The best option for travelers who are not in Big Cities with obvious attractions (South Beach in Miami, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco) is to discover what is quirky or unique about a place.
In Shreveport, our group visited a fine regional museum (The Norton Art Gallery) that prided itself on an original double-elephant folio of Audubon’s The Birds of America as well as a nice collection of works by Frederic Remington. Our bus driver overreached, however, when he claimed the museum was comparable to any in the world.
What was comparable to anything in the world was the food of Shreveport.
We ate “cracklins” at Bergeron’s that specialized in all kinds of strange Boudin and Cajun meat combinations.
We ate gourmet food in apparent “dives.” At Herby-K’s we met third-generation owner Angela Busi Doe and enjoyed delicacies such as crab claws and their famous “Shrimp Busters.” We also enjoyed the guitar music of two-time Grammy nominee Buddy Flett.
First-generation owner Duc Duong served us at Kim’s in Bossier City, just across the Red River from Shreveport. Duc, a native of Cambodia, was a refugee who came to New Orleans and became a shrimper. Then, he was part of the diaspora from New Orleans after Katrina and migrated to Texas. Then, he became a refugee from Hurricane Rita. According to his moving story, he and his family went as far as their money would take them, settling in Bossier City, opening his restaurant there. Cooking in the kitchen and serving us in the dining area, Duc entertained us with one of the best meals of my life—crawfish eggroll and crawfish pie. Wow!
Go to London if you want to see Big Ben, but go to Shreveport if you want to eat well.