this combination bakery and sandwich stop is the Number One (out of 298) restaurant in Lafayette.
With reviews like:
“...makes some of the best burgers in Lafayette. The bread is what makes it so good. Order a cheeseburger and I'll bet it won't be your last.”
“…burgers are better than excellent; they are superior to almost all other burgers in Lafayette or anywhere else. My suggestion is to go with a friend and split one -- yes, they are that big!”
“Wow, wow, wow! Their huge hamburgers at lunch are out of this world!...I sat and savored my lunch in a way I haven't in years. Yes, I even closed my eyes…What put it over the top was the bun…If the butter bun leaves you unimpressed, I would suggest you have tired of life itself, but that's just me. I'm drooling a bit just thinking about the place.”
These had been voted the “Best Burger in Acadiana.” Always on the search for the ultimate burger, we had no choice but to visit Southside Bakery for one of their acclaimed hamburgers.
“It was shortly after the conclusion of World War II that founders Russell and Edith Guilbeaux opened what was once called the Dixie Cream Donut Shop…In the late 1970's, son Sammy bought the bakery from his father, and ran the bakery with his wife Gerry for ten years. Sammy closed the bakery in 1987 due to illness…Today, Southside Bakery continues to be a family operated business, with identical twin sons Denny and Billy, now carrying the family standard of providing only the highest quality products. They have expanded their menu to include hamburgers, sandwiches and salads“ (from the restaurant’s web site).
It wasn’t yet 1:00 p.m. when we walked in and three-quarters of the tables were occupied with most customers dining on large hamburgers. You walk to the order counter to read the short sandwich oriented menu. Offerings include: Cajun “Rich Boy” Sandwiches with a choice of ham, turkey, or roast beef on the bakery’s butter bread with lettuce, tomatoes, and mayonnaise and are served on our “delicious” butter bread; a Fried Shrimp or Grilled Shrimp Sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes, and tartar sauce (mayo in the grilled shrimp); the “Gourmet” Hamburger or “Gourmet” Cheeseburger with lettuce, tomatoes, and mayonnaise; the “Gourmet Turkey Burger; the Crab or Crawfish Burger; a grilled cheese sandwich; and shrimp or chicken salads. For sides you could choose a salad, fries, or snag a bag of chips from the rack along one wall.
After ordering (a basic cheeseburger for Chuck and the cheeseburger with added grilled onions and bacon for me), we found a seat next to one of the bakery’s display cases where I was forced to gaze upon a tantalizing array of cakes, cookies, and other pastries. This was not fair. We have been gorging ourselves on the world’s greatest donuts (more about this in a later blog) and had vowed to take a break from desserts.
Finally our lunch arrived. By this time, it was just after 1:00 p.m. and the café was almost empty. With no exceptions so far, lunch in Acadia is eaten between noon and 1:00 p.m.
With the burgers, we shared an order of above average fries. We should have stopped there.
The Best Burger in Acadiana? I hope not. First, the meat’s texture was mushy. It was as though it had gone through a food processor and not a meat grinder and reminded us of all the bad hamburgers we ate in Canada. Second, Chuck thought that his was dry, but, then again, he had them hold the mayo and didn’t have the grilled onions. (This is my sandwich that you see pictured here.) Third, he thought it had an off taste. I didn’t notice this at first since I had the additions of onions and bacon. Then I noticed my mouth starting to burn. The meat had been seasoned with some spicy or peppery seasoning that obscured the flavor of beef. And, fourth, there was a sweet taste to the bun that I found off-putting.
Not a successful outing by any means. I’ll give the fries 4.0 Addies but 0.0 Addies for the burger.
Now I have read about a small place just down the road known as the “Home of the Dixie Burger.” What’s a Dixie Burger? I have no idea, but it must be better.