7 Bars Red Stick Needs! Friday, Mar 30 2012 

7 Bars Red Stick Needs!

 

Red Stick has some wonderful watering holes, but there is always room for improvement.  So here is DBG’s wish list of venues she would like to see take up residence in the EBR. 

 

1.  A real Irish pub—The Londoner is an English Pub and Happy’s just plain SUCKS.  DBG wants a place where a brittle old Irishman in a black clip-on tie and a white shirt pours you a perfect pint of Guinness and insists that you keep your money up on the bar.  Not a place where surgically enhanced 19-year-olds are forced to wear schoolgirl uniforms. The Protector wants a place that falls right between the Irish House in New Orleans and the late Irish Coast of Gulfport, Miss.

2.  A tiki bar— Martin Denny playing in the background, bamboo walls, and brilliant colored drinks that can be set on fire (But please, no animatronic singing birds.)

3.  A dive bar downtown—Rest in peace, Thirsty Tiger.  You are missed.  Hound Dogs is just too depressing to qualify. 

4.  A sports bar with good food downtown—Punchers—you scare us. Who ever heard of a sports bar that doesn’t serve food?  And UFC isn’t a sport. That’s just steroid cases hitting each other.

5.  A movie theater that serves drinks—Art films, cult classics, and independent specials. Waaaaaaaaay back in the day, there was one in what is now the Varsity. There are rumors the Alamo Drafthouse folks from Texas are looking at moving into Louisiana.  Who wouldn’t be down for a monthly showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show? 

6.  A tapas bar—Come on, Lafayette has one!

7.   A German beer garden—Beer, sausages and the great outdoors.  DBG wants a place to wear her special Alpine beer-drinking hat. 

 

So did DBG miss anything? 

 

The Mega Millions jackpot is up to $500 million, so buy a ticket.  If you win, DBG would approve of your soon-to-be built Irish pub and/or tiki bar. 

 

cherrythedivebargirl@gmail.com

 

Louie’s Thursday, Mar 22 2012 

Louie’s

209 West State Street

http://www.louiescafe.org

 

DBG knows what you are thinking, “Everyone knows about Louie’s.  Everyone went there when they were a Tiger.  Everyone remembers looking at the menu at 2 a.m. and seeing double.”  But in this emerging world of brunch as a dainty meal involving half-moon omelets and mimosas, Red Stickers tend to forget that Louie’s offers the best breakfast in town.  Here are 10 facts to remind you!

 

1. The Mitchell, The Veggie and Seafood Louie omelets  (Splurge and get The Veggie with cheese. Don’t mess around. Always order the larger size.)

2.  Their iconic grill-man, Frenchie always has something interesting to say.  (Meaning—You must sit at the counter!)

3.  Homemade buttermilk biscuits in the morning

4.  CAJUN HASHBROWNS!!!!!!!!!!!

5.  A Big Cheesy Lou Burger fully loaded with sprouts and a side of CAJUN HASHBROWNS!

6.  The best banana pancakes in the world

7.  An excellent club sandwich

8. A pretty good chicken fried steak

9.  Waitresses with multiple tattoos and disheveled hair who are probably stoned. (You might have to remind them about your toast and jam.)

10.  Open 24 hours a day

 

The world might have become a bleaker less vibrant place, but Louie’s never changes.

 

cherrythedivebargirl@gmail.com

 

PS—Speaking of brunch, who has the best Bloody Mary in Baton Rouge?

 

Archive of reviews:  https://cherrythedivebargirl.wordpress.com/

DBG–A Laudry List (March 2012) Thursday, Mar 22 2012 

DBG—A Laundry List

 

Every once in a while DBG doesn’t have time to sit on a bar stool and drink margaritas. So instead, she just makes all of you Red Stickers a laundry list of things to do/drink. 

1.  St. Patrick’s Day—The parade rolls at 10 am.  You need to be parked by 9am because they will start closing the roads.  http://www.paradegroup.com

2.  Buy your tickets for Zapp’s International Beer Fest on March 24 because it is AWESOME.  In addition to having over 200 foreign and domestic beers to taste, they will have a large selection of home brews.  DBG went last year and it was great.  All proceeds go to the Rural Life Museum.  http://www.zappsbeerfest.com

3.  DBG has finally gotten off her lazy arse and posted most of her columns from the past three years on a blog.  Think of it as a Cherry archive of sorts.  Wait, DBG has been doing this for three years? cherrythedivebargirl.wordpress.com

4.  Sworn off meat during the Lenten season?  Take a drive to a Louisiana institution and eat divine thinly filleted fried catfish.  Middendorf’s in Manchac is almost 80 years old.  It is worth the drive.  middendorfsrestaurant.com

5.  The azaleas are blooming and all of the fair maidens in Natchez have dusted off their hoopskirts.  The spring pilgrimage is in full effect until April 14.  Take a drive and see the town King Cotton built.  http://www.natchezpilgrimage.com

6.  DBG’s favorite antebellum home?  The Ruins of Windsor—In 1890, a careless houseguest dropped a cigar and the plantation home was destroyed by fire.  Only 23 Corinthian columns remain.  It is possible for a place to be dark, haunting, and romantic all at the same time.  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windsor_Ruins

7. Did you know a group of rattlesnakes is called a rumba? 

 

cherrythedivebargirl@gmail.com

 

UCM Museum–Abita Springs Sunday, Mar 18 2012 

Imaginary Monsters in Abita Springs.

On Friday, I took a day off of work and traveled to the small town of Abita Springs, LA.  My love of Kitsch and all things bizarre led me to the UCM Museum .  (Pronounced You-See-Em.)  The only thing I knew about this place was that it had been called “Louisiana ’s Most Eccentric Museum ,” and it contained an Airstream Trailer that had been fashioned into a makeshift UFO.

After about and hour and fifteen minutes my GPS led me to service station covered in homemade signs with garage sale items strewn about the yard.  I had arrived.  My car ran over an old doll’s head as I pulled to the side and parked. I made sure my camera was working and wandered up to the front door.

The gift shop was a hodge-podge of novelty items and local artwork. There were hints of oddness in the décor.  Someone had dressed a taxidermied alligator in a red negligee.  I brushed this off.  I reminded me of that TV series in the 80’s where the lizard people invaded Earth.  No one was there.  Music played, I assumed someone would be back to charge me my 3 dollar fee.  I sorted through a bucket of whoopee cushions and card tricks and waited.

He walked in through the back door of the shop and quickly said, “I will be right back to let you in.  I have to turn some things on for you.”  He quickly shuffled off with his mountains of grey curls following after him.  He never even looked to see who or what I was.

I sifted through t-shirts and some of his paintings while he cranked up the museum.  He returned a couple of minutes later and got a proper glance.  “Well hello…I’m John. You can go back whenever you want.  And just pay when you come out.  There is only one way out.  I trust you.”

Sheepishly, I looked at him.  He was smiling.  He looked like any other aging hippie.  But there was something about his tone that put me off.  I realized I was alone.  I shrugged my feelings off and said, “Thanks…I have been looking forward to seeing this.”

“Oh and feel free to snoop around back there.  Nothing’s private.”

I answered with a quick, “Will do,” and headed back. I did not make eye contact with him this time.  I knew that would be a mistake.  The gift shop spilled out onto the porch and in to the museum’s entrance.

The first cottage in the back was long and narrow.  New Orleans R and B played at a comfortable level.  It took me about 30 seconds to realize I was staring at someone’s massive paint by number collection.  I muddled through portraits of Lassie and various other puppies.  The occasional Timber Wolf littered the collection along with some still life pictures and brown horses drinking from streams.  Many of these paint by numbers were identical.  There were hundreds. I glanced towards the ceiling to see that it was covered in old motherboards from computers conferring a faux futuristic look.

This man was a collector of anything.  He did not care what.  There is a medical term for this but it escapes me.  Old film cartridges made into wind chimes were kept in the corner.  Like stayed with Like.  There was an unfathomable system in this madness.

In the middle of a sensory overload I stumbled up to the first diorama.  It was called Rudy’s Over the Rainbow Hotel and Lounge.  It depicted a juke joint on a Saturday.  Very black handcrafted figures danced, had sex, killed each other and drank malt liquor in their little juke joint.  Some penguins pranced around the front yard.  My uneasiness returned. I continued on and saw the wall of driver’s licenses.

They were stapled to the far wall of the shed.  They were from all over the country.  There had to be over a hundred.  The term TROPHY immediately came to mind.  I had visions of Rob Zombie films and immediately grabbed my cell phone.  I texted a few friends with my whereabouts.  I also cursed myself for my constant need to go on adventures solo.  I softly repeated that there was only one way out. Then I laughed at my lunacy.  This establishment had been written up in Southern Living Magazine.  Nothing bad could happen here.

I continued on to a diorama entitled The Tragedy of Dog Pound Road.  I pressed a button and a foamy tornado destroyed a trailer park.  Little plastic horses and cows swirled around a double wide.  The small fireworks stand in the corner managed to avoid injury.  I wondered if this was based on a real event or something that existed only in the mind of its creator.

The narrow shack also boasted antique pinball machines that were still in good play.  I tossed a quarter into one that showcased The Beatles and landed a pretty good score.  Pinball was always my favorite.  These machines guided me to John’s makeshift pinball maze.  It was created from Popsicle sticks and hot glue.  One press of a button and a dull pinball meandered through quite a journey before returning to its starting point.  I wondered if he had sculpted this miniature wooden roller coaster free hand or if he had drawn up actual plans.

I began to feel at ease when I exited the first shack and came across The House of Shards.

According to UCM’s website, The House of Shards is the most photographed item in the museum. The House of Shards is a one room cottage with broken pottery, glass and fragments of other frail broken knick-knacks attached to it.  In a way there is something almost religious about it.  All of the broken pieces form a makeshift stain glass. The work must have taken months.  Maybe John wasn’t a serial killer. Then I entered and saw my first nightmare.  He had his own Fiji mermaid.  I wondered if the human remains that comprised the front of the creature came from a real baby. The tail was a bass fish.  This melded being sat in an empty aquarium with an ocean backdrop in the rear.  Seeing a Fiji Mermaid at Ripley’s Believe it or Not was cool.  Seeing one in someone’s backyard in Abita Springs caused shakes. I reminded myself that I was a moron and that this was how people were murdered.

I continued through The House of Shards into Sister Claire’s Fortune Telling and Live Bait Shack. I knew I might be bait when I saw the duck-gator.  I could no longer hold my worry. I marveled at this mismatched creature.  Head of a Mallard, body of a small gator and four flippers attached to its feet.  The only thing it had going for it was that both ducks and gators lay eggs.  I guess the duck-gator was not reproductively confused.

The bait shack had a tin roof so it was quite noisy.  Trees and branches kept rubbing striking the tin adding an erieness to the two headed alligator-bass taxidermied beast I was viewing. I wondered if it could really be classified as art when I heard something behind me.  I swung around quickly as he said, “I just wanted to make sure you were finding everything ok.” He grinned at me.  He was blocking the only door.  I have an odd phobia about knowing where my exits are.  Airplanes, Movie Theatres, Skyscrapers…It is always important to know how to get out.  If things went wrong at the UCM museum…I had to leave by the front door or hop a ten foot high fence.

I stumbled out of the bait shack over a framed plaster cast of the foot of the Honey Island Swamp Monster and almost fell into the famed Airstream trailer with wings.  I stood on my tiptoes and peaked inside to see some disheveled characters having dinner while being abducted by aliens.  It was good to be out in the breeze.  Then I looked across the field and saw the infamous Bass-Gator.  He was 22 feet long as promised and was parked under a shed. He was supported by a flat bed trailer. He had been covered with the same material that gives suburban homes pop corn ceilings.  I quickly shook my head and put Bass-Gator in the Mardi Gras float category and moved on.  Maybe John saddled him up and rode him though Abita once a year.  I was dizzy.  I had seen too much.

I journeyed back to the porch and thought I had seen it all.  Then I met Darrel.  Darrel the Ali-dog was framed into a large shadow box.  He stood about 2 ½ feet high and was covered in alligator hyde.  Instead of a dog’s head, he carried a gator snout on top of his shoulders.  There was something obedient and friendly about him.  Darrel looked like a loyal yet dangerous companion.  I took a few pictures of Darrel and decided to pack it in.  It was time for an Abita Beer or three.

I followed the sound of Frankie Ford’s Sea Cruise back up to the gift shop.  The girl working the register couldn’t have been over 17.  She was coloring some butterflies with crayolas and doing well at staying between the lines.  She was harmless in everyway.

The outer door chimed and the UPS man entered.  She signed for a package while I browsed novelty items trying to think of a way to begin a conversation.  John came from around back to get his package with great gusto.

He opened the box while he said, “I have been waiting for this poster to come in.  I took the picture myself.  She was a pretty girl.  And a Nurse too…She wouldn’t let me kiss her though.”  John was lonely.  I can only imagine the nuisance animal he was to all of the women of Abita Springs.

The girl got almost offended and said, “John, you can’t say things like that.  It is not right.”

He laughed.

I turned and said, “He just did.”

He looked at me and said, “Yes I did.”  He gave a poster to the girl and returned to his studio.

I walked over to the register with my postcards to pay.  I asked, “What was the poster about?”
She produced a color flyer with a girl in a poorly fitting bikini.  It was advertising a local band’s CD.

I laughed…I asked, “How long have you been working here?”

“About a year.”

How did you get the job?” I couldn’t imagine John placing a help wanted ad in the local paper.

“John is a friend of the family.  Well, a friend of my Mother.  Not my Father so much.  My Mother helps him with his rental properties.  That’s how he supports himself.”  She told me all I needed to know about John in a couple of sentences.
I paid 5 dollars to the girl for my postcards and entry fee.  I bought 10. My favorite was a drawing of Darrel the Ali-Dog.  If I love you enough, I will send you one in the mail.

Fin.

Patio Lounge Sunday, Mar 18 2012 

Patio Lounge
8743 Jefferson Highway…tucked away in the corner beside Jeff’s Food Mart.

I had always wondered about all the cars parked beside Jeff’s Food Mart at dusk. No sign adorns the exterior of the Patio. This did not deter me. I flew solo and walked up to the iron door where a patron promptly unlocked it and allowed me entry. No music played. The regulars watched Millionaire together. As I drank my bud light, we began to view and comment on the movie Casino.
The Patio has been in existence since 1962. Green leather banquets line the far wall, and antique beer bottles and steins behind the bar provide ambiance. Jimmy, the mustached bartender, says Crown and Coke is the drink of choice, but The Patio is famous for their Bloody Mary. 24 hours notice and you can order it by the gallon. It is the kind of place I feel I could flip and tease my hair, put on a cocktail dress, step back in time and watch a lunar landing on TV.
Bring cash; they won’t take your credit card. And for all of you shift workers…they open at 8 am. That’s when you can meet Charlie, the owner.

Dive Bar Girl

The Pastime Junior Sunday, Mar 18 2012 

The Pastime Junior
Drusilla Shopping Center/Jefferson Highway

I normally do not frequent restaurant/bars in strip malls, but I make an exception for Pastime Junior. Don’t think of it as a chain! The Junior is more of an offspring, a satellite , or even an homage to the original downtown location. While it is smaller, brighter, and lacks the kitschy vinyl tiger-striped bar; it offers the same reasonably priced, extraordinarily tasty bar food with a decent enough beer and wine selection.
Pastime Junior is located just a couple of miles down the road from the beige corporate chains of Towne Center and much more accepting of flip flops and cut-offs than Fleming’s and Sullivan’s.
No one is going to run a football pool at the Junior, no man will come up to you and say you are so attractive you must be an illusion, there will be no live music, and no shady characters. If you want that kind of ambiance, you need make the journey downtown. If you want good inexpensive pub fare and a few brews, you can get away from the Junior for about 20 bucks.
I am a fan of the Munion Burger, some onion rings, and a couple of Abita’s. And the bonus prize is Patio Lounge is just around the corner.

Dive Bar Girl 😉

The Hawk’s Nest Sunday, Mar 18 2012 

The Hawk’s Nest
3015 Westfork Drive
Off of Sherwood tucked behind the Common Point Mall

When I entered the Hawk’s Nest, it’s proprietor, Ray “Big Head” Smith sat watching Top Gear with a couple of the regulars. I commented that it was my favorite car show and was immediately welcomed into the fold. I placed myself at the bar near a stool that was embroidered with the name ‘Mel.’ I ordered a drink and picked up a menu. The bar fare was standard so I asked for what they did best. I was given the Truck Driver’s Special. The huge plate of hamburger steak topped with grilled onions, french fries and lima beans hit the spot. (I took my leftovers home and am still eating them.) Ray said the Hawk’s Nest has been around for 40 years and in its present location since 1984. The taxidermied hawk has maintained a steady vigil over the bar the entire time. I later inquired about ‘Mel’ and some of the other named furniture. At the Nest, stools are retired in honor of their regulars. It takes about 20 years to achieve this
status, so everyone needs to head on down and find their favorite. Dinner and 2 drinks came in under $20. Oh…and I was told the Shrimp Remoulade was the best in town.

Yours,
Dive Bar Girl

Port Royal Sunday, Mar 18 2012 

Port Royal
AKA Pirate Bar
2363 College Drive

Avast Me Hearties,

Me crew returned to port and needed an ale house to satisfy international tastes. We knew we were in friendly waters when we saw the Jolly Roger on the prow. (Translation: We needed good but inexpensive beer.)
The saucy wenches behind the bar can assist ye scallywags with hundreds of bottled beers from the Barbary Coast to the shores of Tripoli. Beware, landlubbers might lose their sea legs after a few strong Belgium brews. For the gamer there be Foosball and Golden Tee. The risque murals located in the loo are enough to make a young lass blush. (Translation: Staff: knowledgeable. Excellent beer selection. Large penis paintings in the ladies room.)
If the buried treasure yer seek is in the form of a golden grog, drop anchor and prepare to board the Port Royal, and if all of ye libations make yer hungry, plunder some grub next door at Waffle House.

Dive Bar Wench

The Wheel vs. The Wedge Sunday, Mar 18 2012 

The Wheel vs The Wedge

The Wheel vs. The Wedge

Due to many emergencies, DBG did not get to review a new hole in the wall. But over a well-deserved margarita at Superior, she started thinking about lemons and limes. This turned into the wheel vs. the wedge debate. She wants to know…when you pop the cap off of a Corona in honor of Cinco de Mayo, do you cut the accompanying lime in the shape of a wheel or a wedge? DBG thinks wheels add a certain ambiance to a cocktail but like many a playboy playmate, they are useless in function. Squeezing a lime wheel results in a messy burning fingers. DBG believes the wedge is based on some simple machine she cannot remember the name of. She also thinks if you are a true professional, you slice the wedge down its center so that it can rest gracefully on the lip of your Corona. What is the point of this story? DBG asks you to submit dives that need to be reviewed. She also is asking for your best margarita recipe or for any celebrations of Mexican
Independence Day that need to be listed in Cherry. Cherries are a fruit that do not need to be sliced or diced and thank goodness for that.

The Oyster Bar Sunday, Mar 18 2012 

The Oyster Bar
11101 Ferdinand Street
St. Francisville

Need a cold one after riding the ferry across the mighty Mississippi?

The Oyster Bar is a small squat building nestled down by Bayou Sara. I thought they might have oysters. After entering around noon on a Tuesday, I was informed they only had chips. I ordered a Miller Light and some Lays, sat back, and watched the free entertainment.

The owner and his sidekick sat at the far end of the bar tossing insults at one another. (Imagine an elderly version of Beevis and Butthead.) After the afternoon bartender arrived, the owner distributed the new uniform shirt and began to lecture the girls on appearance standards. Quote: “I got these new tank tops for you girls to wear while ya’ll tend to the bar. Make sure you shave your armpits before you put ‘em on.”

Eventually the sidekick turned his attention to me and asked if I would consider engaging in a mutually beneficial relationship with a semi-respected southern gentleman. I politely declined, but a relatively charming discussion followed.
As I left, the owner saluted me and said, “Darlin’ you are welcomed back anytime. You have extremely nice breasts. You should see my wife; she could wear her bra backwards.”

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