Eating and driving my way through Louisiana

Thank God for paper maps! There was no cell phone signal from Arkansas to Louisiana and I had to rely on the maps to keep me on track. The drive through Louisiana was interesting. I’ve concluded that this was the worst state to drive in. You have to be careful of other drivers and defensive driving is a must in this state. Drivers go real slow and don’t pay much attention…. I was on the highway and saw a mishap, not a crash. Apparently, a couple mistook the median for a road and the car (not kidding) ended up on top of the orange barriers! They weren’t hurt, but look confused. I should have stopped to take a picture cuz it was hard to believe that really happened.

Food was amazing everywhere I went. I saved my appetite for this state and was glad I did. My first stop was Pineville, where I finally got bars on my phone. It was getting dark and I had to find a place to spend the night. There were a couple of strip malls and one restaurant had a fascinating sign with lots of color and moving lights. There also was an alligator head or something so I waited a while and then decided to go in. Quebedeux’s Cajun Cafe is a restaurant featuring a live band that played songs I recognized. The wait staff was friendly and I ordered crab cakes and gumbo soup. As I was writing notes to recap the day, my server came up to me and asked me what I was writing about. I explained that I was a travel blogger and she excitedly asked if I was going to write about the restaurant. I said sure, and we talked a bit until I got my food. It was wonderful! A little later, another server stopped by to ask about the van and my travels. I gave each of them my card. I noticed a couple of people staring at me and imagined that they must have thought that I was some kind of celebrity. It was fun to watch.
After driving around for a while, I found a spot in the parking lot and slept peacefully.

The next morning I headed down to New Orleans, where I made a reservation at the KOA. I’m not fond of KOA’S because I think they are pricey for what you get, but I am not familiar with the area and it was convenient. It was near the airport and the highway, so I could get in and out easily. Noise doesn’t bother me at this point, except for screaming children. The office staff was friendly and knowledgeable about the restaurants and gave me a couple of suggestions. After a nice, long nap I prepared to go out to eat.

New Orleans is spread out and I was a little confused getting around. Sadly, a hurricane hit the city again this year and tarps on roofs and debris were scattered around the city. I made my way to Bobby Hebert’s (pronounced ay-bear per my bro-in-law) Cajun Cannon in Metairie, which was a mix of sports bar and casual dining. I’m glad I put on some decent clothes. The menu had a little bit of everything Louisiana and I had a tough time deciding on what to order. I told my server and she suggested the jambalaya pasta that had alligator sausage in the dish. I looked at her skeptically and she assured me that the sausage was very good, and she was right. The dish was delicious and I got to check off another weird meat that I don’t eat. Question: What does alligator taste like? Chicken? Who knows… On the way back, I got stuck by a train for a half hour and was glad to be back at my camp site.

Heading out of the KOA the next morning, I planned to get some beignets for breakfast, and drove into the French Quarter to find some. Parking the van was pretty easy, so I threw some quarters in the pay box and walked around. Low and behold, there was Café Beignet and a small line in front of the store. The line went pretty fast, and I chatted a bit with the woman standing behind me. Oh boy, was this worth the wait! I got 3 large bennies for $3.99 and they were warm and ready for my mouth. I tried to resist not eating them until I got back to the van, then took some snaps and dug in. Oh heavenly!
The streets are so narrow in the French Quarter that it was hard to navigate in the van. Delivery trucks and partyers took up most of the street. Not having a lot of patience, I moved on and left the French Quarter. I took some snaps at Jackson Square and went on my way.

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