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  • Lisa Parsons

Eat Like a Local

David Digging in to his enormous shrimp Po Boy

When David and I travel we set aside our food issues (vegetarian, diary free) and eat like the locals eat. Food is a very important part of culture. We want to learn more and experience the cultures we are immersed and part of that is sampling the food, sitting down to a good meal with new friends, and trying things we’ve never tried before.

We’ve eaten dried llama meat in Bolivia, bowls of cool liquidly yogurt in a yurt Mongolia, and Pavlova cake with kiwis in Auckland. We’ve eaten traditional food prepared by the internationals we hosted through Earthcorps at the yearly Global Café from countries like Russia, Rumania, Kenya, and Brazil.

Here in the U.S. our giant country has many subcultures that have their own traditions, food, lingo, etc. What you find in Seattle may be different than, say, Louisiana. So as part of our travels we are looking for culturally significant foods that have defined parts of our country for many years. This is especially important with the expansion of restaurant chains that make getting the same kind of food anywhere possible. McDonalds in Portland Oregon is the same as McDonalds in Philadelphia Pennsylvania.

I was really looking forward to finding authentic Cajun food cooked by locals. Today we found that at Bon Temps Grill in Lafayette Louisiana. It had great reviews on Trip Advisor and the menu looked enticing. We were not disappointed. We ordered crab cakes for an appetizer. Then I had Cajun blackened jerk chicken with a mango and cheese salsa with a side of sage spiced mash, and a side of braised Brussels sprouts. David had a giant shrimp Po Boy. The food melted in our mouth and captured our minds as we enjoyed every single bite.

Bon Temps restaurant was an easygoing place with a bar, a neon Louisiana map, and the music was a mix of Cajun and modern rock-n-roll. The hostess opened the door upon our arrival and welcomed us in. The waitress had that southern drawl that made us feel right at home. I asked her whether I should order the Gumbo or the Cajun Chicken and she offered up that the chicken was quite good. When our food arrived we could tell it was going to be amazing. The group two tables down looked at our meals and immediately asked what we were eating it looked so delicious.

We left slumbering into a food coma and looking forward to food in New Orleans the next day in the French Quarter. David wants a bucket of crayfish boiled in Cajun spices.

We can vouch for the:

  • Sage sweet potato mash

  • Cajun blackened jerk chicken with a mango and cheese salsa

  • Mouth melting crab cakes in a cornmeal crust

  • Shrimp Po Boy

  • Braised brussel sprouts

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