Recently a New York Times travel writer and blogger—who shall remain nameless to spare him further embarrassment—made a road trip beginning in Louisiana and ending in North Dakota. And he had the audacity to write that he “could not find a memorable meal in Louisiana.”
We last dined at French Press in the Spring of 2011 and had breakfast on two different visits. And we wanted to return to see if their breakfasts were as good as remembered. On these previous visits, we ordered the Acadian Breakfast Sandwich (bacon, egg, cheese and boudin on Texas toast), the Sweet Baby Breesus (buttermilk biscuit sliders with bacon, fried boudin balls, and Steen's cane syrup), the Cajun Benedict (toasted French bread, boudin, and eggs topped with chicken and andouille gumbo), and the Grits And Grillades. We loved them all. So what do we do? Reorder a favorite or try something new? We went with the new.
But they didn’t stop with the buttermilk marinade. The crispy skin had been glazed with LeBlanc’s cane jelly—a Louisiana product that was totally new to me—that gave the chicken a slightly sweet taste and that produced little “burnt sugar” bits on the skin. “From the cure-all elixir Hadacol to the first new sugarcane product in more than 200 years, the LeBlanc family has been churning out one-of-a-kind products in Louisiana since 1945. In recent years, Roland LeBlanc has poured his time and efforts into developing sugarcane jelly…. His final product, LeBlanc’s Cane Jelly…is the first new sugarcane product since 1794…. LeBlanc’s process for turning juice from sugarcane into jelly is not one of the common kitchen experiments gone awry stories. His product is the result of three years of hard work and determination” (ldaf.state.la). I so have to find some of this before we leave Louisiana!
The waffle portion of his meal had been topped with sharp cheddar which made a good foil to the sweet chicken. And the waffle came with a pitcher of warm Steen’s Cane Syrup for drizzling.
So I say to that—I am presuming here—self-important New York Times travel writer and blogger, “Come to ‘The Tastiest Town in the South’ and start your day with a 5.0 Addie breakfast at the French Press.”