Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Take A Summertime Trip to Grand Cane

I am blissfully ignorant of today's debt ceiling dramatic events as Steve and I have just returned from an afternoon in historic Grand Cane, Louisiana.

Our last trip to Grand Cane was in March and we were distressed to find The Village of Grand Cane Restaurant closed that day.  We were hoping it was open today. 

Grand Cane is located in DeSoto Parish and in 2000 the population was about 200.  I believe it's more now because of the Haynesville Shale activity.  Because of that influx of oil and gas money, the little town is having a renaissance and they're working hard to develop a little tourism.  In its day, Grand Cane was a bustling little town; it was even the home of the first accredited high school in the state of Louisiana.  Another plus is that living in Grand Cane gives you the small town life but you're less than 30 minutes away from Shreveport/Bossier.  Some people are beginning to see the advantage of living in a small town and commuting to work.

The first thing we did was head to the restaurant for lunch.  The large number of cars and pickups outside told us the place was open.  As we walked up I kept thinking about the guys on American Pickers and how they'd go crazy over the old signs out front.  (On a totally unrelated note, those guys really get on my nerves.)

We went inside, checked out the specials on the dry erase board (Prime Rib $14.00 or chicken and dumplings for 8.95), and found a seat.  Clearly this is the working man's hangout because with the exception of the staff, I think I was the only girl in the place.

Service was quick and we were brought water and menus right away.  I was tempted by the hamburger, as was Steve, but we both opted for the chicken fried steak.  We both got baked potatoes instead of fries and it came with a salad.  As we sat there we saw one giant hamburger after another come out of the kitchen.  We started to have second thoughts, but when our food came out, all was well.

The chicken fried steaks were huge, well seasoned, tender, and came with a bowl of white gravy.  I won't get into a whole restaurant review here but will just say that we'll definitely go back.  We both want to try the burgers!

After lunch we headed down the street to Village Creations, the antique store.  They have gift items and unique pieces there.  I thought these carved canes were neat:

There are some gorgeous antique furniture pieces in there.  This isn't the best picture but I liked this cabinet:

At the top, behind those mugs, is a a piece that comes up a bit and has a mirror.  It's a gorgeous piece of furniture and reasonably priced.  Owner Suzanne Brossette has a good eye and a creative way of displaying her items.

We bought a few little things and while we were paying for them I saw a dog standing at the front door, scratching the glass and whimpering.  He's apparently the town dog and and goes in and out of the shops (that will let him!) and everyone takes care of him.  He might actually belong to someone around there, I don't know, but he was a nice dog.

Our next stop was The Raven bookstore.  Owner Vanessa Efferson was in the middle of her lunch but was more than willing to stop and talk with us and offer help if we needed it.   They have a Facebook page here. I think she remembered us from our last visit; if she didn't she at least acted like she did!  Vanessa is a very personable and easy to talk to.  It's clear she loves her job!

Her shop is filled with little things to catch your eye such as the Scrabble tiles marking each section.  Cleverly, she has glued them down.  I figured it was to thwart troublemakers like Steve who might be tempted to rearrange them but she says no, it's because they kept falling over whenever you pulled a book out.

Raggedy Ann and Andy were enjoying a latte when we arrived.

Steve bought me another Llama Llama book (they're so cute!) and off we went to the next stop.

We went next to the DeSoto Arts Council where gallery manager Jody Gore showed us around and pointed out some of their more interesting items.  I liked this Wizard of Oz piece:

I'm not sure what the artistic term is but it's made of a variety of items, like the shoes are real shoes, and there's a piece of blue and white gingham fabric with them, the Dorothy picture at the bottom is a little metal tray, the cowardly lion in the bottom right corner looks to be out of a coloring book.  The yellow brick road looks like small glittery pieces of's a neat piece.

Steve rather liked "Elvira":

I also liked the rooster picture:

Next stop was the quilt store where I was sorely tempted to take up cross-stitch again.

I resisted the urge.  For now. We spent a while in there admiring the beautiful quits and the huge selection of fabrics.  One thing about Grand Cane:  every shop you go in, every corner you turn, you find someone friendly and willing to visit.  No surly shopkeepers here.  In neither of our two visits have we found an unfriendly soul in Grand Cane.

Through with our shopping for the day, we took a little walk around the main part of town.  Back Alley Theater is the community theater where recently they staged Arsenic and Old Lace, Charlotte's Web, and in 2009 hosted the Strumdingers Ukulele Band.

We crossed over  the the park and sat in the gazebo for a bit where a nice summer breeze kept the heat away.

It's actually a very nice park with a covered pavillion where I guess community events are held or even family reunions.

We wrapped up our day and headed back to Shreveport.

If you live in Shreveport, or around here, put Grand Cane on your list of things to do.  It's a nice little town where everyone is friendly, you can shop, get a good bite to eat, and let the big city drift away.  We're going to head back down around December and check out the Christmas lights!

Keep up with Grand Cane between my visits at their Facebook page.


Take a Trip to Desoto Parish
Take a Summer Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden
Take a Trip to Natchitoches and Melrose Plantation
Take a Trip to Ed Lester Farms and a Random Antique Stop
Take a Trip to the Norton Art Gallery and the Masters of Cuban Art Exhibit
Take a Trip to Natchitoches to See the Christmas Lights
Take a Trip to Natchitoches and Oakland Plantation

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