Round up of what's new in Acadiana
Fabulous Foodie Fun
The Louisiana Food and Wine Festival (Sept. 14-17) offers a plethora of delectable events epitomized by Saturday’s Grand Tasting that showcases top chefs including New Orleans chefs Meg Bickford (Commander’s Palace), Ryan Hacker (Brennan’s) and Edgar Dook Chase IV (Dooky Chase Restaurants and Chapter IV); Lake Charles chefs Amanda Cusey (The Terrace) and Roy Angelle, Jerry Sonnier and Josh Hutton (Culinary arts instructors, SOWELA); and Chef David Rose (Food Network/TV personality). Tastings and awards are held along the Bord du La. Acadiana Profile is one of the event sponsors. (louisianafoodandwinefestival.com).
Boudin Pioneer Prevails
Now that preparations for Lafayette’s Oct. 21 Boudin Cook-Off & Bacon Festival (boudincookoff.com) are underway, fans of participants Johnson’s Boucanière are reviving stories about the late, great boudin pioneer and origami master Wallace Johnson who died in June. A fixture at the counter (where his original boudin prevails), the colorful nonagenarian raconteur was beloved for making paper boats, jets and spinners “for kids 99 and under” while sharing Cajun tales of old. Johnson closed his circa 1937 boudin haven, Johnson’s Grocery (the first to commercially sell boudin), in Eunice in 2005, three years before his daughter and son-in-law opened Johnson’s Boucanière. Fun fact: Johnson appeared on the cover of Acadiana Profile’s first issue after it was acquired by Renaissance Publishing in 2011.
Sánchez at L’Auberge
Lake Charles Aarón Sánchez, the chef, author, TV personality and owner of Johnny Sanchez restaurant in New Orleans, brings his authentic Mexican cuisine with a modern flair to a second location inside L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles. Situated near the pool in the former Favorites Southern Kitchen, the newly opened eatery has 74 seats in the dining room, 26 seats in the bar and 66 seats on the outside patio. Guests can enter the patio bar directly from the pool area (llakecharles.com/dining/johnny-sanchez).
24-Hour Pizza and Dog Park
Opelousas The newly constructed 13-acre Love’s Travel Stop & Country Store along I-49 (at Harry Guilbeau exit) features a 12,000-square-foot store with a 24-hour Godfather’s Pizza and Hardee’s plus a large full-service tire center, an eight-bay auto/RV canopy and eight RV parking spaces with utility hookups plus a gazebo with fire pits, picnic tables and an ample dog park for perky pets (comparably.com/companies/loves).
Burgers à la Brees
Smalls Sliders, the Louisiana-based concept backed by NFL/Saints legend Drew Brees and co-founded by Walk-On’s CEO, Brandon Landry, recently opened its seventh Louisiana eatery in Lafayette. Locations are comprised of 800-square-foot modular “cans” delivered in one piece and can easily be moved. The simple menu features cooked-to-order cheeseburger sliders, including a “Drew Style” slider with a colossal amount of bacon plus milkshakes and fries. Youngsville is among 40 more locations in line for development (smallssliders.com).
Entertaining Tots in Lafayette
Toddlers are descending on Miko’s Playhouse, a colorful new indoor playground designed for babies, toddlers and young children featuring a wide range of play equipment that encourages imaginative play. Adults can enjoy a full café area to relax within close proximity of their children at play (mikosplay.com).
Lafayette This fall, Parish Biscuit Company introduces a new fast-casual breakfast and lunch concept to the Oil Center from restaurant veteran Steven Laborde (formerly of Carrabba’s Italian Grill) partnered with Andrew Ahrens (angel investor in Crying Eagle Brewery, Pour and Romacelli). Chef Mike Richard (former executive chef at Café Vermilionville, Coyote Blues and Saint John) offers glorified, opulent biscuit combinations (stuffed with everything from catfish to huevos rancheros), cocktails and mocktails.
New Iberia Revelers will be able to enjoy four parades at the 80th annual Louisiana Sugar Cane Festival (Sept. 21-24) led by the Farmer’s Tractor Parade featuring vintage farm equipment, the Berry Queen Candy Toss Procession, the Children’s Parade and the glittering Royalty Parade along with dancing to live bands at the nightly fais-do-do, rides and games at the street fair, a car show and an elaborate horticulture show (hisugar.org).