Mar 19th, 2012 | By | Category: Senior Travel

Best Food in the Country

Last year,  Lafayette was named a finalist in Rand McNally‘s summer competition to find the best small towns in America. Over 20,000 people nominated more than 600 towns from across the country in five categories. So seniors, hop in your car and head south…way south and belly up to a table that serves this great southern food. “Nowhere in the world was the preparation of rice taken so seriously and done so magnificently,” wrote one culinary expert. For a lesson in the role rice plays on the Louisiana table, just try to have a few traditional meals in the state without it. You can’t avoid rice, not that anyone in Louisiana would want to. Like white on rice, gumbo and Louisiana are inseparable. Nowhere else in the world will you find this signature dish prepared as well or served with as much gusto!

Traveling through South Louisiana means visiting the heartland of cajun cooking. This is the area called Acadiana, or Cajun Country, a region where many diverse peoples developed a distinct culture together and where everyone shares a passion for great food.

Lafayette is the parish seat of Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, on the Vermilion River. The population was 120,623 at the 2010 census; It is the fourth largest city in the state. On weekend nights, Downtown Lafayette turns into a nightlife hub in the Acadiana region. Downtown Lafayette offers a diverse range of dance clubs and sports bars, including iconic live music venue tourist destinations such as Grant Street Dancehall and The Blue Moon Saloon.

Outside of the downtown area, other establishments are found. Those along the McKinley Street Strip historically catered to a university crowd within walking distance. Located in Lafayette’s earliest inn, Café Vermilionville serves award winning cuisine in a historic & romantic setting. Listed on the National Register, it is highly recommended by AAA and Mobil Travel Guide. Don’t pass this one up seniors.

Eating Well Rates High With Many Senior Travelers

Among the many things you can count on when you visit Louisiana, senior citizens, eating well may be at the top. If you haven’t been to Louisiana before, you have probably never eaten like this. Whether you have spicy boiled crawfish in Lafayette, seafood gumbo in New Orleans, southern barbecue in Monroe,  good old-fashioned pecan pie in Alexandria or a meat pie in Natchitoches, you’ll quickly find that dining in Louisiana is more than a way to satisfy your hunger, it’s a way to enjoy the bounty of Louisiana life.  Lafayette is said to have more restaurants per capita than any other American city, and many of them specialize in the distinctive, seafood-laden regional cuisine.  Down there they say…”Pick Your Passion”, just so it’s hot.

Numerous music clubs feature homegrown talent, including both traditional and contemporary Cajun and Zydeco performers. Two popular festivals, Festival International de Louisiane in April and Festivals Acadiens in October, draw many thousands of visitors to town and anchor a calendar year full of celebrations of the area’s vibrant culture.

Hey…don’t pass up the Marinated Deep Fried Alligator Tenderloin served with Dijon Mustard Aioli & Fried Pickles… this is “as good as it gets in Lafayette” at the Café Vermillionville.  Or you might order the Louisiana Crawfish Tails Blended with Cheeses & Bacon Mire Poix, topped with a Spicy Creole Mustard Aioli, garnished with Fried Dill Pickles.   Maybe some Fresh Gulf Shrimp tossed with Spicy Rémoulade Sauce layered between Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes over Romaine Lettuce in a doggy bag for take-home huh?   Now we know why Lafayette is rated so high by those who know food. Some of these specialties sound pretty darn good. jeb

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