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Seat Yourself

The Best of South Louisiana's Local Diners, Lunch Houses, and Roadside Stops

192 pages / 6.00 x 9.00 inches / 35 halftones

ebook available


  Paperback / 9780807162538 / April 2016
Louisiana can be a complicated place, but the state’s good food and friendly people are simple facts. Pairing these two indisputable truths, author Alex V. Cook takes readers to the many unsung diners, quirky low-fuss restaurants, and family-run establishments that serve up the very best of true Louisiana cuisine. From a gas station with the best boudin links to a Vietnamese bakery with mouthwatering bánh mì, each of these lesser-known culinary gems stitched across southeast Louisiana offers tasty local fare in a down-to-earth atmosphere.
Setting off from the state capital of Baton Rouge and winding through the back roads of Cajun country, then turning southward to the Gulf, and finally veering onto side streets in New Orleans, Cook profiles more than thirty must-visit eateries with wit and an eye for the authentic. Along the way, a culinary landscape emerges that is markedly genuine, surprisingly diverse, and deliciously free from affectation. 
With indispensable venue information, personal recommendations, and entertaining anecdotes, Seat Yourself: The Best of South Louisiana's Local Diners, Lunch Houses, and Roadside Stops is a vivid, humorous, and sharply written hat tip to those Louisiana’s constants: amazing food and great people.
Prologue: The Silver Moon Café
Calandro’s Supermarket, Baton Rouge 
Fleur de Lis Pizza, Baton Rouge 
Frank’s Restaurant and Smokehouse, Baton Rouge 
Jerry Lee’s Cajun Foods, Baton Rouge 
Lindsey’s Diner, Baton Rouge 
Louie’s Café, Baton Rouge, 
Tiger Deaux-Nuts, Baton Rouge 
Zeeland Street Market, Baton Rouge 
Hot Tails, New Roads 
Magnolia Café, St. Francisville
Glenda’s Creole Kitchen, Breaux Bridge 
Kelly Citgo, Bunkie 
Hymel’s Restaurant, Convent 
Stump’s Shell, Gramercy 
Boudin in Krotz Springs
Creole Lunch House, Lafayette 
Don’s Seafood Hut Restaurant and Oyster Bar, Lafayette 
Olde Tyme Grocery, Lafayette 
Lea’s Lunchroom, Lecompte 
Mr. Francis, St. Martinville 
The Best Stop Supermarket, Scott 
Sportsman’s Paradise, Chauvin
Starfish Restaurant, Grand Isle
ABear’s Café, Houma
Griffin’s Poboy and Grille, Houma
Middendorf’s Seafood Restaurant, Akers 
Rocky & Carlo’s Restaurant & Bar, Chalmette 
Crabby Jack’s, New Orleans 
Dong Phuong Bakery & Restaurant, New Orleans 
Hansen’s Sno-Bliz, New Orleans 
Manchu Food Store, New Orleans 
Parasol’s Bar and Restaurant, New Orleans 
Parkway Bakery & Tavern, New Orleans 
Verti Marte, New Orleans 
Epilogue: St. Rose Tavern, New Sarpy

Alex V. Cook, author of Louisiana Saturday Night: Looking for a Good Time in South Louisiana's Juke Joints, Honky-Tonks, and Dance Halls, has written for the Oxford American, the Believer, the Wire, and DownBeat, among other publications.

Praise for Seat Yourself

“From Vietnamese bakeries to gas stations with great boudin, Louisiana is blessed with culinary goldmines housed in offbeat locations. The arduous task of enjoying them falls to Alex V. Cook, a veteran food and music writer who describes local fare and local people without drifting into tired clichés.”—Louisiana Cultural Vistas

“An appetizing guide to some of the finest roadside eateries.”—Acadiana Lifestyle

“The book is a love letter to all the diners out there that have devoted regulars but are still excited to serve a new face. They may not get recognition in major publications or visits from Fieri (God forbid), but Cook shines his spotlight on them. Everybody who lives in Louisiana and loves food (so everyone who lives in Louisiana) should grab a copy of Seat Yourself.”—New Orleans Advocate

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