If you know me, you know that I love two things a whole lot: CrossFit and food. Seriously. Look at my instagram. It's all crossfit, food, and selfies (so maybe I love me, too?). I'm also a really huge Louisiana fan and I could read/talk about it all day. The history of this state is just so wonderful and intriguing. So when my friend told me about Baton Rouge Food Tours, I was totally down. The walking food tour involves visiting 6 different restaurants unique to Baton Rouge with a tour guide and sampling items from each one. On the walk to each restaurant, our guide, Kim, gave us interesting history facts about buildings in and around downtown Baton Rouge. Y'all, it was incredible. We started by meeting at Poor Boy Lloyd's on Florida Street. We got to try the hot roast beef po' boy and good God, it was fantastic. Roast beef, covered in gravy, it definitely wasn't the daintiest thing to eat, but it sure was good. Each sandwich came with dressings on the side and as we chowed down, we learned about the ins and outs of Poor Boy Lloyd's. PBL has been around for over 50 years in Baton Rouge and while it is no longer owned by a Lloyd, it retained the name because it's so popular. They are open everyday for breakfast and lunch and on Friday nights, they host live local bands.
Crime scene: I killed that sandwich. It was so good, I ate it all before I even thought to take a picture. But look at that gravy!
After the roast beef po' boy massacre, we headed over to the Hilton hotel where we were given a good ol' fashioned Hurricane.
The Hurricane is a world famous drink, original to New Orleans' Pat O' Brien's. The drink was born in 1940 out of a need to use up excessive amounts of rum purchased (by force) by bars. Add in a little lime juice and passion fruit syrup and a star was born! This drink was sold off to sailors and served in a hurricane lamp shaped glass, giving it it's name. Still popular today, the Hurricane is a must have when visiting New Orleans! Additionally, while at the Hilton, we were able to enter one of Huey P. Long's famous underground tunnels. In case you aren't too familiar with Louisiana history, Huey P. Long was Louisiana's most infamous politician and he was a hero or a crook, depending on who you ask. Long was notoriously paranoid--rightfully so--and in order to avoid paparazzi and possible assassination, he had underground tunnels constructed under buildings that he frequented. The Hilton provided us with an excellently mixed Hurricane and even though, I'm not the biggest fan of rum, I sure enjoyed it on our walk over to Stroube's! Stroubes was known in the 1940's as a classic drugstore that served your traditional malts and the best egg salad sandwich in the area. Today, Stroubes features "upscale downsouth dining" with fantastic steaks and seafood.
We were served corn, crab, and brie bisque (left) and duck and andouille sausage gumbo (right). They were both fabulous. The bisque was so rich and tasty and the gumbo was made with the darkest, most wonderful roux. I literally had to stop myself from eating both of them because I was going to stuff myself! From Stroubes, we made our way down to Zolía, a gorgeous bistro that I had never even heard of. We were lucky that Zolía is in the process of creating a new menu and we were able to be taste testers for the new goods! The first thing we tested was a medjool date stuffed with spanish chorizo, wrapped in bacon and drizzled with a honey chili sauce. It was incredible. I wish that I had thought to take a picture, but it was so good that I forgot all about it.
The second item we tasted was a fantastic rice, cheese, garlic blend drizzled in oil, intended to be a side dish. My goodness it was good.
We took a walk where we got to pass a beautiful view of the state capitol (the place where Huey Long was shot and later died as a result) which is also the tallest state capitol in the United States.
And we ended up back on Third Street at Restaurant IPO. Restaurant IPO prides itself on featuring food that has a worldwide culture while blending it with flavors that are uniquely south Louisiana.
IPO served us a fabulous strip of duck stuffed with green onion cream cheese, rolled in jalapeno and wrapped in bacon. Mouth watering just thinking about it.
Finally, we headed back to the Hilton where we were seated at their restaurant, The Kingfish Grill. We were served Community Coffee (a staple in Louisiana!) and then...dessert was served.
Dessert was fabulous. Banana cream cheese stuffed beignets topped with bananas foster, garnished with powdered sugar and a sliced strawberry. Absolutely delicious.
I had the most fabulous time on this tour and it was so great to spend time learning about Louisiana history while devouring incredible eats. If you're ever around the Red Stick, please make sure to grab you a couple of tickets for the Baton Rouge Food Tour. C'est si bon (it is so good!)