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!

food, Restaurants

Eliza is your home away from home

If you haven’t tried Eliza Restaurant and Bar yet, you’re missing out on what has proven to be an immediate neighborhood favorite!

When you arrive, you will most likely be warmly greeted by a member of the Davis family. Every hand-crafted table in the house is prime seating and not one person is overlooked. Instrumentals of classic NOLA music fills the room with a fun, but refreshing vibe. This place feels like home. That’s because it’s personal for owners, Russell and Sally. After all, their latest endeavor is named after their daughter, Eliza.


Russell and Sally met while working at Commander’s Palace, a New Orleans staple. Russell, who is originally from Boston, relocated to NOLA specifically to train with the Brennan Family. In his 25 years of experience, Russell has had almost every job in the industry. While working with Ralph Brennan, he was eventually was put in charge of opening multiple restaurants in the French Quarter.

In 2004 Russell and Sally had an opportunity to open their own restaurant in New Orleans, the popular Saltwater Grill. Russell was finally able to get in the kitchen and hone his skills as Chef. Saltwater Grill proved resilient as they survived historic Katrina, but in 2010 the Davis’ had the opportunity to fulfill another dream. They moved back to Russell’s hometown of Boston where they spent several years opening various restaurant concepts all over the Northeast.

After enduring several years of bitter winters, the Davis’ decided it was time to return to the South and get back in the kitchen. What they have created is a cozy place, welcoming young and old alike. Eliza’s food is fresh and almost everything is made in-house daily. Their menu boasts a variety of foods including vegan and vegetarian options, not to mention it won’t break the bank.