Calling an establishment a “pub” conjures a very specific image in my head: a small tavern that serves a few no frills beers alongside hearty, rustic food. Houma’s new self-proclaimed brew pub, Spigots, expands that image for me in the best ways possible.
Cuisine: Ice Cream
Visiting Scarlet Scoop is like stepping into a dream. This little ice cream shop transports you back in time to your childhood when your life’s ambition was to eat as much candy as possible. The black and white old-timey newsprint wallpaper makes the shocking rainbow of edible colors stand out all the more. Almost every square inch of counter space is devoted to massive lollipops, jawbreakers as big as your face, vintage mints, a million different kinds of taffy, and much, much more. But you’re not here for any of that because beneath the counters are tubs of rich, creamy ice cream. What really sets Scarlet Scoop apart, though, are the custom mixed flavors they serve throughout the year. They always manage to come up with something that perfectly matches the time of year while being delicious no matter when you drop in, hot or cold. Any time is a good time for Scarlet Scoop.
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Cuisine: Greek, Cajun
Greek, Lebanese, Mediterranean (whichever you prefer) cuisine was popularized in our area by Sarah’s, which has returned to its humble origins as a small gas station diner in downtown Houma. All the favorites like hummus, baba ganuj, grape leaves, gyro, and more are here in addition to familiar diner and truck stop fare. The latter might be there for those unwilling to take the plunge and try some of the strange sounding dishes, but everyone should give this food a try. You’ll start craving the flavors on a daily basis.
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Hidden in the back of the Thibodaux Country Club neighborhood, Grady V’s feels like a very exclusive restaurant but it couldn’t be more accessible to diners thanks to its eclectic menu. You’d expect some upscale dishes at a place like this and you’d be right to do so, but it might surprise you to learn that Grady V’s also serves some of the best burgers around. The dining room is just dark enough and has a great view of the beautiful golf course out back. You feel like you’re getting away from it all, if just for an hour, when you have a meal at Grady V’s.
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Cuisine: Creole, Italian
Downtown Thibodaux’s perennial upscale restaurant has one of the most sophisticated and eclectic menus around. And while it draws influence from Asian, Italian, Latin, and of course Cajun and Creole cuisines, Fremin’s still manages to deliver consistently delicious food. The building is nearly 150 years old and features an elegant but fun atmosphere. Starting with a drink at the handsome bar or the over-the-top bread service (the best around) and moving onto decadent appetizers, entrees, and specials, Fremin’s is hands down THE restaurant to visit when you want to treat yourself and the people you love to a memorable meal. Just remember to make reservations.
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Cuisine: Japanese, Asian
Sushi is usually just one part of a Japanese restaurant’s larger menu, but Zen is first and foremost a sushi restaurant with a focus on beautifully constructed rolls that employ unique ingredients. And while most sushi menus separate their rolls between “basic” and “special,” Zen organizes its sushi further based on degrees of rawness. Skittish diners can sample rolls from the “Fully Cooked” section with ingredients like bacon, fried shrimp, and calamari before possibly moving onto the more adventurous “Open Minded” and “Eat It Raw” categories where they’ll find tuna, salmon, and yellowtail. If you’re still not interested or simply want fried rice, noodles, or other hibachi specials, Zen has the full menu you’re used to without all the theatrics.
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Cuisine: Sandwiches, Baked Goods
While it’s difficult to resist jumping straight to dessert at the Weeping Willow, do yourself a favor and have lunch. You’ll be glad you did when your sandwich on homemade bread arrives alongside a cup of the best tomato basil soup around. The Weeping Willow has a small menu of sandwiches and salads as well as a soup du jour or two. The tomato basil is offered most days and it’s not to be missed. In fact, the Willow is the kind of place where you can confidently order the same meal every time: Willow sandwich with a cup of the tomato basil. Turkey, ham, swiss, provolone, and Caesar dressed lettuce with a generous dollop of pesto make for the perfect sandwich. Only then, if you still have room, should you treat yourself to the display case of fresh baked goods and a nice cup of coffee.
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