Get to know Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s hidden culinary capital

There is more than one worthwhile city in Louisiana. Baton Rouge, the state’s capital and second largest city, shares the rich, multicultural history of New Orleans, but in a decidedly tamer setting. (Except maybe on LSU soccer match days). The ever more diverse culinary scene never loses its local flavor (lobster phở, anyone?) With iconic ingredients such as catfish, redfish, lobster, alligator, braids and soft-shell shrimp. And you can still find Etouffée, Gumbo, Jambalaya and Po ‘Boys from the textbook.


The Gregory / Photo courtesy of The Gregory

The Gregory

Located in the Watermark Hotel, the city’s oldest skyscraper, built in 1927. The Gregory serves modern southern cuisine from Louisiana-born chefs Justin Lambert and Chad Galiano. The menu screams south. Start with frog legs, redfish pie or Rockefeller gulf oysters with herbsaint added. From there it goes to speckled trout with crabs maque choux, Lobster andouille ravioli in allspice and cheese sauce or flatbread with spicy turtle sauce, alligator sausage, lobster, okra and green tomato. One of the most extensive wine lists in town is complemented by a large, changing selection of local craft beers. Look at you Blog for a hands-on explanation of the difference between Cajun and Creole food.

Cocha in Baton Rouge.
Photo courtesy of Cocha


Last year the owners of wife and husband Saskia Spanhoff and Enrique Pinerua opened Cocha, a seasonal, vegetable-oriented restaurant that reflects the increased diversity of the region. Pinerua comes from Venezuela, while Spanhoff is Dutch from the second generation of Baton Rouge and the menu looks out to all corners of the world. The legacy of Pinerua shows over arepas and cachapas (Venezuelan corn cake staple) and his mother likely inspired the grilled cheese, which uses Basque-style chorizo ​​and idiazabal cheese. You may also find muhammara, moussaka, kinilaw, African peanut stew and Malaysian style golf fish. In addition to German potato salad and homemade sauerkraut, there are also beer rolls from the nearby Iverstine Butcher. The wine list is international as well, although beer options remain nearby.

Parrains seafood restaurant

Parrains has been a Baton Rouge staple since debuting in 2001 as it serves seafood from the Gulf Coast to a constantly packed house. There are a couple of “lawn” options, like the addicting whole seared Cornish hen with dirty rice and coleslaw, but you’ll want to upgrade with sautéed lobster or lump crab. Fried fish fans can’t miss the whole shebang, which consists of stuffed prawns, regular prawns, catfish, oysters, alligator, and a cup of gumbo. Wash it down with one of over two dozen beers on tap, about half of which are Louisiana. Professional tip: Half-shell oysters are bargain prices every day, but reduced by 50 percent on Tuesdays.

Baton Rouge factsge

At 450 feet, the State Capitol in Baton Rouge is the tallest capitol in the country. The former Capitol, completed in 1852, was built as a medieval neo-Gothic castle and is now a museum
Louisiana State University has around 1,200 live oak trees valued at $ 50 million.
The 1953 bus boycott in Baton Rouge is considered the first such protest by the civil rights movement and was a model for the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott.
Baton Rouge means “red stick”, named after a pole that early French explorers found that separated the hunting grounds of the Houma and Bayogoula.
The LSU Indian Mounds are two Indian mounds that are more than 5,000 years old and go back further than the Egyptian pyramids.


The bay in Baton Rouge
Photo courtesy The Cove

The Bay

At the The Bay, you will find more than 1,000 whiskeys, including around 500 scotches, at least 500 beers and more than three dozen types of absinthe. The bar offers over 300 drinks with an emphasis on historical cocktails, a generous daily happy hour from 5pm to 8pm, nightly specials and a 20 percent discount for service and filmmakers. It is rounded off by knowledgeable and friendly servers. Is that your favorite bar yet?

A cocktail at Cane Land Distilling in Baton Rouge
Photo courtesy of Cane Land Distilling

Cane Land Distillation

Owner Walter Tharp’s family owns the Alma Plantation and Sugar Mill in nearby Lakeland, which means that Cane Land Distillery, which opened in May, is one of the few manufacturers of bottled spirits in the country. It is under the motto “Cane to glass” Rum agricole is made from freshly squeezed sugar cane juice and has bright notes of cut grass and green banana, while the rum argenté (French for “silver”) is modeled on an unaged Cuban light rum. There is also an exceptionally smooth sugarcane vodka. The tasting room offers direct tastings as well as interesting cocktails and hour-long tours of the distillery are possible by appointment.

Olive or twist in Baton Rouge.
Photo courtesy Olive or Twist

Olive or twist

Olive or twist has nearly 1,000 spirits and 100+ craft beers, but this is the place for creative cocktails. Try the “Thai Quila” with tequila with coconut milk, turmeric and lime leaf or the “Peter & Bugs”, a mixture of Pisco, Galliano and grapefruit liqueur with lemon and carrot juice. Extraordinary spirits flights and “cocktail roulette” (at the choice of the bartender) add to the fun. A recent addition came with an expanded menu of southern home cooking that includes one of the most decadent brunch in town. Happy hour runs all day on Sundays and Mondays, with wines and cocktails worth $ 6.

Published on December 11, 2017

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