Lafayette Journals

Lafayette, the Capital of Cajun Country

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A June 2002 trip to Lafayette by ssullivan

Quote: Lafayette is located in the heart of Louisiana’s Cajun country. The area is full of historic homes on oak-lined streets, plantations, and a culture you won't find anywhere else. In 2002, I made eleven business trips to Lafayette in seven months and became quite familiar with the city.

Lafayette, the Capital of Cajun Country

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Overview

Quote:
Lafayette, Louisiana sits about 15 miles west of the Atchafalaya River basin and swamp, and is fewer than 40 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico. The city is known as the unofficial capital of Cajun Country or Acadiana, as most locals prefer to refer to the region. Settled by immigrants from Nova Scotia in the mid-1700s, this area of Louisiana developed its own unique culture, famous for its cuisine, language, and music. To this day, over a quarter million local residents speak a unique dialect of French, and, like the nearby city of New Orleans, examples of the continuing French influence abound. Today Lafayette is a major hub for the Gulf of Mexico offshore operations of a variety of...Read More

Hilton Lafayette Hotel and Towers

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Hotel | "Hilton Lafayette and Towers"

Quote:
Of the hotels in Lafayette I’ve stayed in, the Hilton Lafayette and Towers is my favorite. It is one of the few full-service hotels and quite possibly the largest hotel in the city. It’s also probably one of the more expensive places to stay in town, although you can find rates around $90 online for weekend stays. On my business trips taken during the week, the rate was usually around $140. That said, do not expect four- or five-star accommodations from the Hilton; when compared to other full-service Hiltons, I’d rank the Lafayette location no better than average. But, when compared to some of the other options, the Hilton stands out, even with its faults. So why do I say the Lafayette Hilt...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 10, 2004

Hilton Lafayette Hotel and Towers
1521 WEST PINHOOK RD
Lafayette, Louisiana 70508
337 235-6111

Hampton Inn Lafayette

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Hotel

Quote:
My one stay at the Hampton Inn Lafayette will always stand out in my memory, not as much for the hotel itself, but for the events surrounding my stay there. My only stay at this hotel was on the night of September 11, 2001, and was booked on very short notice when it became apparent that I would not be making a scheduled flight on the morning of September 12 from Houston to Birmingham. So, in order to get a head start on a long road trip, I left for Lafayette on the evening of 9/11 and had one of my coworkers book me at this Hampton Inn. The Hampton Inn Lafayette is a standard Hampton Inn located just off of Interstate 10. There is a newer Hampton Inn and Suites located near the Lafayette A...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 10, 2004

Hampton Inn Lafayette
3941 State Road 26 E
Lafayette, Indiana 47905
(765) 447-1600

Holiday Inn Holidome

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Hotel | "Holiday Inn Lafayette Central/US 167"

Quote:
I’ve stayed at this Holiday Inn more than any other hotel in Lafayette, but not by choice. Most of my business trips to Lafayette were to conduct 401(k) education workshops for the employees of a large offshore drilling company, and the client always chose this hotel’s meeting facilities to host the workshops. After about 15 trips to this hotel, I became very familiar with the property, including its shortcomings, which, unfortunately, there were many of. My biggest complaint about this Holiday Inn is the persistent problem with air conditioning that exists in many of the guestrooms. This is not an isolated problem, as on every stay here over two years, at least one (if not more) people fro...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 10, 2004

Holiday Inn Holidome
2032 NE EVNGELNE THRW
Lafayette, Louisiana 70501
337-233-6815

Courtyard by Marriott Lafayette

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Hotel | "Courtyard Lafayette Airport"

Quote:
The Courtyard Lafayette Airport is a standard Marriott Courtyard; if you’ve ever stayed at a Courtyard, you know what to expect here. The property dates from the late 1980s/early 1990s, when Marriott was building Courtyards right and left on basically the same floor plan, so the property does not feature any of the special amenities that some newer, more urban Courtyard locations have. Guestrooms have the standard Courtyard furnishings, with one or two beds, a dresser, arm chair, desk, and sofa with a pull-out bed (in king-size bedrooms only). Overall, the furnishings are nice, but nothing extremely special. Unfortunately the beds have the usual Courtyard thin foam mattress, which I dislike with a...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 10, 2004

Courtyard by Marriott Lafayette
214 EAST KALISTE SALOOM RD
Lafayette, Louisiana 70508
337-232-5005

Best Suites Lafayette La

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Hotel | "Best Suites Lafayette"

Quote:
I stayed at the Best Suites Lafayette once in late 2000, when it was brand new. My employer was feeling the need to save the client some money and looked for the cheapest accommodation they could find near the intersection of Pinhook and Kaliste Saloom Roads, and the Best Suites was their choice. While not my favorite hotel in Lafayette, I must say that, for a budget hotel, the place wasn’t half bad. And, while I don’t have the repeat visits to judge the property by that I have at most of the other hotels in this journal, I can say that the air conditioning worked, the room was perfectly clean, the lighting and work areas were more than adequate, and there were no odd smells. If you don’t understan...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 10, 2004

Best Suites Lafayette La
125 EAST KALISTE SALOOM
Lafayette, Louisiana 70508
337-235-1367

Best Western Hotel Acadiana

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Hotel

Quote:
Unfortunately, the Best Western Hotel Acadiana ranks up there with the Holiday Inn Lafayette as one of my least favorite places to stay. Have you ever stayed someplace that sounds like it could be great when you read the description online, but then arrive to find out that the hotel has not seen a good renovation in a couple of decades and the staff and facilities are average at best? That’s how I feel about the Hotel Acadiana. Maybe when it was new it really did exemplify the luxury and high level of service that it advertises, but today it appears worn out and has a level of service that leaves a lot to be desired. One of the first things I’ve noticed each time I’ve been booked at the Hot...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 10, 2004

Best Western Hotel Acadiana
1801 W PINHOOK RD
Lafayette, Louisiana 70508
1-337-2338120

Prejean's Restaurant

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Restaurant | "Prejean's"

Quote:
Ranking in a tie for first place with Café Vermilionville as my favorite Lafayette restaurant is Prejean’s. This large restaurant on the north side of town near Evangeline Downs takes traditional Cajun cooking to new heights. Most of the restaurant’s menu is focused on local seafood, including crawfish, Gulf shrimp, crabs, oysters, catfish, and red snapper. You’ll also find regional delicacies such as alligator and frog legs, and wild game selections including Colorado elk, deer, and buffalo. Everything is freshly prepared and almost sinfully delicious. In fact, the food here is so good that I know people in my hometown in southeast Texas who have made the 3-hour drive to Lafayette on a Saturday af...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 10, 2004

Prejean's Restaurant
3480 N.e. Evangeline Trwy. (i-49)
Lafayette, Louisiana 70507
(337) 896-3247

Don's Seafood & Steak House : Business Office

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Restaurant | "Don's Seafood and Steakhouse"

Quote:
Don’s Seafood and Steak House has been a Lafayette institution for over 70 years. The downtown restaurant used to draw huge crowds that formed a line around the outside of the building, waiting to get in (as shown in the many historic photos lining the dining room walls). Today the crowds are smaller, and the average age of the customers older, as the major highways have long since bypassed downtown, and most tourists and travelers just passing through stop at the chain places on Interstate 10 and Evangeline Thruway. But, thanks to a stable base of local fans (and a few from out of town who’ve discovered this gem), Don’s persists. Interestingly, Don’s (along with other Don’s locations in Beaumont, ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 10, 2004

Don's Seafood & Steak House : Business Office
301 E Vermillion Street
Lafayette, Louisiana 70501
(337) 233-1037

Cafe ' Vermilionville

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Restaurant | "Café Vermilionville"

Quote:
Café Vermilionville is one of my two favorite restaurants in Lafayette (the other being Prejean’s). Housed in a historic inn that predates the Civil War by at least 43 years and a modern addition to the back of the original structure, Café Vermilionville occupies a site that has been a haven for hungry visitors for nearly 200 years. Today this once rural outpost on the banks of Bayou Vermillion sits on Pinhook Road, a busy thoroughfare, just a few blocks from Lafayette’s oil center. Archeological surveys on the restaurant’s property have revealed Civil War-era bullets and cannonballs, attesting to nearby battles. In fact, records indicate that Union troops occupied the historic section of the resta...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 10, 2004

Cafe ' Vermilionville
1304 W Pinhook Road
Lafayette, Louisiana 70503
(337) 237-0100

Blue Dog Cafe

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Restaurant

Quote:
Blue Dog Café is a great restaurant combined with a unique art gallery featuring the quirky blue-dog paintings of Cajun artist, George Rodrigue. If you’re not familiar with Rodrigue’s blue-dog art, see the link below to his website. Over 150 of Rodrigue’s pop-art paintings adorn the walls of the restaurant, creating a fun atmosphere. These paintings are not for sale; they are actually part of the artist’s personal collection on loan to the restaurant. In addition to the fun atmosphere, what makes Blue Dog Café a great place is the food. The menu features a number of award-winning Cajun recipes, including my personal favorite, the Chicken Bayou Teche, a stuffed chicken breast topped with a c...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 10, 2004

Blue Dog Cafe
1211 W Pinhook Road
Lafayette, Louisiana 70503
(337) 237-0005

Chris's Po'boys

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Restaurant

Quote:
For the uninitiated, a po’boy is a long sandwich served on French bread, similar to a sub sandwich in other parts of the country. But don’t dare call these sandwiches a "sub" in this part of the country. You see, po’boys are a major part of the cuisine of southern Louisiana. The sandwiches are frequently stuffed with meats like fried shrimp or crawfish, not just the ordinary sandwich toppings of turkey, roast beef, and salami (although you can get those too at some places). The po’boys at Chris’s are the real thing. Many locals claim that Chris’s are the best in town and most of the rest argue for Old Tyme Grocery’s po’boys (I say it’s a tie). The only po’boy I’ve ever ordered at Chris’s is...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 10, 2004

Chris's Po'boys
1930 W Pinhook Road
Lafayette, Louisiana
(337) 234-6333

Nash's Restaurant

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Restaurant

Quote:
Just south of Lafayette lies the small town of Broussard. In recent years, Broussard has become somewhat of a suburb for Lafayette, but, fortunately, the town has retained much of its downtown area, with oak-lined streets and a number of historic homes. One of these homes now houses Nash’s Restaurant, a wonderful eatery serving a variety of Italian and seafood dishes crafted by chef/owner Nash Barrecca, a third-generation chef originally from New Orleans. The house, which dates from around 1908, has been meticulously restored, and features large porches that almost completely surround the rest of the house (some are enclosed for dining rooms now), high ceilings, wood floors, and antique furnishings...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 10, 2004

Nash's Restaurant
101 E 2nd Street
Lafayette, Louisiana 70518
(337) 839-9333

Pat's of Henderson

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Restaurant

Quote:
Pat's of Henderson can be a little difficult to find, and it is about a 20-minute drive from Lafayettem, but the drive is worth it, as the food, service, and atmosphere are all great. If anything, the restaurant's off-the-beaten-path location helps to keep it the authentic local place it's always been. Sure, tourists and travelers on the interstate are welcome (the restaurant does have several billboards on I-10), but most of the customers are locals, and that's part of what makes dining at Pat's such a good experience. It's a place where you can be completely immersed in the local culture. Pat's is literally located at the end of the road. To get there, head east of Lafayette on Int...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 13, 2004

Pat's of Henderson
1008 Henderson Levee Road
Lafayette, Louisiana
(337) 228-7512

About the Writer

ssullivan

ssullivan
District of Columbia County, District of Columbia

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