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For an authentic Baton Rogue food experience, don’t be shy about indulging in traditional Southern food mainstays: grease, sugar and pork. Here are Forbes Travel Guide editor’s picks for five Baton Rouge tastes not to be missed:
1. Po’ boy sandwich. Deep-fried foods are de rigueur in Baton Rogue, including the ubiquitous po’ boy sandwich, typically made with fried shrimp or oysters and served on chewy French bread (you can get plenty of other fillings as well and many aficionados swear by roast beef). Try one at Poor Boy Lloyd’s near the river or any of the sandwich stands or delis around town.
2. Boiled shrimp or catfish. Not all seafood is fried. You can get tasty boiled shrimp or crawfish all over town. Forbes Travel Guide recommends longtime local favorite Hymel’s Seafood Restaurant for top-notch seafood specialties.
3. Decadent desserts. Baton Rogue is where sugar cane once grew thick from the black earth, and the rich and heavy desserts found here are a big nod to the sweet stuff. You can’t go wrong with signature Southern pies like pecan and lemon.
4. Barbecue. Louisiana is known for its spicy, succulent pulled pork and other barbecued meats. Locals pour into Jay’s Bar-B-Q, a roadside spot with excellent barbecue and whole-chicken dinners.
5. Fried alligator. Plenty of country folk have a thing for fried alligator — some say it tastes like chicken — found in the small cafés in and around Baton Rogue.