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Adventures Features Hit-Or-Miss

The Huge Crawfish Boil That Became So Much More Than Just A Dinner

Memorial Day Weekend is one of the best weekends in America for a multitude of reasons. For one, it’s a day set aside to honor the men and women who have laid down their lives for this country, which is awesome. Secondly, it’s a holiday that virtually marks the beginning of summer, and that’s equally just as awesome. Finally, Memorial Day is a day typically spent cooking up some of the most delicious foods people can come up with, from the simplicity of dogs and burgs to the rare delicacy of shark fin.

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(left) Alligator being fried for the masses. (right) Setup for the boil begins.

One of my closest friends (we’ll call him “Jim”) invited me to his family’s lakehouse for Memorial Day Weekend. His wife was out of town, so he needed an attractive individual to take her place. It makes sense that I was chosen.

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The lake, which was manmade roughly 30 years ago, is a small, quiet lake that places an emphasis on privacy. It’s a veritable oasis, so it comes as no surprise that the founders of this summer goldmine see it as a well-kept secret. The lake itself is an elongated oval shape, perfect for the water sports that all the residents of the Ski West Village community enjoy. It’s also home to the biggest friggin’ crawfish boil my sheltered eyes have ever seen.

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We pull up to the lakehouse Friday night and Jim’s brother “Jay” greets us with a variety of beers. Getting drunk at the lake is a quintessential part of the entire experience, so I drink– not by choice, but rather to immerse myself into the culture, and to blend in amongst these seasoned lake veterans well enough to– ok, it was by choice. I want to get hammered, sue me. As we drink, Jim regales me with tales of the famous crawfish boil. He tells me about the variety of people that are going, and how the couple hosting the boil were born and raised in Louisiana. He finishes by telling me the hundreds of pounds of crawfish that are brought in are frozen for the trip (from Louisiana) then thawed when they arrive, bringing them back to life in a way that would make Captain America proud. My excitement, along with my bladder, is now bursting at the seams.

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After a long and fulfilling day of swimming and drinking, the crew and I begin walking over to the crawfish boil sometime around 6 pm. A soft breeze gently guides the pungent smell of garlic and spices through the crowds of people beginning to gather. The sound of alligator meat being fried whispers an intoxicating crackling, drowned out by “oohs” and “aahs” from young onlookers baffled at the thought of eating alligator. People begin shuffling in around the tables, preparing for the feast…that’s when several men come out holding the coolers filled with crawfish, the pallbearers for a crustaceous funeral.

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The deliverers of deliciousness begin dumping the coolers onto the table.  The slightly different shades of red throughout the mounds of shellfish give off a crimson glow in the setting sunlight the likes I’ve never seen before. The mountains of food mostly consist of crawfish, but that’s certainly not all. The boil also included (as is tradition) large chunks of corn, sausages cut in half, garlic cloves, mushrooms, onions and small red potatoes you could pop into your mouth like a Mentos.

Once that’s done, it’s no holds barred. Old people, children, and everyone in between start bustling around looking for the best spot on the table.

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As I pluck the shells off of my victims and throw the tiny portions of meat into my mouth like a ping pong ball into a cauldron, I become crushed under the weight of an intense “ah ha” epiphany, and the crawfish boil suddenly makes perfect sense to me. I look over to where Jim is and see him shaking hands with a family friend, reveling in their wakeboarding discussion. I see a young boy giving this whole “flirting” thing a try with a female friend while his buddies hide behind a few chairs, pointing and snickering. I see a mother holding her baby with one hand and digging into the sausage with the other while her husband rips a crawfish apart with his fingers. Then, without uttering a single word or taking their eyes off the prize, mom hands the baby off to dad and he takes it in stride, as if it were a running play up the middle.img_2511_720

I scan my surroundings and see all these things happening. At that moment, I realize that the crawfish boil isn’t just dinner. It isn’t just a community meal. It’s a catalyst. It’s a jumping-off point for a storied life. It’s the “Your mother and I met when…” story for that young boy. It’s the “We’ve been friends since…” tale that Jim will tell his own kids one day. It’s the “First thing I remember as a baby…” story that the football handoff child will tell in high school. For this community, the crawfish boil isn’t just their dinner. It’s their history.

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Things like the boil are what keep us together. It’s what helps us forget about the troubles of today and the stresses of tomorrow, and the thought of having to vote for one of those three morons running for President. Find your “crawfish boil,” whatever that may be, and your own story will surely follow.

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Features

5 Awesome Cities That Allow Public Drinking (And The Things You Should Know)

The majority of the United States doesn’t allow public consumption of alcohol, but there remain a few key places where open containers are legal. We got the lowdown on each and all the nuanced parts of the law you’ll need to keep in mind:

Butte, Montana

In the city of Butte, you can openly drink in the streets for 18 hours of the day. Open containers are prohibited between the hours of 2am and 8am. Same goes for a majority of the state unless specifically noted by a particular city or region. No open containers in vehicles while on a highway.

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Just because open containers are allowed doesn’t mean you need to drink everything at once. Pace yourself. Photo: Marcus Povey / Flickr

The Power & Light District of Kansas City, Missouri

The Power & Light District, or P&L, is a shopping and entertainment district in Downtown Kansas City and is one of the few places in the US where possession and consumption of alcohol is totally chill on the street. Still prohibited throughout the rest of Kansas City, so don’t keep sipping once you’re out of the district!

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But if you drink on the streets outside of P&L, then booze is a very bad friend. Photo: Bart Everson / Flickr

Clark County, Nevada, including the The Las Vegas Strip

Easily one of the most popular places to drink in public besides New Orleans (we’re getting there, don’t worry), there are some key legal points that needs to be addressed. The law allows for possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages within 1000 feet of the store from which it was purchased. You actually can not drink in parking lots, and during special events, like New Year’s celebrations, it is illegal to possess a glass or aluminum beverage container on designated streets.

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What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. After his arrest, this guy stayed in Vegas.Photo: Brent Payne / Flickr

It’s also illegal to have an open container while driving or in any passenger seat. The only exception is when you’ve hired someone to drive you, such as a limo or taxi driver, then it’s fine – according to the most recent laws.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Within the confines of New Orleans, the possession and consumption of any alcoholic beverage on the streets is legal as long as it is in a plastic container (can’t be in a glass). Drinking in public is still illegal for the rest of the state – however the state is known for having some pretty sweet drive-thru frozen daiquiri stands.

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Some things you can’t unsee. Photo: Tim / Flickr

East Aurora, New York

Heralded as one of the best towns to raise a family in New York State, the meagerly populated town apparently has no open container law. Digging in to local government and real estate discussion boards will find a few citizens that actually wish their town did have an open container law – as the area becomes safe havens for music festivals but doesn’t have an ordinance to protect against public drinking.

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Keep on rockin’ in the free world! Photo: Eva Rinaldi / Flickr
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Hit-Or-Miss

Restaurant Offers Gun Carriers 10% Discount

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Depending on how you look at it, this restaurant is either the safest, or scariest, place to dine. Customers can now get a 10 percent discount from Burgeron’s restaurant when they show off their guns. No, not the type of gun show you see from that muscular dude with a tiny tank top at the gym, actual guns.

“If you have a gun on you, I’m gonna give you a discount,” owner Kevin Cox told WAFB.

The promotion was originally only offered to police officers, as the owner said it made him feel safe that they were there with their guns. Two weeks ago, he extended it to gun-toting civilians as well. However, customers can’t just own a gun, they actually need to have the gun present when inside the restaurant.

So, you get to eat for cheap and feel like you’re in an Old West saloon. ‘Murica.

H/T Eater

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Fast Food

Spice up Thanksgiving With Popeyes Cajun Style Turkey

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Grandma’s dry turkey with cold canned cranberry sauce or Popeyes Cajun Style Turkey with warm fluffy biscuits? Yeah, we thought so.

Thanksgiving is a few short weeks away but in case you still don’t have your dinner plans nailed down Popeyes is here to help. The New Orleans based fast food chain is selling Cajun Style Turkeys to help alleviate those Thanksgiving jitters.

The 9-13lb turkeys are marinated in a Louisiana seasoning blend then flash-fried to guarantee a crispy skin. All you have to do is follow the easy heat and serve directions to finish up the bird. Regardless if you’re serving dinner for 2 or 12 this turkey is sure to spice up your Thanksgiving holiday.

The Cajun Style Turkeys are available for $39.99  through December at select Popeyes locations.

H/T + PicThx Brand Eating

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Fast Food

Popeyes Brings Forth New Deep-Fried, Waffle-Battered Chicken Tenders

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So, what happens when plain ol’ chicken and waffles just aren’t cutting it anymore? You go all cronut on ’em and smash the two together for the ultimate hybrid meal. Well, kinda.

Popeyes is rolling out a “new twist on a southern favorite” and bringing the masses limited-time Chicken Waffle Tenders. The new item features deep-fried, waffle-battered boneless chicken strips served with Cajun fries, a biscuit and honey maple dipping sauce. The whole lot rings in at $4.99.

According to AdAge, Dick Lynch, the chain’s Chief Global Brand Officer, explained that the Chicken Waffle Tenders were inspired by the “the dietary habits of jazz musicians in Los Angeles during 1940s and 50s.” Apparently, players finished at such late hours that fried chicken and waffle batter were the only things left by the end of the night.

Apparently, of course.

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Either way, we’re more concerned with how delicious this sounds. Juicy chicken coated in sweet, crunchy waffle batter, then dipped in syrupy honey?

Well played, Popeyes. Well played.

The Chicken Waffle Tenders are set to make their debut at Popeyes this coming Monday, July 29th.

Categories
Adventures

New Orleans: Napoleon House (Since 1797)


I am currently on a roadtrip and one of our stops was New Orleans, The Big Easy. Couple of things came to mind once I knew we were going there: 1) Got to hit up Bourbon Street. 2) Got to have some Jambalaya. In my short visit to the city I accomplished just that. We hit up the notorious street and even at 5 pm the parties were just getting started. Not knowing New Orleans at all we stumbled upon a restaurant called “Napoleon House” (which actually has some deep history to it) and had some great classic Louisiana Creole food, of course with their famous Louisiana hot sauce as well. Check out the rest of the post to see what else went down!