Louisiana Gumbo: Charlie’s Restaurant in Violet, LA

Louisiana Gumbo: Charlie’s Restaurant in Violet, LA

  Charlie’s Restaurant and Catering 6129 E. St. Bernard Hwy Violet, LA 70092 504-682-9057 www.charliesrestaurantla.com  CASH ONLY   Charlie’s Restaurant has won the New Orleans Gumbo Cook-off for the past three years and it was time for me to experience it for myself.   First let’s talk about where the restaurant is located. Violet, Louisiana is located in St. Bernard Parish, a neighbor to the east of New Orleans. It’s on the east bank of the Mississippi River and less than 14 miles from the French Quarter.  While you’re in the area, why…Read more
Louisiana Gumbo: Speckled T’s in Slidell, LA

Louisiana Gumbo: Speckled T’s in Slidell, LA

  Speckled T’s 158 S. Military Rd. Slidell, LA 985-646-1728 www.speckledts.com   The Louisiana Northshore has some great restaurants that I’m sure serve great Louisiana Gumbo, but unfortunately Speckled T’s is not one of them. Now, they have good food, but the Chicken and Sausage Gumbo I ate on a recent visit needed a complete makeover. When a waiter serves you Louisiana Gumbo, the first thing that hits you is the aroma. It’s usually the roux that hits your nose first. When this Louisiana Gumbo was placed in front of me, there was…Read more
Louisiana Gumbo: Boudreau & Thibodeau’s in Houma

Louisiana Gumbo: Boudreau & Thibodeau’s in Houma

  Boudreau & Thibodeau’s (pronounced: Boo-Dro & Tib-a-doe’s) 5602 West Main St. Houma, LA 70360 985-872-4711 www.bntcajuncookin.com   Houma Louisiana is less than an hour’s drive from New Orleans but a world apart. Houma is in Cajun Country and one of the locations of the hit show Swamp People. Right down the road from the Houma Visitors Center is one of the locals' favorite lunch spots, Boudreau & Thibodeau’s.    As you can see by the picture the place doesn’t look like anything special. In fact, when I arrived, it looked like a…Read more
It’s Mardi Gras Time and Louisiana’s decked out in Purple, Green and Gold

It’s Mardi Gras Time and Louisiana’s decked out in Purple, Green and Gold

Mardi Gras is a Louisiana tradition and each region of Louisiana celebrates Mardi Gras a little differently. Here is a very, very brief history of Mardi Gras and then a list of Mardi Gras terms. Click here to view a 2013 Mardi Gras Calendar (courtesy of our friends at Louisiana Life). Mardi Gras dates back over several thousand years to the pagan celebration of spring. More recently, the religious leaders of Rome decided that with excess comes sacrifice, so Carnival season became a prelude to the 40 days of penance between Ash Wednesday and…Read more
Swamps, Gators and Indians in Houma, LA

Swamps, Gators and Indians in Houma, LA

  What's becoming a hot tourist destination, enjoying a rise in popularity and maybe even a bit of glamour? The swamps of Houma, Louisiana! Right in the heart of swamp-land, Houma has, for many years, offered great swamp tours, but with the success of the History channel's show "Swamp People", the tourists are coming in droves to see reality TV's newest cool destination,  to experience a bit of bayou life and to mingle with these down-to-earth, hard-working Cajun folk.  Houma and the surrounding areas offer plenty of tours operated by true, authentic “swamp…Read more
Super Bowl XLVII in the Big Easy

Super Bowl XLVII in the Big Easy

Company is coming and New Orleans is putting out its welcome mat. In fact, all of Louisiana is ready to welcome close to 150,000 fans and media to watch the Ravens and the 49ers battle it out. The date is February 3, 2013 but preparations have been going on for over a year with the new streets and new sidewalks in the French Quarter and downtown, over $300 million in renovations at the Louis Armstrong International Airport, and the extension of the streetcar line. Now, if you are looking for rooms in New…Read more
Why “choot ‘em” when you can hold ‘em at the Gator Chateau?

Why “choot ‘em” when you can hold ‘em at the Gator Chateau?

OK, admit it: you've watched that show "Swamp People" on the History channel, at least once.  And if you're like me, you have some combination of  respect / fear / revulsion / admiration for those massive, menacing, armored reptiles. They are probably the closest thing we have to dinosaurs on our planet. One look and it’s easy to believe that the species hasn't changed much in more than 150 million years. Now usually you'd have to venture out into the bayous and wetlands to get a close-up look at these amazing reptiles, but I…Read more
NOLA Welcomes in the New Year with Fireworks and Fun!

NOLA Welcomes in the New Year with Fireworks and Fun!

  If you’re planning on finding a nice, quiet destination to ring in the New Year; a place where you can relax and recuperate from the hectic holidays, then you'll definitely want to steer clear of the French Quarter. Then again, I’m sure you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that the inhabitants of this great city know how to party hearty when it comes to celebrating the New Year! In fact, they are expecting that about 50,000 revelers will be on hand for New Orleans 2013 New Year’s Eve Celebration.   As is…Read more

Catch “ZooLights”: the Holiday Light Extravaganza at the Baton Rouge Zoo

  It’s not unusual to see a wide variety of exotic animals like tigers, giraffes and elephants at the Baton Rouge Zoo. After all, that’s one of the reasons it’s the #1 year-round family attraction in the area. But at this time of the year, you can see the animals not only in the flesh (and fur), but in lights!   ZooLights is a special holiday tradition in Baton Rouge. During the month of December, visitors flock to the zoo to see the more than 50 larger-than-life light displays of some of their…Read more
Christmas on the River in Monroe-West Monroe

Christmas on the River in Monroe-West Monroe

It's Christmas on the River in Monroe-West Monroe, LA and the whole month of December is filled with holiday events, music, lights and lots of Christmas spirit!   Downtown Monroe and Antique Alley, across the river in West Monroe, will light up the area with incredible lighting features that dance to the Christmas tunes.  Shoppers, don't miss December 15 on Trenton Street on for special bargains at the antiques shops assisted by shopkeepers dressed in vintage holiday attire.    Christmas at the Biedenharn features beautiful holiday decorations throughout the historic Biedenharn Home and Elsong Gardens.…Read more