I really wish everything in South Louisiana was wonderful with fairies and sparkly dust. But is isn't. Alligators are scary, it's more humid and hot than you can possibly imagine until you've experienced it and… not all local food and goods are . . . well . . . good.
So, here I go with being real.
First, I'm skeptical of trends and fads. Ever since I did poofy bangs in the early 90s, I have been wary of what's "in." Look over there, see, I learned the hard way (and I was so good, I did my little sister's hair too . . . poor thing). Anyway, I feel like the trendy food thing right now is gluten free/diary free/something free . . . whatever. Now I know allergies are real and if you truly are allergic to one of these things, that must stink.
Another thing I dislike is substitutes. I've been around health conscious people all my life and have seen oils/fats in a recipe replaced with applesauce, meats with processed soy "meat," and chocolate with carob. I say, if I decide, for whatever reason, not to eat something, then I just won't eat it . . . I'll eat other stuff rather than look for substitutes.
So all of that influenced my lunch experience yesterday. I've been wanting to try Truly Free Bakery and Deli, a wheat, gluten and dairy free eatery in Baton Rouge. I mean it's local, its mission is healthy, they will deliver even to Thibodaux, and . . . . . it's just not good.
Other than the humorless waiter . . . seriously, he never smiled and recoiled at my friend's 10-month-old's bottle asking, "is that dairy?!". . . . they were really nice. Now to be fair, the sweet potato fries sweetened with Agave were good. But the fresh-squeezed limeade was overly sweetened with something that left a strange residue and bad aftertaste in my mouth . . . like for hours. And the vegetable panini was dry with raw summer squash and zucchini, overly sweet raspberry salad dressing all on strangely textured gluten-free bread. I will say the 10-month-old liked the bread for a little while . . .
I'm totally hoping this was just my personal experience — a one-time thing — and in the sub-genre of everything-free food, they're really great. But I think I'll just be moving on to other food experiences. And if I want food with nothing in it, I just won't eat.