Freshly caught Gulf fish served at Jack Daniel’s Bar & Grill
Tucked away in the southwest corner of Louisiana is a food lovers paradise. Consistently fresh seafood with an easy hospitality and Cajun influence all come together to equal more than the sum of it’s parts. Lake Charles, located in Calcasieu Parish, is a melting pot of French, African, and German immigrants that is purely reflected in it’s food culture. The food here shows the struggles of the people, and how so many of the food traditions have been handed down and melded through the generations. Cajun country people are frugal, and nothing goes to waste. In fact over time the recipes haven’t changed all that much, and they don’t have to as they remain classics. Nearly everything that I tried, was for the very first time, and I was not disappointed. I wish that I could have stayed longer to enjoy the world class seafood offered here.
We stayed at the L’Auberge Casino Resort. Our suite was smartly decorated, spacious, and had a huge, beautiful bath area with two full vanities, a shower for two, and a monstrous soaking tub.
Beautifully appointed suite at the L’Auberge
We loved lunch at L’Auberge’s Asia, a Japanese restaurant located on the main floor of the complex. I’m no stranger to sashimi and was curious to see how Asia would present it. I know what you’re thinking; “ Sashimi at a casino in southwest Louisiana?” The fish was fresh and was served with true wasabi, something that I’ve rarely seen. Usually wasabi served in sushi restaurants is a “mock” type made of horseradish and colored with spinach to give it that green hue. Asia surprises.
The Sashimi at Asia was spot on
Dinner was a Southern style spread at Jack Daniels’Ò Bar & Grill in L’Auberege Casino Resort. I was told this was the only one of its kind. Was this place going to be a corporate restaurant with corporate food? Well, I was wrong. Executive Chef Lyle Broussard, born and raised in the area, possesses a true love of home-style Cajun food. He designed the menu. This was a brilliant decision to allow Chef do what he does best and the food shines because of it. During dinner which began with the most deeply flavored Gumbo I have ever tasted, Chef explained that when he was just a child he would watch his mother preparing a roux for the Gumbo that would take hours to prepare. Then he would stand on a little stool and stick his finger in it to taste it, because it looked like chocolate to him; dark and rich. And even though it wasn’t the chocolate he had hoped for, his love for food began.
Chef Lyle Broussard with a platter of Cajun goodness
Chef ‘s love of his local heritage carries over to the menu with authenticity, deep flavors and a simplicity that allows the ingredients do the talking. I’ll always remember this flavorful and soulful introduction to Cajun cooking . I recommend anything seafood on the menu along with the “must have” seafood Gumbo. And as the menu states “We dare you not to share” so grab the gang and share multiple plates.
Chef’s amazing Gumbo
The following day and just a short walk from the L’Auberge we were treated to a lovely breakfast at the Golden Nugget Lake Charles. Sporting luxurious suites with all the amenities one could ever want, this is another property to enjoy during your stay in Lake Charles. The Golden Nugget offers multiple dining options, so this is a great way to kind of mix it up without having to drive. Both resorts are located on the water and are accessible by boat.
A spacious suite at the Golden Nugget Lake Charles, Louisiana
Make the most of your visit to this beautiful part of Louisiana, and spend some quality time in Lake Charles. For up to date information on food and music festivals, sporting opportunities and any outdoor activity you can think of visit: http://www.visitlakecharles.org/.