We drove from East Texas to New Orleans taking the slow roads, and we drove through many small and charming towns. It was around lunch time when we got to the little town of Natchitoches, Louisiana, so we stopped in for lunch at Lasyone's Meat Pie Kitchen and Restaurant.
Lasyone's is rightfully famous for its down-home food, but especially for its meat pies. According to the story in newspaper clippings on the wall, meat-pies were a local specialty, sold from street carts by African American vendors earlier in the century. Vendors would buy their meat filling from butchers, and Mr. Lasyone, who owned a butcher shop, decided one day to try selling meat pies directly from the shop. Then, he decided to start his own restaurant in a storefront in the local Masonic Lodge building. True or not, its a good story, and these are go-o-o-o-od meat pies!
The meat pie platter lunch special gives you one meat pie with grazy, your choice of 2 sides, and a trip to the salad bar.
The salad bar featured the usual green salad plus potato salad, three-bean salad, and some real delicious pickled green tomatoes - I heartily recommend you try some of these if you go!
Here's a meat pie with dirty rice and a side of greens. The dirty rice is very tasty!
And here's a meat pie with "creamed potatoes" - I was hoping for something like scalloped potatoes, but it turned out to be your basic mashed. I added a little bit of hot sauce to season.
The pie was fantastic - they're half-moon shaped, with crimped edges, and deep-fried. The crust was delicate and tasty, not a bit greasy; the texture was flaky with little bubbles on the surface. The filling was a mixture of ground beef and pork, and mildly seasoned.
The greens were richly flavored and delicious - we really love good greens. Our Son picked a side of macaroni and cheese - it was in the creamy bland style, rather than the cheesey style, but comforting.
We didn't have enough room for dessert, but I hear their Cane River Cream Pie is famous.
The restaurant is featured on Jane and Michael Stern's Road Food, and has been written up in Gourmet Magazine, Southern Living, and other publications. In addition to the meat pies, their down-home menu offerings are solid. We learned about it from Chowhound.
I have to admit that I couldn't prevent musical phrases from Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd" going round in my head. So before bursting into song, we decided to wander out and stroll around the pretty, historic downtown of Natchitoches.
Natchitoches, pronounced "Nak-uh-tish" is a beautiful little town, with well-preserved older homes and a downtown with wrought-iron trimmed brick buildings ranged along a river. It was a pleasant place to stop, eat, and explore before getting underway again on our trip to New Orleans.