It was our first day back in Louisiana and our plans for the day included lunch at a Celtic pub. Huh? You may be asking your self. Well, that was what we concluded when we got out of the Big White Truck at the Visitors Center across the road from Steamboat Bill’s in Lake Charles. We’re back in Louisiana and we’re going to eat Celtic food? I don’t think so.
“The year was 1982. Kathi Kocik Bonamici, from Chicago, and her three young daughters…found themselves in the coastal community of Lake Charles, Louisiana. With very little money, no friends or family in the area, and a strong will for survival, Kathi soon became ‘Kathi, the shrimp lady’—a household synonym known for her bubbling personality, honesty, hard work and a very deep love for all human beings. Her strong desire to deliver the freshest shrimp possible at a very reasonable price quickly gained her the respect of the consumer and the fisherman alike. With her brother Billy Bonamici's help, her business grew to the point where they needed a shrimp dock and buying plant to supply the demand…. With the help of her brother and daughters…a new phenomenon to Cajun country sprang up from the seafood market industry—Steamboat Bill's Cajun Seafood Restaurants with two Lake Charles, LA locations…” (steamboatbills.com).
Now take a look at this huge platter of food! This photo gives a good view of the stuffed crab and the catfish fillet.
Here you can see a close-up of the fried shrimp.
Off to the left of the photo showing the shrimp you will see the Louisiana roll. I was prepared to let Chuck eat this by himself, but he took one bite and told me I had to try it. “I think this has been fried,” I exclaimed. And this was confirmed by the woman who came to freshen our iced teas. It turns out that these are bakery rolls that you can find anywhere around Lake Charles, but Steamboat Bill’s tossed them into the fryer for a few minutes to heat and crisp them.
And up from the cole slaw and just past the fries are a small portion of the fried oysters. I used to have fried oysters all to myself. No more. Chuck is developing quite a taste for fried oysters, although he hasn’t mustered the courage yet to eat the large juicier ones. These are still mine, all mine.
This 4.5 Addie stop certainly turned out better than a Celtic pub, and now we really feel back home in Louisiana.
To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.