A Food Tour of Shreveport-Bossier
When people think of the major cities of Louisiana, they often think of those in the southeastern region, on the Gulf of Mexico. While Shreveport-Bossier might be on "Louisiana's Other Side," toward the northwestern corner, close to Texas, it’s absolutely the place for delicious, authentic Louisiana food and year-round Cajun festivals. Join me on a food tour of this exciting part of Louisiana.
Strawn’s Eat Shop
We started our food tour of Shreveport-Bossier at Strawn’s Eat Shop, a local diner where they serve up amazingly good classic Southern food – fried chicken, collard greens, grits, it’s all here. Although it was early in the day, we had to try their most popular dish – the icebox pies. I was not alone in tasting the pie at such an early hour. After all, Strawn’s is famous for them! It was well worth the splurge. I’ve never had a fresh strawberry pie like this, full of juicy strawberries and topped with a cloud of whipped cream. The banana, butterscotch and chocolate cream pies were also incredible and all made from scratch that morning.
For lunch, our group visited one of the oldest family-owned restaurants in the state, Fertitta’s Delicatessen, to have their famous “Muffy,” a take on the muffaletta. Entering this restaurant was like stepping back in time, as much of the décor hasn’t changed since the 1930s. The service was wonderful as well, so welcoming and attentive. Agatha, Papa Fertitta’s daughter, prepared a “Muffy” for us. It’s a giant, delicious, toasted sandwich filled with several Italian meats, cheeses and their famous olive mix. This is a sandwich meant for sharing, as it was roughly the diameter of a basketball! I bought a jar of the delicious olive mix to take home.
Another historic food spot I fell in love with was Herby K’s. For more than 70 years, they have served their twist on the po’ boy called the “Shrimp Buster.” This delicious dish is full of butterflied, fried shrimp on buttered French bread with their special remoulade sauce. The restaurant got its start back in the days before the interstate was built, when Pierre Avenue was a main route through town and always full of travelers. Today, the restaurant remains full of locals enjoying the delicious food and charming, old-time atmosphere.
Mudbug Madness Festival
I was lucky enough to be in town for the kickoff of the Mudbug Madness Festival. The four-day festival began in 1984 as a crawfish boil; it has grown to include much more, including crafts, souvenirs, lots of food and an incredible live music line-up. We saw a fabulous band, Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, which got the crowd up and dancing. After some dancing, I tried some gator-on-a-stick and walked down to the Red River, where I could see all the impressive riverboat casinos – something to explore the next time I return to Shreveport-Bossier.