Sunday, May 25, 2008

Slim Pickins

Remember that Hungry Man's Breakfast I mentioned yesterday? Well, it's real. Only this picture (not my meal) doesn't show the softball-sized blob of sweetened whipped cream, served as an accompaniment to the pancakes! I opted for a fresh vegetable egg-white omelet with a slice of whole wheat toast.

The REAL specialty at Strawn's Eat Shop, however, is their homemade icebox pies - which, according to our server, sell for $13.75 each. On a non-holiday day, they sell an average of 50 pies, including take-outs. On any given holiday, they sell between 300-500 pies at each of their three Shreveport locations.

We spent the morning touring Melrose Plantation, home of former slave Marie Therese Coincoin (kwan-kwan). Here, she earned enough money to buy the freedom of all four of her children and two of her grandchildren - who ultimately amassed nearly 16,000 acres of land and became the most prosperous free people of color in the region. Many of her descendants still live in the area.

Back in historic downtown Natchitoches - the oldest settlement in the La. Purchase - we ate lunch at famous Lasyone's Meat Pie Restaurant.Cited by a plethora of food writers around the world, this little meat-filled fried pastry is the signature culinary identifier of the town. During "regular" weeks, the restaurant sells about 3,000 meat pies a week. During festivals, the number rises to nearly 30,000. (After dabbling in a few bits of the meat filling, I worked my fork back over to a fabulous salad of baby greens, mandarin oranges, sunflower seeds, feta cheese and grilled chicken.)

One note about traveling to Louisiana: Take your own packets of low-fat dressing. Other journalists are now placing bets whether the next restaurant we visit will even offer the low-fat variety. Most of the servers sort of chuckle when I request it, wondering why I'm even in the state if I'm trying to eat healthy. I just play along, and request extra lemons to drizzle over the greens if all else fails.

Dinner at Antoon's was a fitting capstone to the day. Although most dishes were loaded with Chef Todd's imaginative heavy cream sauces, he accommodated my special request with a made-to-order surf and turf combo served over steamed vegetables.
A true gustatory delight!

1 comment:

Cammy said...

One of my favorite things about dining out is finding ways to have a healthy version of what I want. I've found most restaurants are happy to work with you.