I stay with Mom and on Friday's she usually gets the Fried Fish Plate from Cajun Catch.
Cajun Catch is a local seafood market with a to-go counter serving daily lunch specials. They stop taking lunch orders by 3pm so don't wait too late.
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And I wash down to-go meals with a local brew called Dixie. It was hard to find until recently, I guess there is a reboot going on at their headquarters. At least they have not messed with the flavor.
My brother from another daddy, the Swamp Chef, likes it too!
Even Mom's kitty, Howie, has a use for Dixie Beer.
Louisiana is usually cloudy with frequent rainy days during winter. It rained one day only when I visited Gonzales and it only grew cold the last couple of days of my vacation.
I like to start the day with a cup of a local brand of java called Community Coffee.
And if I'm lucky Mom does a bit of baking when I visit, including homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies!
Cajun country has a great sausage culture that is unique to the South. Along with typical smoked sausages there are Hot Links and a rough ground Andouille sausage that's used for Gumbo and Étouffée.
Louisiana Sausage slide show.
Other local delicacies.
My L.A. girlfriend, Linda, flew in from Philadelphia where she was visiting her own relatives, to spend a few days with my Cajun family and celebrate my Mom's 85th birthday.
We picked up Linda at Louis Armstrong New Orleans Airport then drove to the French Quarter for a quick chicory-flavored Cafe au Lait and sugar powder-covered puffy Beignets at Cafe du Monde.
Dale & my sister Denise
Linda + Cheap$kate
I made a video about Cafe du Monde a few years ago. My video is a fun behind the scenes look at an order of Coffee and Beignets -- I give prices at end of video, but that has changed.
For Mom's birthday she wanted to hit the L'auberge Casino Hotel in Baton Rouge right on the Mississippi River. She plays the penny and nickle slots.
Everybody got in on the action, especially with comped Bloody Mary's flowing.
We made it out of there with the shirts on our backs, too.
On the way back to Gonzales we stopped for a quick bite at St. Gabriel Grocery & Deli in Iberville Parish on River Road. This roadhouse dates back to the 1820's and serves tasty Sausage Po-Boys and Shrimp & Corn Soup.
And a whole lotta other stuff...
I always try to find Southern-style Boiled Peanuts and they had them here -- extra spicy too!
But the dining highlight of my vacay is usually a visit to the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet at Country Kitchen in Gonzales -- all for about 11 bucks! My girlfriend Linda was blown away at the flavors and variety of veggies. Below is just a small sample as the menu changes daily, and Fried Chicken was at the top of the menu that day.
Mac & Cheese, Jambalaya
Yellow Crookneck Squash
It's always a fun and literal filling time when I visit my Mom in Cajun country. And it was especially great to have my girlfriend Linda to show around...and boy did we finish the trip in high style with a Cajun Happy Hour. Just click on the play button to watch the video below!