What I Love About Shreveport

Elvis plays the Louisiana Hayride at the Memorial Auditorium, 1955. Photo © courtesy of Louisiana Hayride Archives – J. Kent

1)    Memorial Auditorium, where Elvis got his start on Louisiana Hayride in 1954. In 1969, guitarist James Burton signed on with Elvis and stayed with his band until Elvis’ death in 1977. Burton is a Shreveport boy and has a recording studio across the street from Memorial Auditorium.

James Burton, Shreveport’s guitar legend.

If you are lucky, he might come out and chat with you.

Geauxsicles are like luscious frozen smoothies on a stick.

2)    Geauxsicles Gourmet Ice Pops opened two years ago and offers fabulous flavours like Mojito, Lemondrop, Sister Hazelnut, and my favorite, Sublime. These little treasures are frozen smoothies on a stick and are chock full of fresh fruit. There’s even a diabetic-friendly option made with Truvia.

3)    Strawn’s Eat Shop, one of the city’s most iconic restaurants, features mile-high strawberry pie to die for. The owner is a professional poker player and family members have opened a couple of additional locations to the original at 125 Kings Hwy.

4)    Marilynn’s Place – opened by Bozz Baucom and named for his mother, this former gas station is comfy casual, largely self-serve and is known for jambalaya, crawfish etoufée and beignets, which are served with coffee all day long.

An institution!

5)    Herby-K’s, home of the Shrimp Buster since 1936. What the heck is a shrimp buster? Pounded shrimp piled high on buttered French bread and laced with spicy red sauce. South Living magazine loves this place.

6)    Red River Revel, a fantastic, affordable arts and crafts fair in early October with 125 artisan booths (jewelry, paintings, woodwork) lots of excellent concerts (Blind Boys of Alabama were there this year), fantastic food (charities set up booths and sell catfish, candied nuts, chocolate covered cheescake on a stick, crawfish and other delights).

Cooking up a storm at Blue Southern Comfort! Guest chefs try their hand in the kitchen with the lovely owner Carolyn Manning (Top row, second from R).

7)    Blue Southern Comfort was just opened by Carolyn Manning, a former real estate agent. This superb little spot has around 5 tables and tons of charm. Her gumbo and cheezy grits are magical. Secrets include her home smoked tasso pork shoulder, and the grits contain a mélange of cheeses including cheddar, parm and jack. BYOB right now, but she is waiting on a liquor license.

Shreveport’s people and history on the side of the AT&T building. A mega mural!

8)    “Once in a Millennium Moon,” one of the largest murals in the country spans around 30,000 sq ft. on the AT&T building downtown. It is filled with local celebrities, family heirlooms like garters, a christening top, a wedding veil, war tags, the Torah, and a portrait of Native American Mary Whitesnake Rambin wearing three sets of black beads passed down by her grandmother that were brought from Europe to trade in exchange for beaver, deer and other hides.

9)    Papa Fertitta’s is the last historic Mom and Pop grocery store in town and it’s on the National Registry of Historic Places. Known for it’s fantastic sandwich, the “Muffy” (heavier than an anvil, made with cold cuts and olive paste), it’s a great place to stop for a beer and a bite

10)The Robinson Film Center is a two-screen cinema that shows great art house fare and is supported by actors such as Val Kilmer and Matthew Broderick. Abby Singer’s Bistro, upstairs, offers tasty pre- or après movie dining with a twist. Try the duck nachos.

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