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The week before Thanksgiving… before the marathon of turkey, dressings and “the works” started to take over our home – we decided to have a final regular lunch at one of our old favorite restaurants, Poor Boys Riverside Inn.  www.poorboysriversideinn.com.  I love returning to restaurants that hold sweet memories of our past – nothing is better than walking through a door and immediately having those old familiar scenes and aromas flood your head and heart. 

Maybe it even gets more pronounced with age, but I almost melt like “butter” when I walk up the old ramp, through the door and see the same sights and sounds that have been there since 1977 (when they moved to their “new location!”)  Before that, they were located on the Vermilion River where the Hilton is now located.  That is where it all started for me! 

A little bit of history…“Poor Boy’s”  (the nick name of the founder, Hulo “Poor Boy” Landry) first moved to the the original location on the banks of the Vermilion River in 1939.  The restaurant was completely destroyed by the Flood of 1940, but reopened just 3 months later! In 1946, Poor Boy’s Riverside Inn became the first completely air-conditioned restaurant in Lafayette.  From 1946 until 1977, when they moved to their current location on Tubing Road, memories and traditions were created for most families in Lafayette…

In the early 1970’s (college days) my favorite dish was the Lobster Thermador – especially on a Friday evening, after a long afternoon “social”!  About 20 of my “closest friends” and I would descend upon Riverside Inn for a big meal!  (What a sight we must have been!) I always ordered the same thing…Lobster Thermador and a loaded baked potato.  It has been a long, long time since this has been on their menu, but I still remember this wonderfully rich deeply flavored dish every single time I return.

A few of my other favorites include their fabulous creamy Crabmeat Imperial, and all of their complete dinners – Shrimp Dinner, Crawfish Dinner, Crab Dinner and on this particular day…The Oyster Dinner was what I had an “envie” for.

Since it is “oyster season” in Louisiana, I just had to have this feast of oysters!

You are first served with a cup of oyster gumbo –  plump juicy oysters, swimming in their famous dark roux gumbo is just to die for! 

Then, you are served an oyster shooter – several salty/sweet freshly shucked oysters sitting in a small cup covered with a delicious spicy horseradish based cocktail sauce…sets you up to want a couple of dozen!!! (But you know that you need to save room for the “main event”!)

You are then brought a wonderfully fresh green salad with your favorite house made salad dressing…a perfect refreshing little break before “the feast”!

The Main Event!  Now this is what I call a Feast…Oyster Rockefeller, Oyster Bienville, Oyster Pie, Fried Oysters, Oyster Jambalaya and Oyster en Brochette !  The best of the best…I have to tell you, that it is sooo delicious – just writing about it and seeing the pictures again, makes me want a re-run!

Now, what would a visit to Riverside be without their famous, melt-in-your-mouth homemade dinner rolls?! Just look at these things!  In love…

The view from our table…beautiful!

Besides the fantastic food and atmosphere, the waitresses and waiters (that really know the menu and all about the food!) are warm, friendly,  and just plain ole “down home” kind of wonderful!  These are the people that make or break your dining experience…and we have always had great servers at Riverside.

I wonder how many birthdays, anniversaries, business meetings, pre-holiday celebrations and just plain old “happy” lunches and dinners we have enjoyed at this landmark…(or maybe the number would be scary!?)  All I know, is that we will be back for plenty more – one of our old favorites that always works!!! 

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