Up until last Friday, Clayton and I had spent three of four weekends in Florida and only one in Louisiana. When people asked me what I thought of Shreveport, I had nothing to report… While I still don’t have much we did some major exploring this weekend.
First Shreveport stop, a local salon – great source for insider information and gossip. The woman cutting my hair, a born and raised Shreveport resident, raved about two local bars Strange Brew and Bears on Fairfield. Later that evening, we grabbed dinner at Frank’s – a cool, rustic gourmet pizza spot where they make their own mozzarella in house and feature a wine list larger than the food menu. I asked Clayton what he wanted to do after and without any prompting he said he heard good things about a local dive called Strange Brew. I’m beginning to learn that like Anchorage, Shreveport is a little, big town where after enough time you see the same people at the same places.
Strange Brew is located in what looks like an abandoned warehouse with no signage and a dimly lit parking lot — conveniently, their next door neighbor is a drive-thru liquor store with Louisiana-famous daiquiris (long story short, you can get a daiquiri to go and it’s not considered an open container “unless the lid is removed, a straw protrudes therefrom, or the contents of the receptacle have been partially removed”.) When we walked inside, the cigarette smoke parted to reveal hipsters playing pool and a bar stocked with row after row (after row) of craft brew. We paid a $10 cover for the live music but the cover fee included a sample cd with three songs as part of their album release – more bands should do this.
On Saturday we crossed an item off the Festival Madness bucket list: Natchitoches (pronounced Nack-A-Tish) Christmas Festival of Lights. It was insanely crowded but well worth the hour-long road trip to see it once. Natchitoches is the oldest settlement in Louisiana, established in 1714 and the town architecture and character reflects the history — similar to what you would imagine New Orleans to look like with rocking chairs on every porch and balconies overlooking the streets in the downtown historic district. The festival takes place downtown on the riverfront and features live music, food vendors and carnival rides overlooking 300,000+ Christmas lights on display and best of all, it’s like Vegas in that open containers are allowed and many of the shops (mostly antiques and cafes) are open late for browsing.
We closed out the weekend with brunch at Marilynn’s Place – a Cajun and Creole restaurant housed in a completely renovated old gas station. I’ll post pictures next time we stop there, we were too busy partaking in the ‘bottomless’ bloody mary and mimosa bar. Shreveport is growing on me.