Thursday, August 20, 2015

Friday 5: April Courville of Festival International and BikeLafayette

Photo cred: Travis Gauthier of Zoom Photo

As Marketing Director of Festival International, a place with 40+ food vendors under one proverbial roof, and as a board member for BikeLafayette, it's only natural that April Courville would know her way around Downtown Lafayette eateries. 

"It was a tough decision narrowing it down to 5 spots. I have so many favorite dishes at so many spots! I live and work downtown, so many of my choices are within this area."

1. Specialty Cocktail – I have a few requirements when I drink at bar or restaurant. I must be able to belly up to the bar, the other bar patrons must be interesting to talk to, and the bartenders friendly. That’s why Pamplona is my favorite place to get a cocktail. The white wine sangria is crisp and refreshing but not overly sweet. At the happy hour price of $3, it’s hard to resist. Along with the friendly staff and great vibe, Pamplona is a great place to unwind after a long day.

2. Dining Solo – I work right across the street, but Jefferson Street Pub is my go-to after-work hang out for many reasons. You can sit at the bar, grab a beer and not be overwhelmed by loud music or a large crowd. I always order the “Grown-Up Grilled Cheese”. It comes with a cup of smoky tomato soup, and is layered with prosciutto and melty gouda.

3. Hole in the Wall – I am such a stickler for good, authentic street tacos. There are a few great Latin Grocery Stores along Cameron Street that serve tacos and other Mexican fair but my favorite is La Morenita Meat Market on Ambassador Caffery. My favorite is the barbacoa on a soft corn tortilla, although you need to get there early because it sells out quickly. Another favorite is the pastor.  La Morenita has a toppings bar with spicy salsas, pico de gallo, cilantro, limes – all the good stuff!

4. Date Night – The seared scallops at Jolie’s Bistro are on-point! The specialty cocktails are always amazing, the knowledgeable staff, the atmosphere - everything about Jolie’s Bistro makes it a great date night spot.

5. Guilty Pleasure – I don’t have a big sweet tooth, therefore, my guilty pleasure usually revolves around comfort food. Nothing says comfort food like a hot dog! Botsky’s Hotdogs does them right. You can create your own and make it as unique or basic as you wish. You can choose from eight meat options and endless sauce and topping choices, such as pineapple and Steen’s Syrup. You’ll have to jump in the car though. Botsky’s is located in downtown Lake Charles but I promise, it’s well worth the trip.

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