Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday 5: Ben Powers of Developing Lafayette

It all started with a Sunday family lunch for Ben Powers. The graphic designer's interest was piqued when he noticed new construction. But, unlike most of us, Ben wasn't satisfied with NOT finding out what was being built. 20k+ Facebook likes later and Ben, the creative force behind local Facebook sensation Developing Lafayette, is building a bit of a social network empire. Check out Ben's picks in this week's Friday 5.

1. Favorite Dessert - I love dessert, like love it, and often find myself looking through a dessert menu first at any restaurant we visit. I have many favorites when it comes to desserts, but one stands out from all of the rest for me, and that is bread pudding. As a child, I couldn't stand the thought of bread pudding. In my opinion, the name is kind of horrible. You have bread which is known to be dry(ish) and then you want to make a pudding with it, which is usually a wet consistency, bleh. However, as an adult, I am in love with bread pudding. I first tried bread pudding after moving to Lafayette in 2010 at a local franchise, Coyote Blues. It was the White Godiva Chocolate Bread Pudding there that sparked a love for it, but that's not my favorite. My favorite bread pudding hands down is the Bananas Foster Bread Pudding from Bon Temp Grill at 1312 Verot School Rd. Go try it! :)

2. Date Night - In Lafayette, there isn't a shortage of places to dine and to have an enjoyable date night with your better part. For my wife and I, we are fortunate enough to be able to try many of the new restaurants that open up in Lafayette, which turn out to be mini date nights. Though, there is one place that I would say is a true date night for us, and will have a special place in our hearts forever; that place is Ruffino's on the River. There, my wife and I had our first date night as an engaged couple to be married, but it's also a really nice place for a date night. It's low lit, and the times we've visited, the service was great and the food that same. After dinner, we like to head to our favorite dessert spot, Indulge, where we get our Cheesecake fix, which is my second favorite dessert, haha.

3. Hole in the Wall - The term "Hole in the Wall" is such a weird term, but if I had to call out any particular place, it would be El Portrillo Mexican Restaurant on Moss Street on the Northside, across from Pizza Village. I was introduced to this place by my wife, of course, and it has been a satisfying visit each time. I am a sucker for a good chimichanga, and they do chimis the way I like there. They are overall just a good simple choice for us when it comes to Mexican. Lafayette is without shortage of Mexican places, though, not many great Mexican places, but El Portrillo has never let us down.

4. Eating on the Cheap - Eating cheaply is something I try to do on the reg. I am always on the look out for less expensive options when it comes to lunch during the week, of course cooking at home and bringing left overs is usually cheaper, but I don't eat left overs past a couple of days. So when I am out to lunch, and don't want fast food, I like to hit up places like Mellow Mushroom, Pizza Village and China One. Mellow Mushroom has pizza by the slice starting at $2.50 per slice and premium toppings for around $1.50 per ingredient. So if you grab a slice of pepperoni, a cup of honey to dip your crust(yeah it's good), and a drink for around $2, or water, which is free, you'll have a ticket of about $5 before tip. Pizza Village has a great half spaghetti for about $5 bucks that comes with a half garlic bread, and China One has great lunch items all for about $5 including a drink! You really can't beat those three options for the price.

5. Introducing Lafayette to Out of Towners - I was once an Out of Towner myself, so when I introduce friends & family to Lafayette, I tend to bring them to the places from when I was first introduced to Lafayette. Places like Prejean's, Downtown, and I like to chauffeur our guest around town to show them all of the development, because that's what I am about, right? We especially like driving through the small streets around the UL campus to check out the school, and sometimes we like to stop at Girard Park to walk around the pond in hopes of seeing one of those nutria rat thingamabobs. That's my way of introducing someone to Lafayette, but no two introductions are the same. Each person has their Lafayette story, and to share that regardless of the version of story you have is beautiful.

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