Louisiana’s No Man’s Land Food Trail

The western boundaries of Louisiana were once so poorly defined that Calcasieu Parish was claimed by both France and Spain. The entire region became known as a No Man’s Land, filled with pirates, Indians, brigands, highwaymen, outlaws, explorers, drunkards, adventurers, bawdy women and the normal lost souls that have always existed on the fringes of American society.

My kind of place.

Formal demarcation would be established on July 17, 1821 when the US took control of the area from the Spanish who were finally ready to cede the notorious zone.

It was time to bring law and order to the region.

The area’s bandits were having none of it. These brigands had been earning a good living off the flood of emigrants heading out of the Deep South and into Texas. Law and order for these gentlemen would not be a welcome addition to their territory. One of their victims wrote a letter complaining that the area was “cursed of the Devil.”

Historically the No Man’s Land was comprised of the parishes of Desoto, Sabine, Vernon, Beauregard, the northern portions of Calcasieu, and the western portion of Allen. The “newly-marketed” version includes Cameron which is the least-populated parish in the state.

Louisiana is the best eating state in the US although Texas and Alabama may claim that title for their own interests. The Louisiana Office of Tourism recently released a No Man’s Land Food Trail which greatly piqued our interest. 21 restaurants are featured on the path and you could easily spend an entire month along the trail.

Here is a parish by parish accounting of the restaurants, diners and gas stations included on the route.

Allen Parish:

Chadeaux’s Cajun Kitchen

1) Chadeaux’s Cajun Kitchen

Featuring Cajun Boudin, Cracklins, Boudin Balls, Andouille Sausage.
14440 Hwy 165 Kinder
(20 miles north of Iowa exit on I-10)

Jewel’s Quick Stop

2) Jewels Quick Stop
Featuring: Boudin, Boudin Nachos, Smoked Sausage, Cracklins, Boudin Balls
406 E. Jackson, Oakdale
(46 miles north of Iowa exit on I-10)

Highway 26 Convenience

3) Hwy 26 Convenience
Featuring: Cajun/American, Hamburger, Pizza
12354 Hwy 26 Mittie
(39 miles north of Iowa exit on I-10)


Beauregard Parish

1) South Beau Dairy Barn
Blue Bell ice cream parlor
ed note: this restaurant serves po boys too
12707 US 171 Longville
(22 miles north of Lake Charles)

Back Home Collection

2) Back Home Collection
Mennonite Baked goods, cookies and cakes to go
902 E. 1st St DeRidder
No telephone
9-5 pm Mon-Sat
(47 miles north of Lake Charles)

Big Thicket BBQ

3) Big Thicket BBQ
BBQ brisket, ribs, and down-home sides
310 W. 1st Street DeRidder
(47 miles north of Lake Charles)

Calcasieu and Cameron Parishes

1) Grab N Geaux Smoked Meats (no photo)
7080 Gulf Hwy. Lake Charles
(10 miles south of I-10)

Cajun Fast Mart

2) Cajun Fast Mart
Burgers, Sandwiches, Breakfast
4796 LA-27 Sulphur
(4 miles south of I-10 Sulphur exit)

Chesson’s Grocery

3) Chesson’s Grocery
Hamburgers, Ice Cream
1005 LA-27 Bell City
(21 miles south of Lake Charles)

Desoto Parish

Sunrise Cookies

1) Sunrise Cookies
Chicken Salad, King Cakes, Homemade Breads
4178 Highway 171 Gloster
(25 miles south of Shreveport)

2) Shop A Lott (no photo)
Hot box, Burgers, Loaded Potatoes
796 Washington Ave, Mansfield
(41 miles south of Shreveport)

J.E.B.S. General Store

3) J.E.B.S. General Store
Plate lunches, Deli, Burgers, Sandwiches
13475 Hwy 5, Longstreet
(40 miles southwest of Shreveport)

Natchitoches Parish

French Market Express

1) French Market Express
Meat pies, plate lunches, yam cakes, cookies, pies
5109 University Parkway Natchitoches
(71 miles southeast of Shreveport)

3 J’s Fourway

2) 3 J’s Fourway
Daily lunch plates, fish and pork chops
11028 Hwy 1 Natchitoches
(83 miles southeast of Shreveport)

3) Exxon (no photo)
Burgers, salads, fish, meat pies, fresh breakfast (bacon, eggs, grits)
100 LA-6, Natchitoches
(74 miles southeast of Shreveport)

Sabine Parish

Curtis Grocery

1) Curtis Grocery
Full breakfast, daily lunch specials, “Toledo Bend Dam fries”, crawfish, pizza
8301 Hwy 473
(95 miles north of Lake Charles)

2) Shop-A-Lott (no photo)
Daily breakfast & lunch specials, gumbo, fresh rolls and meat pies
475 San Antonio Ave, Many
(78 miles south of Shreveport)

Lakefront Grocery

3) Lakefront Grocery
Zwolle hot tamales, daily specials, burgers, and philly cheesesteaks
3605 LA-1215, Zwolle
(318) 645-6389

(76 miles south of Shreveport)

Vernon Parish

Fox Stop

1) Fox Stop
Plate Lunches, Burgers, Fish Dinners
23566 Hwy 8
(76 miles north of Lake Charles)

2) Anacoco Mercantile (no photo)
Plate Lunches, Sandwiches, Pizza, Hand-dipped Ice Cream
1678 Front St
(78 miles north of Lake Charles)

Strother’s Country Store

3) Strother’s Country Store
Burgers, boudin balls
12819 Hwy 10
(65 miles north and east of Lake Charles)

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