Ça C’est Bon!

Maurice, Youngsville, Broussard, Lafayette

If you have an envie for a delicious, quick plate lunch-to-go, stop by Jody and Tonya Hebert’s newest spot, A Venue by Dupuy at 9511 Maurice Ave. in Maurice (they own Dupuy’s Seafood in Abbeville), where you can drive through for Cajun fare such as crawfish etouffée with fried okra. (Tip: Beware of Highway 167 speed traps). The Morgan City barbecue joint, East Gate BBQ, opened a second location in Youngsville, 123 La Neuville Road (formerly Straws and Claws) with tender brisket, pulled pork and chargrilled oysters. Also new in Youngsville is Peking Garden Restaurant at 2802 E. Milton Ave., featuring hibachi, sushi and Chinese fare. Check out the new Cajun Cabana Bar & Grill, 1000 Albertson Pkwy. in Broussard. O rder crawfish boudin spring rolls, shrimp and gouda grits and Caribbean jerk chicken. In Lafayette, Collin and Jasmyne Cormier’s year-old Pop’s Po-boys at 740 Jefferson St. has expanded from serving lunch only to being open Thursday-Saturday until 9 p.m. Order the debris-style roast beef with crispy oysters and hand-cut fries with crawfish dip. Also, check out the new Zen Noodles & Grill, 3809 Ambassador Caffery (in the former Tutti Frutti’s), a sleek Vietnamese eatery with creative soups, butter sauce frog legs, grilled mussels, beef carpaccio and steamed lemongrass clams. Sizzling Monkey at 116 E. Vermilion St., is a new hip spot downtown, complete with monkey art and a late-night Monkey Bar with live music. (Executive Chef Blake Fontenot worked at Charley G’s). You can cook the meat and seafood of your choice at your table, “on the rocks,” on a sizzling hot rock! Other options: flame-licked salmon, lamb chops and chargrilled oysters. Speaking of oysters, Drago’s of New Orleans, famed for its chargrilled bivalves, is still planning to open a Lafayette location. Another Big Easy eatery, Dat Dog, will be situated at 201 Jefferson St., featuring patio dining, a wrap-around mezzanine, live music and suds from Bayou Teche Brewery of Arnaudville.

Flying High


The Lafayette Airport Commission, which is planning an estimated $150 million in construction projects including a new terminal and runway improvements over the next 3-5 years, announced it has chosen 2 firms to lead the construction of the LFT Terminal project, marking a major milestone for Acadiana travelers. RS&H of Austin was selected as the architectural and engineering firm that will design the new terminal. Heery International, headquartered in Atlanta, was selected to serve as the project and construction management firm. Construction of the new terminal will begin later this year.

Spicy Guided Tours

Avery Island

Curator and historian Shane Bernard, Ph.D., the author of five books about south Louisiana including “Tabasco: An Illustrated History,” is now offering 1.5-hour guided tours at the new Tabasco Visitors Center; $10/person with a $200 minimum (337-373-6139).

Expansions and Attractions

Southwest Louisiana

In booming Lake Charles, Golden Nugget is adding an additional 300-room hotel tower, to be completed in the spring of 2017, L’Auberge Casino Resort recently expanded its dining options to include the 24-hour Modern Pantry featuring everything from boudin and gumbo to sushi and gelato, and the Isle of Capri just renovated and revamped its Lone Wolf concert venue. Rikenjacks Brewing Co., a former hot-spot that closed in 2006, has been revived and is now situated in a building that once housed the Italian Villa on Ryan Street, with outdoor dining, bars and live music. Vinton’s Delta Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel, which recently opened Rosewater Grill and Tavern featuring steaks, seafood and craft beer overlooking the racetrack, is undergoing a $45 million expansion slated for completion in December.

New Shopping Haven

The Hub City

One of the largest retail developments in the history of Lafayette, the recently opened Ambassador Town Center, reaffirms that the commercial real estate market continues to hold its own, despite the tanking oil and gas sector. The 58-acre project located at Ambassador Caffery and Kaliste Saloom (which reportedly created 2,300 construction jobs and 1,700 permanent jobs) is anchored by Field & Stream, Costco, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Nordstrom Rack, along with boutique shops and restaurants. This includes Chuy’s Mexican Restaurant (with a happy hour nacho bar), Blaze Pizza (with an interactive kitchen) and BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, among others. A new coffee concept, Professor Bob Bean’s Nitrogen-infused Coffee and Ice Cream Lab, has been eagerly anticipated among cold-brew iced coffee enthusiasts (from local Sub-Zero franchise owner, Ken Bobbs).