Around Louisiana: Baton Rouge/Plantation Country
Beating the Alternative in Angola
Chief, the “bad” wolf-hybrid pooch who was terrorizing a peaceful New Roads neighborhood, is going to prison. But his paws won’t be cuffed, and he won’t spend his days pacing in a small cell from the confines of the clink. Chief has been conscripted by the Guard, prison guard service that is at Angola Penitentiary.
Chief routinely gave into his inner wolf in New Roads, frequently escaping his owner’s property. Chief’s escapades unleashed hell, causing mayhem and madness until the authorities decided to take him. According to the Baton Rouge Advocate, in a report distributed by the Associated Press, District Judge James Best initially ordered euthanasia for the canine enfant terrible, a mix of British Columbia wolf and German shepherd. But the higher-ups at Angola, a prison that sits amid 18,000 acres near New Roads, intervened and commuted the death sentence to life. No longer a resident of Death Row, Chief gets a second wind.
“We actually breed wolf hybrids here and raise them,” says Deputy Warden Bruce Dodd. “We don’t want them to be vicious killers, but to be aggressive. They become a security measure.” Dodd also believes Chief’s aggressive behavior will be a strong asset.
Chief’s owner, Vicky Smith, who planned to sell her home and move so she could keep Chief, is upset by the turn of events.
Raised by Smith since he was a five-week-old pup, she feels he will be lost without his human pack.
“I keep him inside our air-conditioned home,” says Smith. “I feed him oatmeal for breakfast. Do you think they’re going to feed him that?”
However, Randall Lockwood, an animal behaviorist affiliated with the Humane Society, cautions against having wolf-hybrid dogs as family pets.
“They get bored, and because they’re very strong, they almost always escape, injuring themselves or others in the process. They go after neighbors’ dogs, they jump fences and get hit by cars; they jump out of windows … If you want to get a wolf-hybrid or a wolf because you want to help the wolves, save the $15,000 you’ll spend buying the animal and a high fence and give it to one of the groups that are working for wolf recovery,” advises Lockwood.
FORK IN THE ROAD
TACO BOUDREAUX’S IN BATON ROUGE
When you see a restaurant sign emblazoned with a crawfish wearing a sombrero in Louisiana, regardless of the hour, you know it’s time to stop for a meal.
The food at Taco Boudreaux’s is Louisiana-meets-Mexico – La-Mex, if you will.
The lagniappe appetizers menu is the first signpost for a unique dining experience. The Oyster Taco Feller reminds me of a Latin version of oysters Rockefeller: fried oysters lying on a crunchy flour tortilla chip with green chimichurri sauce, redolent of parsley and garlic, topped with Parmesan cheese. Mexican Crabmeat au Gratin is a creamy and spicy take on an enduring classic.
The entree menu is no less La-Mex nor imaginative. In a delicious marriage of flavors, traditional étouffée in a perfect tomato base is served atop a bed of Spanish rice with garlic bread. The VooDoo Shrimp and Gritz, large Gulf shrimp that have been teased around the pan in a rich butter sauce and laid upon creamy grits filled with smoked Gouda cheese, is guaranteed to place you under the spell of a culinary bruja. If you want a taco, try the La-Mex Shrimp or Crawfish Taco – the seafood has been delicately cooked in a Southern Comfort whiskey glaze, spiked with Cajun spices and served on a corn tortilla with lettuce and cheese. The corn flavor of the tortilla beautifully accompanies the flavor of shrimp or crawfish.
End your meal with the delightful Sopapilla Beignets. Drizzled with organic honey, cinnamon and powdered sugar, these flash-fried, flaky delights are served surrounding vanilla ice cream.