Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

From Lake Charles to Houma, Louisiana And Bon Creole

Another wonderful day to travel Southern Louisiana and the lowlands. We stop at one of our favorite places, Saint Martin’s Lake.

00StMartinsLake

Near the factory burning cane, I see an old abandoned house. There are a lot of old abandoned houses on the backroads of Louisiana; rich pickings for series like HBO’s True Detectives.

00LAHouse

The air was so clear you could see every atom of smoke as this factory burned off chaff grinding cane into cane sugar syrup:

00BurningCane

Just in time for lunch, we hit New Iberia, where my friend Dave Robicheaux hangs out. Last time we were here, we went to a wonderful Place, Bon Creole, but we remembered it was hard to find. Even with my smart phone, we drive right past it, and have to go around the block and look again. This is not a place that makes itself KNOWN; you have to know where it is, and you have to really want to find it, LOL!

00BonCreoleSign

The interior is a hunter’s dream.

00BonCreoleInterior

00BonCreoleInterior2

At the table near us, a group of local women are sitting and one is holding court, saying “You never know about so-and-so; she is so SECRETIVE!” and I am thinking that she would call me secretive, too, that I would be very careful about telling anything about myself that she could be spreading to all her friends – and everyone else in the Bon Creole who cared to listen.

Thank God, our food is ready, and I start with my gumbo, thick with shimp. Oops, I forgot, the gumbo comes with potato salad.

00BonCreoleGumboAndPotatoSalad

And more grilled shrimp – this time on my green salad. So many shrimp I couldn’t eat them all!
00BonCreoleGrilledShrimpSalad

Poor AdventureMan! “Why didn’t I just order a 6″ Overstuffed Oyster Po’Boy???” These oysters were the old fashioned kind, fresh, dipped in corn meal and deep fried, just the way he likes them, but no, no, he couldn’t eat them all. I had one, and there were still many left, so many fabulous oysters!

0012InchOysterPoBoy

As we were leaving, we stopped two residents who were leaving and asked them if we could get to Highway 90 by continuing down the road we were on, and they offered to let us follow them to Franklin. Franklin is like 25 miles down the road, imagine. They were willing to be so gracious to perfect strangers. We gratefully declined, and used their instructions and our smart phone to get us over to 90, en route to Morgan City and Houma.

Screen shot 2014-10-31 at 5.24.05 PM

Advertisements

October 31, 2014 Posted by | Beauty, Cooking, Eating Out, Food, Living Conditions, Quality of Life Issues, Restaurant, Road Trips, Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bon Creole in New Iberia

“OK, but I want to eat lunch at Clementine’s,” I replied, as AdventureMan is scheduling some Cajun Country Swamp Tours for the afternoon and the next day. We drive back into New Iberia, and make sure we are going in the right direction on the one-way Main Street, only to discover Clementine’s is closed on Monday. Oh, Aarrrgh.

But I love my iPhone. I love it because I can put in an address, and it shows me how to get there, when to turn, where we are . . . I love it. I love it because I can put in “great food in New Iberia” and up comes names – and ratings. The highest rating other than Clementine’s is a place called Bon Creole, and it is on the one way street, St. Peters, going in the opposite direction of Main Street, so we turn around and head back in the other direction.

We are HUNGRY. So when we miss it the first time, and have to go around the block, AdventureMan says “I think I saw it, but it looked closed.” I think I saw it, too, but it looked . . . like some dive. As we come around the second time, we see a button-down-shirt-and-chinos kind of guy coming out, so we know it must be open, and he looks like a working local, not some tourist like us. And did I mention we are hungry? We decide to give it a try.

You walk in and order at the counter. I can’t say we got a warm welcome. The woman behind the counter wasn’t rude, she was just working hard, and there really wasn’t a smile. I ordered the daily special, but it was already gone. “OK,” I say, “I’ll take the gumbo, and some potato salad.”

“Potato salad comes with it.” She doesn’t even look up from writing down the order. So far, we are not encouraged, but there are a goodly amount of customers inside, and as we wait for our food, we get to listen in on all the town gossip, which is not unlike town gossip in most towns, who drinks too much, who is going out on who, and can you imagine someone wearing that to church?

Our food arrives, a bowl of gumbo, a bowl of rice and a bowl of potato salad, plastic utensils.

And then, with the first bite, everything changes.

“Oh, WoW!” I say, and my eyes open wide. “Wow!”

AdventureMan is having the same experience. “This is REALLY good!” he says.

We are quiet now, eating this totally delicious seafood gumbo. We are both busy trying to figure out how they made it taste so seafood-y, lots of shrimp, maybe some crab, but the gumbo itself, essence of shellfish, it is SO good.

What if we had judged by the exterior and had ended up in some plastic and mediocre place? What if we had missed this totally awesome seafood gumbo? This gumbo was seriously GOOD.

If you find yourself in New Iberia, hungry and looking for some seriously good gumbo, here is where to find Bon Creole:

Bon Creole also has a lot of fried dishes; we were just looking for something not-fried, but if you like fried, you too will like Bon Creole.

November 1, 2011 Posted by | Cooking, Cultural, Customer Service, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Food, iPhone, Living Conditions, Local Lore, Road Trips, Travel | , , , | 2 Comments