If the mountain doesn’t kill you, something else will. Like eating the way I do when I go home for Christmas. I forgot to take photos of a few meals this time around, but I think the ones below will still give you an adequate sampling.
(Speaking of sampling, feel free to buy one of my books!)
We arrived in Opelousas Friday morning after an overnight drive from Colorado (just over 17 hours) and kicked things off with boudin and cracklins from Billy’s, one of the finest meals known to man.
That evening we had fried fish and shrimp stew, courtesy of my stepdad.
The next evening we went out to Melville to my dad’s. It was a low key affair consisting of platters of sandwiches, more boudin, desserts, and the below muffaletta from Cannatella’s. I gotta tell you, I don’t eat muffalettas. Not a fan of the olive dressing they layer into those things. The chicken-salad from Mama’s Fried Chicken, though, is something else.
Mom found a super deal on ribeyes and the temps hit 70 on Sunday, so we broke out the pit. We also did chicken and country ribs. Threw in some asparagus just for the hell of it.
Christmas Eve, we had lunch at Coby’s Classic Cuisines in Opelousas. Fried shrimp and shrimp etouffee. Did not disappoint.
Christmas Eve, we journeyed out to Grand Prairie. The annual gumbo was replaced with … meatball stew. It was delicious, even if I was starting to worry about the lack of gumbo in my life. Last year’s trip had an abundance of gumbo in the first few days.
Christmas Day was the traditional spread at my mom’s house. Fried turkey, ham, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, rice dressing, desserts (including a cheesecake from Junior’s.)
Christmas Night. GUMBO! Finally. And not just any gumbo. This was Toby “The Cajun Traveler” Dore’s world-famous gumbo. I wrote about it recently because Toby shared the recipe. Just look at that egg. (Also, if you’re traveling to Cajun Country, Toby’s got a number of apartments and houses he rents in prime location.)
Day after Christmas, we went to Bonefish Grill to celebrate mother-in-law’s birthday. I had a salad. Partly to get some green vegetables in, partly because we were eating late and I had very important dinner plans only a few hours after.
Those dinner plans were … PIZZA SHACK. The Ferdie’s Special. No. It’s not New York pizza. It doesn’t claim to be. But it’s better than New York and Chicago pizza combined.
The next night was our annual pilgrimage to Steamboat Warehouse in Washington, Louisiana, courtesy of my brother Brian. I had another go at gumbo. And a seafood platter.
Oh, look. Another breakfast of boudin & cracklins!
When life hands you a cotton candy machine, you eat cotton candy.
Then it was time for my annual seafood gumbo. And by “my,” I mean my stepdad buys everything and even provides the stock. I basically assemble the seafood gumbo.
[I forgot to take a picture of the beef rice and gravy, sweet carrots, and black-eye peas at Daddy’s house in Melville. I’m kicking myself for that oversight.]
No trip is complete without a breakfast of donuts from Mikey’s in Opelousas. I got this one in on the last day in town. That was followed a couple hours later by a barbecue pork steak from Kelly’s Country Meat Block & Diner.
And then, for the final meal of the trip. Cara, her mom, and I headed to R&M’s Boiling Point in New Iberia. While I was disappointed that they were out of crawfish, we still managed to find some other things to eat, including boiled crabs, boiled shrimp, a seafood platter (shrimp, crawfish, alligator balls, stuffed crab, stuffed shrimp, fried fish, etc., etc.). Oh, and also this Chtulhu Bloody Mary, with the part of Chtulu played by a soft-shell crab.