225 Magazine [December 2022]

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Banh mi from AM Mart DECEMBER 2022 • FREE HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES 14 LOCAL GIFT IDEAS 43 GRAZING BOARDS 54 cheap eats featuring: LocalBirthdaydrive-thrus treats Gas station goodies 90+ bites to savor—and save— − at every budget
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WHAT DO THESE TWO HAVE IN COMMON?

FENTANYL

No matter where or when, just one hit, one bump, or one pill could be laced with a deadly dose of fentanyl. More than 50x stronger than morphine, fentanyl has quadrupled overdose deaths in East Baton Rouge Parish. Just 2 mg (0.0004 tsp) of fentanyl will end your life.

Do you know what’s in your drugs? The difference is life or death.

IT’S TIME TO SOUND THE ALARM

KILLED THEM LAST NIGHT.
To learn more, volunteer, donate, or get help for someone struggling with addiction, visit whenyouarereadybr.com A MESSAGE BROUGHT TO YOU BY

ON THE COVER

Cheap eats in Baton Rouge

IF YOU’RE DINING on a budget this holiday season, we have a few ideas for you—starting with local icon American Market, where we picked up some sandwiches for our Cheap Eats-themed cover shoot. The Nicholson Drive convenience store is known for its sandwich combos, which include a drink and chips for under $10. Staff photographer Collin Richie captured its banh mi: Vietnamese pork, American ham, French country pâté topped with pickled carrots, daikon, cucumbers, jalapeno and cilantro on a sizable sandwich that could even feed two. Turn to our cover story on page 30 for 90+ bites at any budget.

49 Features 14 How to plan your holiday happenings 21 Who is tackling the fentanyl crisis in Baton Rouge 27 Who is the face behind concerts all over town 43 Where to find vintage LSU attire for your gift list 61 Who is building photo shoot sets for her family photos And much more… Departments 14 What’s Up 21 Our City 27 I am 225 30 Cover story 43 Style 49 Taste 61 Culture 68 Calendar
COLLIN RICHIE CONTENTS // 6 [225] December 2022 | 225batonrouge.com

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Building tradition

THERE’S A HOLIDAY tradition idea I can’t stop thinking about. When you pack up your seasonal decorations at the end of this month, write a letter to yourself.

Tuck it away in that pile of silver tinsel and tangled twinkle lights. And then forget about it. Let it be a surprise when you open the box next year.

Put in bullet points, or scrawl it on a sheet of notebook paper. Write in cursive, or print out a note typed on your iPhone. Throw some Polaroids in there. Make it your own.

But take the time to slow down for a minute to reflect on the year that has just passed by. The wins and losses. The firsts and the lasts. And to think about what you want in the year ahead.

I stumbled upon this idea in a blog post this past January. When I first read it, I kept thinking this is what I’d want to tell my future self: “Here are my hopes and dreams and goals for the next year. … But it’s totally OK if a whole year goes by, and none of them come true.”

Because New Year’s resolutions have been harder to keep than ever in the 2020s. Instead, life seems to evolve in all the in-between moments. And it’s those moments, however big or small, that will be worth remembering decades from now. The ones that might slip away for good if you don’t save them now.

I imagine this is how local photographer Jackie Haxthausen sees her monthly themed photo shoots with her kids. Haxthausen builds elabo rate sets to capture their ever-evolving interests and personalities. She once spray painted hun dreds of gift boxes for a holiday shoot with her family. Photography is her own creative outlet for making and capturing these special memories, she tells 225 digital staff writer Olivia Deffes for our profile in this issue. (You can see Haxthausen’s incredible photos and read her story on page 61.)

Holiday season moves so fast. We’re all hurtling toward the end of the year, trying to check off ur to-do lists at work and home.

But try to take a moment to slow down and make your own traditions. Whether it’s going to see holiday lights (find lots of activities and attractions around town on page 14), hosting a grazing board party for loved ones (browse our recipes on 54) or planning a vintage-themed gift exchange (meet some local sellers on page 43), there’s always something special to explore around Baton Rouge. Especially this time of year.

That’s a wrap on 2022. I hope it was a great one for you. Thank you for reading 225 this year. We so appreciate getting to be a small part of your traditions.

What is a ‘cheap eat’ these days, anyway?

I’ve wanted 225 to do this cover story for years. An old Cheap Eats-themed cover from another city mag has long stared down at me from my office inspo boad.

So when I realized that we had an opening for our December cover story, it struck me that maybe it was the best time to tackle it—but also maybe the worst time?

The truth is that it might be harder than ever to find an affordable meal out, as local menu prices keep creeping up in sync with infltion.

Diners are feeling the pinch— and they aren’t alone. Profit margins are surely shrinking for the local businesses we know and love, too.

Perhaps, then, we could consider this the “Infltion Edition” of Cheap Eats.

Our team tracked down some enticing plates of food under $10 and $20. Take your pick of tasty, filling fae from convenience stores, sandwich shops, drive-thrus and sitdown restaurants.

But we’re also including some hacks to keep enjoying your favorite, splurge-worthy spots on a little bit of a tighter budget. Try going during happy hour, for instance. Or, if you’re celebrating your birthday or anniversary, many restaurants will make the meal even sweeter with a special dessert or drink compliments of the kitchen.

Food is one of the best parts of Baton Rouge culture, and we’re all going to find some way or another to keep enjoying it—and supporting it.

J e r ry a n d h e r e lv e s

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Editorial Director: Penny Font Editor: Jennifer Tormo Alvarez

Managing Editor: Laura Furr Mericas

Features Writer: Maggie Heyn Richardson

Digital Staff Writer: Olivia Deffes

Digital Content Editor: Dillon Lowe

Staff  Photographer: Collin Richie Contributing Writers: Tracey Koch, Benjamin Leger, Zane Piontek, Meg Ryan Contributing Photographers: Ariana Allison, Amy Shutt

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NEW YEAR'S EVE B A S H Must be 21 years of age or older to enter Event Center and Casino. Entertainment is subject to change or cancellation without notice. Tickets may be purchased at Sundries gift shop at L’Auberge Baton Rouge, all Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster. Tickets are non-transferable and non-negotiable. Subject to availability. Management reserves the right to cancel, modify or refuse this offer without notice at any time. Offer not valid for self-exclusion program enrollees in jurisdictions which PENN Entertainment, Inc. operates or who have been otherwise excluded from the participating property. ©2022 PENN Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. GAMBLING PROBLEM? PLEASE CALL 800.522.4700. FEATURING PANTS PARTY SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31 TICKETS ARE $60 | Doors Open at 10:30pm | Show Starts at 11pm General Admission | Standing Room Only PURCHASE TICKETS AT For more information, visit LBatonRouge.com • 866.261.7777 INCLUDESANOPENBAR! 12 [225] December 2022 | 225batonrouge.com

Local landscaping business turns to native plants in response to the ‘Kill Your Lawn’ Trend (find the print version of this story on page 24)

Pho 97 opens with modern environment to explore traditional Vietnamese food

On our Instagram Reel tour of the concessions line-up at Tiger Stadium this season: “Wow!! Are they stepping it up at the stadium with some good choices or what?!? Great info ” —@kristanfl

“Can we please work on getting this in the ENTIRE stadium?? I’d love a taco and daiquiri in West Upper ” —@cchapman223322

“The Chicago style hotdog was amazing!!! ” —@alfranco11

On our First Look at the Plant Barn Garden Center and Nursery, a former church off Perkins Road converted into a new garden center by the owners of Me-Moes Lawn and Landscaping: “Such a great addition to Baton Rouge!!” —@mimosahandcrafted via Instagram

“Great selection and prices!” —@wynn5859 via Instagram

Analytics and comments are from Oct. 1-31, 2022.

About our dive into the University Lakes Project and the latest timeline for its long-awaited improvements: “Can’t wait to see what it’s going to look like when everything is done.” —@kevinwalker572 via Instagram

“Sad that this is an agricultural college and the lakes look like this.” —Joni Bueche via Facebook

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Tidings

Stroll through a twinkling tunnel at Baton Rouge General’s Holiday Lights

Feel the nostalgia at Theatre Baton Rouge’s A Christmas Carol

Pick up artisan smoked andouille for gumbo at Iverstine Farms Butcher

a teacher with a gift from Bites & Boards

Louisiana sweet potatoes for everyone’s favorite candied side at the Thursday Red Stick Farmers Market

Choose a handmade gift at the Baton Rouge Arts Market at Fifth and Main streets

Yell, “throw me something, Santa!” at the downtown Kiwanis Christmas parade

Merry Christmas, Baton Rouge! After opening presents, unwind with a flick at the Cinemark in Perkins Rowe

Mark the beginning of Kwanzaa with soul food or African cuisine

Walk off those holiday indulgences with your pooch at a BREC dog park

with an evening at Civil Axe Throwing followed by holiday pie at Elsie’s

Pick up an “ugly Christmas sweater” from local brand Queen of Sparkles

See The Nutcracker: A Tale from the Bayou at the renovated River Center Theatre

your favorite worship service

on a fresh NYE look from Edit

Count down to midnight at the Hilton’s Gatsby New Year’s Eve party

December
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Drop off a gift at a Toys for Tots donation site
Order a turkey and sides from Bergeron’s City Market
Steal away for a Sweater Weather Latte at Reve Coffee Lab
Exchange presents with coworkers over drinks at Olive or Twist followed by dinner next door at SoLou 9 Hit opening night of Playmakers’ A Christmas Story
21
22 Restock
24
Pick
19 Source last-minute stocking stuffers from The Royal Standard 20 See Cirque Musica: A Holiday Wonderland at the Raising Cane’s River Center
De-stress
the wine rack or grab lastminute goodies at 23 Prep a holiday dip or appetizer with fresh seafood
Attend
25
26
27
28 Splurge
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Head downtown for the Festival of Lights
out a fragrant Fraser fi tree from Louisiana Nursery
& to-do’s CELEBRATE THE SEASON with our Baton Rouge-themed holiday calendar, counting down with much merriment from the first o month to New Year’s Eve. We compiled some of the 225 editorial team’s favorite ways to celebrate, inviting you to take advantage of the many ways to get jolly in Red Stick.
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MAGGIE HEYN RICHARDSON
to make the most out of the most wonderful time of the year Light the menorah for the first night of Hanukkah
M T
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Spoil
Donate to your favorite local charity
Buy
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DIGITS

Finishing on the 50

Run like a champ Dec. 5 at the 5th Annual Tiger 10K

THE GREEN LIGHT to storm Death Valley’s 50-yard line? What LSU fan wouldn’t love that? And this month, the opportunity is open to finishers o the 5th annual Tiger 10K. Produced by FRESHJUNKIE Racing, the 10K/5K and Fun Run gives the Tiger nation a way to celebrate their beloved team after the regular season has ended, says FRESHJUNKIE Marketing and Communications Director Mike Wattigny.

“It’s a sea of purple and gold,” Wattigny says of the runners. “The beauty of an event like this is that you get a broader audience, including people who have never done a 5K, but who just want to finish on the 50-yard line.”

About 4,000 participants are expected to run, Wat tigny says, the majority of whom will be evenly split between 5K and 10K registrants. A 1-mile Fun Run is also available for kids. Each race snakes through the LSU campus, leading runners to Death Valley through the stadium’s southeast entrance. As each runner crosses the 50-yard finish line they’ll pass under a “win bar” like the one in the LSU locker room.

Wattigny says FRESHJUNKIE Racing, which produces more than 30 races in the Capital City and around the country, spent seven years working with LSU to create the Tiger 10K.

“Trying to navigate through the LSU system with so many players involved, it took a while to get the blessing to make it happen,” Wattigny says. “But it’s been an incredible event focused on fandom.”

The race is traditionally held the first Sunday in December. Start training now for next year’s Dec. 3 event. Tiger10K.com

ORDER THIS

Reveillon dinners return this month at Eliza

ELIZA RESTAURANT & BAR rolls out its fourth annual Reveillon menu nightly, Dec. 5-31. The multi-choice lineup of lavish holiday dishes is prepared in honor of a centuries-old Louisiana tradition.

Reveillon is French for awakening, and it refers to the large and detailed dinners many Louisiana families of French descent served after Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. The tradition, most robust in New Orleans, died out around World War II, but was brought back in the 1990s by enterprising Crescent City fine dining opeators who saw it as a way to increase business during a normally slow period for restaurants. Numerous New Orleans eateries have since adopted it, including Brennan’s, Tujague’s and Café Degas.

But no need to traverse I-10 to experience the meal. Reservations for the Eliza dinners are recommended. elizabatonrouge.com

5% to 15%

ANTICIPATED INCREASE IN retail prices of Christmas trees this year, according to 71% of Christmas tree growers surveyed by the Real Christmas Tree Board. Growers cited infltion, supply chain issues and the changing habits of shoppers to justify the increase.

This year’s menu

Eliza chef-owner Russell Davis’ Reveillon three-course meal features:

• Appetizer: Turtle soup au sherry or local lettuces with bacon lardon, pickled shallot, poached farm egg and sherry vinaigrette

• Entree: Gulf crabmeat-stuffed flounder with Champagne beurre blanc and sauteed spinach or grilled veal chop with port demi glace, creamy mashed potatoes and ovendried hot house tomatoes

• Dessert: Peppermint panna cotta with dark chocolate and crushed candy canes or flourless chocolate cake with satsuma sauce and chantilly cream

Clint Willson, the director of the LSU Center for River Studies and the Mike N. Dooley, PE Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, in a late October Q&A posted by LSU about the record low levels of the Mississippi River between Illinois and Louisiana. Willson said the river’s depth is restricting how much can be put on the barges, impacting the agricultural economy significantl. “The inability to load barges and their reduced capacity is resulting in a backlog of grain and other products,” Willson continued. “While the major impact of this is on the agricultural community, the ripple effect will be felt by ports in the lowermost Mississippi that transfer the products to larger ships and countries around the world who rely on these exports.”

SAVE THE DATE
PHOTOS COURTESY ELIZA RESTAURANT & BAR
“This is having a tremendous impact on the nation’s agricultural community since over 60% of our agricultural exports are transported down the river on barges.”
STOCK PHOTO STOCK PHOTO
COURTESY FRESHJUNKIE RACING
WHAT’S UP // 225batonrouge.com | [225] December 2022 15

1.5M

The number of Louisiana residents who now have mobile IDs through the LA Wallet app. The Baton Rougedeveloped app was the first legal digital driver’s license app in the U.S., allowing residents to legally carry their driver’s license or state ID digitally, as well other documents like COVID-19 vaccine records. Find it on the App Store.

$81.5M

Film production spending in Baton Rouge so far this year. It’s a figue that has nearly tripled year over year, compared to $28.3 million in spending last year. It’s also the highest total since at least 2017.

Shacking up

Baton Rougeans can finally get a ShacBurger—and they don’t have to travel to New York (or New Orleans) for it. Shake Shack opened last month, right off Bluebonnet Boulevard in the Mall of Louisiana’s shopping and dining district, nestled in between LongHorn Steakhouse and Peregrin’s Christmas Store. It marks the first Bton Rouge location of the famous burger restaurant, which began in New York City and now has over 400 locations worldwide. shakeshack.com

Returning to the Baton Rouge River Center Theatre for Performing Arts December 17 & 18, 2022 • 2:00 PM & 6:00 PM 225-766-8379 • Ticketmaster.com • $30-$90 • batonrougeballet.org Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre presents Photo: Eye Wander Photo There’s sno’ place like home! Featuring the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra HIGHEST QUALITY WITH COMPETITIVE PRICING! #AM-50-BAJ At Ducote’s Restaurant & Bar Equipment , we specialize in supplying the foodservice industry with a broad selection of the top-quality equipment and supplies you need to successfully run your operations and efficiently serve your customers. 4433 Florida Blvd • 225-344-4240 ducotesrestaurantsupply.com OPEN TO THE PUBLIC Come See Our Showroom Issue Date: Dec 2022 Ad proof #1 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2022. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329
Buzz feed WHAT’S
DIGITS
NEW
ARIANA ALLISON ARIANA ALLISON WHAT’S UP // 16 [225] December 2022 | 225batonrouge.com

Pho real

There’s a new spot in town for pho and traditional Vietnamese eats—and it’s all served in a stunning space on George O’Neal Road. Pho 97 opened in October, decorated with vibrant plants, neon signs and flowers hanging fom the ceiling. Owner Tony Bui transformed the former Italian Pie location into the restaurant concept, originally started by his family in Hawaii. Find it on Facebook

Movie magic

Did you storm the field during LSUs overtime defeat of Alabama? You might be in a movie. The crew of The Mascot, a forthcoming film tht will feature LSU Football in its plot, captured footage from games in Tiger Stadium this season, including thousands of fans streaming onto the field ater the pivotal game. The crew is reviewing the script to see if the memorable moment can work its way on screen.

Get Ready to Ring in the New Year

On the move

Local jewelry brand Mimosa Handcrafted grew into a new storefront last month. The Mimosa Shoppe is now in the same building as Red Stick Reads in Mid City. The new boutique was designed with mini vignettes, where contextual decor tells the story of each piece of jewelry. And the brand’s old home is only a few steps from its original location—a boutique-on-wheels that Mimosa founder Madeline Ellis says will now offer short-term leases to other artisans and creators. mimosahandcrafted.com

ARIANA ALLISON ARIANA ALLISON JORDAN HEFLER WHAT’S UP // 225batonrouge.com | [225] December 2022 17

ANATOMY OF A DISH

Mirror, mirror

A TikTok trend landed on the shelves of a local bakery with these mirrored, holiday-ready cakes by Eloise Market and Cakery

ELOISE MARKET AND Cakery is let ting you have your cake and display it, too. And if you think these cakes look too good to eat, you’re totally right.

Although they may look identical to your average cake, Eloise’s owner M.J. Schmidt finds most of her ingredients for these mirrored cakes at a craft shop rather than a grocery store. Shoppers can find the faux treats nestled among the real cakes at the Lee Drive bakery.

Schmidt says she got the idea after seeing TikTok creators make fake cakes, cereal and smoothie bowls with mirrors to decorate the walls in their homes.

“The first time I posted (my) mirror cakes, a lady was like ‘This makes no sense. Why would you put a mirror on a cake?’” Schmidt recalls.

Since she spends her days icing cakes and confections, Schmidt thought it would be a fun project.

Now, visitors can browse a selection of pre-made, decorative mirror cakes to purchase or head over to the bakery’s website to make custom orders, starting at $100.

“I want to get them stocked up for Christmas because I think they’re a fun gift,” Schmidt says. “I also think it could be fun for first birthdays, because you can keep the cake forever.”

Though the ingredients are not the same, Schmidt still uses traditional bakery tools to achieve a realistic look. But don’t worry—she has a special set dedicated for fake cake making.

Schmidt says she has plenty of ideas for varieties of these faux desserts and plans to make a wall display in the bakery so customers can take photos and even find one to take home for themselves.

“Everyone likes them as a cute little mirror to take pictures in,” she says. “I really want to make some with lights that turn on so you can use it as a makeup mirror.”

Schmidt says she’ll do it all, and will even write on a cake like she does to the real cakes she makes in shop.

“Anything that we can put on a real cake,” she says, “we can put on a mirror cake.”

Objects in the mirror

Plastic cherries and disco balls are used as embellishments before each cake gets a generous dusting of sprinkles.

Right here, Right now, Life changes for the better Addiction Recovery and Treatment Center 225.361.0899 • On call 24 hr. 225.241.9471 Baton Rouge, LA • www.serenitycenterla.com “Although
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Looking glass

Each cake is topped with a polished mirror to complete the look. Shoppers can use them as birthday photoshoot props, quirky decor for a kitchen or living room, or to catch a quick glimpse of their reflection in

Icing on the cake

Wall plaster is carefully carved into smooth, frosting-like shapes and designs using piping bags, scrapers and spatulas. Instead of food dyes, Schmidt uses paint to achieve vibrant colors.

Ace of base

Instead of a flufy cake base, Schmidt uses stiff, rounded styrofoam pieces to mimic the shape of a traditional, single-tiered cake.

Give the Elves Issue Date: Dec 2022 Ad proof #2 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Melara Enterprises, LLC. 2022. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329 Corporate Blvd at Jefferson • 225.925.2344 townecenteratcedarlodge.com • Shop at A BREAK,
WHAT’S UP // 225batonrouge.com | [225] December 2022 19
20 [225] December 2022 | 225batonrouge.com

Pushing hope

Through her ministry Set Free Indeed, Tonja Myles launched the When You Are Ready initiative in response to Baton Rouge’s worsening opioid and fentanyl crisis.

TONJA MYLES IS sipping coffee outside Starbucks when a young woman spots her and approaches.

“Thank you for all you did,” she tells Myles. She pulls out her phone to show Myles a picture of her child. She says she and her boyfriend are doing well in recovery, living clean and raising their 7-month-old daughter, who adores her dad, thanks to Myles’ support.

As she walks away, Myles says softly, “it’s just good to see them on the other side.”

Myles, a former addict, a minister and a veteran, is well-known in Baton Rouge as a champion for substance use treatment and mental health awareness. She founded Free Indeed in 2004, the first licensed faith-based outpatient treatment center in Louisiana. And her ministry of a similar name, Set Free Indeed, which she runs with her husband, Darren, operates numerous community programs and campaigns that have led scores of people to sobriety and recovery.

Since 2020, the ministry has doubled down on its local public outreach, creating the When You Are Ready initiative in response to the growing opioid, and now fentanyl, crisis. It’s something Myles knows personally.

“I’ve been in recovery for about 38 years, so this is not just a career,” Myles says. “It’s a calling for me. I know how it is to be in the throes of addiction, to feel helpless. That you’re by yourself and that you will never get out of that bad space. I wake up every day to push hope.”

The Baton Rouge native has been a pioneer in creating a faith-based approach to substance abuse counseling. It was something she sought when going through recovery from a drug problem that had escalated to include crack cocaine.

“To me, having a faith-based approach just gives people a choice, an option, that some of them are looking for,” she says.

Myles was recognized for her work by President George W. Bush during his 2003 State of the Union address. And since then, Free Indeed has become a model for 28 other similar treatment centers in the state and around the country.

While Free Indeed is a standalone outpatient clinic, the Myles’ ministry, Set Free Indeed, is focused on spreading the word that there are nonjudgmental substance abuse and mental health resources for those who need them. Myles says that it’s been important for the ministry to adapt its programs to what’s happening on the street and behind closed doors. She has written a toolkit for churches, synagogues and mosques to grow their knowledge about how to help those with substance use problems.

Right now, that means doing something to curb the city’s overdose rate.

INSIDE: Local landscaping group wants you to ‘kill your lawn’ Baton Rouge recovery crusader Set Free Indeed’s latest campaign is aiming to lower overdoses

Last year, overdose deaths were at an all-time high in East Baton Rouge Parish, after rising every year for nearly a decade, according to the EBR Coroner’s Office.

In 2012, 28 people died of accidental overdoses in East Baton Rouge Parish. By 2019, that number had risen to 126. It nearly doubled to 242 in 2020, as the country continued to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. And in 2021, overdose deaths rose again to 311. That grim trend prompted Myles and her team to launch When You Are Ready, an outreach effort in which volunteers and peer counselors set up tables at local big box stores and stand in neighborhood hot spots with high drug use rates to bring awareness

about the dangers of overdosing.

“As an ordained minister, I’ve buried a lot of people who have died of overdoses,” Myles says. “So that’s why we came up with When You Are Ready, to provide resources to people, and to go where they are.”

Opioid deaths have been at the center of Set Free Indeed’s efforts for many years, but the highly potent synthetic opioid fentanyl has brought the overdose issue to a new level of urgency, Myles says.

Fentanyl has been, and continues to be, produced legally in the United States as a painkiller, particularly for cancer patients. But like other opioids, it ends up on the black market and is sold either alone or laced with other

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“The fentanyl problem is like nothing we’ve ever seen in our country.”
350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 2012201920202021 Accidental overdose deaths in Baton Rouge Source: East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Offic 28 126 242 311 22 [225] December 2022 | 225batonrouge.com OUR CITY //
—Set Free Indeed founder TONJA MYLES

drugs, like heroin or marijuana. It comes in many forms and can be dif ficlt to detect, Myles says. That makes for a deadly combination, because the substance is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

“We want to tell people, ‘First of all, it will kill you,’” Myles says. “You don’t know what you’re getting. It’s not worth it. You’re playing Russian roulette with your life.

Throughout the When You Are Ready campaign, Myles has been working closely with the East Baton Rouge Crimes Strategies Unit, an interagency law enforcement unit that shares data with Set Free Indeed every week about where overdoses are happening in large numbers.

“Then, our team appears in those hotspots,” Myles says. “We take resources, we take Narcan (the emergency drug to treat narcotic overdoses), we go to businesses, we go to schools, we go to churches. We go to every place that we can to spread awareness.”

By mid-October of this year, 227 individuals in the parish had died of accidental overdose. It could suggest a slight decrease in 2022, though that won’t be known until the end of the year.

Myles is hopeful about the

When You Are Ready volunteers and peer counselors set up tables around town to bring awareness about the dangers of overdosing and provide resources for those suffering.

organization’s ability to meet people where they are.

“I think that’s why we’re seeing some numbers decrease,” she says.

Myles has partnered with H&E Equipment Sales, which funded a $100,000 ad campaign to promote When You Are Ready’s work.

“The fentanyl problem,” Myles says, “is like nothing we’ve ever seen in our country.”

Its potency has a tragically long reach, impacting the most innocent of bystanders.

On Halloween night in Baton Rouge, a 1-year-old child died of a fentanyl overdose, the second such death following the death of a 2-year-old by the same cause in August. Both cases have brought attention to dismal case worker shortages at the Louisiana Department of Child and Family Services, but they also point to the nagging number of adults struggling with drug addiction.

In the meantime, Myles and her team of six are in the community every week, speaking to groups and manning tables at Walmarts, Office Depots and other locations. They greet people without judgment, passing out cards that provide quick information about where to go for help.

“Addiction is real,” Myles says, “but so is recovery.”

Restrictions apply: Qualifying systems only, call for details. with new system install FREE furnace Keep your home and family warm this holiday season License # 67907 Certified Technicians | 100% Comfort Guarantee 30% Energy Savings Guarantee | 100% Money Back Guarantee Proud To Provide Air Conditioning & Heating Services to Baton Rouge & Surrounding Areas (225) 219-8925 www.southernairbr.com | Issue Date: Dec 2022 Ad proof #2 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Melara Enterprises, LLC. 2022. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329
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COURTESY SET FREE INDEED

How to ‘kill your lawn’

IT SEEMS LIKE the responsible thing to do, creating the kind of manicured lawn and flowerbeds that could win a “yard of the month” award.

But modern landscaping as we know it, awash in orderly designs and tidy plants, isn’t always great for soil health and biodiversity. A better approach, say the founders of the south Louisiana company Swamp Fly, is to integrate native plants into residential and commercial landscapes to help improve sustainability and restore habitats for birds and insects.

“We strive to use mostly native plants, or mix in species that aren’t native, but don’t out-compete other plants,” says co-founder Caitlin Robbins, who, with business partners Ashley Brackeen and Emily Pontiff, launched the native landscape firm Swamp Fly last year.

The company serves clients in both Baton Rouge and New Orleans, and focuses on regenerative commercial and residential landscaping.

“We don’t use chemical pesticides or herbicides,” Robbins says. “Everything we use is organic and will have minimal impact

on the surrounding environment, because soil health and water quality are important to human health and the health of plants and animals.”

The idea for opening a full-service native landscaping business took root after Brackeen wanted to convert her traditional landscaping business into something more intentional. She pulled in friends Robbins and Pontiff, who were working in different fields, but shared her interests.

The three began by working on a community garden project with Cindy Wonderful, a Baton Rouge activist and host of the WHYR radio show Locals Only. While that project was delayed due to the pandemic, Robbins says, the three friends proceeded with a business idea, launching Swamp Fly in spring 2021.

The company provides consulting services and full-service design and installation. It’s part of a growing “kill your lawn before it kills you” movement across the country, in which the return to low-impact landscaping is seen as a healthful move for both plants and people.

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American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana), one of the native plants in the LDWF Native Plant Garden, maintained by Swamp Fly Landscapes
And why one local landscaping group thinks you should
24 [225] December 2022 | 225batonrouge.com OUR CITY //

Native landscaping addresses the loss of “living landscapes” at the hand of urbanization, according to the National Audubon Society. About 150 million acres of habitat and farmland have yielded to urban sprawl, and the trend shows no sign of slowing down, according to the organization, which further states that “the modern obsession with highly manicured ‘perfect’ lawns alone has created a green, monoculture carpet across the country that covers over 40 million acres.”

Swamp Fly will soon be featured on the new Kill Your Lawn Project series in production by Joey Santore, host of the YouTube channel Crime Pays, but Botany Doesn’t. The documentary will follow Santore as he explores so-called kill your lawn projects across the country, including one in New Orleans in which Swamp Fly created a new, sustainable design, Robbins says.

A growing number of homeowners are aware of the concern, and are looking for original designs with purposeful outcomes, Robbins says.

“One of the main motivations for people to use native plants in their landscapes is because they are realizing more and more how

detrimental it is to use plants that outcompete local plants,” she says, “and plants that don’t benefit our local wildlife as much as native plants do.”

Swamp Fly’s projects have ranged from small garden clean-ups for clients to removing and replanting entire lawns with native growers and elements like soft pathways and frog ponds. Native plants attract insects,

which in turn attract native and migratory birds and other wildlife. They also require less water and fewer fertilizers to thrive.

Ripping out sod and shrubs isn’t practical for everyone, Robbins acknowledges. But she says even a partial commitment to native plants is a good thing. Some clients want to maintain a traditional look, but also

might add a butterfly garden filled with Louisiana wildflwers that attract pollinators.

Robbins, who does most of the design work for Baton Rouge clients, says she and her two colleagues pull from a long list of native plants like purple, yellow or gray coneflwer, rattlesnake master, various salvias, as well as numerous species of trees and shrubs to create their designs.

Along with its residential work, Swamp Fly also maintains the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Louisiana Native Plant Garden at its Baton Rouge headquarters on Quail Drive.

The quarter-acre garden holds 160 native plant species sectioned into mini-gardens that resemble individual Louisiana habitats. Swamp Fly was recently brought in to manage overgrown beds and improve trails that visitors use to explore it.

Go see for yourself—the garden is free and open to the public. swampfly. org

t 225-412-2802 | info@mid-cityartisans.com 516 Moore St Ste 101, Baton Rouge, LA 70806 YOUR HOLIDAY HEADQUARTERS FOR LOCAL GIFTS, ART AND HANDMADE GOODS. Made with love and care by Louisiana artisans Issue Date: Dec 2022 Ad proof #1 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2022. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329
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Swamp Fly Landscapes founders Ashlee Brackeen, Emily Pontiff and Caitlin Robbins.
from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Melara Enterprises, LLC. 2022. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329 2931 Perkins Road | Baton Rouge, Louisiana | 225-412-4545 A PREMIER WOMEN’S SALON FOR ALL YOUR MANICURE AND PEDICURE NEEDS 26 [225] December 2022 | 225batonrouge.com

J. Hover

J. HOVER ISN’T one to navel-gaze. He’s not the type to pontificte on his accomplishments or values—even when a writer doing a profile on him gently imploes him to. When asked to reflect on his caeer—the many events he’s put on and artists he’s given a platform to—his answers tend to describe the bigger picture in textbook promotional language, leaving his own efforts out of the equation.

Perhaps it’s sheer Texan humility. Or perhaps it’s because he’s so constantly entangled in a revolving gauntlet of projects he can’t afford much time for reflection

There’s Beauvoir Park, where Hover first stepped into the music industry in 2018 as head of booking and promotion.

There’s Red Stick Social, where he did the same thing when Beauvoir Park temporarily shut down during the pandemic—he then continued working at both venues after Beauvoir Park reopened. There’s his personal CBD company, J.R. Hover and Co., which also vends its products at many of the events Hover organizes. And, most recently, there is his work as a freelance manager and booking agent, helping foster the budding careers of up-and-coming bands.

It makes sense such a busy guy would have little time to wax over how well he wears his many hats. But every so often you might catch a glimmer of a boast:

“I think you’d be hard pressed to find anybody in ouisiana who’s supported local and live music as much as I have in the past three years,” he says. He’s referring particularly to a period during the pandemic, when Beauvoir Park was just about the only venue in town hosting regular live shows.

One thing Hover will talk about, though, is why he does it. He calls the music industry a rough game, marred by loose standards of propriety and a lack of respect and hospitality, especially for those at its core: the people who make the music. He wants the venues he works with to be an oasis amid that chaos.

“The music industry is definitely not for the faint o heart … because there’s always so many unknowns, and sometimes just one unpredicted move can mess up your whole night,” says Louis Michot of the Lost Bayou Ramblers, a band Hover has booked on a few occasions. “But J has always had us covered.”

Hover says doing good, honest business is the M.O. that’s taken him all the way from the 10-year career in the oil and gas industry he left to begin his CBD company, to Beauvoir Park and Red Stick Social and beyond.

Now, he’s optimistic to explore new ventures through artist management and collaborations with venues throughout the Southeast. But Hover has injected himself so deeply into Baton Rouge culture, he says there are slim chances of him ever separating from it permanently.

Especially not from Beauvoir Park, the venue that four years ago gave a home to him as an amateur live music enthusiast with no experience in the industry to speak of.

“I’ve got my hands in so many different things right now, I’m trying to find out which is the most sustainable long term” he says. “But I’m a kind of live-in-the-moment kind of guy, so I try not to dwell on those things too much. Just trying to get through the day and … always (be) here to help.”

—ZANE PIONTEK
COLLIN RICHIE I AM 225 // 225batonrouge.com | [225] December 2022 27
“I think I’m approaching 350 to 400 shows by the end of the year that I’ve promoted and produced.”
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BANG

DINING OUT THESE days requires math, y’all. As infltion squeezes restaurants and diners alike, it’s getting trickier for all of us to stick to a budget.

But don’t stress. It’s still possible to maximize your dollar at local eateries. You just have to get a little creative.

For less than $10, you can savor a hearty bowl of duck and sausage gumbo; crispy fish served in a pillowy bao bun; or a warm, herbaceous Italian sandwich.

READER SUGGESTIONS

Watch for this symbol! We asked our Instagram followers to tell us their favorite restaurants to find a dal. We’re sprinkling a few of their ideas throughout the cover story.

And if the gas station is giving you sticker shock, you can make up for it by heading inside its convenience store. Sometimes, these hidden gems are where you’ll find the best banh mi or box of boiled seafood—for less than a few gallons of gas will cost you.

You can still find ways to stretch your paycheck at your favorite trendy, full-service restaurants, too. We’re sharing a few dishes to try across a range of price points, plus hot tips about where to score inventive complimentary starters.

We know your mileage may vary. Prices and specials are subject to change, and sometimes differ slightly depending on whether you dine in or order out.

But while we might not be dining on a dime anymore, it doesn’t mean we can no longer afford to treat ourselves to something delicious.

PHOTOS
BUCK90+ aroundBites BR for every budget for your COVER STORY 30 [225] December 2022 | 225batonrouge.com
COVER STORY 225batonrouge.com | [225] December 2022 31
City Pork’s Brisket Sandwich is a succulent taste of 14-hour smoked brisket served with house-made chips

AROUND $10

FINDING A MEAL for $10 seems a thing of the past, but it’s still possible to find plenty o delectable eats in Baton Rouge for a mere two fivers From Southern plate lunches to warm soups to global flavors we call your attention to cheap and flavorful dishes in this price range that will fill you up without beaking the bank.

Tom yum chicken soup, $5.25, and cucumber salad, $3.95, from Thai Pepper

Amid Thai Pepper’s reasonably priced and generously portioned menu is the hot and sour tom yum chicken soup, a sinus-opening brew fused with lemongrass and warm spices. Combine it with a fresh and crunchy cucumber salad for a satisfying soupand-salad meal. thaipepperbtr.com

Tofu wrap from Our Daily Bread, $6.29

In this healthful, vegan wrap, baked, seasoned tofu or grilled tempeh are combined with avocado spread, lettuce, tomato and carrots with a slather of vegan mayo on a sprouted grain wrap. ourdailybreadbr.com

Duck and sausage gumbo from The Chimes, $7 cup or $10 bowl

The Chimes’ ever popular duck and sausage gumbo, served as a cup or bowl, is one of its menu’s best cheap eats. Complimentary bread helps you soak up every drop. thechimes.com

The Chuck Norris from Frankie’s Dawg House, $7.95

Frankie’s many embellished gourmet hot dogs include the Chuck Norris, a muscular, all-beef dog topped with chili, melty nacho cheese, grilled onions and jalapenos. Heartburn inducing? Maybe. But oh, so worth it. Find it on Facebook

Porchetta Pete from Cannatella’s Deli, $9.50

Cannatella’s list of good-value Italian sandwiches includes the Porchetta Pete, in which bite-sized chunks of herby roast pork are served on ciabatta with fresh spinach, mozzarella, provolone and grated Parmesan. A trip through the sandwich press makes it next level. cannatellagrocery.com

Crispy fish or soft shell crab bao from Chow Yum Phat, $9

Chow Yum Phat’s varied selection of bao, spongy handheld buns stuffed with different fillings are as popular as its many types of ramen. Order two bao with crispy fried fish or (the oten expensive) deepfried soft shell crab and experience an interplay of flavors tht checks all the boxes. chowyumphat.com

Vietnamese or tamarind chicken wings from Bao, $9.99

Bao’s deep-fried chicken wings are tossed in figer-lickin’ sweet spicy chili sauce or dusted with tamarind, a dry spice mixture with pleasing sour notes. The elevated wings appetizer is filling and tasty enough to serve as a small main course. baovietkitchen.com

Sesame chicken combo from New China, $10.60

READER SUGGESTIONS

UNDER $10

“The Kid’s Meal at JINYA Ramen Bar could feed an army. It comes with chicken ramen, chashu rice, fried chicken, sweet potato fries, fruit, candy and vanilla ice cream. All for about $9!”

—@kaitlynbracey

This indulgent Chinese takeout poster child satisfies many guilty pleasures without a lofty price tag— just right after a rough day, or a long night. Tender chicken is glazed with sticky sweet-spicy sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds. It’s served with pork fried rice and an eggroll. newchinabrla.com

Fried chicken with two sides from Mr. C’s Deli, $10.99

A Calandro family venture, Mr. C’s is a cheery eat-in deli in Mid City with a hot food line and a counter order menu. Fried chicken is served daily along with rotating comfort food sides that include mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, black-eyed peas, mac and cheese, and more. Plate lunches come with a roll and dessert. mrcsdelibr.com

MAGGIE
—@sydneyisacastle “Lit Pizza! I always get the Easy Caprese ($8.95) and add pepperoni, goat cheese, mushrooms and pesto drizzle.”
—@rachel_schueren “Two-slider combo at Smalls Sliders! ($7.99)” —@grace.j.8 “Inga’s Subs & Salads. I order the Barbeque Pork Sandwich ($7.25) fully dressed with pickles, banana peppers and cheese with a side of potato salad.”
COVER STORY 225batonrouge.com | [225] December 2022 33

Gassing up

For tasty, grab-and-go fare, Louisiana gas stations and convenience stores are the place to be

AMERICANS HAVE A longstanding tradition of noshing on the road, so it’s no surprise that many convenience stores and gas stations offer hot options that surpass a boring bag of chips. Much of it is well under $10 (and in some cases, under $5). Keep your eyes peeled for these kinds of budget dining opportunities. Here are a few spots to try.

American Market

5251 Nicholson Drive

Despite being a decades-old favorite of the LSU faithful, Am Mart, as it’s called, still feels like a best-kept secret. The convenience store and sandwich counter is known for its $9.50 pressed po-boy special served with chips and a drink. The Cajun turkey is one of its most popular, but the options are many and include smoked sausage, pulled pork, banh mi and more. Pitas are also available. Find the menu on Google.

Save More Market

2956 Nicholson Drive

This bustling convenience store where Old South Baton Rouge meets LSU features a lengthy menu of nicely priced hamburgers, mammoth poboys, fried seafood platters, hot and fried wings and lots more. Find the menu on Google

Country Corner

1923 Perkins Road

Located in the Garden District, this friendly convenience store has attracted fans for decades with seasonal hot boiled crawfish and cabs, as well as hot boudin links, boiled peanuts and fried chicken and fish spcials served with potato logs and rolls. Grab a meat pie for $2.69 or a corn dog for $1.39. Find it on Facebook

Andrew’s Food Mart

5102 Government St.

Known for its hybrid menu of Chinese food and po-boys, the recently renovated Andrew’s Food Mart in Mid City serves dishes like fried rice, lo mein and General Tso’s chicken, as well as fried shrimp and catfish combos with shrimp fried rice or French fries. Call in orders at 225-928-9191.

Chip’s To Go Market

11330 Coursey Blvd

17828 Highland Road

12541 Airline Highway

Situated in three local Shell stations, Chip’s To Go Markets are known for their hot breakfast line, including breakfast bowls with scrambled eggs, grits, cheese and sausage, hot barbecue lunch plates, fried chicken sandwiches and “Chip’s Famous Chicken on a Stick,” deep fried boneless chicken served with special sauce. chipstogomarket.com

Cash’s Truck Plaza

420 N. Lobdell Highway, Port Allen

There’s a lot going on at this travel plaza near the Mississippi River “new bridge,” including showers and laundry for truck drivers, a casino, convenience store and a diner serving reasonably priced, freshly made breakfast and lunch. Take a seat and enjoy a fajita omelet, cowboy burger with onion rings and bacon, or chicken-fried steak. cashstruckplaza.com

Feliciana Seafood Market & Deli

7555 US 61, St. Francisville

A perennial favorite in St. Francisville, Feliciana Seafood is a steady source of seasonal boiled crawfish and cabs, along with a daily menu that includes seafood boxes with shrimp, fish stuffed crabs and more, as well as meat and seafood po-boys served on a bun, between sandwich slices or on po-boy bread. Find it on Facebook

MAGGIE HEYN RICHARDSON
COVER STORY 34 [225] December 2022 | 225batonrouge.com
American Market’s sandwiches and banh mis come with chips and a drink for $9.50.
6435 Siegen Lane # 103 | 225-441-0265 | Like us on Kitchen & Bathroom Remodeling Flooring Backsplashes Countertops Whether it’s your home or your business, we make sure it’s done right! Call us today or come check out our showroom! scan to learn more from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2022. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329 225batonrouge.com | [225] December 2022 35

[DECEMBER]

This Month @ BREC

ZOOLIGHTS

BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo

Nov. 25-Dec. 30 (Closed Dec. 24 + 25) 5:30-8 p.m. | Grounds close at 9 p.m.

SENSORY SANTA North Sherwood

Forest Community Park

Dec. 2 | 6-8 p.m.

ART UNWINED: HOLIDAY CARD COLLAGE

Baringer Art Center

Dec. 2 | 6:30-8:30 p.m.

SATURDAY MORNING STUDIO: GINGERBREAD HOUSE

Milton J. Womack Park

Dec. 3 | 10:30 a.m.-noon

LET IT SNEAUX

Perkins Road Community Park

Dec. 10 | 1-5 p.m.

BREC GREEN FORCE VOLUNTEER TRAINING

Independence Community Park Dec. 10 | 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

GEMINID METEOR SHOWER

Highland Road Park Observatory Dec. 13 | 9 p.m.-1 a.m.

SUNSHINE SOCIAL: FIRE + ICE BALL

Jefferson Hwy Park Dec. 16 | 6-9 p.m.

DOG DAY AT THE SWAMP

Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center Dec. 17 | 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

WINTER WREATH MAKING

Anna T. Jordan Community Park

Dec. 18 | 2-4 p.m.

BREC.ORg/thismonth

BREC Wins Gold! #1 in the Nation

COMMUNITY FOREST DECORATING

Forest Community Park

Dec. 21 | 5:30-7 p.m.

STEM EXPANSION

Highland Road Park Observatory Dec. 31 | 3:30-7:30 p.m.

BREC does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, religion, veteran status or sexual orientation in its programs and activities.

OR LESS $20

TWENTY BUCKS CAN take you pretty far at Baton Rouge restaurants, whether your preference is “filling” or “fanc.” It’s enough to cover more luxe items like sushi at a glam rooftop restaurant and artfully plated octopus garnished with saffron-laced potatoes, as well as hearty bowls of ramen and loaded seafood plates. Here are a few valuable finds for when you want to indulge in finer fe while getting a solid bang for your buck.

Pizza Burger at Our Mom’s Restaurant & Bar, $12.99

There are over 20 burgers to choose from at this Lee Drive spot, with mind-bending toppings like cookie butter and mac and cheese. But the Pizza Burger is what landed it on the Cooking Channel: a glorious 8-ounce patty stacked with pepperoni, marinara and melty mozzarella on sourdough. ourmomsrestaurant.com

Giant Spicy Turkey Sub at Faye’s Subs & Salads, $15.38

This supersized sandwich at downtown’s longtime sub shop is more than enough to share with a lunch partner. It comes dressed with crisp lettuce, tomato and onion, and a dressing of oil, vinegar and oregano. (You can also get the regular size for under $8.) Find it on Facebook

Crawfish Mazeman at Boru Ramen, $15.50

The menu at this Electric Depot eatery is loaded with hearty, steaming bowls of ramen. But this brothless bowl is a little different, and packs a Louisiana punch. Thick noodles are topped with crispy fried crawfish tails and garlic chips, yellow corn, shredded seaweed, mala spice mix and negi oil. boruramenbr.com

Salmon Flatbread, $15, and Grilled Portuguese Octopus, $18, at Kalurah Street Grill

Enjoy a contemporary take on comfort food under the Perkins Road Overpass. Relish in smoked salmon and whipped feta fltbread doused in chili oil, capers, red onion, spinach and fresh dill. Or try octopus, with romesco glacé, crab fat aioli and roasted saffron potato coins. kalurahstreetgrill.com

Big Easy roll at Tsunami, $16 Date night at this rooftop favorite doesn’t have to be expensive. This panko fried roll is filled with cawfish snow crab, krab stick, black tiger shrimp and scallion—topped with crunchies, cilantro and sauces. batonrouge.servingsushi.com

Brisket Sandwich at City Pork, $16.50

Known for slow-roasted meats and Louisiana staples, this brasserie has something for everyone. The Brisket Sandwich is piled high with 14-hour smoked brisket complemented by horseradish cream, sweet pickles and pickled red onions on a brioche bun. citypork.com

Indian Fenugreek Curry at Cocha, $18

This farm-to-table downtown restaurant knows how to combine international flavors with locally sourced ingredients. The Indian Fenugreek Curry is a medley of veggies including sweet potato and kale paired with coconut rice. cochabr.com

Ahi Tuna Steak Salad at Mason’s Grill, $18

While known for its Sunday brunch, Mason’s shows its versatility with dinner. Mediumrare ahi tuna is served on a bed of baby greens or spinach with avocado, red onions, shredded carrots, sliced tomato, sliced cucumber, pico de gallo and cheddar cheese. masonsgrill.com

Shrimp and Grits at Zea Rotisserie & Bar, $18.25

The Towne Center staple is known for flavorful dishes made with fresh ingredients. Its take on this Louisiana classic includes roasted corn grits topped with sautéed shrimp, andouille sausage and étouffée sauce. zearestaurants.com

Fried Seafood Half and Half at The Chimes, $19

This plate is loaded with your choice of two seafoods (shrimp, oysters, catfish or stufed shrimp) paired with a tossed salad, hush puppies and french fries—perfect to share with a partner or bring home for leftovers night. thechimes.com

The Boiler at Boil & Roux, $20

Enter the “Boilin’ Room” at this Coursey Boulevard crawfish and oyster bar. This plate dishes a whole pound of shrimp, plus sausage, corn and potatoes. boilandroux.com

READER SUGGESTIONS

HAPPY HOUR

Elsie’s Plate & Pie

3-6 p.m., Monday to Friday

Half off signature cocktails; $1 off beer; $2 off select wines —Suggested by @trinas_bookshelf_chronicles_

The Overpass Merchant

3-6 p.m., Monday to Friday

$5 snacks; $1 off select beers; $6 house wines and more —Suggested by @calabelle3 Rocca Pizzeria 2-6 p.m., Tuesday-Friday

Half off draft beer, wine, cocktails and select menu items —Suggested by @arnoldnutritioncoaching

COVER STORY 225batonrouge.com | [225] December 2022 37
Grilled Portuguese Octopus and Salmon Flatbread at Kalurah Street Grill

THE BEST PART of a grown-up birthday? Finally getting that night out you’ve been craving all year. And local restaurants are great at sweetening the pot: When you dine in on your birthday, many will offer a dessert, drink or dish compliments of the kitchen. Some will write “happy birthday” in icing on your treat, while others will light a candle and sing. Either way, they’re sure to make you feel special. Here’s just a small sampling of the many offerings around town.

Beausoleil Coastal Cuisine: Pot de Crème

BLDG 5: Large Pantry Cookie

The Bullfish Bar + Kitchen: Entree (up to $12.99) and glass of wine or Champagne

Bin 77: Glass of prosecco and Lava Cake

BRQ Seafood & Barbeque: Jumbo Famous Carrot Cake or dessert of your choice

Capital City Grill: New Orleans Bread Pudding

Cecelia Creole Bistro: Dessert of choice

City Pork: Bacon Praline Bread Pudding

City Slice Pints + Pizza: S’mores Nachos

Eliza Restaurant: Dessert of choice

French Market Bistro: The Birthday Lust cookie cake pie

Gino’s: Italian cheesecake

The Gregory: Slice of chocolate cake

Hello Sushi: Choice of appetizer or dessert

The Little Village: Birthday mousse

Louisiana Lagniappe: Dessert of choice

The Main Lobby: Birthday shot

Mansurs on the Boulevard: Bread pudding

Mid Tap: Birthday beer or shot

Mike Anderson’s: Slice of lemonade pie

Monjunis: Bread pudding

Jubans: Praline Bread Pudding

Portobello’s Grill: Lava Cake

Phil’s Oyster Bar & Seafood Restaurant: Dessert of choice

Proverbial Wine Bistro: Tiramisu Cake

Rocca Pizzeria: Tiramisu Bread Pudding or Ricotta Cake

Rouj Creole: Chocolate Brownie & Ice Cream

Ruffinos: Chocolate Sin Cake

Solera: Dessert of choice or house bubbly

SoLou: Lava Cake

Spoke & Hub: Confetti Cake

Stab’s Steak & Seafood: White Chocolate Bread Pudding

Tap 65: Birthday beer or shot

Tio Javi’s: Dessert of choice

UMAMI Japanese Bistro: Fried cheesecake

The Bullfish Bar + Kitchen offers a select entree and glass of wine or Champagne for your birthday, and even serves a free dessert for your anniversary.
Like it’s you BIRTHDAY 35 restaurants that will treat you like royalty on your special day 38 [225] December 2022 | 225batonrouge.com COVER STORY
JENNIFER TORMO ALVAREZ

Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health has launched a new online pediatric symptom checker to help parents navigate their children’s immediate healthcare needs.

When your child gets sick and you aren’t sure what type of care they need, this new tool helps you figure it out.

374-HEAL A new, simple resource designed for busy parents and their super active kids.
ololchildrens.org/symptom-checker (833)
NEW! Symptom Checker Exceptionally digital. ACCESSING CARE IS EASY PEASY: 1. Open our pediatric symptom checker 2. Check your child’s symptoms 3. Access appropriate care

A great START

PASS THE BREAD and butter, please—and the fries and pork rinds, while you’re at it.

Everyone loves free bread at the start of a meal. And there are many places to get it in Baton Rouge, from fine Italian style restaurants to down-home Southern eateries. But it’s not the only treat customers can snack on while waiting for the entrees.

Here are a few Baton Rouge eateries that start you off with complimentary bites. Just remember to save room for the rest of your meal.

Hush puppies and ice cream at Crawford’s Restaurant

This Staring Lane seafood spot is known for its fried catfish served hot, fresh and lightly breaded. But that’s not all that’s battered here: Each meal begins with a bowl of hush puppies. And before you take your last bite, there’s one more surprise: creamy, sweet soft serve, on the house. crawfords-restaurant.com

MORE PLACES FOR HUSH PUPPIES: Drusilla Seafood

Seasoned pork rinds and cotton candy at SoLou

While this Perkins Road restaurant has plenty of mouthwatering starters, its little baskets of fried pork skins are tasty, spicy—and complimentary. The restaurant also often surprises diners at the end of the night with a flufy tower of cotton candy. eatsolou.com

MORE PLACES FOR COTTON CANDY: Jubans (which, like SoLou, is owned by Making Raving Fans Hospitality Group) caps off its meals with mintflavoed cotton candy. Ruffinos dishes out complimentary pink cotton candy for dessert, too. Both restaurants kickstart things with crusty bread.

Red and green salsas with chips at Tio Javi’s

Though many Tex-Mex restaurants offer free chips and salsa, this Constitution Avenue spot goes the extra mile and offers not one but two salsas. Its classic red salsa is smoky and flavorful—but not too hot for those who can’t take the spice. The Green Sauce is creamier than your average salsa verde, almost like a combination of guacamole and green salsa. tiojavis.com

MORE PLACES FOR CHIPS AND SALSA: Blue Corn Modern Mexican, Rock Paper Taco, Mi Padres Mexican Grill, El Rancho Mexican Grill and many, many more

Fries at Supper Club

The rest of the meal may be a splurge at this swanky, Vegas-style restaurant, where you can try rare cuts of premium-grade steak and high-end spirits. But while you wait for your cocktails to arrive, kick things off with hand-cut French fries, served with ketchup and aioli. supperclubbtr.com

Fruit slices at Sushi Yama

To make you feel better about all the sushi rolls you just consumed, this Perkins Road establishment brings a healthy treat with your check. Cleanse your palate with a plate of pineapple chunks or other fruit like melon. sushiyama.co

MORE PLACES FOR FRUIT: Asian Seafood House (pickled cucumbers or peanuts)

Pickles and chips at BRQ Seafood & Barbeque

Before you even order your mains at this Jefferson Highway restaurant, you’re met with bowls of housemade potato chips and breadand-butter pickles. It’s the perfect combination of savory, sweet and tangy, but beware: Once you start snacking you won’t be able to stop. brqrestaurant.com

OLIVIA DEFFES AND JENNIFER TORMO ALVAREZ
40 [225] December 2022 | 225batonrouge.com COVER STORY
Complimentary apps at local restaurants

Hitting the drive-thru

With plenty of Baton Rouge eateries offering drive-thru windows, fast-casual never tasted so good

DRIVING THROUGH TO pick up breakfast, lunch or dinner can be an economical time saver. Drive-thrus have graduated beyond chain fast-food, spanning all sorts of culinary genres. Here are a few of the many you’ll find today in Bton Rouge.

Beignet Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge’s newest beignet shop combines gourmet espresso drinks with homemade beignets, beignet fingers and sweet dipping sauces, as well as allday breakfast fare, from avocado toast to breakfast sammies. Find it on Facebook

Serop’s Express

Baton Rouge’s pioneering Greek/Lebanese eatery got its start as a fine dining spot in the 1980s. Many years later, it pushed the envelope on a quick service format that includes drive-thrus. The menu’s numbered pictures nullify indecision, helping motorists place and receive orders lickety-split. seropsexpress.com

Po-boy Express

Best of 225 voters have ranked this the top po-boy shop every year since 2016. Call or place an order online, selecting from 16 options, like roast beef or the Shrimp Philly. Then, drive through for pick up. Easy peasy. poboyexpress.com

Triplet’s Blue Store

Mind-blowing fried chicken wings and shrimp fried rice are bedrock dishes here. The Highland Road and North Boulevard locations feature drive-thrus, easing the pain as you patiently await the goods. batonrougefriedchicken.com

Kolache Kitchen

Kolache Kitchen makes fresh breakfast tacos, kolaches, sweet rolls and danishes, plus a full lunch menu with lunch tacos and sandwiches like the Cuban or barbecue brisket. thekolachekitchen.com

Chicken Shack on Scotland Avenue

The Baton Rouge-born fried chicken eatery’s original location on Scotland Avenue makes life easier with its drivethru. Order classic pieces prepared with the Chicken Shack’s longtime wet batter formula. The two-piece Tuesday special gives you a leg, thigh and roll for $2.25. chickenshack.org

Rice & Roux on Lee Drive

Order lip-smacking gumbo, jambalaya plates and daily Cajun specials, like crawfish etoufee and beef roast. The spot is also known for its affordable family meals. riceandroux.com

Coffee Call

Yep, Baton Rouge’s original beignet shop on College Drive has a drive-thru ready to foist over famed beignets and beignet fingers as well as weekday lunch items that include homemade daily soups, sandwiches and po-boys. Find it on Facebook

DISCOVERY SCHOOLS IS COMING TO BATON ROUGE! Discovery Schools prides itself on a creative, rigorous, and inclusive academic learning environment and a strong school culture. We are looking forward to serving the Baton Rouge community! OCT. 3 - DEC. 13 @ NOON Apply Online DiscoveryApplication.com APPLICATION PERIOD Now accepting student applications for grades Kindergarten through 4th. CONTACT US: 504-233-4720 | discoveryhsf.org | admissions@discoveryhsf.org Issue Date: Dec 2022 Ad proof #2 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2022. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329 Get breakfast all day and Louisiana’s favorite dessert at the new Beignet Baton Rouge A FEW MORE LOUISIANA-BORN DRIVE-THRUS Albasha Express Atomic Burger Cafe Petra Express Cou-Yon’s Delicious Donuts New York Bagel (Perkins Road) Smalls Sliders Find them on Facebook
225batonrouge.com | [225] December 2022 41 COVER STORY

EXPERIENCE RE /INVENTED

Find out what they’re doing to give back to the community – call them today. (225) 291-1234 | 13360 Coursey Blvd., Suite B | Baton Rouge, LA 70816
the
Owners Doug and Julie Ferris
agents have combined experience of over
each. Their
residential sales and leasing.
Customer
RE/
They
sellers
estate
from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Melara Enterprises, LLC. 2022. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329 42 [225] December 2022 | 225batonrouge.com
RE/MAX First owners enjoy donating their time and resources to several charities throughout the year. They value giving back to create positive change for
community and their profession.
RE/MAX First
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The owners’ mission is to support the agents so that the agents can provide next level services to buyers and sellers.
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Christmas

The gifts of past

INSIDE: Nail trends for the season
Make it a holiday to remember with one-of-a-kind, vintage gifts, from Gucci watches to sports memorabilia

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it may be hard to find the perfect gifts for everyone on your list. Sure, you can spend your time buying new pieces to give, but why not

try to find some older, one-of-a-kind items that will spark a good oldfashioned storytime at the gift exchange? Luckily, there are plenty of local vintage stores and Instagram shops providing the priceless gift of nostalgia.

By placing these special pieces under the tree, you’re giving new life to old items—and allowing new generations to appreciate presents of the past.

A few shops for special, vintageshopping sprees:

For the vintage sports collector

Have a sports fanatic on your list? Check out Remember That’s Vintage on Jefferson Highway (or at @rememberthatsvintage on Instagram). This newly opened memorabilia store is packed with everything from LSU sports tees and jerseys from decades past to collectible items, like action figues and unopened Wheaties boxes from the ’90s (yes, really).

For the timeless fashionista

It’s no surprise vintage fashion is on the rise, with older fashion trends finding their way into modern clothing. Why buy new, vintage-inspired pieces, when you can find acks on racks of the real thing? These pieces were made to last, so you know you’re giving a quality item this year. For fine, luxury vintage items, check out Silibi (@shopsilibi), a private showroom that collects and repairs older pieces of designer clothing, from Gucci watches to Chanel jackets. (You can also stop by Time Warp and The Vintage Violet along Gov ernment Street to find the coolest clothing, or peruse the timeless vintage selections at high-end jewelers like Barker’s Antique Jewelry or Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry.)

For the homeowner who loves pieces from the past

If you’re shopping for someone who wants a home that doesn’t look like anyone else’s, vintage is the way to go. Scroll through the finds fom Mariposa Vintage Shop (@mariposavintagebr on Instagram) for brass figues, printed vases and lamps, and lots of midcentury pieces. (And if you’re out shopping, stop by Pink Elephant, Circa 1857 and Polished Peacock in Mid City for all the antique knickknacks, furniture and more.)

For the host who loves entertaining

The dreamiest gatherings call back to the days of old, showcasing ornate dishes, gorgeous glassware and weathered old cookbooks. Shop Social Graces Vintage (@social_graces_vintage on Instagram) for stately ice buckets, colorful tumblers, coffee table books and more. Scroll through its feeds and find unique home and kitchen decor without having to leave your home.

STYLE // 44 [225] December 2022 | 225batonrouge.com
from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2022. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329 225.256.4192 • solerabr.com Join us for live music Tuesday-Saturday  on the Best Patio in Baton Rouge! 225.763.2288 • bin77.com CELEBRATE WITH US THIS HOLIDAY SEASON 225batonrouge.com | [225] December 2022 45

Three perfectly polished trends Baton Rouge can’t get enough of

ALMOND- OR COFFIN-SHAPED. Bright, vibrant hues or toned-down nudes. Glossy top coats or soft, matte finishes. There are plenty of ways to customize your manicure these days. Though the possibilities are endless, we asked local salon Sweetheart Nails which trends seem to be a favorite among nail clients. From a colorful twist on a classic design to glimmering nail lacquers offered in a variety of hues, here are some of the most popular ways to get your nails done right now.

We’re here to help you reveal beautiful skin and our Wax Pass event will help you do so all year long! SMOOTH FOR THE HOLIDAYS? Yes, please! Issue Date: Dec 2022 Ad proof #3 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Melara Enterprises, LLC. 2022. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329 Download our app and book your next reservation 5 LOCATIONS TO SERVE YOU ACROSS BATON ROUGE, GONZALES & LAFAYETTE | 225-800-3636 Nailed it!
//
46 [225] December 2022 | 225batonrouge.com STYLE //

REFLECTIVE GLITTER NAILS

For the holiday season, Sweetheart’s head of marketing Kim Sieng is expecting a ton of requests for sparkly and glamorous nails. Unlike normal glitter varnish, reflective polish eally shines when it catches the light, turning your fingetips into minuscule galaxies that become showstopping under the bright lights of camera flashes Reflective glitter nails are sure to add a glitzy umph to any holiday look.

CHROME NAILS

These elevated nude nails were made famous by model Hailey Bieber, which is why they’re often called “Hailey Bieber nails.” Bieber first spoted the style at the Met Gala earlier this year, and fans took note, requesting the look at salons after Bieber’s nail artist revealed the secret to the design. All it takes is a thin layer of a neutral shade followed by silver chrome powder, finished with a glossy gel top coat. If the milky white color is not your style, you can achieve this look by dusting chrome powder over any color you choose. Bieber even gave her nails a fall update recently by adding the shimmer over top of her mocha brown manicure. Sieng says these nails will be a great accessory to any outfit

COLORFUL FRENCH-TIPPED NAILS

The staff at Sweetheart Nails has had quite a few clients asking for classic French tips but with a colorful twist. Sieng says it’s a great style for clients who may not want to go all out with loud colors. These nails are achieved by laying down a lightcolored base just like a normal French Tip. Then the tip is delicately painted on with any color the client chooses. This look elevates the standard French tip and allows customers to express themselves with subtle pops of color for a nail style that will go with everything.

ELSIESPIES.COM 3145 GOVERNMENT ST 225.636.5157 E Q MON: 11AM-9PM TUES-THURS: 11AM-10PM FRI: 11AM-11PM SAT-SUN: 10AM-11PM LET ELSIE’S CATER YOUR NEXT EVENT Issue Date: Dec 2022 Ad proof #1 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Melara Enterprises, LLC. 2022. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329 SCAN TO LEARN MORE ABOUT CUSTOM CATERING PACKAGES
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A trail through the Zoo with more than 50 illuminated sculptures of animals and traditional holiday displays! DONATE A NON-PERISHABLE FOOD ITEM + RECEIVE 50% OFF ADMISSION TO ZOOLIGHTS Item must be donated during ZooLights NOV. 25 - DEC. 30 | 5:30 - 8pm [Excluding Christmas Eve & Day] BENEFITTING NOV 25 - DEC 30 CLOSED CHRISTMAS EVE + CHRISTMAS DAY ADMISSION GATES OPEN 5:30 PM - 8 PM GROUNDS CLOSE 9 PM ZOOLIGHTS BROUGHT TO YOU BY: BRZOO.ORG

Tapping in

The 65 self-serve drink taps aren’t all there is to explore at Tap 65. There are just as many flavors t find on the menu o Indian fusion street food

COLLIN RICHIE
INSIDE: Grazing boards for your holiday party
225batonrouge.com | [225] December 2022 49

Mediterranea

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1 AT 6 P.M.

Lecture & Reception

Thursday, December 1, 10 A.M.

Toddler Thursday: Landscapes and Learning

See the beautiful landscapes in the Mediterranea exhibition then create your own tree art. Designed for kids five and under accompanied by a caregiver. FEE APPLIES.

Tuesday, January 24, 12 P.M.

Art at Lunch: The Historic European Grand Tour Tradition

Enjoy a talk by LSU Art History Professor Dr. Darius Spieth. Bring a lunch. Complimentary water and sodas. FREE.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 1–5 P.M.

Free First Sunday: Go on a Grand Tou r

See the Mediterranea exhibition, create a pastel landscape, and enjoy a 2 P.M. performance by the LSU School of Music Constantinides New Music Ensemble. FREE.

AMERICAN ART FROM THE GRAHAM D. WILLIFORD COLLECTION Mediterranea: American Art from the Graham D. Williford Collection is made possible by the generous grant and loan of artwork from The Jean and Graham Devoe Williford Charitable Trust in Fairfield, Texas. This exhibition is sponsored locally by Linda and Robert Bowsher and by Taylor Porter Attorneys At Law. Linda and Robert Bowsher IMAGE: William Clothier Watts, Grazing Sheep, Temple of Luxor, Egypt (detail), c. 1915. Watercolor on paper. The Jean and Graham Devoe Williford Charitable Trust. 5TH FLOOR / lsumoa.org
100
Lafayette St. Baton Rouge, LA Celebrate Mediterranea: American Art from the Graham D. Williford Collection with a lecture by Dr. Mark White, the Executive Director of the New Mexico Museum of Art and original exhibition curator. Reception to follow. FREE.
TASTE // 50 [225] December 2022 | 225batonrouge.com

THE BASICS: In summer 2022, Mid Tap owners Rick and Needhi Patel brought their self-serve beer tap concept to Mid City, opening on Government Street in the former White Star Market location. But the new Tap 65 distinguishes itself from the sports bar vibes of the original Mid Tap, now with reimagined Indian dishes to pair with all the pours.

WHAT’S A MUST: The Indian Street Food Board is a good entry point if you’re unfamiliar with Indian cuisine, featuring a sampling of most of the appetizers on the menu. The Butter Chicken is a comforting and rich dish served with toasty naan. If you’re wanting to expand your palate, try the Rogan Gosh with hearty, stewed goat meat. And if ordered on the side or as part of an entree, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the addictive and spicy peri-peri fries.

RESTAURANT REVIEW

About 225’s food critic: Benjamin Leger previously served as managing editor for 225 and was the editor of its Taste section from 2012 to 2021, editing, writing and steering the direction of its food coverage in print and online. He is passionate about all things food and food journalism, and has written about the greater Baton Rouge area’s cuisine and culture for nearly two decades.

tap65.com

515 Mouton St., Suite 103 Monday-Thursday, 4-10 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m.-1 a.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Sunday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

INDIAN FUSION IS something Baton Rouge really hasn’t seen before.

Traditional Indian cooking has long been part of the local food scene at much-loved restaurants like Bay Leaf and India’s or under-the-radar spots like Curry N Kabab and Swagat.

But it’s been high time for a new spin—something that could appeal to a younger crowd with interesting twists on global flvors.

Enter Tap 65 in the sneakiest of ways. It draws you in with a self-serve tap concept featuring 65 pulls of mostly beers, plus seltzers and wine.

But when you’re in the mood for some food to go with all those IPAs and sours, don’t expect to find the classic American bar snacks served at Mid Tap, its sister restaurant near LSU.

Instead, the menu here features chutneys, roti, papadum, curry and even goat (more on that last one later). And if that’s a little too adventurous for the beer-drinking crowd, Tap 65 eases them in with some addictive peri-peri fries or a spicy short rib sandwich with crispy naan standing in for the bun.

“Ease” definitely seems to be the vibe at this new Mid City hangout, with its fun and stylish decor that’s ready for the ’Gram without being over the top.

I’d been to Tap 65 for drinks not long after it opened this summer. I thought the cocktail bar’s menu was just as fun to explore as the beer taps, with ingredients like hibiscus tea, rose water and ancho chili liqueur.

So when I met some friends on the patio one fall afternoon, I was excited to delve into what the kitchen was cooking up next. We started the meal in the best way possible: with

A goal and some serious commitment will do. NO MEMBERSHIP REQUIRED STUDIO PARK • ACROSS FROM TOWNE CENTER FUTUREFITNESSBR.COM | 1650 LOBDELL AVENUE | BATON ROUGE, LA 70806 Take the first step in a healthier direction by scheduling your initial consultation. Call (225) 928-0486 Start The New Year By Taking Your Health Personally FITNESS PERSONAL TRAINING GROUP TRAINING SPIN || YOGA PILATES THERAPY PHYSICAL THERAPY MASSAGE THERAPY NUTRITION NUTRITION COUNSELING INTEGRATIVE HEALTH Issue Date: Dec 2022 Ad proof #1 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2022. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329 Tap 65
TASTE // 225batonrouge.com | [225] December 2022 51

the Indian Street Food Board. It’s essentially a sampler of most of the menu’s appetizers, plus a few other snacks.

A standout was the Vada Pav, two large potato wedges wrapped in dough, deep fried and then drizzled with a light green chutney. Its texture was perfect, with a crisp batter giving way to a tender interior spiced with bright yellow turmeric. I wanted more.

The Pani Puri and Dahi Puri offered two takes on crispy fried puff balls stuffed with potatoes and other ingredients, like tomatoes, onions and chickpeas. They were paired with sweet and punchy toppings (the Pani Puri with blueberries and microgreens, plus cilantro-mint water for drizzling, and the Dahi Puri with brilliantly hued beet curd and crunchy chickpea noodles on top).

But the potato stuffing in the puris is meant to be cold or room temperature to keep the puff all from getting soggy. While I liked the toppings, the cold stuffing didn’t work for me, and it was all pretty messy to eat.

The board also included some nicely spiced and roasted cashews,

battered and fried carrots and wedges of naan. Its cocktail-size samosas were on the dry side, but a few dunks in the sweet and spicy dipping sauces helped.

This sampler would be plenty for two or three people to snack on between beers. But we were a table of four ready for a full meal. So on we moved to the entrees.

First up was the Butter Chicken Masala, which seems to be the most popular dish based on online reviews. It’s a hefty plate of curried chunks of chicken breast served over rice with a side of crispy, warm naan.

The burnt orange color of the sauce was enticing, and its flvor was rich and mildly sweet. But it needed more spice—I kept waiting for the spice to sneak up on the back end, but it never arrived.

Next was the Rogan Gosh. The menu referred to it as “Kashmiristyle goat served bone-in,” making it a contrast to the fusion dishes that catered more to American palates.

Arriving at our table, I was hit with the fantastic scent of all-spice and deep, smoky seasonings. The stewed and shredded goat meat sat on a fried roti and was garnished

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The 65 drink taps are framed by a custom wallpaper patterned with artful images of plants, animals and lots of references to Baton Rouge.

with drizzles of a bright green cilantro yogurt. It also came with more naan, which served as a sturdier vessel than the brittle roti. The meat was tender, lean and not as gamey as I was expecting. The menu mentions the dish is “bone in”—and in the case of goat, that means smaller pieces of bone rather than one large bone, like a ribeye. The bones help build flvor when cooking, but they also mean you might have to fish out a pile of them while you eat. It didn’t deter me from enjoying the dish, but made me super cautious about biting down too hard.

We rounded out the entrees with the Grilled Butternut Squash. The first thing that surprised me was the malai sauce, a North Indian curry with tomatoes, spices and heavy cream. It delivered the complex flvor I wished was on the Butter Chicken. It was rich and spicy without being overwhelming. The only downside was how minimal the plate was, just chunks of roasted squash in a sauce with some grated paneer and a sprinkle of crunchy wild rice on top. I was reaching for whatever leftover naan

I could find on the table to sop up that delicious malai sauce.

We were fully stuffed by the end of our meal and multiple trips to the taps sampling drinks that could pair with the meal’s flavors, but had just enough room to share dessert.

The Gulab Jamun Cheesecake is a gorgeous looking dessert stuffed with traditional Indian cake balls. Each wedge reveals a perfect crosssection of the round cardamom and saffon-spiced morsels, making for a lovely presentation.

The fried cake balls were maybe a little too wet with sugary syrup. But the crust was crumbly, the cheesecake itself was tart and the fruit puree on top was nice. It was a sweet ending to a spicy meal.

In a food scene that’s fully embraced fusion cuisine, I’m glad to see Indian street food and comfort food joining the trend.

While the self-serve taps at Tap 65 are an understandable draw and make for a fun time with friends, the food menu is a worthy counterbalance. It offers as many flvors as there are taps to try—and it’s all definitely worth exploring.

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The Gulab Jamun Cheesecake is the sole dessert on the menu and is an experience all its own, stuffed with cardamom and saffron-spiced cake balls.
TASTE // 225batonrouge.com | [225] December 2022 53
Push your palate with the Rogan Gosh, hearty, stewed goat meat served bone-in with lots of naan for scooping up the sauce.

Board meetings

HOSTING HAS CHANGED faster than ever since the pandemic. Now that the world is mostly back to in-person socializing this season, there are plenty of new entertain ing trends to try. Whether you’re planning an office holiday party or a dinner spread with friends, cast aside your old, stuffy party plans in favor of something more creative.

While researching trends, I found everything from escape room team-building with coworkers to bourbon-cocktailclass happy hours with family.

But I honed in on an everevolving, always exciting classic: grazing boards.

Inspired by charcuterie boards, these platters are carefully curated with small, handheld hors d’oeuvres. Modern-day boards go beyond cheese and meats. They can truly showcase anything you desire.

Try olives and hummus for a Mediterranean theme. Explore a trendy butter- or cream cheese-centric board. For an Italian twist, a flavored olive oils board could pair so well with bread, cheese and meats. The possibilities are endless.

For your own grazing party, I dreamt up three ideas for fun boards and signature cocktails to

pair them with. I will leave the rest of the menu planning up to the readers’ discretion—and remember, the 225 food archives are full of wonderful recipes to go along with any of your holiday party ideas. Happy holidays!

On the menu

Upgrade your holiday party with themed grazing boards— and cocktails to match
• Baked Brie Board • Homemade Marshmallow Board • ‘Night in Old New
Board
Orleans’
Recipes by Tracey Koch
DINING IN
Pair the baked Brie with other cheeses, seasonal fruit, nuts and lots of crusty bread or water crackers. TASTE // 54 [225] December 2022 | 225batonrouge.com
ON THE BOARD

Baked Brie Board

probably know by now how to make a great cheese board. My favorite way to elevate this party staple is with warm, gooey baked Brie and savory-sweet bacon jam. This hot, creamy dip is decadent and satisfying, the perfect focal point on a grazing board. To keep things cozy on a chilly night, pair it with a homemade mulled wine. The epitome of a Christmas cocktail, this drink dates back to before the Middle Ages, but really became a holiday tradition in late 1890s Germany Christmas Markets. The spiced, hot beverage soon spread across Europe, with each country developing their own version. A great mulled wine builds off a base of dry red wine with fresh orange slices, brown sugar and cinnamon sticks. It is the perfect festive complement to our cheese board.

BAKED BRIE WITH BACON JAM

Servings: 6

16 ounces Brie cheese, cubed with rind removed

6 slices of center-cut bacon, chopped

½ cup chopped shallots

4-ounce jar red pepper jelly

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1. Place the cubed pieces of Brie into an 8-by-8 casserole dish. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a heavy, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add the chopped bacon and shallots. Sauté until the bacon is crisp and browned and shallots are soft.

3. Drain off the excess bacon drip pings. Reduce the heat to medium low. Stir in the pepper jelly, salt

and pepper. Heat until it begins to simmer.

4. Remove from the heat, and pour the pepper jelly mixture over the cubed Brie.

5. Bake in the heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before plating on the board.

MULLED WINE

Servings: 6

3 oranges

1 bottle of dry red wine

1 cup brandy

¼ cup light brown sugar

¼ cup honey

4 cinnamon sticks

½ teaspoons whole cloves

6 pods of star anise

1. Place the red wine into a heavy saucepan and turn the heat on medium.

2. Add in the sugar and honey. Stir to dissolve.

3. Add in the remaining ingredients. Bring it up to a simmer. 4. Reduce the heat to low and steep for 15 to 20 minutes. 5. Serve the mulled wine warm.

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ON THE BOARD

Homemade marshmallows play double duty, perfect for melting in spiked hot chocolate and DIY s’mores. Add graham crackers, chocolate and your choice of candies.

Homemade Marshmallow Board

If you are on a bit of a budget, shift your attention to desserts and after-dinner drinks instead of serving a full meal. Kick off your party with a spiked hot chocolate station and versatile, homemade marshmallows. The hot chocolate is a simple recipe that can be made ahead of time and warmed just before guests arrive. To let guests decide how they want to spike their beverage, I like to offer a few different liquors, such as Kahlua, flavoed vodka or crème de menthe. To make this DIY dessert even more festive, try homemade marshmallows. If you have never tried a homemade marshmallow, you are in for a treat. They are so much more flavorful and tender than stoe-bought, and well worth the effort. I experimented with a few different recipes, settling on one from food personality Alton Brown. I made a couple of adjustments of my own and was pleased with the end result. The homemade marshmallows are light, flufy and full of vanilla flavo. They are a treat to top off any holiday hot chocolate—be it spiked or straight up—and an equally DIY-able s’mores spread.

HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 cup cold water

3 packages unflavoed gelatin

½ cups fine ganulated white sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon vanilla

1. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13 casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and line the dish with parchment, making sure there is a couple of inches of parchment hanging over the sides of the dish. Grease the parchment with more cooking spray.

2. Blend the cornstarch and confectioners’ sugar. Lightly dust the bottom and sides of the greased parchment. Set it all aside.

3. Pour ½ cup of the cold water into the bowl of a stand mixer fited with the whisk attachment.

4. Sprinkle the gelatin into the cold water. Allow it to dissolve.

5. In a heavy small sauce pot, add in the corn syrup, sugar, remaining water and salt. Gently stir just to combine. Place over medium heat and cover. Allow the mixture to simmer for 4 minutes, and then remove the lid.

6. Continue cooking the mixture for another 7 to 8 minutes. If using a candy thermometer, the temperature should read 240 degrees. Immediately remove from heat.

7. Turn the mixer on low, and with it running slowly, pour the hot mixture into the gelatin.

8. Once all of the hot syrup has been added, turn the mixer up to high. Beat for 12 to 14 minutes or until the mixture is thick and forms stiff peaks. Add the vanilla in the very last few seconds. Turn off the mixer once the vanilla is completely blended in.

9. Spray a rubber spatula with nonstick cooking spray and carefully remove the marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan. The mixture will be very sticky, so spray a bit more of the cooking spray when needed as you are working to spread the marshmallow out evenly. Dust the top with a little more of the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch mixture. Allow to set for several hours. Slice into marshmallows using a serrated knife, which you can dust with a little powder sugar to prevent from sticking.

¾ cups cocoa powder

¾ cups sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

6 cups whole milk

½ cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips

1 tablespoon vanilla

Liquor and toppings of your choice

1. In a heavy saucepan combine the cocoa, sugar and salt together. Pour in the milk. Heat on medium heat.

2. Stir to make sure the sugar and cocoa have dissolved. Once the milk has started to steam, add in the chocolate chips and continue stirring until the chocolate is melted. Add in the vanilla.

3. Keep the hot chocolate warm until you are ready to serve. Then, divide the hot chocolate between 6 mugs. To spike, add 1 to 2 ounces of your favorite liquor. Top with homemade marshmallows and chocolate shavings.

Recipe adapted from Alton Brown
SPIKED HOT CHOCOLATE Servings: 6 TASTE // 225batonrouge.com | [225] December 2022 57

‘Night in Old New Orleans’ Board

Themed parties are all the rage, especially around the holidays. This board party idea is a spin on the Roaring ’20s with New Orleans flai. The star of this spread is Shrimp Remoulade, a French dish that’s been known for its signature spot on Galatoire’s menu since 1905. It pairs wonderfully with a classic Sazerac, a drink born in the New Orleans French Quarter in the early 19th century. Known as America’s first cocktail it was conceptualized by a Creole apothecary named Antoine Peychaud, who emigrated to New Orleans from the West Indies.

CLASSIC

SAZERAC

Servings: Yields 1 cocktail

¼ ounce absinthe or herbsaint

1½ ounces rye whisky, bourbon or cognac

1 teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon bitters

Lemon peel for garnish

1. Place ice in a highball glass to chill. Discard the ice and pour the absinthe into the chilled glass. Swirl it around until it coats the inside of the glass.

2. Pour out any excess absinthe. Add in the sugar and bitters to the bottom of the glass.

3. Muddle the sugar and bitters together to dissolve the sugar, and then add the whisky or cognac. Stir until well blended.

4. Twist the lemon peel over the Sazerac to release the essence of the lemon into it. Garnish with the lemon peel on the rim of the glass and serve.

*The whisky, sugar and bitters can be combined in bulk ahead of time and then served individually as needed.

NEW ORLEANS SHRIMP REMOULADE

Servings: 6

½ cup chopped celery

½ cup chopped green onions (tops and bottoms)

½ cup chopped parsley

1 clove chopped garlic

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

¼ cup red wine vinegar

1 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon Worcestershire

½ cup mayonnaise

½ cup Creole mustard

½ cup vegetable oil

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon hot sauce

2 pounds large peeled, deveined and boiled shrimp

1. Place the celery, green onion, parsley and garlic into a food processor or blender. Add in the lemon juice and vinegar. Pulse to combine.

2. Add in the ketchup, Worcestershire, mayonnaise, Creole mustard and vegetable oil. Blend until all is incorporated. Season with the salt and hot sauce.

3. Place the remoulade in an airtight container and chill for several hours to allow the flavor to blend.

4. Pour the remoulade over the boiled shrimp. Chill until you are ready to serve.

from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines.

• Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

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ON THE BOARD Serve with crunchy French bread and butter. 225's recipes for Jumbo Lump Crabmeat Ravigote or Mock Turtle Soup (for dipping) would also be great additions. Search for them at 225batonrouge.com.
TASTE // 58 [225] December 2022 | 225batonrouge.com

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It can be
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• Do not blow debris into culverts, ditches and drains. • Report clogged drains by calling RedStick Ready 311 or download the RedStick Ready 311 app. • Above all – don’t litter. Almost all litter and debris ends up in our waterways, and dumping trash and wood debris in the drainage culverts worsens the drainage system and is a cause of flooding. Clogged storm drains can be prevented:
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Family photo

Family photo

CULTURE INSIDE: UpStage Theatre comes ‘Home for Christmas’
As parents stage holiday greeting card photos this month, one local photographer is sure to be taking her family’s to the next level
225batonrouge.com | [225] December 2022 61

weddings

You’re invited

Nikon and a few hours of Photoshop magic, the result is a witty, colorful photo to cherish for a lifetime—and quite the family photo album.

“They’re obviously my muses,” Haxthausen says about her kids. “I can’t make my art totally without them, so I rely on them. I want it to be a positive experience.”

MANY CHILDREN DREAD getting their photo taken. Jackie Haxthausen’s kids get to treat photo shoots like playtime.

They bring fun into Haxthausen’s dreamy, homemade sets. One day, their mom might be spray painting hundreds of gift boxes to build a whimsical holiday backdrop. Next, she’s scouring antique stores to find a vintage walkman for a Stranger Things-inspired shoot.

The local photographer tries to make her family’s monthly, themed photo shoots as easy and enjoyable as possible for her three kiddos, Ellie, Emme and Hopper. She always makes sure she has the background and lighting set up just right, so all her little ones have to do is pose and play pretend. With some quick snaps of her

Haxthausen’s greatest collaborators are her children. She keeps a running list of their interests for photo shoot ideas. If they come home from school babbling about a new hobby, it’s likely to become the new basis for a series of fun family photos. When her daughters wanted to give her massages all the time, she created a world where they were tiny masseuses giving her a spa day.

It’s the perfect way to combine their passions with her own: photography.

In fact, documenting her children is what helped her fall in love with the art form nine years ago.

“When my first daughter was born, I had a camera,” she remembers. “I was just obsessed with learning how to use it to capture her better.”

Now a full-time photographer with her own clients, Haxthausen says she continues capturing her own kids so she can create special memories with them while also constantly flxing her own creative muscles.

“Baton Rouge has a very traditional

For more information and to submit announcements, visit inregister.com/weddings WEDDING, ENGAGEMENT and ANNIVERSARY announcements available SUBMIT YOUR ANNOUNCEMENT BEFORE DEC. 31 FOR EARLY BIRD PRICING
2023
Photo by Ashford Halley Studios
TO BE FEATURED IN INREGISTER WEDDINGS
62 [225] December 2022 | 225batonrouge.com CULTURE //

photo market,” she says. “People love their black and white photos because they’re classy and beautiful. And I love them too, but I don’t know if that really captures the essence of childhood. Childhood is whimsical, and I think it’s so important to factor in what’s special to them.”

For most of her shots, Haxthausen likes to flip roles with her children or insert some witty commentary. In one shot, she’s relaxing on the couch with a coffee in one hand and a martini in the other, while the window behind her shows her kids boarding the school bus. In another photo, her daughters give her a mani-pedi while she relaxes on a lounge chair with their dog.

“If you notice, I’m always the oppo site of probably what’s really true— like sitting in the pool while the kids are doing the laundry,” she laughs. “Obviously mom life is not the life of glamor, but I just love the humor in that. It’s like an ironic humor where everyone knows the total opposite of what is true, but also it’s just funny.”

The tradition of capturing the evanescence of adolescence also allows Haxthausen to get in touch with her own inner child, combining imagination with nostalgia through her craft.

“I just am probably a child a little bit,” she says. “I get inspired by all different kinds of things all the time, and I feel like I just have to run with whatever that is when it comes to me. I was in theater and art growing up, so any chance to play a character or get dress up, I’m there for it.”

Season’s greetings

New Year’s Spring break Fall football Halloween
225batonrouge.com | [225] December 2022 63 CULTURE //
Christmas

‘Theater is life’

LIKE A GOOD black box should, UpStage Theatre’s diminutive Mid City auditorium holds the promise of an intimate cultural experience.

Tidy rows of cushioned seats, preserved from the former Broadmoor Theatre on Florida Boulevard, are arranged stadi um-style so that each viewer has a clear view of the stage. Surrounding cinder block walls are painted black, and the stage holds sets it seems you could reach out and touch.

As Upstage’s 2022 season continues this month, the space comes to life again with an original production called Home for Christmas, a play written and directed by company founder and artistic director Ava Brewster Turner.

“It’s a heartwarming story set in Tennessee,” Turner says. “The oldest daughter in the family, Nancy, has planned a wonderful Christmas for her adult siblings, and she wants them to return home.”

Naturally, the siblings protest—this is a holiday story, after all—but Nancy persists, convincing them to spend Christmastime with her and their ailing mother. While

they’re home, Nancy also tries to coax her brother and sister into reviving the Christmas plays and pageants of their child hood, this time as adults performing for each other in the living room.

“The story kind of takes a look at how we can get so busy in our lives and lose sight of what’s really important,” Turner says. “It’s a wonderful lesson.”

UpStage celebrates its 20th anniversary this season, a major milestone for a small company often overshadowed by Baton Rouge’s larger arts organizations. Home for Christmas is the final production of the season, which has also included The Green Book in March, a play by Calvin Ramsey about the real-life travel guide created for Black motorists in the Jim Crow South. The previous November, UpStage actors also per formed a dramatic reading of the play at the Capitol Park Museum for its “Negro Motorist Green Book” exhibit, during which Ramsey attended and gave a keynote address.

In June, the company staged The Dance on Widow’s Row, a comedy by Samm-Art Williams about four wealthy widows and

UpStage Theatre celebrates milestone anniversary, closing its 20th season with Home for Christmas
“There were no Black theater companies in Baton Rouge (back then). There was a need.”
64 [225] December 2022 | 225batonrouge.com CULTURE //
—Ava Brewster Turner

Turner landed a job teaching theater at Sherwood Middle School, followed by stints at Woodlawn High, Broadmoor High and Southern Laboratory School.

In the ’90s, Turner took a group of Southern Lab students to a speech festival hosted by LSU. Her students performed so well that the LSU Department of Theater approached her about pursuing a Ph.D. in theater education, with a full scholarship. She accepted the offer, working on coursework and completing her dissertation over the next few years while working full time.

could fulfill her long held dream of opening a Black theater company in the Capital City.

“Theater is about telling stories,” she says. “Theater is life.”

Along with staging productions, the company offers acting classes and summer camps. It also takes sub missions for plays to be staged from minority playwrights. In fact, the upcoming 2023 season, which opens in February, will feature only original works from minority playwrights selected by Turner and her board.

their attempt to find the next Mr. Right. “It was a sell-out,” Turner says. “It’s a very popular show.”

Turner is an accomplished theater educator who can’t remember a time when the dramatic arts wasn’t a personal passion. She says she founded the company to provide more opportunities for Black artists to explore the dramatic arts.

Issue Date: Dec 2022 Ad proof #2

As a child in rural southern Arkansas, Turner was an avid partici pant in Easter and Christmas plays at her church and was in the drama club in high school, experiences she still draws on as a teacher and playwright. She graduated from Grambling State University with a bachelor of arts in theater and began a career teaching both theater and English in Chicago, Alexandria and Memphis.

Around the same time, Turner left Southern Lab after being recruited to start the theater curriculum at then brand-new Baton Rouge Community College. Working with then-chancellor Myrtle Dorsey, Turner helped design BRCC’s Magnolia Performing Arts Theatre, developed coursework and taught classes.

While UpStage’s home stage is the 50-seat black box theater located at 1713 Wooddale Boulevard, some theatergoers may recall that it had a second, larger location in Cortana Mall from 2017 until shortly before the mall was razed in 2021.

Many of the company’s regular spectators took umbrage with the performances staged at Cortana, Turner says. They believed the much larger space detracted from the company’s intimate feel.

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions.

• AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines.

“There were no Black theater companies in Baton Rouge,” she recalls. “There was a need.”

In 1985, she and her husband relo cated to Baton Rouge for his job, and

A couple of years later, she was recruited by Wiley College, an HBCU in Marshall, Texas, to create the curriculum for a minor in theater at the college. Turner successfully established the program at Wiley before returning home to Baton Rouge.

In 2002, Turner and her husband found a space in Mid City where she

“I have a group of ladies that come to all of my shows who always sit right here on the front row,” she says, pointing to a group of seats. “They did not like Cortana. They thought it was too big.” upstagetheatre.biz

The Tipsy Librarian DISCOVER

@641.874
Bespoke craft cocktail experiences and consultation SCAN TO LEARN MORE OR FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM
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UpStage Theatre found great success this summer with its show, The Dance on Widow’s Row

ARTS BEST BETS

DEC. 3-17

Find meaningful, handmade gifts for everyone on your list at the Baton Rouge Arts Market. Makers and artisans typically sell their homemade goods and connect with customers in their communities once a month in conjuction with the Red Stick Farmers Market. But the market is ramping up for the holiday season—come shop for finds every Sturday before Christmas. artsbr.org

DEC. 2

The LSU Museum of Art is offering discounts at its store just in time for the holiday season. The 18th Annual Holiday Shopping event allows customers to find atsy gifts and take advantage of 20% off one regular-priced item. There will also be gift wrapping available so that your gifts are ready to go. lsumoa.org

DEC. 3

Hear the sounds of the season with Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra’s Home for the Holidays show. The orchestra will be joined by a chorus to bring the audience all its favorite holiday songs. Sing along with classic carols for all ages. brso.org

DEC. 4 + 10

UpStage Theatre presents Home for Christmas, a play by its founder, Ava Brewster Turner. Head to the theater’s home at 1713 Wooddale Blvd. for a heartwarming story about family. upstagetheatre.biz

DEC. 9-11 + 15-18

Hear the classic tale from Charles Dickens as a talented cast from Theatre Baton Rouge performs a production of A Christmas Carol. This holiday story follows the crotchety Ebenezer Scrooge as he is visited by spirits of the season who try to help him change his ways. theatrebr.org

MUSIC BEST BETS

DEC. 4

The Baton Rouge Concert Band stages its annual Christmas Concert at St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown Baton Rouge. The talented, all-volunteer band will perform classics new and old, concluding with Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride.” brcb.org

DEC. 9 + 10

The Manship Theatre is putting on a special holiday concert in collaboration with Emmy winner Mike Esneault titled Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime. This show brings performances of classic Christmas hits from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. If you’re an old soul and you love Christmas, don’t miss this. manshiptheatre.org

DEC. 10

Louisiana native and country singer Frank Foster will perform all his hits at the Texas Club. Dust off your best pair of boots and come hear this rock-influenced country performer sing songs like “Blue Collar Boys” and “A Few More Miles.” thetexasclub.com

DEC. 16

Relive the glory days of the 1980s when A Flock of Seagulls takes the stage at Chelsea’s Live. Hear all their hits like “I Ran (So Far Away).” STRANGELOVE, a Depeche Mode tribute band, will also perform, bringing even more tubular tunes to the stage. chelseaslive.com

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FILE PHOTO BY COLLIN RICHIE

BACK TO HIS ROOTS

Country star Trace Adkins returns to his home state for a show at L’Auberge Casino & Hotel. Adkins recently celebrated 25 years since launching his country music career and is hitting the road to play all of his hits. lbatonrouge.com

PUCK DROPS

Get Your Daily Dose of 225 SPONSORED BY Subscribe today at 225batonrouge.com SCAN TO GET STARTED Good news. Good vibes. Everyday! article pageviews per month 185k 225 Daily subscribers 24k+ 225 social media followers 106k+ 225 app downloads 5k+ 504 ON THE ROAD NEW ORLEANS THE FUN OF CHRISTMAS PAST Head out to the LSU Rural Life Museum for a special day of holiday-themed activities. Revel in the holidays just
they did back in the
with
Rural
a
of storytellers, artisans,
and
8 + 15
like
19th century
A
Life Christmas,
collection
reenactors
a very jolly special guest, all spread about the historic property. lsu.edu/rurallife
ALL MONTH: Celebration in the Oaks, celebrationintheoaks.com DEC. 10: Running of the
Bar
runningofthesantas.com DEC. 18: Caroling in Jackson
patioplanters.net 2
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Think Baton Rouge should have a hockey scene? Then you should be in the audience for one of the three exhibition games the Raising Cane’s River Center and Baton Rouge Pro Hockey will host this month and next. If the sport finds a stong audience at the games Dec. 8, Dec. 15 and Jan. 2, a new team will launch next year. brprohockey.com
Santas
Crawl,
Square,
STOCK PHOTO
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COURTESY LSU RURAL LIFE MUSEUM

DISCO’S NOT DEAD!

Bust out your bell bottoms and sequins, because the traveling DJ-run dance party Gimme Gimme Disco is stopping at Chelsea’s Live for one foxy night. Come dance your heart out to classics from legends like ABBA, The Bee Gees, Donna Summer and more. gimmegimmedisco.com

ALSO THIS MONTH

ALL MONTH

Come out to Baton Rouge General’s Bluebonnet Campus to see a dazzling holiday light display. The Holiday Lights display will have even more lights this year to make the season brighter. Baton Rouge General is also bringing back Snow & Glow—a ticketed, family-friendly event with fake snow, Santa photos and more on Thursday, Dec. 1 and Thursday, Dec. 15. brgeneral.org

ALL MONTH

The Baton Rouge Zoo is also putting up a sparkling display with its annual Zoo Lights illuminated trail. Zoo grounds are lit up by over 50 bright and festive sculptures. This event runs all month but is closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. brzoo.org

DEC. 2

Kickstart the holiday season by bringing the whole family downtown for the Festival of Lights. This event is known as Baton Rouge’s oldest holiday tradition. Watch as downtown is transformed into a twinkling wonderland with more than half a million lights, and take part in the snow village, tree lighting, artist village and more. downtownbatonrouge.org

DEC. 10

Former Impractical Joker Joe Gatto is coming to the Raising Cane’s River Center Theatre for a hilarious stand-up set. Gatto’s “Night of Comedy” promises lots of laughs for the audience and himself. Though he has departed from the comedic television show, Gatto is still making people laugh with this fun tour. raisingcanesrivercenter.com

DEC. 16 TO JAN. 2

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BALLET ON THE BAYOU

Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre is celebrating the “homecoming” of The Nutcracker: A Tale from the Bayou as it returns to the Baton Rouge River Center Theatre for the Performing Arts for the first time in five ars. Don’t miss the beauty of this annual holiday production with a Louisiana twist. batonrougeballet.org

Lace up your skates and get to gliding on the smooth ice at the River Center. Ice Skating on the River is back just in time for the holiday season. Even if we don’t experience freezing temperatures and snowy days, you can still get the winter feels by taking a trip to the rink. raisingcanesrivercenter.com

MORE EVENTS

Subscribe to our newsletter 225 Daily for our twiceweekly roundups of events. 225batonrouge.com/225daily

DEC. 1: Abbeville’s Annual Christmas Stroll, vermilion.org

DEC. 10: New Iberia Christmas Parade, cityofnewiberia.com

DEC. 16-18: Christmas in the Park, moncuspark.org/christmas

C E L EBRATING 1 0 PINKTAS T C SRAEY FO F B YAWDAOR DEC 11 • 2PM SCHOOL SHOWTIMES: D ECEMBER 12 | 9:30AM & 11:30AM JAN 6 | 7:30 PM THE HILLBENDERS COMING IN JANUARY DEC 9 & 10 7:30 PM A contemporary Christmasnot your classic holiday music show!
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In every issue of 225, you’ll find a fee print on this page. FRAMED celebrates life and art in Baton Rouge, each one featuring a local photographer, place or graphic designer. Cut it out to hang in your cubicle, or frame it for your home gallery wall. Show us where you hang them by tagging them on social media with #225prints.

PHOTO BY JACKIE HAXTHAUSEN / jackiehaxthausen.com
FRAMED // 70 [225] December 2022 | 225batonrouge.com
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