Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Louisiana Road Trip 2011, Part 9: Tabasco and More Ned

St. Martin of Tours Church, St. Martinville, LA


The Tabasco company is on Avery Island, about an hour and a half from Arnaudville. Avery Island is made of salt. Not kidding. (And even though some people recoil from same as if it were meth, I like it, with no apologies.) I drove down for the factory tour.

The tour is very short: A brief, but interesting, lecture by an enthusiastic speaker, a 10-minute video advertisement documentary about Tabasco, and a short, self-guided walk down the glassed hallway, where you look at bottling happening. Today, the sauce was being bottled for shipment to France.  Each of us received three teensy bottles of Tabasco sauce in different flavors.

The intended climax of the tour was the visit at the "country store," where you could taste Tabasco products, including its pepper ice cream. And then buy stuff.  I did buy some hot&sweet pickles and jalapeno jelly. Best of the Tabasco sauces: Chipotle.

I think I'm glad I did the tour. And if I'm not glad I did it, I'm glad I prevented the need for me to do it in the future. So it's a win-win.

St. Martinville

Headed up north again. This time, I dawdled in St. Martinville's town square. Very pretty church, St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church.

St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church, St. Martinville, LA

Out back, there is the famous Evangeline statue. Note her shoes. The Acadians (cajuns) used these wooden shoes on their homesteads along the bayous. They adopted them from the Dutch way back when their ancestors learned how to protect farmlands from the sea.

Evangeline, St. Martinville, Louisiana

Light and bright, as churches go.

I especially liked the pew gates.

There was also a spiral staircase up to a pulpit. And a couple of saints new to me. (Which I see, now, since I cannot identify them, I need to get into the habit of photographing such housekeeping details  - or writing them down immediately - because I will forget them before the day is out. I will add this to my road trip guide.)

I was at the church at noon, so I heard the bells.

Outside, angels flew.

Ned, again

I hadn't heard anything about Ned the lost dog yet, and I was curious. I had to pass through Breaux Bridge on my way back to Arnaudville, so I stopped in at the music guy's place to see if I could get some news. The music guy was in his shop, painting.

"Oh yeah," he said, "We stayed here in the shop til 11:00 last night waiting to hear back from the owners, but we never did, so we figured out where they lived [via reverse phone lookup] and just took him over there and left him in the [fenced] yard."

I nodded my head, listening.

".... and you know what? Ol' Ned showed up back here the next morning."

"You're kidding?!"

"Oh, yeah. So I took him on back to his house. The owners still weren't there, but some neighbors were, and they saw him, and they said, 'well, hey, there's ol' Ned.'"

I think probably Ned has more up his sleeve for the future, and I hope to hear about it.
So who was this nice guy at the music store, anyway? When we parted, I went to shake his hand, and he said, "We don't shake hands around here, we give hugs." And so we did. I learned he plays in the Steve Riley and Mamou Playboys band. His name is Brazos Huval.

They've been nominated for a "regional roots" Grammy for their album, Grand Isle.  Here's the band performing an NPR tiny desk concert


Time for a late lunch. Stopped at Poche's specialty meats and cafe. Poche's is just down the road from Glenda's Creole Kitchen, which so far had served me up the best meal of this road trip. Both Glenda's and Poche's are between Breaux Bridge and Arnaudville, on Highway 31.

I was torn between trying the crawfish etoufee and the smothered rabbit, but went with the etoufee. Some people, upon taking the first bite, might exclaim: "Holy Christ on a stick, that's #%^#@! good!" I would not say such a thing because it would be crass, so let me just say that it was mighty flavorful. As was the sweet coleslaw and the potato salad.

Today's plate lunches at Poche's

Do you see why road trips are so much fun?

1 comment:

Geoff Reed said...

There is a small restaurant on East Bridge which runs along the side of the Saint Martin De Tours Church in St Martinville. They have the best crab cakes that I have ever eaten. You talk about good! It lies directly across the street from the church, but I cannot remember the name. Good crab cakes a very hard to find and are my measure of a good seafood restaurant. Reasonable prices as well.