bbq, food, Restaurants

A Labor of Love

Willie’s Restaurant and Bar has a sweet story to go along with their amazing success. Brother and sister team, Will and Emily Chapman, along with Will’s wife Kayte, started their journey on a leap of faith, incorporating hard work and a lot of grace along the way.



Willie’s wasn’t always Willie’s. It started out as the Crawfish Place, once located between Siegen Lane and Airline Highway in south Baton Rouge. Will’s soon to be wife Kayte was working as a server there when the original owner decided it was time to get out of the restaurant business. Will, Kayte and Emily saw an opportunity before them and took the plunge deciding to buy the Crawfish Place even though it only had limited equipment and a sparse lunch crowd. They struggled through the ins and outs of learning how to run a business, endured bitter fights, developed a fresh, new menu, and came out shining on the other side. Today, they’ve moved on from that small 50-seat hole in the wall to a beautiful new building on Coursey Boulevard that quickly became a neighborhood favorite.



Their menu boasts traditional Louisiana flavors and cuisine. They smoke almost all of their own meat including, ham, turkey, bacon and pork belly. Some of their best selling menu items include:

FRIED GREEN TOMATOES – Golden fried green tomatoes topped with lump crabmeat and au gratin sauce.

REDFISH RYN – Blackened Redfish with lump crabmeat and au gratin sauce melted in a cast iron skillet.  Served with your choice of side; and one of my personal favorites,

SAINTSATION POBOY – Grilled shrimp, sautéed onions and bell peppers, pepper jack cheese topped with fried crawfish tails, lettuce, tomato, and jalapeno mayo.



Willie’s has also recently expanded their efforts to include catering. Their catering menu has a wide range of menu items available at tiered price points to meet anyone’s needs. They even feature $10 Lunch Boxes that would be perfect for catering a company meeting. You can check out their catering menu here.

Next time you’re looking for a family-friendly, comfortable place to have a great meal, be sure to check out Willie’s Bar and Grill. You’ll be glad you did.

food, Restaurants

Alligator Cheesecake, You Say?

Roux 61 Seafood and Grill is just a fun place to be! The place is always packed and the quirky-cool atmosphere can’t be denied. When you walk in, you will surely feel comfortable here. Each section of the restaurant has it’s own personality and you can be entertained merely by the “artwork” on the walls. Mounted fish and turkey feathers, a huge illuminated oyster sign, oars and shutters – it all screams Louisiana. They’re known for their huge portions and amazing, fresh seafood. One of their signature appetizers, the Shrimp and Alligator Sausage Cheesecake, is so rich and unique, it has to be talked about in homes across the south!

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Roux 61 started in 2011 in Natchez, MS with two brothers, Jason and Brian Lees. They both have huge talent in the kitchen and a passion for bold Southern flavors and they wanted to share it with the world! Now they’ve expanded to Baton Rouge and have quickly become a regional culinary treasure. People travel across state lines to experience “what everyone has been raving about.” On any given night you can find a curious traveller stopping in at either location to enjoy the soul-soothing deliciousness that takes each dish from good to “good lawd,” as the Roux Crew likes to say.

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Roux 61 also prides themselves on their bar. Monday through Friday they offer a Happy Hour from 4-6 with half off all drinks. They have 20 beers on tap, most of which are local to the area. All of their in house syrups are made with Louisiana cane sugar, and they create their own infused vodka with peppers, garlic, onion, lemon and peppercorns. Even their ice is special. They use extra large ice squares, which melt slowly, keeping drinks extra cold without diluting them.

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Absolutely nothing is half-done at Roux 61. They use only fresh, quality ingredients in their dishes and strive to provide quality customer service to each guest they serve. If you haven’t tried Roux 61 yet, you should soon! Stop by on a Tuesday and indulge in 50-cent oysters on the half shell all day! Enjoy!

bbq, Restaurants

What do Egg Rolls & BBQ have in common?

Herb Fong is the man behind the Pulled Pork and Pepper Jack Egg Rolls. He is the Executive Chef and Owner of Hannah Q Smokehouse and Jasmine’s on the Bayou. Two amazing local spots; two totally different concepts.

Take a drive to south Baton Rouge and you will find Jasmine’s, his first culinary baby, tucked away in a small shopping center, in the middle of a construction zone on Jones Creek Road. Jasmine’s features traditional southern Louisiana dishes such as poboys, fried seafood and specialty burgers.

A little further south in Prairieville on Airline Highway you will find his latest endeavor, Hannah Q Smokehouse. Hannah Q serves up exceptional BBQ with a little twist. He features traditional BBQ dishes while also mixing it up a bit with items like his Boudin Egg Rolls and Smoked Gouda Mac Bites.

Both locations are small, but their extensive menus boast items that are sure to make you drool a lil’ bit. Here’s an up-close look at the man behind the magic.

Chef Herb grew up right here in Baton Rouge in a family full of cooks! He got his love of food from his father, who was also a chef and brought a unique culinary experience into their home. “I admire my father. I am still learning from him every day and consider him an expert in his profession.”

One of his favorite memories is centered around food as well. “For my birthdays my parents would literally cook so much delicious food and everybody would be too full to play afterwards! My parents definitely took it to a different level.”

It’s this lifelong passion of food and family that has brought Chef Herb success. Jasmine’s on the Bayou has been a south Baton Rouge staple for many years and has led him to recently open his second restaurant in Prairieville, Hannah Q Smokehouse.

Make plans to visit Chef Herb at either of his locations and use this coupon through the month of January! Be sure to try Jasmine’s homemade chargrilled burgers and anything with their signature Rocket Shrimp! And topping my list at Hannah Q’s is their Pulled Pork and Pepper Jack Egg Rolls.

Visit Jasmine’s or Hannah Q online to see their full menus.