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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Little Soul in the Old Heart of Baton Rouge: Dominique's Stockyard Café

by Blair "B-Rex" Loup

Many argue that Baton Rouge struggles to find a food identity, but sometimes, what I love most about our culinary culture is the variety. I hail from Sulphur, Louisiana which is home to mostly chain restaurants, mediocre Tex-Mex, and simple Americana, so moving to Baton Rouge for school became a gastronomic awakening.

Baton Rouge does a handful of things really well, and soul food is absolutely one of them.

I’ve always been an adventurous eater and made a conscientious effort to seek out hidden gem eateries to which the average college student might not venture. However, Dominique’s Stockyard Café is something I didn’t find until under the seasoned wing of Jay Ducote.

Pulling up to the Stockyard Café, I don’t know why, but I wasn’t expecting it to be an actual stockyard. Already charmed by the exterior, I entered into the café to the smell of one of the greatest things on the planet: lunch.

I am very into mac n’ cheese always, but I’ve found that soul food places tend to make theirs with spaghetti noodles. It’s not the worst idea I’ve ever heard. A bite of that with the gravied up meatloaf punched a one-way ticket to nap city.

Meat Loaf over Rice & Gravy with Mac n' Cheese and Cornbread
Meat Loaf over Rice & Gravy with Mac n' Cheese and Cornbread


Meanwhile, Jay had a rib in one hand, fried okra in another, and a goofy grin on his face. Sides of flavor bursting cornbread dressing and gravy, hearty greens, and a few strips of delectably crispy fried catfish decorated the table. Pair everything with the smiling faces of people cooking good food, and each bite becomes more heavenly than the last.

Cornbread Dressing with Gravy, Fried Okra, and Greens
Cornbread Dressing with Gravy, Fried Okra, and Greens

Crispy Fried Catfish and a plethora of more delicious sides at Stockyard Café
Crispy Fried Catfish and a plethora of more delicious sides at Stockyard Café

If you find yourself near the Old Mississippi River Bridge craving cozy home cooking at a decent price, Stockyard is a great place to stop in. And, you can actually see old Stockyard while you're there!

Stockyard Cafe on Urbanspoon