Posted by: christinajclark | 28/07/2009

Natchitoches, Louisiana – Meat Pies and Then Some

When we travel, we take along the book “1,000 Places to See Before You Die in the USA and Canada.” It may seem like a touristy thing to do, but for us, it works really well sometimes. Like when we found Natchitoches.

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Usually as we’re driving along I’ll pull out the book and look through the listings for the state we are in and see what sounds interesting or what will be along the way. As I paged through Louisiana I saw Natchitoches and it went something like this –

“There’s this town in the book that sounds cool but I don’t know how to say it and we just drove past a sign that said it is coming up. I think we should stop.” Robert, always up for adventure said ok and exited when I pointed out the correct exit. Neither of us had a clue how to say the name of the town at all.

As we drove along the streets looking for a good stopping place, we saw beautifully landscaped yards, not prim and proper landscaping but lush, almost tropical plants and lots of vines trailing along intricate wrought iron railings. We found a place to park on a side street (we were towing the camper) and set off to explore. We had Daisy on her leash so we tag-teamed going into stores so someone could always stay outside with her. The main street is just cute and has the balconies and wrought iron of New Orleans without the bars and beads of Bourbon Street getting in the way. Natchitoches is Louisiana’s oldest town and that rich history is apparent all over the buildings. And with the main street right along the river it’s just a beautiful place to hang out. It feels relaxing, even when there’s some hustle and bustle about.

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Robert just walked around taking pictures of every interesting building that he saw and I enjoyed popping in and out of some cute shops. I enjoyed the Louisiana Purchase store full of Louisiana made goods and Louisiana-themed goods. They also made their own pralines, fudge and ice cream. Include some ice cream mixed with some of the homemade fudge or some of the pralines that is just the best. I didn’t really care that is was barely 10am, I ate some anyway! We walked around just enjoying looking at all the historic buildings for awhile and then headed over for some of the famous Natchitoches meat pies.

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I again stumbled at the name – obviously those High School French classes didn’t stick – but the locals all know Lasyone’s – at 622 Second Street – is the place to go so they can get you there even if you butcher the name as I did. Let me tell you. Those meat pies were GOOD. We only made one mistake. Lasyone’s is apparently a dine-in type restaurant so when Robert went in asking for two meat pies to go it took a little bit to get our order. There was a little garden next door between the restaurant and a museum with some benches that were a perfect place to eat. We couldn’t dine in since we had Daisy along but it all worked out. The pies had the tastiest outer dough that was fried to a crisp. And inside the meat was flavorful and well spiced and had a perfect texture. It was ground meat – beef I’m assuming – and all almost completely uniform in size, no awkward chunks or anything. And the filling was juicy but not greasy. It was seriously good. I found a recipe online for these, but I haven’t tried it yet so I can’t tell you if it is as good as the original. We did bring home a spice packet to make some but haven’t had time to try it yet either.

Natchitoches is where the movie Steel Magnolias was filmed and you can take Steel Magnolias tours and such, but that isn’t really our thing so we didn’t even look into it. It would be the perfect town to escape to for a nice weekend in a bed and breakfast. A little shopping, walking by the river, maybe seeing some of the nearby plantations, eating some meat pies and maybe even taking a horse-drawn carriage ride. It’s the kind of town where that feels right. It would make a perfect romantic getaway, or a great history trip. I don’t think kids would hate it, but young kids might get a bit bored if they aren’t used to the shopping, walking, looking at buildings thing.

Away from the town in the rural area you can visit several plantations. We didn’t have time to do much more than just a quick look at a few of them, but it is definitely on our list of things to revisit. I’m thinking a B&B, late fall with some plantation tours might be just the thing. And if you go, it’s called Nack-i-tish. At least, I think that’s right.



  1. Enjoyed your post. Where we live a few miles down the Cane River to the south, there is a lady who makes meat pies (Ma’s Meat Pies). She calls them Cajun Meat Pies. They are spicier than Natchitoches Meat Pies. If you come back to Natchitoches this Fall, Barbara and I will show you the plantations and all the things on the Lower Cane River. Then there are the stories and they are wonderful. We love to share them.

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