On the Road Again: Monroe

The yummy bread at Cotton.
The yummy bread at Cotton.

I’m headed to a Medical Coding workshop in Monroe early this week with my boss. She gets to help set it up, and I get to document it so we can figure out how to put it online in the most engaging fashion. I’m looking forward to it. The day did not start off that well, though. I dropped Ashok off at Petz Plaza for boarding, and I stopped at Whole Foods for some magnesium oil. When I got back to the car, the battery was dead. I wasn’t sure it was the battery. But I got out to check the cables on the advice of my friend Rob, and three guys came over to help. Thank God I’m in Dixieland is all I can say. Within a few minutes I was on my way to get a new battery with the advice of my new entourage.

We ended up leaving after lunch which was a bit too late for my tastes, but it did give me time to take care of my car and a few things at the office. My boss arrived with a truckful of manuals that we are schlepping to Monroe, and we took off like a herd of turtles. It took awhile to get my head out of Baton Rouge, but I finally got hooked into traveling mode when we stopped for water. There  on the counter – like the best of Southern convenience store offerings – was a display of boiled peanuts. They don’t have sugar in them, so I was free to indulge. Kiki, the clerk with pink hair, urged me to try the Cajun style ones. I told her I was a little leery of trying something new because I didn’t want to get down the road and realize I didn’t get the right thing. She told me to stick a few on top of the regular ones so I could at least try them. That girl is going places! She had a great idea.

Me and Kiki
Me and Kiki

The Cajun ones were pretty spicy. I’m not sure if I could do a whole cup of them, but they were tasty. Maybe I’ll mix and match in the future just for variety. I enjoyed the salty boiled peanuts and ate every last one. Our trip brought us through Natchez and Vidalia MS before reaching Ferriday LA.  I asked Missy if that was soybeans growing in the field, and she said it didn’t look like it. Her side of the road had corn. I googled Ferriday to see wh that town sounded so familiar to me, and it is the birthplace of three famous cousins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Mickey Gillis and Jimmy Swaggart. I’d like to be at one of their family reunions.

We got to Monroe in time to freshen up for dinner and selected a local restaurant called Cotton at the recommendation of the front desk. It was a lovely place with extremely high ceilings. The copper and brown decor felt cozy and warm. I asked our server, Tyler, about the history of the building, and he said that there are several stories. One of them is that it was a brothel. We laughed and told him to go with that one because that story would be hard to beat. He said it has also been a bookstore and a few other things that I can’t remember. He said it’s the second oldest building in Monroe.

Me and Tyler - He's a doll!
Me and Tyler – He’s a doll!

He made some recommendations on the menu, and we didn’t take any of them. We opted for an awesome-sounding burger topped with bacon, a fried egg and caramelized onions. There was definitely sugar in it because the onions had a really sweet taste. I hope it doesn’t set me up on a sugar binge. But, it was absolutely fabulous. Missy and I shared the burger and a catfish dish. Neither of us were too impressed with the catfish dish, but we ate the fries cooked in duck fat and that amazing burger that dripped yolk down both of our arms. It was finger-licking good. Missy decided to google duck fat to see how bad we had been, but it appears that duck fat is a healthy fat along the lines of coconut oil and olive oil. Healthy or not, those fries were the bomb.

I’m full, and it’s time to go to sleep. Just thought I’d let y’all know I’m on the road again. I’ll be reporting from North Louisiana. Tomorrow night we plan to dine at the Warehouse No. 1, another recommended joint on the Ouachita River. It looks pretty darn good, too. Night, y’all.

Talk to me, please...

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