Heading down to the other LA...
September 16, 2008 11:28 AM   Subscribe

Tell me about Shreveport, Louisiana. Things to see. Places to eat. Quickest and safest way to get there.

A cousin of mine is having a wedding this weekend. I've been to Shreveport several times, but I was quite young, so I don't remember a lot.

No need to answer every question, answer what you know or wish to share, but here are some things I'm curious about:

1. We're on a budget and will only be there for Friday and Saturday, so doing things is out of the question. But, I wonder if there are any good places for sight-seeing? And, of course, we must eat. Where are some good AND cheap places to eat?


3. We're driving from O'Fallon, IL, which is across the river from St. Louis, MO. We know that highway 55 goes almost due south, until you get to Memphis, TN, then it veers southeast into Mississippi. Where should we go from Memphis? To Little Rock, through the rest of AR into LA? Or, into Mississippi, next take 61 south, and then 20 west all the way to Shreveport? The former looks quicker. But going by the maps, and my memory of previous trips, there's a LOT of winding hilly back roads from Little Rock to Shreveport. My mother is NOT a fan of those kind of highways. Are highways 71/549 and 167 as dangerous as they look?

4. There aren't any major floods going down there, is it?

5. Any thing else we should know about Shreveport, LA.
posted by sixcolors to Travel & Transportation around Shreveport, LA (8 answers total)
Stay: There are many casinos on the river. Most are affordable and all are nice (the Horseshoe will most likely have the best rates).

Food: Again... casinos. The buffets and restaurants are used to serving the Texas/Louisiana/Arkansas/Mississippi millionaires; if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for you.

Side note: Ask your hotel concierge for directions to the most authentic, run-down, road side Cajun restaurant in the area. Don't order anything with Crawfish (it's out of season).
posted by bamassippi at 12:47 PM on September 16, 2008

Stay: Second the casinos. It's just easier and probably not bad. You can also do the hotels right off the interstate on Old Minden Road or Isle of Capri Blvd in Bossier City - they're a quick drive across the river. Or there's a... I think it's a Clarion now on E. 70th Street in Shreveport. It was a Sheraton until recently, it's not a bad place. Avoid hotels on Monkhouse and, unless your family is on the very west side of town, avoid hotels on Pines Road as well - it's way the hell away from everything. Nothing to see there.

Food: Shreveport's got some great diners. One of the things I miss most about it. I prefer Murrell's (open 24-7) and George's (til 10, if I recall correctly). Both are on E. King's Hwy by Centenary. Also further down the road is Strawn's, which has great pies (there is also Strawn's Too on E. 70th by Target/Best Buy).

If you like Italian food, Monjuni's has an interesting take on it. Their tomato sauce is sweet though, so if you're not into that, don't go. They have a few locations, but I prefer the one closer to downtown on Louisiana Ave - call to make sure they're open.

Good sandwich place on Line & Pierremont (kind of a central location). It's called the Real Pickle. They have funny names for the sandwiches if you're into that sort of thing. They also have a pretty decent beer selection. Nothing better than seeing my dad's gun nut friends drinking Almaza and Athenian because they want to 'try something different.'

There isn't a whole lot of great Cajun food in Shreveport (you have to go a bit further south for that) and Don's Seafood JUST closed. (I'm spoiled since I live in Baton Rouge now) I suppose if you do end up on the total west side of town you can do Jan's River Restaurant, which if memory serves right, is on Pines Road, and does have really good fried fish. My dad totally loves that place, even though he's supposed to be watching his cholesterol.

As far as roads ... I recently drove from Little Rock to Shreveport on 71/549. It's not bad, really. Just boring. Watch for the speedtraps between the Louisiana state line and north Shreveport.

If you got any more specific questions, hit me up. I think my contact information is in my profile.
posted by kuperman at 1:06 PM on September 16, 2008

Hey there kuperman, we graduated high school in the same class.

Seconding Monjuni's for Italian. Murrell's, George's, Strawn's and Joe's are greasy spoon diners (George's is better, but the other two are open 24 hours). There's a steak house that has the most amazing au gratin potatoes you'll ever have in your life, and it's called The Cub. Not really cheap, but not really expensive.

There are a couple of good Mexican places. Trejo's and Tacomania (it sounds like a stupid name, but seriously, it's really good Mexican for Shreveport).

Every time we're in town my wife always makes us stop at Counter Culture, sandwich/yogurt shop. There are three things YOU MUST get here before you leave town: their avocado sandwich, their pimento cheese sandwich, and their Humprhey's Yogurt.

George's and Strawn's are well known for their amazing Southern breakfasts. I ate breakfast at George's at least once a week for about 22 straight years.

Pretty much every bar I liked when I lived there has closed now, but Maurice's was pretty chill, and it looks like it's still around.

If you've got gas and time to spare, check out Natchitoches's historic district, if you're into that sorta thing.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 2:54 PM on September 16, 2008

Holy crap, spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints, good to hear from you. Hope everything's treating you well.

Funny you mention Tacomania, that's another place where the wife, the boy and I tend to eat when come up. I also forgot to mention (and I don't know how, I totally love that place) The Hickory Stick, which is on Youree Drive - it's great barbecue at a reasonable price. Don't be discouraged that the building used to house a Captain D's.
posted by kuperman at 4:55 PM on September 16, 2008

And I also second the Natchitoches recommendation. I spent a few years there, and can easily say that if you got time (and of course, you call and verify that they're open) check out Lasyonne's (the home of the Natchitoches Meat Pie) or The Landing.
posted by kuperman at 5:02 PM on September 16, 2008

Bizarre taxidermy bible end times museum on the road that also has a place call Taters, or worse. I have no idea where this is. Perhaps someone else can recall the address. It was amazing.

Kuperman may know.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 8:58 PM on September 16, 2008

Bizarre taxidermy bible end times museum on the road that also has a place call Taters, or worse. I have no idea where this is. Perhaps someone else can recall the address. It was amazing.

Whoa, I've never heard of this place. Now you've got me curious.
posted by kuperman at 6:16 AM on September 17, 2008

(Also, when I said I drove 71/549, I meant from Shreveport to Texarkana. You take I-30 up to Little Rock from Texarkana...)
posted by kuperman at 8:09 AM on September 17, 2008

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