Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ask us to send you a
Boudin Trail Brochure!
Who's on the TRAIL?!

Yeah, so maybe Napa Valley has wine. And...perhaps New York has pizza, and to the top that pizza? Gotta have Wisconsin cheese no less. But, those places don't have what we have, and that's BOUDIN. Say what? It's pronounced "boodan or boodeh," but however you pronouce it, the end result will be - "yummmm," which is probably universal in all languages.

In Louisiana, we tend to take things for granted because they are so ingrained in our culture or everyday life, that it takes someone on the outside to let us know what's so cool about our own cuisine. Boudin is one of those things. So now, we have an all new Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail that ties together all the boudin masters in the area in a way so that visitors can navitgate our cities and towns, taste the local boudin and see attractions along the way.

The best part about the trail is that you get to meet the locals and see other Louisiana products such as specialty meats, spices, sauces and coffee - all made locally or somewhere in the Bayou State. And, many of these products are not available on a national scale, so you'll be able to take a little Cajun kick back home with you and impress your friends!

So, oh, yeah, what IS boudin?! LOL! It's our favorite finger food, and it's a staple snack in the southern regions of Louisiana, made of varying amounts of pork meat, liver, rice, onions, parsley and dry seasonings like salt, red pepper, black pepper and garlic powder. Looks similar to sausage to the untrained eye.

Boudin - how to prepare thee? Let me count the ways! You can get crawfish boudin, shrimp boudin, alligator boudin, mild boudin or smoked boudin - just to name a few. Or, fried boudin balls - my favorite - old fashioned goodness.

So, check out the Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail or for updates on what's going on in the area, follow us on Twitter or Facebook by clicking on the icons to the right.

We hope to see you in town for a boudin breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009
So, you come home from work and call up an old friend. After twirling your store bought "boxed" spaghetti on your fork and watching it fall off in a limp splat on your plate, you realize that you (A. need a vacation B. need better food C. would like to bring a few old friends with you!) Has this ever happened to you? The same old, same old turns...really old?

(Cue dream bubble and harp)
Think of a place where you can take a stroll downtown and run across some interesting shops from trendy jeans to antiques and knickknacks. That place is closer than you think. In downtown Lake Charles and several blocks over in the cottage shop district, delightful stores exist where you and your gal pals can find unique items including Louisiana food products. Also downtown, there is a variety of food to pique the interest of most palates, and Cajun restaurants are found throughout Southwest Louisiana. When you are here, you can also find Cajun recipes and cookbooks such as the local Junior League's "From Marshes to Mansions" that you can take with you and try in your kitchen back home. Yummmmm!

For nightlife with the gals, L'Auberge du Lac Casino Resport offers a wide array of restaurants featuring scrumptious steaks to "gotta have it" gelato. Live entertainment options will keep you dancing long into the night. Follow it up with massages, facials, and the works at Spa du Lac in the morning. After a massage (or two), float down a lazy river and catch up on some girl talk. How much fun would it be to relax in style with a good group of friends and actually return from a vacation - refreshed? Glam-N-Gloss Day Spa, Scarborough's, Henrietta's and more throughout the area create a pserfectly charming atmosphere to be pampered.

Other exciting casino adventures can be had at the Isle of Capri Casino & Hotel in Westlake or Delta Downs Racetrack, Casino & Hotel. Each property has a myriad of fantastic restaurants, steaming buffets and live entertainment options. At the Isle, show off your inner rock star by singing karaoke with your friends every Wednesday night. Relive hits of your youth and perform them - live! Get your adrenaline going during Thoroughbred raving season at Delta Downs. Watch both horse and jockey gallop and lunge down the track for that coveted photo finish! (Just like in the movies!)

For more information on entertainment options and local events and festivals or to plan your trip, contact the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana CVB at 800-456-7952 or visit http://www.visitlakecharles.org/.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The next time you are loading up your iPod or similarly technological gadget, think about looking up some truly different musical experiences for your evening run or road trip. So, if Cajun, Zydeco or Swamp Pop are not an everyday affair for your listening pleasure, you might be surprised to know that there are many bands out there who are carrying on traditions passed down from generation to generation, with Zydeco and Swamp Pop stemming from blues and country influences on Cajun French music. In fact, there is a new Zydeco & Cajun Music category at the Grammys!

Check Out Grammy Winners:
Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience 2008 Winner
Michael Doucet avec BeauSoleil 2009 Winner

Grammy Nominees:
Pine Leaf Boys
Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys
Cedric Watson
Geno Delafose and French Rockin' Boogie
Lisa Haley
Lost Bayou Ramblers
Roddie Romero and the Hub City All-Stars

Hey, it’s no secret the Louisianans like to have a good time, and my personal thought is that perhaps long before washing machines did the dirty work, people decided to make music with washboards to break up the boring chore of washing clothes! Who knows?

But, better yet, instead of just looking up our truly unique blend of music for a mere iPod, why not check it out in person? This summer, you can experience the Cajun Music & Food Festival, July 18-19, or the Marshland Festival, July 31-August 1.

The complete scoop is on the calendar section at http://www.visitlakecharles.org/, and while you are there, you can get an overview of other attractions, restaurants and places to stay and visit in Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana.

Come by and have a cup of coffee (my favorite) at the tourist bureau while you are in town, and we’ll help you find your way - 1205 N. Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles, LA. For more information, call the bureau at 800-456-7952.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Downtown at Sundown will feature Soul Vacation on Friday, May 22, at 6 p.m. on the corner of Ryan and Broad in Downtown Lake Charles. Soul Vacation began in November 2003 when bassist Jay Ecker invited co-member and guitarist of the band "City Heat," Mike Dolan, to put together a new kind of party band, playing a mixture of today's most popular hits with a dash of that undeniable classic rock flavor. He then quickly recruited Mrs. Jessica Minton of Lake Charles to add a unique female voice to the equation. With the addition of former student David Pellerin (keyboards/vocals) and Ron Muniz (percussion), the group was complete. The band performs at venues across southwest Louisiana and east Texas. Playing songs from a wide array of artists, Soul Vacation is one of the most musically versatile live bands in Lake Charles.

Downtown at Sundown is made possible by corporate sponsorships. The Soul Vacation concert is sponsored by Global Industries and will be performing on a stage sponsored by Cheniere Energy. Local artists will come out to exhibit their talents in table top galleries alongside kids’ entertainment and food booths. In the event of rain, the concert will be held inside the Lake Charles Civic Center. Concert goers are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs, however, no outside beverages or pets are allowed. Beverage revenue will benefit the Arts and Humanities Council of SWLA. The audience is invited to meander through Downtown Lake Charles for more entertainment in the restaurants and pubs. For more information call 337-491-9147 or visit www.cityoflakecharles.com.