Romacelli

Finding a special restaurant in the south is always tricky on a Sunday, since some are closed. In addition, there are several highly rated restaurants in Lafayette that serve only lunch, not dinner, making it even trickier to find Sunday dinner. I wanted to try something that was not seafood based, and I happened upon Romacelli, which is part of an upscale housing and small business planned community.

I was very excited by this beautiful restaurant, which had almost as much seating outdoors as the overly air-conditioned interior. Rarely do you find al fresco dining so beautifully lit – you could actually see your menu and other people around you. There were also quiet fans above keeping the air circulating.

If the food even came close to the décor, I was in for a real treat. The house Merlot was good, and a perfect accompaniment to my meal. I started with a cream-based mushroom soup, which was nicely seasoned, but a bit too thick and unrefined.

Romacelli - Creamy Mushroom Soup

The main dish was spaghetti and meatballs. The pasta was overcooked, though the overall dish worked. The meatballs had a bit of a chewy texture that I liked, and the red sauce bound the dish together. There was a wedge of dry pita-like bread stuck in the side of the bowl. It looks about as good it tasted. The grated cheese was served in a glass jar, which you rarely encounter today even at a chain Italian restaurant.

Romacelli - Spaghetti and Meatballs

Though I enjoyed my meal, it definitely reminded me more of a chain restaurant, on an off night, than a fine independent establishment. It’s rare that you find a restaurant in this area where the décor is the star, instead of what’s on your plate.

Rating 3.0/5.0 – Liked it

Romacelli
www.romacelli.com
115 Stonemont Rd
Lafayette, LA 70508

Romacelli Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bon Temps Grill

For my first dinner in Lafayette, I wanted a restaurant specializing in fish, which was also highly rated. Finding a fish restaurant here is like finding a McDonald’s along the highway, but a good one is a little bit harder to find.  In these parts, there are even restaurants that are open only during crawfish season, which I sadly missed by a couple of months.  You can still order crawfish, but it’s frozen or otherwise preserved from the March to June season.

When I arrived at Steve N Pat’s Bon Temps Grill, it looked like a shack.  To be fair, I did arrive at night, and perhaps it looks nicer in the daylight.  The interior was a step up, looking more like a college pub/restaurant, with a sea of purple and gold as the servers all wore the colors of LSU.

Bon Temps Grill - Interior

The food was a few leaps up.  I ordered a side Caesar salad that hit the spot, despite being a bit heavily dressed, as most Caesar salads are for my taste.  The main dish was the star:  I ordered the Crawfish Pot Pie, which came with a pie crust composed of an almond paste reminiscent of a well-made Galette des Rois. Moving to the center of the bowl, the filling was indeed scrumptious.

Bon Temps Grill - Caesar Salad


Bon Temps Grill - Shrimp Pot Pie

The side of Sage Sweet Potato mash, which arrived late, was worth a taste, and it honestly could have been a vegetarian meal in itself, along with the salad. I had just several bites since I wanted to try dessert.

Bon Temps Grill - Sage Sweet Potato Mash

There were just two dessert choices, though the mixed berry pie with vanilla ice cream on top proved that you don’t need to offer lots of choice if you can make every dish count.

Bon Temps Grill - Mixed Berry Pie à la Mode

Outside of dessert, the variety on this menu was impressive.  You could easily dine here for a week, and have different food each time.  If I returned, I would have something completely different, confident that it would be equally good.

Rating 4.5/5.0 – Really liked it

Bon Temps Grill
bontempsgrill.com
1312 Verot School Rd
Lafayette, LA 70508

Bon Temps Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chris’ Poboys

I was sent to Chris’ Poboys by the agent at the nearby airport rental car counter, since I wanted to find a good place to eat, but not miss out on afternoon sightseeing.  I arrived to the parking lot, where strangely almost half of the parking lot seemed to be marked off for handicapped parking.  Either Lafayette has a large handicapped population, or the restaurant is encouraging people like me, in need of more exercise, to work up an appetite for a pleasing casual dining experience.

Chris Poboys Parking Lot and Restaurant

I had the short six-inch Shrimp Poboy, which comes with a pickle and potato chips. Since I was in the mood for fries to match the battered shrimp, I saved the potato chips for a snack later. It was a good decision, since the steak fries appeared to be hand cut and home made, and cooked perfectly crisp without being greasy. The poboy itself was delicious.

Chris Poboys - Shrimp Poboy with Fries

I added a thick chocolate chip cookie to my to-go bag, which melted just enough in the trunk of my rental car to provide the perfect ooze, without the mess, when it came time to have an afternoon snack.  Searching for alligators in the bayou is hard work!

Chris’s Poboys is a local chain with several locations, which is good for the folks of Lafayette, but bad for me. I look forward to visiting again for a bite to eat that’s just right when time is of the essence.

Rating 4.0/5.0 – Really liked it

Chris’ Poboys
www.chrispoboys.com
1930 W Pinhook Rd
Lafayette, LA 70508

Chris' Poboys Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato