nothing better than an unassuming restaurant tucked away just off a busy road. Bread & Circus Provisions, located at 258 Bendel Rd, has no fancy neon sign. The bench seats are homemade. The cinder block walls are painted white.