"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Louisiana - It's all about that FOOD!

Abbeville, LA
Betty's RV Park


We were all set to spend a week at Palmetto Island State Park in Abbeville when we decided to stay a couple of nights at Betty's RV Park.  It seems to be "The Place To Go" when in Abbeville if you are an RVer.  She is a very nice lady and we were able to get in even though she is usually booked a year in advance.  There are only about 20 spots that are very close together around her house.  It's one of those places that is known for the eclectic atmosphere and her daily happy hours and get togethers with potlucks.  She has quite the following and people come back yearly.  It's more geared for the over 65 crowd.  For us, it wasn't the kind of place we normally enjoy.  We had a nice enough time and met some nice people, but we probably wouldn't return.


 
  
 
Myself & Betty

We have some family friends that live in and around Abbeville.  One night we had dinner with Angie & Bobby at their beautiful new home.  Angie made us her special Sausage & Chicken Gumbo which she served over rice and a creamy potato salad.  It was delicious!!  She went out of her way to make sure we could sample as much of the area specialties as possible.  She also picked up some Boudin (pronounced boo-DAN) and Boudin balls which are rolled in bread crumb and deep fried.  DEE-lish!  King Cake sliced for desert.  We'd not had it before or even heard of it. 

Originally, king cakes were a simple ring of dough without much decoration. Today they are much more festive. The dough is braided and baked and the "baby" is inserted. The top of the ring or oval cake is then covered with sugar toppings in the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold.  Inside every king cake is a tiny baby, usually plastic. The person who receives the slice of cake with the baby is supposed to bring the King Cake to the next party.



 
Bobby, Angie, Me & Steve                King Cake
 
On another evening we went over to Randy & June's house.  We knew another fantastic meal was coming!  Randy grilled up the most amazing Alligator/Jalapeno Sausage!  He also gave us some to take home.  I think this was my favorite of all the different foods we tried!  More Boudin Balls.  A close second.
    
June made Etouffee  (eh-too-fay) with crayfish, another great dish.
 
The food of this area is one we were excited to try and having friends make homemade meals for us was the best way to try them!
 
Geez, I can't pronounce any of the names around here!  We also went to AYE-bare, not Herbert.  Great meat market.  We bought some stuffed chickens, gumbo, more boudin balls and turtle soup for the freezer!
 
Abbeville, LA
Palmetto Island State Park

As we pulled into Palmetto Island State Park we immediately loved it.  The sites are very private and nicely spaced.  It's a newer campground.  The laundry is free and the laundry room and bathrooms are very modern and very clean.  Water and Electric for $20.  And they have the cutest inhabitants.

 

This is the screened in porch attached to the laundry room & bathrooms.

 
There are armadillos all over the place.  Some wild pigs, bears and alligators too.  We didn't see any pigs or bears, but a bear did come through the front gate on our last night.

Another great thing about this park is that Jim & Barb of Jim & Barbs RV Adventure were there too.  We've followed each others blogs and made plans to meet up while we were headed West and they were headed East.  We also got to meet the adorable Daisy.  Hurley was happy to have a friend.
 
 
Hurley                                  Daisy
 
I don't think they wanted their pictures taken.
 
 
We had a great meal at the Blue Dog Café in Lafayette on our way to a Swamp Boat Tour.
Crab Cakes and Andouille was very tasty.  All decorated for Mardi Gras.
 
Champagne's Swamp Boat Tours
We enjoyed the Swamp Boat Tour.  $20 each.  We road through the swamps, bayous and Lake Martin.  The bird sanctuary is closed from February through August.  We were lucky to be able to ride through it and see where all the nests are.  There were just a few birds on the nests.  In a few weeks it will be full of nesting birds.




We were told that this type of pink algae only grows on the north side of cypress trees.


An alligator nest.

I like the tiny plants that grow on top of the swamp waters.

 

  


Steve was working so Hurley and I went kayaking in the canals and lakes at the campground with Jim & Barb.  We saw lots of birds and a couple of alligators.  Thanks to Barb for the next 3 pictures.


 
 
 
Another evening the four of us took a drive to the Parish Brewing Company.  The guys were enjoying their flight of beer samples.  The consensus was that the beer was just ok.  Off for some food next.
 
One night we went out for raw oysters.  This was a first for Barb & Jim.  Can you tell??
 
Bottoms Up!
 
We can do this!
 
That was yummy!  Can we have more?

They were great sports!  We had so much fun talking a talking that we were the last ones in the place!
 
 
 
That wasn't the last of the foodfest though.   Jim, Barb, Randy, June, Steve & I went to Richards (pronounced REE-shards) to have the feast of all feasts.  A crawfish (don't call them crawdads!) boil.  Besides several pounds of crawfish, there were potatoes, corn, frog legs and shrimp.  The best yet!  People come from all around to eat here.  The place was packed!
 

Our wonderful friends, June & Randy.


Barb being brave sucking the brains out of the crawfish head.  I tried
it after her.  We both though it tasted spicy.

 
 
Then it was off to Shucks (pronounced SHUKS :-)  for more oysters and their famous Bread Pudding.
Here's the crew shucking the oysters for hungry customers!

Charbroiled oysters, very, very good!
 
 
The bread pudding was amazing.  It was served in a vanilla rum sauce.  SO good.  We forgot to take a picture of it when it first came out.  Next thing we knew it was gone.  Again, for the third time, we had so much fun talking about hunting, fishing, being on the road, etc, that we closed the place down!
 

We are going to have to step up our hiking and biking after this fantastic food marathon!

17 comments:

  1. dSo how do you stay so nice and slim? Looks like a lot of great food.

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    1. The food was just amazing! Of course we had friends in the area to steer us to the best places to get the best this or that. I can still barely move! This area is right of I-10 and a definite place to stop and spend at least a week!

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  2. Wow - you guys really did sample the local cuisine. Jim would probably be right there with you trying some of that stuff but not me. Sure sounds like you guys are having a fantastic time especially with good friends.

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    1. The frog legs were fantastic! I was looking forward to those. Hadn't had them since I was very young. We had one of the stuffed chickens (stuffed with potato and jalapeno stuffing) last night. Mouth watering! It was great meeting back up with good family friends and meeting Jim & Barb was something I was looking forward too. Daisy too!

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  3. We need to get to Louisiana one day. Between your post and Jim and Barb's I am more excited than ever to go. However, I wish they would remove the humidity and bugs first:) I will have to remember this park. It looks great. Can't beat the price!

    Sure sounds like you four had a wonderful time with all you food sampling. How nice that your local friends introduced you to so many local dishes.

    I found your take on Betty's interesting. We've never been there but my thoughts are exactly what you observed. It doesn't sound like us at all. I guess we travel places more for the outside adventures and activities.

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    1. John & Pam, we were told the humidity can come in Apr/May, probably the bugs along with it. It might not have been as greened up or warm, but no humidity or bugs or snakes! Beautiful campground! I'm not putting down Betty's, they are nice people and very respected. It's just not our cup of tea. We could have done 2 weeks with all the kayaking/biking in the area. That way we could've stretched the eating out a bit more 8-)

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    2. I knew you weren't putting down Betty's. We have just read so many blogs where people just LOVE it and stay for weeks. We've thought it didn't sound like us, so I was glad to hear that someone went and confirmed out thoughts. Most people do love it.

      Good to know the bugs weren't there:)

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  4. Such an amazing week!!! The food, the ambiance, good friends you guys did it all. I can't wait to get to Louisiana...so jealous!!

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    1. We thought we ate well in Florida! With Texas up next, we're in trouble! Be pre-warned, the roads are THE WORST!! EVER!! ALL over!

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  5. Seeing the sights, great food and meeting great people is what it is all about. It was fun meeting you guys and hanging out for a couple of days. Nice pictures of Barb and I eating the oysters! We will pay you back for that one of these days!

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  6. I have come on 'over' from Mike and Sandy's blog for a peek..nice blog you have, looks like I have some reading to do!

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    1. Hello Sue. It was wonderful to meet Mike and Sandy. We sure loving meeting the folks that write the blogs we follow. We've learned so much this way and really they are all part of our success in getting "out there". Thank you for the kind words. I'll give your blog some more reading too. Looks like you'll be free from the working world very soon. Good for you!!

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  7. Thanks for the stories of all this wonderful food. You are so lucky to have so many friends in the area to show you just where to go and fix such good eatin'. I love oysters but I'd be with Barb and Jim about raw. Not so much! We've never been to Betty's but like you, have heard a lot about it. Can't decide if it's a must do or not. But the state park looks great.

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    1. Palmetto Island is fantastic! You'd love it! Trails, kayaking, lots of birds and animals. I'd stay here then do a drive by to Betty's. You will know if it's for you or not.

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  8. We'll get our try of Betty's in April, like the looks of that state park though. We've heard Shucks is must stop for Dave at least, I'm just not a seafood person but that bread pudding looks great. Loved King Cake when were down south last year, have to get some to celebrate Mardi Gras this year.

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  9. Even if you stay at Betty's, I'd spend some time at Palmetto Island too. Especially if you like to kayak or bike, or walk the nature trails. Richards for the crawfish boil is a must. The places I've listed are where our friends that live there eat at at least once a week. Give them a try, but beware of prime lunch and dinner times. If you can go earlier, I'd recommend it. Wouldn't be bad to get a reso too for weekends.

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