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Saturday, June 7, 2014

From Florida, to Alabama, to Mississippi to Louisiana on I-10

Aloha Everyone,

J.J. and I wanted to avoid chain restaurants. In Louisiana, where seafood is famous, we wanted to have a real Cajun style meal. Off I-10 there was this rather dilapidated looking wooden structure with a parking lot full of cars. "This is it. This is the place!" J.J. took the last remaining parking stall and we walked in.

1) It was an incredible experience, a place you would remember for a long time.

2) The meal was excellent, to which Anthony Bourdain would have added, "Oh, I'm happy now."

3) We had an great encounter with total strangers.

The restaurant is The Cabin in Gonzales, Louisiana. One should not underestimate the importance of finding a perfect place to eat, a place with "Duende" which James Michener described in detail in his books, "Iberia" and "The Drifters". It is a difficult word to translate, but in this case I am using it to mean character or inspiration.

The restaurant is unlike any other we have visited.  It began as one of the ten original slave dwellings of the Monroe Plantation.   We were informed that the section in the back where small cabins are still standing was used for a segment for the movie, "12 Years a Slave."

Food was exquisite or the Japanese would say, "Totemo Oishii."  Jacob, our server started us with their complimentary home-made corn bread.  I would have been happy just having that as my main course.

J.J.'s choice was The Progue -- fried shrimps, oysters and fresh Louisiana catfish in a garlic buttered French bread boatserved with Cajun-Creole style French Fries. I enjoyed blackened Tilapia also cooked Cajun-Creole style with white rice over red-beans.

We noticed that the table next to us was occupied by a couple with their two sons. The younger one was curious and precocious. He wanted to explore the entire restaurant. They began by apologizing if the child was disturbing us and we said, "It is a normal behavior for a child his age." One topic lead to another and we ended up exchanging names, emails and providing them with my blog address.  

Heather and George:

Our drive through Alabama was uneventful.  Upon entering Mississippi, we stopped at a Rest Stop/Visitor Information and were greeted by Linda who offered me Mississippi Coffee.

As of today, we have visited 16 states, some much more intimately than others, The next two or three days  will be spent crossing Texas.

Aloha -- Cathi