Since moving to New Orleans, my husband and I have stayed relatively close to home. Save one trip to Florida, we have been satisified to stay and explore our new home city. Typically I love to travel. Whether it is a day trip or week long trip, I relish in seeing new places, experiencing new foods and regional flavors, and meeting new, interesting people. When we lived on the east coast, we would take frequent road tips, traveling through different states to find unique towns, having fun and gathering knowledge along the way. I now realize that a one or two hour drive is nothing to us east coast folk. Everything is so smooshed together that two hours in the car will take you to an abundance of unique towns and new experiences. Louisiana is bigger, more rural, and just different.
Now I'm not saying that Louisiana isn't a nice state, but a two hour drive will not take you to many bustling metropolises. It is my understanding that driving in most directions away from New Orleans will take you to the swamp and more swamp:) Nobody seems to leave. But I am keeping an open mind. If someone recommends a good day trip, I would be willing to try it. There may be more to Louisiana than I think.
Recently some work related stuff took me on a road trip to Baton Rouge (about an hour and half from home). I did not have the chance to see much of the city (or even make it into downtown), but it was nice to get out of New Orleans for a change. Since I was in a new town, I had to find some new-to-me food. This included a good lunch and some ice cream. For lunch, I found an exciting bakery called Truly Free Bakery that offers food that is gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and casein-free. I had a roasted eggplant sandwich on their soft and chewy house-made bread and it was great. If it was closer to home, I would definitely bring my mom here.
For dessert, I did some research. I found a few positive reviews online for a newly opened gelateria a little bit off the beaten path. Latte e Miele was a 10 minute drive out of town and the trip was definitely worth it. Owned by a pair of Italian brothers, this gelato shop is close to authentic. The name Latte e Miele means milk and honey, the two main ingredients that are used to make the daily batches of gelato base. Local ingredients are used to flavor the base. We stopped by the store in the middle of the day so it was not crowded and I had the chance to sample many flavors. My favorite flavor was the Milk & Honey - smooth and creamy texture with a simple and fresh sweet cream taste and thick, gooey strands of local honey swirled throughout that melt on your tongue with every bite. The owner suggested that I pair it with the strawberry sorbetto, which tasted like biting into a fresh strawberry, seeds and all. Paired with the milk and honey gelato, it reminded me of spring. My husband ordered a yogurt and black cherry flavor which was also fresh and bold in flavor.
I really wish that this place was closer to New Orleans. Another great gelato shop to add to the list. I definitely recommend that you check out it if you are in Baton Rouge.