Getting that familiar rumbling in your stomach? Wanting to get out of the house or away from the office without hitting up the same restaurant where you always stop?
Then good news.
As a Bossier resident, we're blessed to have the culinary rainbow at our fingertips.
“I believe that Shreveport-Bossier has just as much to offer by way of authentic Louisiana dining experiences as our neighbors to the south,” said Chris Jay, social media and public relations manager for Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau. “With the rising popularity of food-related programming on cable television – networks like The Food Network and The Travel Channel, for example – visitors and locals alike seem to have a renewed enthusiasm for local eateries. You would be amazed at how often I am asked by travelers for directions to 'a hole in the wall' or 'a greasy spoon.'”
On our Facebook, readers spoke up for some of these “hidden gems.”
“Best chicken salad sandwich in town, is at Cajun Coffee House. Silver Star Steakhouse, nuff said!” said Paul Endris.
“Good Eats! Everything is great,” added Josh Salter.
If you're hungry and bored with chains, there is a myriad of local restaurants with various entrees, cuisines, and signature dishes waiting.
“When’s the last time you befriended the stranger next to you at a chain restaurant? Tourists come to the South looking for our 'Southern Hospitality,' and at many long-running local eateries, you feel like you’ve made a friend by the time the check comes,” said Jay.
One of our major draws when it comes to dining is seafood. Luckily, there are four very different local haunts to try out.
Cypress Inn, located on 5212 Airline Dr. near Benton, is a local tradition originally established in September 1972 by Earnest Jackson on the shores of Cypress Lake in Benton.
Tragedy struck in October 2002 when the restaurant burned down and Jackson passed away less than two years later.
But out of tragedy, the restaurant came back stronger than ever by turning the original site into a special events location with catering available through Cypress Inn Catering, owned by the grandson of Earnest Jackson, Reese Jackson. He also reopened the restaurant at its new location in November 2008 in Bossier City.
A more upscale atmosphere with a wonderful outdoor dining area, Cypress has some of the freshest seafood dinners available. Only open for dinner, there are no worries as their portions will leave you with enough left over for lunch the next day.
However, if you're in the mood for a hamburger, Cypress has one of the best these taste buds have met. Juicy with just enough of that grilled flavor served on an amazingly soft and slightly sweet bun, get it with cheese and bacon and you'll be in heaven.
If you're in the mood for a po-boy, it doesn't get any better than Kim's Seafood.
Started up by a former shrimp boat captain and New Orleans restaurateur who was displaced by Hurricane Katrina, the small restaurant is located in Kickapoo Corner shopping Center, 901 Benton Rd.
While it may not have an impressive facade, don't judge a book by its cover.
Upon entering, you're first greeted by the smell of spices reminiscent of a crawfish boil. The intimate dining area is filled New Orleans Saints and Mardi Gras regalia and careful observers will also notice a wall featuring pictures of the family's first NOLA restaurant that was destroyed by Katrina.
You then make your way to the front counter where you can choose from more than 125 menu items.
The star of the menu, other than the gargantuan crawfish, is their authentic southern Louisiana po-boys.
If it swims or crawls underwater, you can get it fried and on their thick, crusty, buttered roll. I tried a soft shell crab po-boy (I mean, where else can you easily get that north of Alexandria?).
If you prefer your seafood Creole-style, Gumbo to Geaux, 4100 Barksdale Blvd., has traditional cajun cooking at great prices.
Along with gumbos, etoufees, jambalayas, fried seafood plates, and po-boys, there are various appetizers including — fried pickles, fried calamari, and Natchitoches meat pies — and homestyle dishes to choose from including a unique dish that I had to try — Cajun Crawfish Fries.
For only $7.99, I received a platter, that had to weigh about 3 lbs., of french fries smothered with crawfish etoufee and topped with shredded cheese and some fried crawfish tails.
Other than being sinfully delicious, it was one of the best marriages of comfort food and traditional cajun I have ever seen.
The building's exterior and ordering method is similar to Kim's Seafood, but the dining area is peppered with dark, hardwood tables and all sorts of items that bring to mind Swamp People — in a good way.
Plus, any restaurant that has liter bottles of hot sauce already at the table has a special place in my heart.